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I just came back from my third Fincon and this year, my favorite city in the US, Washing DC at the Washington Hilton. I really enjoyed myself this year but I was exhausted the entire time because I made the mistake of going on vacation before Fincon. We went on what I call a Southern Tour where we visited friends and family and dropped our kid off at college so we hit eight cities and three weeks and I was home for less than a week and then went to Fincon where you don’t get much sleep. Because money nerds like to network, handle business and have fun all at the same time.
You Went To Fincon Again?
So why do I go to Fincon every year? It’s a great place to network with other like-minded people. I also get an opportunity to learn skills that will also allow me to improve my business and when you are around people who are doing great things it motivates you to step your game up or take a different direction in business. One of the best things that happen at Fincon is that I get to see my friends in person but I always encounter someone who has already accomplished one of my financial/life goals and they always give me insight on how to accomplish my goal and mistakes they made. That tidbit of information is priceless.
A lot of things happen at Fincon but I like to focus on the things I love. Once I landed in DC I went straight to the Elevate Community Meet-Up for people of color. Elevate is the brainchild of Sandy Smith, and it’s great to have an opportunity to meet people in this space who look like me. There are so many people in the community teaching you about different aspects of money. I'm going to refrain from naming too many people because I don’t want to miss anyone but I will say that Dominique Brown spoke at this meetup and the one thing that I took for him is that he spends four hours a day doing things to help move his business to the next level. I knew I needed to spend more time moving my business forward, but he gave me the keys I needed to make it happen.
This year I purchased the pro pass so I was able to meet with brands at the pro networking event where I was able to get in front of brands for 10 minutes each and actually have a discussion about what they have to offer for my audience and what Financialdemics has to offer. There was also a networking lunch where you were invited to eat with a brand. The lunch was good and I may be biased because it was tacos (I love tacos). During the lunch, I was able to talk with the brands to get more information than I would get in the 10-minute sessions. We also had a really great conversation about cars (buying them, costs and maintenance). If I haven’t mentioned this before, I am a car girl. I like cars, they don't go along with my financial goals because they are a depreciating asset, but I do like cars so I do know a lot about cars. I fell off a little bit for a minute, but I’m back.
Later that evening, we went to the Black Girl Fin Magic Meet-up. Black Girl Fin Magic was founded by Brandy Baxter and they promote, support, and grow all women of color with tools to become innovators and successful business owners in the fields of personal finance, business finance, and financial services. At this meet up there are so many beautiful black women in the space of personal finance doing great things from helping you build your money foundation, to paying off debt, credit, investments and real estate.
I also had a great opportunity to participate in a service project that was the brainchild of Olivia Bradley West and her beautiful family. She is really raising change agents. The service project was sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the volunteers were able to help make a birthday in a bag for 600 foster kids in the DMV area. Now as a part of this project I actually worked the station where the volunteers picked the cake and frosting for the birthday bags. I love projects where I get to help others so this was right up my ally.
I hung out in Fincon Central which is an expo hall where you get to also talk to brands but you are competing with 2500 other too. I actually got to model for a “magazine cover” with AARP and the photographer caught a great candid of me. Ally bank put my face on a macaron and I think me plus Ally equals my dream car. I also had a chance to I talked with Cozy. I just love their services, I am a landlord and so I use their services to accept rental payments, manage the expenses, etc. It was just a pleasure to actually talk with the founder, he created a really great product so if you are a landlord who self-manages you may want to into Cozy.
I did sneak away from the conference for a little bit and went to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History. I have been there before but it’s hard to see the whole museum in one trip and so I went to finish the rest of the museum while my roommates checked out the first part. If you have not been to the African-American History Museum before, you should make a plan to go.
When I came back from the museum I actually did attend a session. I attended about four or five sessions this year. I had a goal this year to network with other people and meet with brands this so sessions were not my priority, but I do enjoy them. I always learn things to help expand my business to the next level so if you every attend Fincon pick the sessions that are going to work for you and help get you closer to your goals.
Solvency sponsor a happy hour on the rooftop of the W hotel. It was beautiful up there are you had a view of the White House. Solvency is a company that helps you resolve tax debt. They have resources on your website if you want to resolve it on your own but then they also have contacts for you if you need to actually reach out to someone like a tax lawyer.
I also attended the Plutus Awards which celebrates excellence in financial media and the highlight of the night was seeing Sandy Smith of YesIAmCheap go from being nominated 19 times and never winning to winning 3 awards in one night.
I had a good time at the Fincon closing party this year. It was in the hotel and they bought in DJ Trini, he had me on that dance floor to the point where your girl’s knee was hurting the next day. There were ice cream, popcorn, and desserts for everyone to enjoy,
If you are in the financial media space and you have never been to Fincon or you have been on the fence about going, you should definitely put it on your list of things to do. Especially next year because it’s in Long Beach, CA
It’s a really great experience where you will actually make friends, most likely lose your voice and get the opportunity to slide in on a great game of Phase 10 in the lobby.
Keep checking the Fincon website to see when the tickets go on sale for 2020 and they also offer scholarships.