The Incredible People I Met at FinCon 2017

About two weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending time with hundreds, nearly thousands of bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and overall leaders in the field of personal finance. These are the online mavericks, the digital entrepreneurs, and the next generation when it comes to money and media.

Truly an exciting and thrilling environment.

A true highlight of my year.

While I had some qualms about the event itself that I shared with the amazing team over at FinCon along with the organizer PT, I undoubtedly will be attending again next year as it was an incredible experience!

What Makes FinCon Incredible?

The people make it incredible.

Ahead of this year’s FinCon, I had a list of 7 close friends and bloggers that I was looking forward to meeting. By the end of my experience – I was only there one day on Thursday – my list grew to 70+ bloggers that I wanted to meet by next year’s event.

I was not kidding when I said the event is filled with incredible people.

J Money and Bobby

J. Money and Bobby!

How Does an Introvert Handle All Those People?

Take a deep breath and step into the zone of collective genius. Haha, that’s what it felt like as every conversation was filled with insight.

Not all bloggers care about making money and I found myself wandering the halls instead of attending sessions on optimizing affiliate ads or monetizing facebook. The sessions cover almost any topic you can imagine – but they are also recorded and sent out later so I used my one day at FinCon to meet those 7 people I mentioned earlier.

The beauty with FinCon is many are already retired at an early age and have a unique perspective on the value of time now that money isn’t their primary motivation.

So, let’s get into some of my key takeaways as told via the 7 people I had the joy of meeting.

Meeting 7 Incredible People at FinCon

Bobby – Early in my blogging days I had to mention to my then girlfriend the whole “blogging takes a lot of time,” discussion and I admit – I was nervous. Luckily, Bobby from MillennialMoneyMan was about a year and some months ahead of me on the journey.

Like most bloggers, Bobby shares his wins and loses when it came to the life of blogging, and I resonated with his honest description of how life was as a full-time blogger.

I shared 3 of his earlier posts with my fiancée and she became hooked on blogging and in turn, my fiancée helped me edit nearly 200 posts on Distilled Dollar. I’m a big fan of Bobby’s and I’ll always be in debt for his contribution to making Distilled Dollar a success in this crazy online world.

Oh, and, I realized the secret to Bobby’s success – his wife Coral. ☺

Coral and my better half

Coral and my better half

Mad Fientist – Someone once told me, “You should never meet your heroes.” Obviously that person has never met Brandon over at Mad Fientist. Brandon was the first FIRE blogger I resonated with and his FI Podcast was a huge insight to me in my early days of ramping up my savings rate.

The awesome/worst part about meeting Brandon is that he’s a busy guy so I only had a few minutes to chat with him – but I’m glad he had some time to share. Possibly the hardest decision I had to make this year was turning down an after party invite from Mad Fientist to Gwen’s Airbnb – as I had another conference starting on Friday – so I had to get home and rest up. My 2018 goals should probably include – don’t turn down mad scientists or Mad Fientist.

He and my fiancée ended up chatting for much longer and even decided to pull my leg by taking a selfie – which was prior to my meeting Brandon. – So there I was, slouched over, jealous of my fiancée for having met one of my blogger heroes right under my nose.

Mad FI and my better half - plus me in the background somewhere being super jelly

Mad FI and my better half – plus me in the background somewhere being super jelly

At the end of the day Brandon is a great guy, A+++, 10/10, will try and meet again.

Mrs. Adventure Rich – Late into my day on Thursday the FinCon crew headed out to a bar called Rustic – where live music and drinks were being served. Naturally, the networking was amplified as the Texas air gave way to more stories about blogging and shared experiences of growing online.

My favorite conversation of the night was when Mrs. Adventure Rich swung by to say hello.

We chatted blogging and the various components that go into building an online presence. While her site is closer to 6 months old – she’s done a great job with it from what I can tell and I look forward to seeing more rich adventures in 2018.

Chris – When it comes to old time blogger buddies, Chris from Apathy Ends is technically my 2nd oldest friend online. My first online buddy sadly folded up his site so Chris would move to #1 oldest friend but he’s from Minnesota and not a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. Naturally, I had to actually move him down the totem pole in response to this type of treachery.

All jokes aside, Chris has an incredible blog and it is great to see how much it has grown over the past two years. We set ourselves up to stay in touch and I look forward to seeing what’s he got next in store for 2018.

Chris #2 (he’ll love being called #2 I’m sure) – Chris’ come in pairs.  I met Chris from Keep Thrifty at the same time as Chris from Apathy Ends. My first real experience, “meeting,” Chris was back when my podcast co-host Grant from Millennial Money and I interviewed him on our podcast.

Super exciting story and he’s on his 1 year sabbatical to work on blogging – so I’m sure things are only getting started for his adventures.

Keith & Steve – I’m also glad neither of these guys is a serial killer as they decided last minute (before meeting) to split their costs in half by sharing one accommodation. I met Steve before so he’s kind of cheating his way onto my 7 list but he’s also got a great blog called My Family on a Budget where he gave the best FinCon review I’ve seen to date via this post.

Keith was hilarious and definitely fun to meet –  this revelation was a bit unexpected as I had not heard of his site before. I wasn’t able to meet all 7 of my folks so Keith takes the honorable 7th spot of incredible people I met at FinCon. I haven’t seen much of his blog yet, but based on meeting him in person I know it will have a lot of character – Money is Not Taboo.

J. Money – aka the man behind Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance – wow! What an incredible guy and true to his online persona. I don’t know how the man does it – but it felt like there were 5 of him – he was everywhere chatting with everyone and I would wager no one had a better time than him.

Final Wrap and 2018 Next Steps

While I was not able to meet everyone who I consider early blogging buddies – TawCan, Elle and especially Vicki come to mind – I do look forward to attending next year and making more great connections.

Thanks again to PT and everyone at FinCon for putting on one hell of a show. More than that, thanks to everyone who attended this year and made it an unforgettable experience. My one day at the conference was definitely one of my top highlights in 2017 and I look forward to attending again in 2018.

How was your FinCon experience? Are you thinking of going next year? Are you not a blogger and want to tell me to write about non-blogging stuff? Leave a comment below and I’ll answer each one.


P.S. I’m in the process of cleaning up my blog and removing almost all of the ads. If anyone knows any great minimalist themes or even better, knows anyone who can help me redesign the site – feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me via my contact page.

P.P.S. The Coaching and Consulting business launch from October 1st has been such a large hit that I’m excited to share my fiancée is leaving her 9-5 to work full time on the Distilled Dollar business. As things are shaking up, I may end up with my first ever 6-figure blog income report before the year is over. At this stage, the blog itself barely makes any money (hence the first PS message above to move the blog to a less ad driven experience), but I will stay engaged via posts as the blogging experience is what led me to where I am today. I love writing. I also love the 1-on-1 conversations that lead to breakthroughs or new ideas or new insights or new bold action steps. I see the relationship being a win/win between consulting and blogging and I’ll share many more insights in the posts ahead.

Thank you again for being a reader and allowing such a meaningful impact in our lives. Oh, and thanks for being a listener as Grant and myself discovered last night – we hit 1,151,942 podcast downloads – in less than a year! Thank you and I look forward to providing even more value in the days to come.

20 comments… add one
  • Steven Goodwin Nov 14, 2017, 8:09 am

    You really packed in a ton for only being there for a day! So glad we were able to connect for a little bit! That’s awesome news about your fiancée being able to come work full time with you! It’s amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time! Can’t wait for next year on Orlando! Hope you’ll have more time! Also, looking forward to December 9th for our Chicago meetup!

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 14, 2017, 8:22 am

      Thanks Steve – I’m glad you were also able to read all the other reviews and link to them in your post!

      And yes, also looking forward to the next FIRE meet up!

  • Ms. Montana Nov 14, 2017, 8:11 am

    I’m bummed I missed you! It was a crazy throng of folks. =) Glad you had a good time and maybe we will cross paths in Orlando. =)

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 14, 2017, 8:28 am

      I’ll have to make it to FinCon for more than 1 day next year haha. Mrs. Adventure Rich was saying great things about you as well – so I’m sure we’ll cross paths. Thanks for the comment!

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich Nov 14, 2017, 8:44 am

    It was so nice to meet you as well! Haha- I love your fiancee’s selfie with Brandon… that’s a great story 😉 Let us know if you two ever come up north in MI!

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 14, 2017, 1:53 pm

      Haha, ya it was funny, although a little stressful as I knew my hours at FinCon were coming to a close. Thanks again for the offer and I’m sure we’ll be reaching out if we make the trek up north.

  • Nick True Nov 14, 2017, 12:09 pm

    It was so great to meet you in person Matt. Keep up the great work my friend, you’re killing it.

    Hope to see you again next year, if not sooner 🙂

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 14, 2017, 1:50 pm

      If you find yourself wandering the cold streets of Chicago this winter – feel free to reach out! Otherwise, yep, I expect to be in Orlando for next years event.

  • J. Money Nov 14, 2017, 1:13 pm

    Very nice to meet you in person, brother! It’ll be much more fun reading your articles now knowing the face behind it 🙂

    – J. Money #5

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 14, 2017, 1:48 pm

      Hahah! I laughed out loud seeing #5 in your comment. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  • Colin @ rebelwithaplan Nov 15, 2017, 8:28 pm

    Ah, I wanted to meet you but didn’t get to. There were a dozen more people I wanted to meet as well. Nonetheless, I did meet so many incredible people while still managing to make it to some of the sessions (they were top notch this year!).

    For wordpress themes, you could try this resource—> | It’s for “infopreneurs” but a lot of the themes are geared toward highlighting key areas on a site, which is beneficial.

    Have you already bought your ticket for FinCon18?

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 16, 2017, 6:30 am

      Nice – I’ll check out that theme. Thanks for the recommendation!

      I haven’t purchased yet for FinCon18 as I need to confirm a few dates. I’m basically at 99% so if anything changes I’ll be sure to reach out. Let’s definetly meet up at next years!

  • Chris @ Keep Thrifty Nov 15, 2017, 8:53 pm

    I’m perfectly happy to be #2 to Chris from Apathy Ends. I met Chris at FinCon too and he was awesome – one of those people that connected everyone in the group to each other!

    It was so cool meeting you and your fiancée at FinCon. Super amped to hear that she’s joining DD full-time. She and I had a great discussion about the ups and downs of 9-5’s so it’s awesome to see her making the switch.

    Congrats on all the success Matt – you’ve definitely earned it!

    • Distilled Dollar Nov 16, 2017, 6:31 am

      Chris and Chris and awesome people. That has a nice ring to it!

      Thanks for the nice words Chris and I definetly appreciate it. All those months of waking up at 4:30am are really paying off now.

  • [email protected] Nov 18, 2017, 6:47 pm

    Sorry to have missed you Matt!! I did get to hang out with Bob (Tawcan) though! We even rode from the airport to the Sheraton together. Looking forward to following all of your progress. We’ll meet up someday!

  • Keith "Shin" Schindler Nov 27, 2017, 7:30 pm

    WOW!! I’m honored to be included in your recap. So cool. Was great to meet you and all the other fantastic finance folks. I’m definitely hooked on FinCon and have my 2018 pass already paid for. Looking forward to reading more of your good stuff!!

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