FINCON 2015: Our Journey Into the Unknown
Last week, John and I attended #FinCon15, which brought together bloggers, authors, business owners and personal finance rockstars. This was an adrenaline shot in our arms. We have returned home enthused, exhausted, excited, more knowledgeable and all around pumped to make our lives bigger by sharing our story, goals and money tools. Here’s a recap of our FinCon experience.
I’ll be honest, we had reservations heading into the unknown of FinCon. We were concerned about being the new kids on the first day of school. In addition, because we’re a gay couple and don’t see many others in the personal finance space who are out, we were worried about being accepted.
Our fears were unfounded. We were blown away by how amazing and accepting everyone was. The first day, when we went to the lobby for coffee, we were quite nearly mobbed by other bloggers, Twitter followers and conference sponsors who knew us and were genuinely excited to meet us. It was incredible to put faces to names and meet those we admire in personal finance. As for being gay, it was a non-issue. We must give a shout out to Emma Johnson who nearly demanded we leverage this quality to capture a neglected audience. Emma, you rock!
Presenting Self-Publishing Superstars
On Friday, we were twitterpated to meet and present with Barbara Friedberg, who shared her platform with us to present with Valerie Rind and Austin Netzly. We each did short presentations and then had a Q&A panel on self-publishing. It was fun to be on a panel with true superstars, although we were a bit nervous about public speaking. Thank you, again, Barbara for sharing your stage.
Let the Fun Begin
As you know, were all about the #HaveFun. We enjoy life to the fullest and going to FinCon was no exception. The Experian Team, especially @MikeDelgado and @Teena_LaRo, who we have worked with several times on Experian’s #CreditChats, invited us and about 12 other personal finance bloggers, authors and columnists to a marvelous five-star dinner at The Fig Tree. The food was delicious and the company more so. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the esteemed Gerri Detweiler. Wow! Yes, I was certainly on the receiving end of some great education and guidance. We even exchanged recipes.
Saturday night was all about Plutus. The Plutus Awards are personal finance geeks’ version of The Oscars, The MTV Music Awards and Comedy Central Roast rolled into one. Thanks to Luke Landes, this is the 6th year these awards. Although we were in the running for People’s Choice and lost to the awesome Money Peach, it was a blast and honor to be nominated (something John never believe was possible).
Sunday was our last hurrah, as we finished the conference with the great Grant Baldwin as the key note speaker. Afterwards, we milled around Charlotte for a bit and then hosted our very first Debt Free Guys’ FinCon Unwind. Stay tuned for version 2.0 at #FinCon16.
This is where it got real for us. We met several personal finance blogging’s founding fathers, who have since retired quite comfortably. Did they treat us as newbies? Did they act better than us? Did they give us the “meh” treatment? As hologram Whitney would say, “Hell to the no!” Their stories, engagement and advice were beyond helpful. We are fortunate to have met such awesome people.
What the Hell Does It All Mean
John and I have major life goals on which we have been procrastinating. That’s all changing (Tia and Talaat, we’ll discuss this later). Anyway, we have renewed energy to “git ‘er done”!
You should expect new content from The Debt Free Guys. We’re starting a weekly Blab.IM series called Queer Money. We’re gonna get a bit crazy with our back stories. Our bi-monthly newsletter will be revamped to monthly with more of our own money struggles and successes. We’re reworking our weekly Money Conscious Mash Up into something more digestible and entertaining for our readers. We’ll soon appear as regular guests on amazing Amy Robles’ podcast, Think Enriched. And, finally, we found really cool tools at FinCon that’ll help you manage your money and get out of and stay out of debt. We can’t wait to share all of this with you.
Every day John and I get up between 4 am and 5 am to do what we love, what we’re passionate about and what we hope to grow into a leading source of information to help others. We do it because we love it. Sometimes, though, when we work while friends check-in at the new Denver hotspot or have afternoon photo shoots on the beach or mountain tops, we get a bit bummed. We wonder if it’s all worth it?
The answer is, you better freakin’ believe it! The reason is because of all the positive reinforcement we received from so many incredible people, some of whom we want to especially call out.
- Adam Carroll – You rock! Thank you for reminding us that a bigger life has a great foundation.
- Amanda Abella – You’re adorable and you give great hugs! You inspire us and it’s great to have you as a friend.
- Connie Lundegard at GoBankingRates.com – You’re our personal cheerleader. When we get tired all we have to do is think of your smile and energy and we smile and keep going.
- Peita Diamantidis – You brought “down under” to the top and made us laugh and smile. Cheers mate!
- Bill Dwight of FamZoo – Congrats on the FinTech win! You’re awesome. Thanks for tracking us down like a bloodhound.
- Talaat & Tai McNeely – You’re inspirations and we’re amazed what you’ve done in a year. We can’t wait to get the accountability group going.
- JD Roth & Kim Edwards – Although we’re practically the same age, we want to grow up and be just like you.
- And, last but certainly not least, we must thank our amazing, awesome, energetic and fun Carleen Clearwater of KickASS Marketing & Creative. You push, poke and prod us in the right direction. Thanks for the inspiration!
For more from us on #FINCON15, check out our Monday Money Minute video this week and see what we are doing right now with this inspiration!