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

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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…*hiccup*

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

"caleb"As 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, Luke Landes, Todd Tresidder, Ben Edwards, Ryan Guina 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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54 thoughts on “FinCon13 Recap: Why You Are Missing Out If You Don’t Attend Conferences”

  1. I loved being there. Connecting with people I only know online rocks. Right now, I’m starting a podcast and a mastermind group. :)

    1. Awesome Jason! Let me know about your podcast when it goes live.

  2. Good to meet you too Steve, and I’m officially going to change my about page to simply say:

    Neville Medhora – Outspoken Indian Guy!

    1. Here’s what’s funny. I work with a bunch of Indian dudes every single day, but they are all quiet and reserved. Then I go to Fincon and meet you and Ramit and my overall impression of Indian guys does a complete 180.

      1. New acronym for that: OSIG’s!

  3. Steve, it was great to finally meet you in person after many a skype chats, emails, etc over the years. I had a great time chatting with you, and your session at FINCON was one of my favorites – gave me a lot of ideas of what to do with my email list. Now I just have to put it into action. Oh, and good times going up in the tight confines of the arch elevator – no one panicked or had a bought of claustrophobia.. Look forward to seeing you next time – if you’re planning on going!

    1. It was great to see you too. Hard to believe that it’s been over 5 years since the old stumbleupon days.

    1. Thanks Todd! Was great to see you there. I knew I shouldn’t have tried to create a complete shout out list of people. Just added your blog to the list!

  4. Great chatting with you over lunch, it’s great hanging out with like-minded people. Can’t wait to hear about what you do next!

    1. Hey Ben,
      The pleasure was all mine. I think it’s cool that you code all your own stuff too. We’ll have to compare notes.

  5. Miranda Marquit says:

    I really enjoyed your talk. Great job. And there’s nothing like a late night bull session. Great to see you again!

    1. Those late night sessions were hilarious. Justin and teacherman are total riots.

  6. yea I agree with the rest, great hanging with you and great presentation – I am working on some of the stuff you talked about today… thanks!

    1. Thanks Bob. Good to see you as always and it was a pleasure to hang out with your wife as well.

  7. In my defense, it’s exhausting being married to Jeff Rose. :) It was great hanging out with you even if you make fun of me ALL THE TIME.

    1. I don’t feel like I make fun of you all the time. It’s just that you have all of these hilarious quirks. Jeff’s a lucky guy to have you. Now if only I could get my wife to do my audio and video editing for me… I must take some lessons from Mr.Rose. If he ever comes out with a course or ebook on the topic, I’m there.

  8. It was definitely cool getting to kick it, Steve. I know we’re going to have a lot more fun times together in the future.

    Peace, ruve & robots! 😉

    1. Haha. For sure man. We’ll keep in touch.

  9. I’m sorry I missed your talk! FinCon was invaluable for a new blogger like me, who is getting to know all of the established bloggers. It was inspiring to hear everyone’s story.

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      FinCon has been a life changing experience for me. I hope you got as much out of it as I have.

  10. I wish we would have met! Congrats on your first talk, I’m hoping to have mine eventually :)

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Thanks for dropping me a note. We’ll catch each other next year I’m sure.

  11. Robert Farrington says:


    It was great to hear your presentation and stay out late with you, Miranda, and the Canadians!

    Hope to do it again next year!


    1. Miranda Marquit says:

      Robert, it was super-awesome to meet you and get to know you a little bit. See you next year, I hope!

    2. Hey Rob,
      Yeah, staying out late that last night was a blast. I’ll admit though that I was a little out of it. That Canadian whiskey is some powerful stuff.

    1. Thanks Kathleen. I’ll be picking up a virtual pass myself.

  12. Stoked you had a great time at FinCon and the speech went smoothly. I’m sad I missed the in-person experience, but perhaps I’ll be able to catch a future presentation of yours sometime. :)

    1. Missed you this year but you are definitely going to go to FinCon14…even if PT has to fund your ticket. BTW, I don’t think you missed anything. Didn’t I give you a preview at WDS?

  13. I had no idea that was your first time speaking! I shoulda been there!
    But at least I got to order you around. 😉
    If you ever need a job, you have one as my butler! 😉

    1. Every eventual millionaire needs a butler. Just don’t cheat on me with some outspoken Indian dude.

  14. That blonde ass-ffiliate said she still prefers Tom Drake, no matter how effective your autoresponder is at “closing the deal”.

    1. The ass-filiate lost her membership card when she got married. This year, Tom and I talked uninterrupted because of that fat wedding ring she was wearing. Her name is now just Janet.

      1. I don’t know Steve, I cut off Eric at Dollarversity and then made him take this picture…

        Nice to hang out with you again and you rocked that presentation!

  15. Thanks for the recap. Sorry I missed you talk though. Next year, I’ll be there for sure.

    1. Hey Joe. For some reason I was expecting you to be there. Next year!

  16. It was great meeting you Steve. I loved how you incorporated your daughter in your presentation…it gives a newly engaged man something to look forward to…

    If you ever make it up to the great white north give me a shout!

    1. Hey Justin,
      It was nice seeing you in person as well and thanks for the kind words.

      Don’t worry about the whole marriage thing. You’ll get a new boss. She might make you throw out all of your furniture, make you dress better and eat better. But that’s a good thing.

  17. Great write-up, buddy. From what I’m seeing in the survey you crushed it with your talk. I can’t wait to watch it myself. So glad you could make it out another year and drop some knowledge this time. Can’t wait to hang out with you again soon.

    1. Thanks PT. Means a lot. Looking forward to hanging out with you and Mrs.PT as well. Take care and good luck with #3:)

  18. Awesome write up. I enjoyed your speaking session and chats with you. Until next time…


  19. Abundantly fertile, huh?

    It was great to finally meeting you after all these years. It’s been a long time since StumbleUpon sharing days. I need to see that talk. I missed it and it seems I also missed out. Doh!

  20. Hilarious recap! I have to make it to FinCon one of these days. I was on the math team too, but my skills are a little rusty. Can’t wait for your talk as it sounds like you crushed it. Totally agree about Mr. Rose’s skills. A wife that audio and video edits is a dream come true!

  21. This was fun. Loved your talk as well.

    1. THanks Sandy. Was good to see you too. Keep me posted about your shop.

  22. Getting more involved with conferences and networking is definitely something I need to work on….thanks!

    1. Thanks George. Maybe I’ll see you there next year

  23. I love your write up on FinCon13. My husband, James, was there this year and had the same feedback, returning pumped and ready to go. I like the way you highlight different folks in particular though. Your site is inspiring and I’ll definitely be checking out more posts.



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