Adorable FINCON12 shirts / Branded hotel room keys I nerded out about / The view from the hotel
When I got ready for the Financial Blogger Conference that took place this past weekend, I hadn’t even unpacked from my cross-country move yet. The idea of unpacking what had just been packed in order to of course, repack again was just as exhausting to execute as it is to read in a sentence. Whatever crumpled semblance of an outfit I could shove (not fold) into a suitcase was really, all the enthusiasm I had to give. I was just- tired. Tired in every sense of the word, and I know the effects of my fatigue reared it’s head in my life, blogs and business and this final manifestation in my wardrobing was just another sign.
Luckily for me (and everyone who had to lay eyes on me) during the course of the conference, or FINCON as we nerds call it, I found not only my second wind, but an ironing board to finally feel like myself again! At first, the idea of attending FINCON was totally overwhelming- I lost my thunder the last two months after feeling totally confined and stuck in Chicago. I had only been in California for a week, and the thought of living out of a suitcase again and diving into a conference dedicated to blogging & entrepreneurial spirit seemed daunting- I was praying it would help me get my spark back, luckily it did.
Being named as “Rising Star” on Budgetable’s “Who To Meet List”= Pretty Snazzy! / Lots and lots of socializing, our sponsors were awesome!
Being a problogger & freelance social media consultant is a dream job for many. I love what I do, but sometimes it can feel totally isolating just to interact with your “people” via chat, blog comments & online forums. My favorite part of FINCON was the fact that when someone LOL’ed it was no longer words on a page- it was real, human. Oh, and trust me, there was a lot of laughter. Putting human faces to blogs I’ve read and interacted with all year was phenomenal- I got to ask questions, spin ideas & of course, debate the merits of beer vs. scotch with some of the online personalities I already admired. I feel like I made a ton of new friends and invigorated old connections, I left FINCON feeling like I really was part of a community, not just an “online” one.
Additionally, the whole conference felt like a huge honor. I was asked to help present at the third annual Plutus Awards and was also a presenter on Saturday with my talk on Rockstar Blogging (A.K.A. “How To Score Free Stuff With Your Blog) and got some great feedback for the new ebook I’m working on. Truthfully, you can gloat about stats all you want- how many hits you get a day, how many followers, how many retweets, but there is something truly amazing when people see you as something more- an expert, a mentor, a friend, and truly trust what you have to say. That, to me, is the biggest honor.
Presenting my speech on “Rockstar Blogging” at FINCON wearing my fave dress from Stop Staring!
Many of you know I relocated to California, but I didn’t talk too much about where I’d be living. For a time, I’ll be staying with my Dad & pugs in a small-ish town in San Diego County (not the city itself.) Not only did my business at Cake Mix slow down for the move, but I was really worried on how I would drive business and make new personal connections away from a big city like Chicago. Andrea from SmartMoneyChicks gave a great talk about bringing your online business local– through networking, speeches, education and meetups, I feel inspired and got a ton of ideas.
My goal is to attend several more blogging conferences & running events in the next year, but I had no idea how I’d afford it with student loans, a new car payment & existing travel plans. Kylie of KylieOfiu.com had amazing insights on how to snag corporate sponsorships for conferences & travel in her FINCON presentation, even as the “Giveaway Queen,” I got excited and learned a few new tactics! She also is a published author and had advice to share on that as well- a future goal of mine!
There were also many other friends I newly met or reconnected with and I feel so energized by all of their great ideas, funny stories and appetite for free food & beverage! If you love to read blogs (especially personal finance) some of these bloggers are onto really big things- launching ebooks & webinars, going on speaking tours, sending book proposals & already planning their presentations for next year! It’s a great time to be a blogger, and even if you’re not a personal finance blogger, you should totally consider attending next year!
There are so many more people I need to mention & thank, the amount of business cards in my purse and hilarious tweets are too much to mention in the confines of an already word-abundant blog post. But huge thanks to Narrow Bridge,Web Ninja & Money Spruce for being awesome and fun to hang out with! Thank you to everyone who shared their time at FINCON this year and all the volunteers, sponsors and bloggers who made it happen- it was a blast!
As I come closer to my second year of blogging, the link of health and wealth become stronger. When I left for FINCON this year, I felt I didn’t have the money and I didn’t have the emotional and physical energy to attend. What I’ve come away from FINCON with is that even when you’re running on empty, the right people know how to fill you up. Even if you’re lacking on money, make sure you never lack on the richness of friendship to get you through the lean times. Laughter, memories & inspiration are the best medicine to cure some of the things that money can’t buy… or at least fill up your Twitter feed!