It is hard for me to write that sentence about FinCon.
I absolutely love parts of the FIRE community. I love how unselfish it is. Bloggers will share secrets rather than hoard them. People share their intimate financial information with complete strangers. All because we share a dream of buying back our free time on our own schedule rather than the orthodox approach to consumption and retirement.
I found out about FinCon in 2016. I wished I had gone to FinCon in 2017. My blog was so new (February of 2017) that I figured I needed to let an entire year go past before I was sure I should/could show up on the scene of the biggest conference for ‘us’.
BTW That attitude is wrong, if you are on the fence, just go. Check it out for yourself. It might be everything you hope it would be.
I really enjoyed and even thrived at my first convention in 2018. I loved putting faces to the names of people I had been ‘friends’ with online.
From Day One of blogging, and still to this day, I am a non monetized blogger. Not trying to even generate passive income, just doing it for the narcissistic love of attention and true belief in the principles of financial responsibility.
Really, I just wanted to bask in the company of ‘my people’. And that is exactly how I would describe my first year. The convention felt alive and energetic.
Truth be told, I am not the target demographic for FinCon. The premise of the whole enchilada is ‘Where Money and Media Meet‘. The founders, movers, and shakers of FinCon have done a bang up job growing the event and roping in some big names. There is now a Corporate presence at FinCon. The quality of the events and food has shot up with that new big name money.
At its core that part of FinCon is a giant networking opportunity for people looking to expand and monetize their blog/brand. It also focuses on ‘Best Practices’ to help you be the best you can be. It is doing a good job. But.
But dare I say it, that is not what I liked about FinCon. And it is becoming what I do not like about FinCon.
I liked the excited brainstorming between people who thought nobody else cared about this stuff. I liked seeing ‘FIRE’ become a known idea in the world.
There seemed to be two FinCons. The one I wanted looked and felt more like a meeting of the 4th Annual Peoples Committee on the Overthrow of Consumerism.
I want revolution in the homes and bank accounts of America. I want to storm the Bastille of Usury and tear down the Citadel of Mark Up Costs. Picture us all in little berets plotting the downfall of Credit Card Debt.
But alas, that aspect of FinCon was far less noticeable last time I went. It felt way more like pretty girls from some company who did not know what FIRE was trying to hand me some swag.
I get it, it makes sense for the vast majority of people who attend, that might be the end game they are looking for. What if some company wants to buy out my blog for big money? And I get it from the perspective of the companies, hey this smells like opportunity and these grubby little bloggers are tenacious and might be on to something we can sell.
But that is not my FinCon. Maybe someone will bifurcate these tracks someday. I want to go to the one in somebody’s basement, with bowls of cheap snacks and dreams of conquest.