As a first timer at FinCon, I was ready to be inspired. The success stories of early adopters are evident with an array of book launches, online courses and the commencement of podcasts all coming to fruition. Even more impressive is that some have monetised their learnings, generating 6 or 7 figures. With this in the back of my mind I was feeling a blend of excitement and trepidation in the lead up to the event.
Then the skepticism starts to creep in and you start to question how a 4-day course could possibly be a catalyst for such innovation. After all, I’ve attended my fair share of PD days, overseas study tours and read a library full of self-development books in the search for my ‘next big thing’, and to date, not one publishing house has approached me about launching a book.
But as I entered the registration hall in Dallas, Texas with another 1700 unsuspecting participants, it was immediately apparent – this event was going to be different.
A team of volunteers (previous attendees who loved it so much that they came back) point you in the right direction and the sense of community hits you instantly. There wasn’t any kind of glitzy entry way, no inadequately stocked stands flogging their wares, and not a suit or tie in sight. Instead, as far as the eye could see, was a sea of money nerds coming together to share their experiences and support each other.
Admittedly when I saw the line-up of speakers, I was little underwhelmed. But as the sessions progressed, it became glaringly obvious why each had been chosen to present. They weren’t polished but rather, they were everyday people like you and me. They were happy to share their stories and eager to learn from yours. There were many ‘aha’ moments, however it was less about the idea itself, and more about how these speakers chose to get their message out there. Rather than the traditional belly to belly conversations that we’ve become accustomed to, these financial coaches were drawing audiences of 5, 10 or even 50,000 viewers each week and educating them about money from the comfort of their own home.
These everyday people had mastered the art of simplifying their message and delivering to audiences what they truly value through a process of trial and error. They were entirely transparent, open to any questions, and relinquished any territory over intellectual property, happy to provide you with a step by step guide of everything required to make your idea a reality.
In between speakers the conference halls transformed into a playground for those wanting to dive in and explore the vast world of digital media. There were podcast and video studios set up, allowing you to interview your peers from around the world. There was a mentoring program, giving attendees the opportunity to receive one-on-one guidance from a market leader. And for those wanting to develop their public speaking skills, FinCon Ignite offered a fast-paced public speaking event in which people honed their speaking skills via 20 slides that were set to auto-advance every 15 seconds. These initiatives, set in a safe, supportive environment, were open to everyone, not just a select ‘connected’ few or those with the biggest wallet.
Armed with encouraging experiences rather than theory alone, attendees walked away with the know-how to develop their ‘poison of choice’; be it blogging, video, podcasting, online courses or public speaking. The most daunting step of turning this knowledge into action seemed far less daunting after learning, through a hands-on approach, exactly how it can be done.
The trap of post conference excitement is one we can easily fall into. Leaving with a head full of ideas that are eventually sidelined by our day to day tasks, never reaching their full potential.
Almost 12 months later, I am proud to report that these initial steps of stepping outside my ‘digital comfort zone’ at FinCon have paid off! Since last year’s event, I have recorded more videos for my clients than ever before and have now chosen my ‘poison’; I’m currently developing my first online course. I am more determined than ever to implement this ‘next big thing’ and see the world as my audience. I am set on continually challenging myself, and if you head along to #FinCon18, I firmly believe you will challenge yourself too (in all the right ways!).
As opposed to other conferences where you leave with a head full of ideas but no path to execution, this unique event will help you narrow your focus, pick your path into the digital world and execute it well. If you’re undecided about whether to go along, I highly recommend that you say ‘yes’! Your future self will thank you.