Man, last weekend was amazing! I got to go to my first FinCon in Dallas, and I was a little anxious about what it was going to be like. I’ve been to conferences before and they can be hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit. I got there early in the afternoon on Wednesday and got checked in. After attending a few sessions and not seeing anyone I recognized, I thought that I should go for a run before things really get started. I ran into Kara from Bravely Go and then I started seeing more people I “knew”. It was a little overwhelming at first with the amount of people that were there, but I was able to take a breath and start introducing myself to everyone. I met new friends, like Chris at Keep Thrifty, Jim at Route to Retire, Vicki at Make Smarter Decisions, I Dream of FIRE, Mr. and Mrs. WoW from Waffles on Wednesday, Claudia from Two Cup House, Miss Mazuma, and SO many more. I also ran into “old friends” like Chris at Eat the Financial Elephant, Maggie from Northern Expenditure, Bob from Tawcan, Jillian at Montana Money Adventures, Mrs. BITA from Bayalis is the Answer, and Mr. PIE from Plan Invest Escape.
So Much Talking
I spent most of the time at the conference hanging out with 2 bloggers, Mr. PIE and Mrs. BITA, and the experience couldn’t have been better. Just being able to talk openly about our blogs, finances, families, plans, jobs, and more without feeling like I am being judged or criticized was amazing. Having someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of, who is also in a similar position was just one of the better experiences I’ve had. It was also a lot of fun getting to meet up with other groups of people at night and hang out. Yes, I even went into fanboy mode a couple of times, like when I met Paula Pant, and Carl from 1500 Days.
I sometimes forgot that there was a conference going on because we would get so deep into talking to each other. I had a hoarse voice by Friday, and by Saturday, I was downing all kinds of throat lozenges. Let me just say, not everyone experienced that, but have I mentioned I’m a talker? If I didn’t before, most people knew after a few hours of hanging out with me. So much talking, but in an awesome way!
To be honest, I have been getting burnt out on the whole blogging scene. Between not having motivation for writing articles each week, maintaining the site, keeping up with everyone on Twitter, reading and commenting on everyone else’s blogs, all while maintaining my “regular life”, I was done. I believe Mr. PIE summed it these types of feelings really well in his farewell post and I too was close to writing something similar.
I was hoping FinCon would provide a spark to bring me back, and if not that, at least I could confirm that, “Yep, I’m done.” Fortunately, the spark was reignited and I feel like I have a lot more to offer. Thanks FinCon! Also, an even bigger thanks to everyone mentioned above, and ones not mentioned that played a role in helping me get my mojo back!
I also learned a little more on ways to get the blog better organized, optimized and I got the kick in the butt to refresh our site. Ugh, what a chore that is going to be, but it hasn’t been refreshed since we started it over 3 years ago now. Even more, I kept telling people about the changes I wanted to make, so now I’m accountable. Whoops!
Time Well Spent
Like I said, I learned some stuff at the conference, but unlike a geological tech conference, I didn’t spend all of my time in sessions, meetings, etc… I spent it hanging out with my tribe and getting back to the reason I started this blog in the first place. Sure, we wanted accountability with ourselves and our FIRE plan, but we thought that maybe we could also help someone else out. This road that we’re on isn’t an unachievable goal, this is something that pretty much anyone can do with enough discipline and mindfulness. We’ve been fortunate enough to get ahead on our plan and are looking at being a couple of years away from our Fully Funded Lifestyle Change.
I’m still on a FinCon high right now, even though I felt like sleep was SO lacking over the weekend. It really is a “you can sleep when you get home Con”. I already bought tickets to FinCon 2018 and will be looking forward to that one in Orlando. Fingers crossed for no hurricanes… I can’t wait to get to meet even more new people and hang out with all of my new friends again! Note to self, bring more throat lozenges this time…
What about you, did you go to FinCon? What did you think was the best part? Are you planning on going next year?