5 years ago, I spent the entire airplane ride home from FinCon17 writing a “my takeaways” blog post.
That 5-day experience felt LIFE-CHANGING. My mind was reeling with ideas after every dang conversation, and I couldn’t WAIT to write it up into a blog post to share.
This year? The opposite.
Last week I took the wife (her 1st FinCon, my 6th) down to sunny (humid) Orlando, FL, for FC22.
- I got to speak on the main stage this year(!)
- I went to 1-2 breakout sessions
- I hung out with old friends
And now I’d like to share my kinda-sorta-unexpected takeaways from the conference.
1 – I didn’t actually have takeaways (in the traditional sense)
If you ask me “what I learned” from this year’s conference, the first thing that popped into my head was “nothing.”
- Business ideas
- Strategies to try
- Clarity around my business/purpose
- “How to do” something
I honestly can’t think of anything specific that I’m walking away with.
Maybe it’s because I don’t go to the conferences to learn any more? Maybe it’s because I already know all the things?
(Absolutely NOT true, of course, but I am experienced enough to know the beginner-to-intermediate level stuff that is taught and shared at FinCon. I’ve heard the ideas from the speakers before.)
I didn’t “learn” much, but that’s ok.
The older I get in online business—the less I feel compelled to learn new things, and the more I feel compelled to work on who I am and how I operate.
Speaking of which…
2 – I didn’t need/want FinCon to “change me.”
I have never attended a conference as confident as I did last week’s FinCon.
Over the last year, I have S T R U G G L E D with a lack of clarity in my business—but I’ve made surprising gains in that area just in the last month!
I have a plan now.
I’m confident it’s the right plan (for now, of course), and I went into FinCon KNOWING that I’d have the same plan when I got back.
This is the first time that’s happened lol.
In years past, I definitely went into FinCon unclear and desperately SEARCHING for a plan. Needing and hoping that something or someone would help me out at FinCon.
I also feel like I met many people who were intentionally seeking help and clarity with their plan.
This is ok!
Whether you have a clear plan for your business or not–what’s important is understanding what you need to move forward.
Re-read that 👆
That might be seeking out others (at conferences or otherwise) for help–or it might be intentionally IGNORING everything around you to stay focused on your current plan.
3 – Achieving dreams doesn’t feel like I thought it would
If you clicked back to my 2017 FinCon takeaways post–you might’ve read about a terrifying conversation I had with my friend Rosemarie Groner.
Even back then, she saw something inside me that I didn’t know what there.
(she predicted I had what it takes to speak on the FinCon main stage, and told me so!).
(She also openly criticized me for a lack of focus and warned it could be my downfall. Right again lol).
But I did it.
I spoke on the main stage this year, and though I didn’t perform perfectly, I do think I landed the message I set out to land.
People congratulated me afterward, and that felt nice…
But then life went back to normal. I took the same Lyft rides to the airport as everyone else. I still have the same work in front of me.
I think it takes an ACTIVE EFFORT for some people (ahem, me) to recognize when they achieve a goal.
It’s super easy for me to move past an achievement. To play it down, not celebrate, and even ask “what’s next?” This can be unhealthy.
I find myself intentionally remembering that conversation with Rosemarie Groner from 2017, just so I can realize how far I’ve come and actually be proud of myself.
Confidence and energy will take you far in this business.
4 – Don’t ignore the customers you already have.
Ok I lied…
I did have one “takeaway” from a session (but frankly I can’t remember where I heard it. Argh lol).
That takeaway was “don’t get so distracted trying to attract NEW customers all the time–that you neglect or forget about your existing customers.”
- Existing customers
- Existing email list
- Existing network
Honestly, I’ve been neglecting my membership community, Online Impact, for a while now. There. I said it.
I’m going to do better with this, for 2 reasons:
- I made promises to customers. I need to keep my word and deliver
- It’s 2022, and word-of-mouth is easily, easily, EASILY the most powerful form of marketing
That’s always been the case, but in the age of 2,594 ads a DAY–we fall back to relying on the opinions of our peers more than ever.
Don’t forget your CURRENT customers & followers!
Treat them especially well, and they’ll treat you well.
5 – Having friends is good. Having friends that understand you is life-changing.
There’s a reason I continue to go to FinCon, and it has little to do with directly growing my business in some way.
I mean, it’s cool if that’s why YOU go to conferences, but that’s not me.
I go for Raina, Kevin, Jessica, Justin, Libby, J, Nate, Tae, Matthias, Nick, other Nick, Wendy, Lee.
About a dozen people who I RARELY get to see in person. Some of these people know me better than anyone outside my immediate family!
You could probably say “that’s sad, get some IRL friends, loser,” and you wouldn’t be far from the truth…
But I don’t give a shit.
They’re the friends I have and love, and I need to make an investment in them. That’s why I go to FinCon.
Friends are great….
But having friends in the online business world who get what you’re going through–can literally be the difference between success and failure. An actual “life-changing” thing.
Invest in those people.
The End: What about you?
Why do you go to conferences?
If you went to FinCon or any other conference recently, what were your main takeaways or lessons learned?
Drop me a comment below!
Making me tear up over here. I just wish we got to visit longer, but I’m grateful we got some extra Zooms in this year while prepping for that STELLAR main stage talk! Loved meeting Erin, too!
<3 <3!! Thanks for all you do, Jessica :)
Great post and insights, your main stage talk was so super authentic and relatable – therefore valuable for any creators I guess! It was awesome meeting you in person again after the past two years Covid-break, also happy to have met Erin for the first time.
You guys rock.