My First FinCon Y’all!!: What I Learned at FinCon 2017

November 15, 2017

Written by Nicole

Phillip Taylor

Phillip Taylor, AKA PT Money, Founder of FinCon

It is official. I have found my people y’all! My tribe!

I was SUPER excited to attend my first FinCon a few weeks ago!

If you are unfamiliar with FinCon it is an annual conference (and a growing community) for personal finance influencers and their fans.

In real life I don’t know anyone else who gets excited about budgets, frugal living, and financial freedom like I do. That is primarily the reason why I fell into the rabbit hole of personal finance on Youtube in the first place. I was looking for like-minded people who shared a love of all things personal finance.

I soon realized that others existed, I wasn’t alone after all! There are other super money nerds like me in the universe.


After lurking on YouTube for more than a year watching budgeting and debt free videos I started my own channel to document my journey out of nearly $100K in student loan debt.

Along the way I learned many critical lessons and I read countless blogs and listened to more podcasts than I can name. As I listened to various podcasts I kept hearing about FinCon but had no idea what it was.  After a little research online I made up my mind that I had to attend so I purchased my ticket on Black Friday 2016.

As a frugal blogger I despise Black Friday sales and usually refuse to buy anything but I was more than happy to make an exception and drop a few of my hard earned coins to pay for my registration.

Why I went


Rapper Dee-1

Rapper Dee-1

As a YouTuber and blogger I am a part of a community of people with common interests, but content creation can be kinda lonely. It is easy to get caught up in your own little bubble, obsessing over likes and instagram hearts and spending a ton of time responding to comments, but never really connecting with others within the same digital space. And as a natural  introvert I am usually content to blend into the background.

But before I left for Dallas I promised myself that I would not stay in my room. I would spend as much time as I could interacting with my peers, attending workshops, and making lasting connections and relationships.

Inspiration and New Ideas

Prior to attending FinCon I had reached a place where I felt stagnant with my content. I started the YouTube channel on a whim without any real direction, but it had somehow grown to almost 15,000 subscribers and I was unsure where I was headed. The blog, started a little under a year ago, is still struggling to gain momentum. My audience knows me for video creation and most would rather watch a 5 minute video than take 10 mins to read a blog post. With only a few people reading, I questioned whether or not to even stick with blogging.  There are already so many frugal bloggers out here in the blogosphere. How could I differentiate myself and get people interested in reading? These are questions I was hoping to find the answer to at FinCon.

Who I Met

Too many people to name! But here are a few!

Black Girl FIN Magic

PT Money: Founder of FinCon

Tai and Talaat McNeely: His and Her Money

Paula Pant: Afford Anything

Alanya Kolberg: Bottom Up Wealth

Jamila Souffrant: Journey to Launch

Mr. V: Plenteouz

Jonathan Mendonsa: ChooseFi

I Dream of FIRE

Latisha Styles:

Sonya Smith Valentine: Financially Fierce

Inspiring Life Design

Ashley Goggins: My Credit Bar

Dollar Dude

Sarah: Budget Girl

Tasha: One Big Happy

Cassandra Cummings: Stocks and Stilletos

Katasha: Broke Girl Rehab

I even ran into a few of my YouTube subscribers! On day 2 of the conference I was walking in the exhibit hall and one young lady was smiling and waving. Although she was standing directly in my line of sight I turned around and looked behind me like, ok who we waving at?!? Turns out she was waving at me!  Such a humbling experience to meet people in real life who enjoy my content.


Tai and Talaat, His & Her Money

Tai and Talaat, His & Her Money

What I learned

So much!! The workshop presenters were amazing and the keynote speakers included Darren Rowse (ProBlogger), Nicole Walters, and David Bach. So, I have a notebook full of ideas and inspired thoughts but I will just share a few of the highlights:

1. I need to stop winging it.

Although there is no lack of ideas on my part, I realized that I lacked clarity about where I was going with the FrugalChicLife brand. The lack of intentionality and organization caused me to feel scatterbrained all the time and stuck in a creative rut. Being a busy wife and mom with a full-time day job, I can’t afford to be disorganized.

And, instead of making excuses about why I can’t get things done, about why I’m not making progress, I need to make adjustments.  One of the things at the top of my to-do-list is to create start working on a content calendar for 2018 so that I am clear on my direction at all times.

2. By trying to serve everyone, I’m serving no one.

Paula Pant, Afford Anything

Paula Pant, Afford Anything

I’m doing way too much…I need to get laser focused on the audience that I intend to serve (that’s you!) and streamline my content based on that. If you are in my Facebook group, FrugalChicFinance, then you have probably noticed me asking more questions and doing more listening than talking. Based on the feedback that I have received I have changed the tagline for my entire brand. My new tagline is Earn More, Spend Less, Grow the Gap. Moving forward the majority of my content will fall under these broad categories. More info coming soon!

3. If I follow my passion, profits will come.

Is it terrible that I find myself resenting my full-time job?  Because it’s interfering with my ability to spend more time on FrugalChicLife? I feel as if I don’t have time to work! When I’m working on FrugalChicLife it doesn’t actually feel like work. And that is a great feeling. I am passionate about helping others to live their best financial life!

But if I can’t generate enough revenue to at least the basic expenses associated with running the blog and channel it will be hard to justify keeping it going. At present any money generated (plus some extra cash) is immediately re-invested in equipment, tools, and other resources. To justify the ongoing costs, and the investment of time and energy, I need to be more strategic about monetizing the brand. If not, all of this is just an expensive hobby, not a real business.

With that being said I have already crafted my mantra for the upcoming year. For me ,2018 will be about transitioning from passion to profit.

4. Stop spending so much time on busy work.

I’ve spent a lot of time on things that probably don’t matter much, such as selecting images to feature on blog posts, playing around with different fonts, designing thumbnails, tweaking the blog menu, and other aesthetics. These things are important but not critical.

Tasha One Big Happy

Tasha, One Big Happy

I read some blogs that are HORRIBLE  looking but the content is golden. A pretty website means nothing if the content isn’t consistent and thought-provoking. Good content is also no good unless people actually see it. In 2018 I plan to focus on marketing, developing affiliate relationships, offering services such as coaching, and creating products.

5. The importance of investing in myself.

There are tons of gaps in my knowledge as it relates to things like marketing, advertising, even writing. In the coming year I would like to continue honing my skills in these areas. I might even invest in a business coach to give me the accountability that I need to follow through with my business goals.

6. There is room at the table for me.

I intentionally did not bring business cards to bring to FinCon because I thought no one would want one. I figured I would just go and be a fan…again, not really thinking like a business owner. Katasha Broke Girl Rehab

Self-doubt rears its ugly head all the time. What if no one reads? What is no one watches or shows up? Why would anyone listen to me or take me seriously?

Feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure are always lurking just under the surface. But I’ve discovered that almost all entrepreneurs experience this type of doubt at some point on their path. I’m determined to move forward in action, even if I have to do it scared. Because people are reading, watching, and listening. And because I have something to offer.

What Now

Almost three weeks later and I am still on a post-FinCon high! I sure hope the excitement and momentum lasts. I immediately got back home and sent a broadcast out to my email list sharing my excitement about what is to come in 2018. The response has been amazing.

I have joined four different Facebook groups with other FinCon attendees who are looking to stay in contact and build relationships Post-FinCon.

As for the channel, the blog, and the brand. There will be a few changes. Details to come. But definitely more consistency across all platforms.

Would I go again

Heck yeah! I already purchased my registration for Orlando for FinCon 2018! Maybe I’ll see you there.






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  1. Erica

    Hello Nicole,

    I actually just found your YouTube Channel and have went through lots of the past content. I recently got serious about my debt and starting my debt free journey. I like you listen to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Maker Over audio book. I started the the envelope system and I am currently in Baby Step 1 saving my $1000 emergency fund. I should be done with Baby Step 1 mid December as I am a single mom of one beautiful 12 year old daughter. I was truly inspired by your journey and hope to continue learning along the way. I was glad to see you enjoyed your trip to FinCon and super excited that you mention its 2018 venue is Orlando which is wear I resided. I would hope to meet you that so if you have a link to for additional information that would be great. Please know you are a blessing to many and me personally so keep up the blog, YouTube etc. for it does make a difference.


    • Nicole Hatcher

      Hi Erica! Thank you so much! I am glad that the video content and blog are helping you. Yes FinCon was amazing! The conference now includes a day for folks who are interested in personal finance topics but are not necessarily content creators or bloggers. I would highly recommend it. The dates are listed at the bottom of this page I’m not sure yet which day will be the open day but they will provide more updates as the dates get closer. I will also be sure to promote it as well so people can take advantage of the great information. Thanks again for your kind words!

  2. Dreamer in Chief

    What a great recap! You took away some powerful lessons, for sure. I really like your take on how there’s room for your voice in the space. One of the biggest things I walked away from Dallas with was that the community is real, and everyone genuinely wants to see everyone else succeed. It was so cool to talk with some of the people I look up to and find out they’re really as down-to-Earth as they seem online.

    Like you, I’ve already booked my ticket for next year!

    • Nicole

      Thank you so much! I am so glad that I attended- definitely lived up to the hype! Can’t wait for next year.

  3. Sierra

    This was a great read! I’m planning to go to this year’s FinCon as well and like you, I had that mindset that I’m going as a “fan”. I’m working on launching my blog and I figured going would give me so much motivation. I’m a money nerd as well and LOVE helping people get their finances in order, I just have the same self doubt like who’s going to listen to me? On the other hand, I have people constantly reaching out to me for help with their finances. I get the most amazing feeling when I’ve helped someone get their finances in order. It makes me SO happy!

    I’m going to go ahead and book that ticket for this year! I keep contemplating the lower ticket or the middle one simply because I’m thinking “I don’t have a blog yet, should I even get the middle one, but it’ll launch next month!”

    Anyways, thank you for the post, you seem so cool and down to earth!

    • Nicole

      Hi Sierra. Thank you so much! FinCon was awesome. I’m really looking forward to going back. I made so many great connections and got a ton of content ideas. It’s worth EVERY penny. Good luck with the blog!! I know how nerve wrecking it can be to put yourself out there.

  4. Tracy

    I’ve been debating on going to fincon since I’m literally just starting out with my blog/YouTube channel and I read your post. Now I’m going! Hope to catch up with you there to say thank you for the tips in person!

    • Nicole

      Hi Tracy! Fincon is totally worth it. Even if you are just starting out it will be an amazingly motivating experience. I can’t wait to go back. Hope to see you there.


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