why i'm going to fincon 2018 in orlando

Why FinCon 2017 was Amazing and I’m Going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando

Current Events, Personal Development and Lifestyle, Thoughts of a Mastermind 48 Comments


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FinCon 2017 just finished up and I’m so glad I attended. I met some great people, had fantastic conversations with fellow bloggers and like minded individuals, and had some amazing food and drink while balling on a budget. In this post, I’m going to share with you why FinCon 2017 was amazing (the people), and why I’m going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando.why i'm going to fincon 2018 in orlando

There are a few reasons why FinCon 2017 was amazing and why I’m going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando: the people in the personal finance space are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I’ll go into this a little bit later in my post, as first, I will give you a run down of all the craziness of the past week.

Off to Dallas!

Saturday, the 21st, I boarded a plane in San Diego and headed to Dallas. I had just spent a week in California with my parents and sisters and was excited for a week of having great conversations with like-minded individuals, having some fantastic food and drink, and relaxing some more on the second week of my 2 week vacation.

I landed in Dallas around 2:15 PM and was picked up by my girlfriend and the friends we would be staying with before moving into our AirBnB. For the first 2 days, we would be staying in a local suburb, hanging out, playing games, and getting to know the area a little better.

These first two days were really great since I was able to get some sleep and play some really fun games: Exploding Kittens, Flux, Hanabi, and a 2 player Settler’s of Catan game. In addition, I got introduced to some real Tex-Mex food with chicken enchiladas in corn tortillas.

I’m thankful my girlfriend and I were able to spend some time with our friends here and get free lodging for 2 days. Then, last Monday, we got a ride into downtown to check-in to our AirBnB where we would be staying for the week.

downtown dallas fincon 2017Going Downtown for FinCon 2017

We checked in Monday afternoon around 3 and got settled in. Our roommates wouldn’t be coming in until Wednesday, so we had a little bit of time to ourselves to explore the city.

Downtown Dallas is a nice area. It’s relatively quiet compared to Minneapolis’s downtown area, and it’s pretty clean as well. Monday night, I took my girlfriend out to dinner for her birthday at the Twisted Root restaurant and we had some fantastic burgers and “Adult” shakes (Amaretto Oreo was my shake 🙂 )

Tuesday, we walked over to Dealey Park where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. There is so much history that I have yet to see in person, and this was a reminder that there’s still a lot for me to see and learn.

For dinner, we met up with some fellow bloggers and podcasters for some Vietnamese food and got the party started. Tuesday night ended up being a ladies night at the AirBnB, so I turned in a little bit early in preparation for the conference.

fincon 2017 recap and takeaways

FinCon 2017

Wednesday morning, time to get up and go meet some people! It all started with a FI/RE (Financial Independence Retire Early) meet up. Here, I was able to put a face to the name of so many of the bloggers I had interacted with over the past few months but not yet met in person. It was a great way to start the conference and to start building the necessary relationships.

Over the next few days, there were workshops, parties, lunches and dinners, pick-up basketball games, and lots of great conversations that took place. I was at my home away from home: usually, I can’t talk about the numbers of my blog or my personal financial situation with my friends, but here, everyone was a blogger and someone passionate about personal finance. It was pretty great to be able to chat openly about these topics and not be judged.

The Amazing People I Met

Throughout the weekend, I wrote down all of the names of people I met and want to give shout outs to all of them here:

First off, I really enjoyed staying in the AirBnB with Fiery Millennial, and Millennial Boss and her husband. Our Friday night double date and chicken was fantastic and it was great to learn a little bit about Pinterest from Millennial Boss who is crushing it online (though I guess I’m a spammer because my account is now suspended… OOPS)

It was really fun meeting Guy on Fire and Miss Mazuma and hanging out with you throughout the week. Ya’ll are both fun and laid back people who love hanging out and having a good time.

Going to the meet up on Wednesday, I was able to meet a number of cool folks that I hung out with later throughout the week:

  • Optimize Your Life – I liked chatting about the next steps we are going to take with blogging and getting back to being consistent after taking a few weeks off. Best of luck, I really enjoy reading about how you are trying to optimize your time, finances, and life 🙂
  • Max Your Freedom – Great to meet you Max, you’ve been an influence to me for all of 2017 and hope to see you get back to consistently posting again!
  • Mr. PIE – Congrats on getting closer to retirement and great to meet you!
  • ESI Money – Thanks for sharing your story with real estate and internet marketing in the late 2000’s with me and I’m looking forward to continuing to read your meet a millionaire series!
  • Adventure Rich – Great to meet you, play some hoops, and best of luck with your blog layout going forward. Keep pumping out great content!
  • Northern Expenditure – Thanks for sharing your story with me about Amazon Merch and I’m excited to hear about the holiday season goes!
  • Seth D  – It was great to chat with you about your pursuits with focusing your blog!
  • Good Night Debt – It was pretty funny to realize we work together ha! See you around the office I guess!
  • The Retirement Manifesto – Congrats on your upcoming retirement!
  • Do You Even Blog? – It was great to meet you and I’m excited to see how your podcast grows in the future.
  • Wealth Well Done – Nice to see you again and i’m jealous of that BBQ
  • The Military Guide – Your contribution to the FI/RE panel was a lot of fun to watch 🙂
  • Erica from Rize – It was fun chatting about your marketing experience and how you are growing your app and company

Throughout the week, I met a bunch of other cool individuals during workshops, events and parties:

  • Waffles on Wednesday – Mr. WoW, you’re wild, but in a good, fun way. I really enjoyed being hugged and spun around at 1:15 AM. Oh, and Mrs. WoW, it was great to meet you too.
  • Coach Carson – Thanks for playing some basketball with me and hanging out with us at our party!
  • Michael from New Mexico – It was great to play basketball and learn about your plans with real estate. Best of luck in the next couple months potentially finding a duplex!
  • David and Jon from California – You two were so much fun to chat with and hang out with. I loved when Jon asked the question at the panel about real estate. Let me know if you start a blog David!
  • Apathy Ends, Financial Panther team, My Money Wizard – Going to In-N-Out and chatting about our blogs was great, as well as hanging out throughout the week and chatting about future goals and meet-ups in Minnesota.
  • Mad Fientist – Keep up the good work in the gym, but I think your bag’s throws need a little bit of work!
  • Money Metagame – Congrats on leaving the workforce and looking forward to hearing about your travels in 2018!
  • I Dream of Fire and Minafi – It was great chatting with you individually, but also at the Saturday party about our past experiences with silly things 🙂
  • RisdomFI – It was nice to meet you and chat about some of the technical aspects of the probability of success of retirement and simulations, ha.
  • Frugalwoods – Great to meet you and looking forward to seeing when your book comes out!
  • Debt Free Climb – It was fun playing basketball with you and chatting about your path out of debt.
  • Our Next Life – Congrats on your upcoming retirement!
  • Choose FI – Congrats on leaving your job and going the entrepreneurial route. Keep pumping out great episodes!
  • Life Zemplified – Awesome to meet you and I’m excited to continue to see you grow!
  • Montana Money Adventures – It was nice to chat with you about trying to stay organized, which we both are struggling with at times it seems!
  • J Money – Great to meet a cool dude like you.
  • Physician on FIRE – I really enjoyed chatting to a fellow Gopher. Keep up the great content on your blog!
  • BrokeMillennial – Congrats on your awards and looking forward to seeing what you do in the coming months with your books!
  • The Mint Road – Best of luck getting your viewership up and blog growing! Go Pack!
  • Moneysplained – Great to meet you on the bus, seems you have a lot going and good luck with your podcast!

While I didn’t get to chat with you too much, I still want to shout out a few more people I didn’t know before:

Uncommon Dream Mrs. BITA A Journey We Love
Bravely Go Stefanie O’Connell Future Proof M.D.
Mr 1500 Tawcan Emma Pattee
Millennial Revolution Student Loan Planner Richard Keever

I’m blessed to have been able to meet all of you successful people and I can’t wait to see what you all do in the coming months.

A Few Additional Thoughts

There are a few things I found kind of funny and thought it would be great sharing.

  • Personal finance people love drinking.
  • On Saturday night, there was a Halloween costume and dance party, and it was hilarious to see people with $1 million+ net worth’s singing Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back”. This dance party was pure bliss… I loved it.
  • Getting 4 hours of sleep 2 nights in a row is not good for trying to stay awake.
  • Trying to eat well on vacation doesn’t work very well.
  • It’s possible to fit more than 5 personal finance bloggers in a Prius.
  • Cough drops are life savers (thank you Gwen)
  • FinCon 2017 was a great learning and growing experience and I can’t wait to go back!

Going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando!

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” –

“If you want to become a millionaire, then talk to billionaires, you’ll get there quicker.” – Joe Geneza

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” – Richard Trendi

As a 25 year old, I was one of the youngest people at the conference, and also, one of the least wealthy people at the conference. If wealth is my goal, and it is, then I need to keep forcing myself to continue to push my limits and look to continue to associate myself with successful people.

I’m really excited to announce I’ve already bought my tickets for next year, to attend FinCon 2018 in Orlando. I’ve only been blogging for 11 months, but by buying tickets another 11 months out, I will essentially be forcing myself to keep writing and growing the community here.

I met so many great people, had some fantastic conversations, and loved the company and relationships that were built this past week. I’m excited to grow with many of the new and upcoming bloggers, and am glad now that I’ve been able to put a face to the name of many of them.

Concluding Thoughts

I had a great time meeting a lot of my fellow bloggers and learning more about the industry. I’m super excited to be going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando next year. I can’t wait to see where The Mastermind Within is at that point… maybe I’ll be someone a lot of newer people will want to talk with!

This experience has certainly set a fire under my butt to keep this community going. I really appreciate the comments I get and want The Mastermind Within site to be a spot where like minded individuals can learn and grow. The next 12 months will be an amazing.

Readers, do you go to conferences often? Bloggers, it was great to meet you! Let’s keep in touch!


P.S. My only regret is not taking more pictures.

P.S.S Stay tuned for my next post… I went full travel blogger with pictures about my trip to California.



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Comments 48

  1. It was great to meet you, Erik, and thank you for helping me with the blog layout!!! Haha- I am still in a whirlwind from the weekend, but you are spot on with your additional thoughts 😉 Can’t wait to hear about your CA trip!

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  2. Great recap. It was awesome to see you again – nice that we’ve done some meetups before since it made it way less awkward since there was one friendly face there already.

    We Twin Cities folks definitely need to set up a regular meetup where we can talk about our blogs, get ideas, and figure out all of the things we can do to improve (over a drink, of course).

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  3. It was great getting to talk in real life! Good luck with the new push and feel free to shoot me an email if you want to talk or bounce ideas.

    I have the window open to buy 2018 tickets, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m leaning towards just doing it today.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your experience, Erik. I’m glad it was so positive.

    We bought tickets and made hotel reservations for ’18. I’m starting a packing list and the first item going on it is cough drops. I look forward to meeting you!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your takeaways from FinCon, It sounds like it was a great experience. We recently had a baby so I was out of pocket for an awesome reason. In any case, I’ve been blogging for 7mo and wonder how much value I could get/add by attending this type of event. Also, I’ve been trying to connect with fellow PF bloggers but thought it would be kind of ackward going through intros in this type of event. It seems is completely the opposite as it appears the event facilitates getting to know people while eliminating the possibility of ackward situations. I don’t consider myself a full blown extrovert but how easy was it? Was it primarily driven by pre-existing relationships? I know it’s on us to kind of reach out and connect with people but I’m curious about this particular aspect of your experience. I would love to attend FinCon in Orlando and have similar experiences as the ones you shared. If basketball is on then I think that would work out. I love the game so I’m in!

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      Hey Journey to FI,

      I think a lot of bloggers are in the same boat as you starting off. How can I start a relationship with people I don’t know and have never met?

      I’ve only been blogging for 10 months, and I still got a ton out of the event. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you want to be financially independent, then you should hang out with people who are financially independent. Right?

      For me, I’m a natural introvert, and yet it wasn’t hard to meet people because of the meet-ups and parties. You find 1-2 people you’ve interacted with in the past online, and find them, and hang out, chat, etc. Then a few other people show up and you have a group. You hang out some more and now all of a sudden you have a group of 15 people all talking about blogging or travel or real estate or business or whatever! It’s great.

      The people in the finance community are incredibly nice. I’m sure you’d feel right at home!

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      It was great to meet you as well 🙂 We will definitely chat more next time around, I want to hear more about your tea business and your plans for the future!

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  8. Hey Erik thanks for sharing your perspective and yes, I would love to hang out with folks that are on the path or are already enjoying the benefits of FI. It’s great to hear that there are many events that incentivize collaboration, communication and overall support for folks within the community regardless of their experience. I will definitely be putting FinCon 2018 on my schedule and hope I’m able to make it. In the mean time I’m in Colorado so let me know and we could go grab a beer.

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  9. That crazy eyeball… I wouldn’t want an office directly across from it. #nightmares

    Always good to connect with another Golden Goopher, even if it’s been 15 years since I left, and 23 since I started. Rough year on the gridiron, but I’m pumped for basketball season to start.


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  10. I could have swore I already commented on this post. Apparently not. So jealous, FinCon sounded awesome. Get to meet and network with so many cool people. Do fun activities and discussions. Too bad I couldn’t make it this year, but there is always next year right? Hope to make it to Orlando in 18! Thanks for the great write up.

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  11. It was great to see you at FinCon! Sorry we didn’t get to talk more, but hopefully next time!

    I’m still having nightmares about that creepy eyeball!

    You’re right about it being hilarious seeing millionaires dancing and seeing “Baby Got Back”. We know how to par-tay yo!

    Not sure if I’m going to FinCon 2018, but if I do, we should chat!

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  12. The sessions this year were really awesome. A big improvement. I really liked the FIRE panel with Fiery Millennial and Our Next Life. And I got to meet Millennial Boss! Ahhh, it was great.

    Being 23 years old, I felt younger than a lot of the others, but there is something really inspiring about being in a room full of people who have accomplished a lot and keep pushing forward. It reminds of the trajectory I want my life to have.

    Onto Orlando for next year!

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  18. Sounds like Orlando ’18 will be the place to be …

    It’s funny how you start to recognize people and their blogs, but following all of them it’s a full time gig … Meeting them in person is definitely a great opportunity to exchange ideas, and talk shop …

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