I went to San Diego for the Financial Blogger Conference (#FinCon16) last month. I had the BEST TIME at FinCon. I mean, I was terrified, and as an introvert, the first thing I started looking for were places to hide for an hour an recharge, but the first day I ended up having drinks until midnight, then waking up for a 5am run the next morning. I did that all week long. Lost my voice the first day and found myself on a cough drops run the following morning.
Again, let me emphasize the part about being super introverted and coming out of my Guatemalan jungle to be social to 1,200 people being a big deal. That’s how awesome FinCon was.
When I bought my tickets back January, I was full of New Year resolutions about my site, how I would grow it and such. Then real life happened, and the blogs went down the priority list, which I am perfectly at peace with. On top of an intrinsic shyness, doubts about not being so active this year started to crawl up. What would we be talking about? I mean when you read a blog, you are aware of people’s whereabouts, but if there are no updates?
Well for starters, most of my friends from when I stared over four years ago are rockstars today. And just talking about what it took to get there is the perfect conversation starter. Then, in spite of me thinking I had been withdrawn this year, I realized I had actually kept in touch with many people, through freelance writing or random emails, and nothing was lost. Finally, this year has been about getting out of my comfort zone. Proof is my Date Me page on this very site. It makes me look like this fearless person but it is really vulnerable.
Anyway, two things I enjoyed were the aura of the rockstar friends, because everyone approaches them, and by association I got to meet them, and surfing on an extrovert’s wave. I had a couple of safety buddies I knew I could always come back to and be welcome, and recharge for a bit while they did most of the interactions.
I decided not to attend any sessions, because they were recorded, and would either be in the hallways talking to people, or recharging for a bit. I had an Airbnb downtown but was given a key to use the sauna and lounge upstairs which was a blessing. Living on 4 hours of sleep only took its toll afterwards thankfully. It was fun putting a face on anonymous bloggers, talking about anything and everything until the wee hours of the morning, and getting to know newer bloggers.
I was very impressed by the parties sponsors threw every night. Amazing places, great food, drinks and entertainment. Now I’ll go hit them up for ad money haha.
Without even trying, I got some freelance gigs and other juicy offers. FinCon was already paid for by some freelancing I picked up in January with that goal in mind, so that’s a double bonus. I didn’t go to grow my business in the end, I went to have fun and keep the “let’s get out there” year going. I am so glad I did. People were so welcoming and made me feel comfortable all the time. I had been to other blogging meetups but meeting money nerds added an extra dose of awesomeness.
Oh and I won a Plutus Award for Best International Blog! I didn’t expect it at all and it was nice to get this recognition from my peers.
To sum it up, I read several recaps and different things people got out of FinCon. I didn’t do the heavy get clients/start affiliate partnerships/fangirl Pat Flynn/network all day thing, but it was a win on a personal level to create stronger bonds with friends within the community.
I already bought my ticket for Dallas next year!