This year I attended my first FinCon! For those who don't know, FinCon is a Conference for Financial Influencers and Brands. Attendees go to FinCon in order learn how to better connect with their audience, improve their craft, and of course find ways to increase their income doing the things they love! This will be my first FinCon, and first ever conference I've gone to for personal reasons. I've worked at conferences before, so I'm familiar with the general atmosphere of an event which is pretty much all day. Now I will get to experience it from an attendee's perspective, although I have a good handle on what to expect.
But FinCon is not like your typical conference. At FinCon everyone isn't dressed in their $500, $1,000 or more suit or a dress with shoes to match the price tag. From what I've seen, and heard from listening to FinCon's podcast, is that people come in what they feel comfortable in! For some that may very well be a multi hundred or thousand dollar suit, while for others jeans and a t-shirt suffice. The expectation is for you to be authentically you, and not dress to impress others just for business reasons. I like this approach, even though I understand why it is the opposite for many business conferences. But this is different!
I honestly don't know. I just want to soak in all the knowledge I can, meet all of the people I can, and enjoy spending time with other people who enjoy sharing knowledge which happens to be geared towards Personal Finance. That's what this is about for me, and I suspect many others attending. There are many YouTube content creators and bloggers, a few of which I subscribe to or follow on Social Media, like ChooseFi, His & Her Money, Graham Stephan, and Ryan Scribner just to name a few, which I know are in attendance
Before AJ Mobile Money
Prior to beginning my YouTube journey, I mostly did my own research in regards to investing. Going as far as creating a Newsletter with stock picks including a bit of blogging at ShareRepurchase.com . That was my first real experience with website building, working with advertisers, affiliates, and creating a plan to keep my newsletter and blog going. However while my stock picks for my newsletter were performing well, I just felt like it was a big drag on my time. I spent many weekends looking at quarterly reports on the SEC website. I spent nearly every morning looking for stocks which fit my investment strategy, in order to track them for future analysis. However the more I read about investing and listened to podcasts, the more I was lead to Index Funds.
Then I read John Bogle's book The Common Sense Guide to Investing in the Stock Market, and it was the answer (1 of a few) to my search to find a way to put my personal investments on autopilot in order to give more time to the ShareRepurchase site. Then I thought...wait...if this strategy can beat 80%-90% of professional traders over the longterm, what really makes me think I can continue to beat the market for the longterm? And why not recommend this to friends, family, and the few subscribers I had at the time. At this point I was on a 3 year streak of beating the S&P 500 average (from Jan 19th, 2016 to Jan 2019).
Friends were suggesting that I start a YouTube page, although I wasn't really looking to be on camera for the world to LITERALLY SEE. Also while this is going on for the past 3 years, I have friends and family that are beginning to ask me more and more about investing, bitcoin, how to get started investing or improve their finances. Typically when I give recommendations, or state "what I would do..." I give a more conservative answer than what I personally might do. I guess I'm a bit riskier than the average, but I am a huge believer in protecting your time and attempting to make the most of it. Everyone is different, but there are some principles which 99% of us should follow. The Share Repurchase site was taking more and more of my time, and I was not necessarily enjoying it, or reaching the people I really wanted to help get started with investing. I would get more question on what platforms to use, or even how to actually make the purchases! There was definitely room to educate my few followers and subscribers on these basics. My son was also born during this past year (Happy 1st Birthday :-D ), so I'm now thinking of how I can leave a legacy for the next generation? How can I also leave instructions so he can know how to handle his finances and investments in case anything were to happen to me?
So I'm looking for ways to optimize my finances, while sharing information with friends and family, and also looking for side hustles to make extra money on the side of my day job in order to pay down student loans faster. Maybe this Blogging/YouTube thing is the way to go? Maybe I can reach and help more people via the internet in addition to locally, and also without restricting my time to the available daylight. Thus my journey began near the end of 2018, and my first video was posted in early February.
My FinCon19 Experience
#FinCon19 was great! I met a lot of new people, met other YouTubers and Bloggers I've seen either online, heard about on a podcast, and even some that my wife was familiar with that I was not (like Thrift Diving). I went to a lot of sessions specifically discussing YouTube and gathered great advice from many influencers like: Joseph Hogue and Colin Jones, Yanely Espinal - MissBeHelpful, Denis Trufin - TruFinancials, Chief Mom Officer, One Big Happy Life, Tim Schmoyer - The Video Creators, Harry Campbell - The RideShare Guy, Sarah Wilson - Budget Girl, and Coach Carson.
There were A LOT MORE people there, the above is just the list of the sessions I personally attended, and where I found value. There were so many sessions that I was interested in, that my day was virtually packed for the full 4 days. FinCon is definitely the place to go and learn, and everyone was pretty friendly and open to give advice and share knowledge.
4 Key Takeaways from 4 Fun Days
So what did I learn, and what do I need to work on after 4 days of information flying everywhere, meeting new people, and juggling free t-shirts and business cards?
1. Treat it like a BUSINESS from Day 1!
Yes, YouTube is a business, and if you plan to help hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of people, then you should make this decision fairly quickly. Your YouTube Channel, Blog, or Podcast has the ability to grow rather quickly and thus the opportunity to help more people, and be compensated for your work. Yes YouTube is work! When you're sharing information you want to make sure it is as accurate and relevant as you can make it, because once the video, blog, or podcast is published...BILLIONS of people will have the opportunity to access and scrutinize it.
2. Stay Consistent!
When you provide value people will subscribe and follow, they will tell their friends and family, and so on and so forth. They will look to you for more information within the same content realm, and you will become a trusted asset in whatever content area you are providing information or entertainment in.
3. Branding is important, and let go of FEAR!
Branding...OK...but FEAR??? Didn't we talk about this a few months ago??? Well I discussed Fear in relation to Finances, specifically budgeting, but not in relation to YouTube or Branding more generally for that matter. YouTube is all about the person in front of the camera...me! (or You!) In the past I didn't want to do YouTube because I didn't want to be on camera, I didn't want my face or much of my personal life available to the masses to view and scrutinize. I did want to help people, and YouTube or even a Blog isn't the only way to do so. However it is a very very effective way! I didn't think of it as fear, but as mentioned in one of my sessions, FEAR is what it boils down to. So for the future more of ME will be shared, whether that is something as simple as putting my face as the Thumbnail for my Videos, discussing a bit more of my personal life via this YouTube and this Blog. Whatever the case is, once you have a following people want to be apart of your journey, and I want to be apart of yours as well.
4. Focus on What You Love! Not what you cut back on!
Ramit Sethi's Keynote was full of gems, and entertaining as well! A lot of the time within the Personal Finance community, we put a lot of focus on cutting spending, and putting all of the money you saved into investing (once debt is paid off). Spending a lot of money on anything is pretty much taboo, although spending money in general is a fact of life which we all have to deal with. But are there 1 or 2 things you don't mind spending a lot of money on? 1 or 2 people in your life? It's ok to spend big on items or experiences which are "beneficial" to YOU or bring YOU "joy". There are of course millions of other things that we can either completely cut out, or greatly reduce because they are not beneficial or do not bring "joy". This also reminded me of a book I read recently called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo", where she also talked about getting rid of physical things in your home that do not bring you joy. Do you really need 20, 30, or more pairs of shirts or pants? You know you only really wear 5-10 of those items on a regular basis! If you started from the thought of will this item bring me joy, or am I just getting it because someone else values it, or it is at a major discount right now so I want to buy it? Spend money on things that make you happy, things that are beneficial to you, and cut out or greatly limit the rest of the noise!
These are just a few big themes which many of the Speakers I mentioned above, all discussed in some form or another. I'm ready to take what I learned from these experienced YouTubers and Bloggers to not only help my Channel and Blog grow, but use this information to reach more people. Reaching more people means HELPING more people, which is the ultimate goal. It's my goal as well as the goal of all the great people I met at FinCon19, and I look forward to seeing many of you again next year at FinCon 2020! Come and join the Mobile Money Nation by subscribing to my Email List and YouTube Page!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
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