FinCon13 Recap: Why You Are Missing Out If You Don’t Attend Conferences

I just back from my second financial blogging conference(FinCon13) and it was a blast! Unlike last year when I attended as a spectator, this year I decided to bite the bullet and give my own talk. (Special thanks to Phil Taylor for giving me the opportunity to speak).

FinCon13 was my very first speaking gig and despite some early jitters, I went through my presentation without a hitch.

My greatest fear was that I’d be speaking to an empty room but thankfully my speech was well received and the room was packed.

Anyways, once the recordings become available, I will post my talk on “How I Made Over 300K With An Email Autoresponder” up on YouTube. Overall, I enjoyed every single session that I attended. And thanks to Laura Adams, I will now be starting a podcast for so stay tuned.

Making New Friends

While the breakout sessions were extremely interesting and valuable, I got the most out of FinCon by chatting with people in the hallways and at parties.

Jim Wang and I share the same philosophy where we try to meet and get to know 5 new people whenever we go to conferences. Here are my 5 this year.

Pat Flynn

pat flynnI got to hangout with Pat Flynn on several occasions this past weekend and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he’s extremely down to earth and totally approachable.

I remember this one conversation that we had about crazy Asian cures for the hiccups.

Pat: So the other day my kid had the hiccups and we couldn’t get him to stop. My father in law comes by, wets a piece of paper and then sticks it on my kid’s head. Lo and behold, the hiccups stop.

Steve: Strangely enough, I’ve heard of that before and it’s totally ingenio—

Pat: Can you believe how ridiculous that is? Now where’s the scientific basis for that huh?

Steve: Yeah…right…totally ridiculous…I would never stick wet pieces of paper on my forehead…never…*cough*

Anyways, I was touched that Pat took the time to attend my talk and afterwards we discussed some of the nuances and techniques of giving great presentations. Pat’s pretty cool despite having gone to Cal.

Jaime Tardy

jamie tardyI also had the pleasure of getting to know Ms.Eventual Millionaire, Jamie Tardy. She was actually on crutches this weekend so I spent a good amount of time as her butler.

Jamie: **rings a bell** Stevie boy, my lips are a bit parched. Would you mind?

Steve: Yes ma’am. Would you like a hint of lemon with your water.

Jamie: But of course. But please make sure the lemon hath no seeds.

Of course I’m exaggerating just a little bit. In reality, Jamie was pretty darn cool and I was always happy to serve. I just felt really bad for her because I wasn’t always around to help and she sometimes had to resort to using this poor mans butler named Neville.

Neville Medhora

nevilleSpeaking of which, Neville was another cool guy that I totally did not expect to meet at FinCon and he was pretty hilarious. I don’t know what it is about outspoken Indian guys, but I seem to like hanging with them. Specifically, Neville is the type of guy that says and does whatever the hell he wants.

He’s never worked a full time job before and makes a pretty good living creating courses that he sells online. He was also one of the main guys who helped AppSumo become as big of a business as it has. If you have a moment, go check out his blog and his about page.

Caleb Wojcik

calebOnce upon a time when I was young, it was not cool to be a nerd and I used to get teased about it all the time.

Fast forward to today and being a nerd is actually a good thing. Imagine that! Now, if only I could rewind my life back to junior high and I would be a rockstar.

Anyways Caleb, Jim Wang and I had a nerd off one morning talking about “Mathletics”. And despite going up again 2 Asian guys with mad math skillz, I think Caleb won. What’s funny is that I would have never admitted that I was on the math team before…ever.

Caleb’s a great guy who I plan on keeping in touch with.

Derek Halpern

derekFinally, I was able to meet Derek Halpern in person for the very first time. What’s funny is that I’ve actually known Derek since 2008 when he initiated a random Skype chat with me a long time ago. But we’d never met until the conference.

Anyways, he gave an incredibly actionable speech on how to build an audience that I will never forget. It was also great to see his New York personality live in all of its glory.

Strengthening Existing Relationships

elevatorAs I mentioned in my previous post on FinCon (Check it out if you haven’t already), one of the great things about going to a conference is that you actually get to hang out with your virtual buddies face to face.

I’ll never forget the late night sessions with Miranda Marquit, Tom Drake, Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard. It was great to finally meet the big Swede Peter from Bible Money Matters and the abundantly fertile Glen Craig from Free From Broke (the man has 4 kids).

I had a great time chatting with Billy Murphy about his women stories. As a happily married man, I must live vicariously through him.

Had a great time hanging with Jeff and Mandy Rose despite the fact that Mandy had problems staying up past 10pm:)

A quick note to Mandy Rose: Just because you didn’t get that much rest on Wed (we hung out on Sat) doesn’t mean that you need to sleep double the hours to make up for something that happened 3 days ago. I’m no doctor but I don’t think the body works that way:P AHEM.

Anyways, I know I’ll be leaving some people out but just wanted to give a shout out to Will Chen, Greg Go, Larry Ludwig, KC, Josh and Brandon, Bob Lotich and Viet Do. Good times man. Good times.

On Speaking For The First Time

As I mentioned before, FinCon was my first conference speaking gig ever. So I have to thank PT of PTMoney for giving me the opportunity. Thankfully, my talk was well received and I had a blast giving it.

The best part about being a speaker was that new people would randomly come up to me and want to chat so I didn’t even have to do any work to start up a conversation.

So if anything, giving a talk at a conference is a great way to connect with others because you can use your speech as a sort of an ice breaker.


So overall, it was another epic conference. I met new people who I’m sure I will become good friends with over time. I strengthened existing relationships that I cultivated a year ago.

And hopefully, I reached out to a few new people with my speech. I’d say that it was a worthwhile 4 days to spend even if it was away from family. What do you think?



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