Purpose, Community, and Beer: A #FinCon17 Adventure

Sitting here in the Delta terminal of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, I can only describe my current mindset as the following…

I am not overwhelmed in a stressed or daunting way.  Rather, I am overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration, new friends and new connections, new reasons and renewed resolve.

FinCon17 was quite the experience.  I attended FinCon with the expectation to strengthen ties in both the blogger and the FIRE (financial independence retire early) communities, learn more about blogging, and find unique collaborations moving forward.  I was not disappointed.

FinCon went above and beyond my expectations, but the experience also surprised me.  I came out of this week with a direction and perspective I did not expect.

The blogging is important…

FinCon is a conference created for financial content creators (bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, freelancers, community builders and entrepreneurs).  There are incredible talks and panels throughout the week aimed at exploring various aspects of each facet of communication.

I found incredible value in several of these sessions.  Cait Flanders walked her audience through the process for selecting Rockstar Finance featured posts and provided actionable tips for creating Rockstar content.  A panel led by Tanja from Our Next Life (panel participants = Liz from Frugalwoods, Kara from Bravely Go, Jim from Wallet Hacks and Jessica from Jessica Moorhouse) walked bloggers through ways to broaden their audiences.   And Paula from Afford Anything gave an inspiring argument for serving your craft, not the crowd.

… But blogging itself is not the most important part for me

Despite the high-quality content aimed at bloggers, I find myself taking away much more impactful lessons from FinCon.

A More Defined Mission and Vision

I spent the last four days meeting people and responding to some variation of the question:

“So, tell me about Adventure Rich… what is it about?”

On Day 1, I stumbled through a general explanation of our blog, our ideas, and our goals.  But I quickly refined and honed in my pitch, excitedly explaining my drive and passion for living a rich life full of adventure.

It made me realize that:

  • My drive and focus for Adventure Rich are evolving
  • I am gaining a better understanding of what Adventure Rich means to me
  • I need to write about my true focus and purpose more often

The Permission to Chart My Path

I often struggle with my purpose here on Adventure Rich.  In the past months, I have read articles telling me I must monetize my site and start pitching products.  Other articles tell me Pinterest/super-SEO/Products/Ads/Courses are all necessary for blogging.  Yet another article tells me to write passionately and ignore all of the noise.

While the varying perspectives have been educational, they have also stressed me out and made me feel like I am somehow “failing” at blogging.  Even worse, the internal back and forth has distracted me from my true purpose and why I started a blog in the first place.

FinCon could not have come at a better time.  Between several presentations and many, many conversations, I discovered the following….

I can chart my own path.  I can create and execute on a vision for Adventure Rich.  And I can shift that vision and adjust my strategy as I go along.  I will continue to learn and grow as a writer and a blogger.  And I can do this at my own pace, in my own time, and for my own reasons.

This realization brings an incredible sense of peace and a renewed enthusiasm for Adventure Rich.

The Support of a Community

Finding a community supportive of our personal finance, frugality, and financial independence goals was not easy for Mr. Adventure Rich and I.  To that end, we turned to the virtual personal finance blog and podcast community for support, encouragement, knowledge, and inspiration.

Seeing many of our “virtual friends” in person and meeting many more members of the personal finance and FIRE community was nothing other than an awesome experience.  I completely nerded-out with conversations about travel hacking, our “why” for FI, dumb frugality wins and fails, and the hilarious woes of anonymous bloggers.

Deeper Personal Connections

I follow many blogs and I enjoy the writing and “voices” of many bloggers in the personal finance space.  Meeting fellow bloggers and FIRE community members in person brought this “voice” to a whole new level.

I look forward to reading the blogs of the people I met at FinCon… hearing their voice coming through the text and picking up on subtle nuances.  I will be able to relate their articles and perspectives to the conversations we had in Dallas and learn from them on a much more personal level.

And beyond the “blog connection”, I met genuine, talented, smart, and kind people who share common interests and goals.  We came from all across the country and an assortment of backgrounds, but we shared a passion for finance, freedom… and, let’s be honest, beer.

And, of course, the “Fun Stuff”

Money nerds are boring, right?  I had an absolute blast in Dallas!  Happy hours and beer tasting, competitive basketball games, awesome venues like “The Rustic”, exploring a few of the city’s historical locations, an In ’N Out lunch run and a costume dance party to top it off.  To say FinCon was an amazing experience is an understatement.

The Verdict

The learning, connections, collaboration, and friendship that comes from FinCon makes it a “must-attend” in my book.  The organizers did an excellent job.  I recommend attending FinCon to bloggers and content creators in the personal finance space.

If you have any specific questions about my FinCon experience, feel free to comment below!

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich