Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 199 - Financial Blogger Conference: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

April 27, 2011

Day 199 - Financial Blogger Conference 
Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The first annual Financial Blogger Conference is this October and I really want to go. Not only will the advice and conversation with seasoned veterans be amazing, but I'm also curious to see how these bloggers interact with each other face to face rather than over blog comments and the Twitterverse. But, as usual, I am hesitant about making this commitment for many reasons.

1. It costs money. It's difficult for me to justify a trip to Chicago while under a strict budget plan. This type of trip seems like a luxury to me especially since my blog writing isn't really bringing in significant income and most of my writing has to do with cutting back my expenses and paying down debt.

2. I'm a logical thinker. If I make the decision with my brain and a few Excel spreadsheets I can easily talk myself out of going. Logically, there is not a good reason for me to attend (at least that is what my head says).

3. I'm afraid. I'm very new at the blog thing. I don't write about my Alexa rating because there isn't much to say. Most of my family and friends don't even know I'm writing this blog. Plus attending this conference with some better known bloggers is intimidating and I am terrible at cocktail conversations.

4. I'll probably be really busy at work. In the past I have used this excuse often and given up many hobbies and social events - so much so that people just stopped inviting me out. Which sucks because I actually enjoy going out.

5. I'm terrible with names and faces. I know all of the dogs' names in my neighborhood but none of the owners' names. I think it's genetic. My Dad and I used to have conversations where 65% of the time was spent describing the people we were discussing because we couldn't remember their names. I might have a panic attack if name badges aren't supplied.

So now here comes the deep breath. I have been reflecting quite a bit on my life these past few months and the way I define myself. A lot of my hesitation about doing most things is because of 1) fear, 2) lack of belief in myself, and 3) craving praise and respect and attempting to find it in the external world (e.g. working way too much and giving up any semblance of self). I am determined to change this way of thinking because it's no way to live. So without further ado, below are five reasons I SHOULD attend the Financial Blogger Conference.

1. What an amazing learning opportunity. A weekend packed full of personal finance bloggers with all types of experience,  advice and motivations.  I can't think of a more exciting way to learn about how to improve the blogging experience for both myself and my readers.  Definitely beats Googling when I can't figure something out. Although it will cost me some money, I know I can make enough extra money on the side that this weekend will ultimately be a small blip on my radar screen.

2. I'm going with my gut. Logic aside, this just feels like the right thing for me to do right now. My gut is telling me this is a positive choice in my life.

3. I'm afraid. I am a Biggest Loser junky and the past few weeks have really focused on working through your fears - whether it be a fear of heights or a fear of failure. I am inspired every week by the ability of these everyday people to overcome whatever fear they are feeling inside. It's time for me to do the same. First stop, Chicago. Then maybe I'll try jumping off the Skytower in Auckland.

4. Work is no longer my life. I'm saying it here first! I have put family, friends and my own health aside to make sure that my work is always done with excellence and perfection. I didn't take breaks or lunches and frequently worked 12 hour days. I got to the point where the way I felt about myself on a certain day was contingent on how a conference call or presentation went for me. "I aim to please" was definitely my motto and if I failed at this I became stressed and full of self doubt. This type of thinking leads to extreme highs and lows in life because your mood is based on an external source. Two words - not healthy. I received a wake up call a few months ago when I was diagnosed with an incurable immune disorder that is exacerbated by stress and fatigue - the first two words in my job description and behaviors I have lived with for many years.  So even though this aha moment was a little forced (Thanks, T-cells!), I am thankful to have finally realized that I'm never going to please everyone no matter how hard I work, and striving for perfection pretty much sets you up to fail. So I'm making a promise to myself to put in my 40 hours, walk away from my desk for lunch and then turn off the computer and smart phone emails at night. I will strive for imperfection and not allow my thoughts to be consumed with work. I will take a few days off in early October so I can go to Chicago!!

5. Just because. No justification, no reasoning, no explanation needed. I'm just gonna do it.

Just registered! Can't wait!

Stay tuned,
Sarah 

12 comments:

Andrea said... Best Blogger Tips

YAY Sarah, I am glad you decided to go. I think it will wonderful. I think you will find that you will have so many resources and good information and wonderful people. It will certainly be worth your money.

Try to get a roommate to cut down on cost.

Not to mention it will be super fun. I look forward to meeting you.

The $60K Project said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Andrea! Can't wait!

Jeff Rose said... Best Blogger Tips

Congrats on signing up. I've missed many conferences and kick myself every time for not going. I'm excited, too, to have signed up and make myself go. I know the personal interactions I'll have will prove to be awesome. See you there!

PT said... Best Blogger Tips

Great breakdown, Sarah. Thanks for sharing all this info about the conference. Glad you are coming.

Ben said... Best Blogger Tips

You're totally right, there always seem to be more reasons not to do something - but sometimes we have to just talk ourselves into it :)

Look forward to meeting you in Chicago!

The $60K Project said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks PT. And thanks for organizing an amazing event!

The $60K Project said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Ben! I'm really glad I decided to go - no regrets. Looking forward to meeting you as well!

free conference call provider said... Best Blogger Tips

I found this article very helpful to me ...thanks for such a good work

The $60K Project said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Ben! I'm really glad I decided to go - no regrets. Looking forward to meeting you as well!

PT said... Best Blogger Tips

Great breakdown, Sarah. Thanks for sharing all this info about the conference. Glad you are coming.

Andrea said... Best Blogger Tips

YAY Sarah, I am glad you decided to go. I think it will wonderful. I think you will find that you will have so many resources and good information and wonderful people. It will certainly be worth your money.

Try to get a roommate to cut down on cost.

Not to mention it will be super fun. I look forward to meeting you.

John said... Best Blogger Tips

That's awesome that you went! Bob at ChristianPF went last year, and I'll be joining him this year. Would love to see a post on your thoughts about FINCON!

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