Staying True To The Mission – #FinCon17

This week has been a hell of a week…

I went to FinCon17 in Dallas Texas and it was… enlightening, overwhelming, and incredibly insightful. I had no clue what to expect – only that any self respecting financial blogger must go to FinCon if they are expected to be taken seriously.

I saw a lot of my favorite personal finance influencers who inspired me to start my blog: (1) Joshua Sheets from RadicalPersonalFinance.com, (2) Grant Sabatier from MillenialMoney.com, and (3) Chelsea Fagan/Lauren Ver Hage from TheFinancialDiet.com (just to name a few).

In total, there were about 1,700 financial influencers at FinCon17. The amount of people there was simply overwhelming, I had no idea how many people were blogging, podcasting, and selling products about personal finance.

At FinCon, there were a lot of good things I saw and a lot of… well not so good things.

Let me explain.

Helping People Is The Mission

What is the point of this? Why do I even spend the time to write a blog about financial independence, personal finance, and building wealth?

TO HELP YOU!

My goal is to help people break out of the standard lifestyle that so few of us willingly signed up for. My goal is to make Financial Independence mainstream. I am not looking to exploit my readers, but to help them.

I truly respect everyone that was at FinCon and believe they began their journey blogging about personal finance with a pure intention – to help other people. Most of these people are still very passionate about helping other people, but some others… I am not so sure.

Too often it seemed like people were more focused on how to monetize their traffic than they were on trying to reach/help more people.

I heard people say things as inspiring as: “Give away your best stuff for free constantly”

OR

I heard some other say: “I focus on how much revenue a single customer can bring to my site over a life time and up sell them on courses. Once they finish the first course, I sell them a second, after the second, I sell them a third course”

I understand that everyone’s time and advice comes with a price, but I hope everyone true mission is to help other people.

When Is Enough, Enough?

Okay, fine – maybe, just maybe, these bloggers charging several hundreds of dollars for an online course is completely justified as the value from the course can potentially far out paces the actual cost of the course it self.

Fair.

I have never actually bought an online course from a blogger, so I am not really capable of saying whether or not the course is worth the value. But that’s my entire point! I have been able to pay off my credit card debt, save over $100,000 (in 2 years), cut my expenses drastically and increased my income from $43,000 to over 6 figures without ever buying one of these courses!

It’s not f*cking rocket science. Personal finance is easy, you just need to have the discipline to cut your spending and focus on building your wealth through saving, investing, and increasing your income.

Any blogger, certified financial planner, or money guru can tell you that: (1) You need to make more than you spend, (2) save enough for an emergency fund, and (3) invest the rest wisely.

However, there are so many of these bloggers selling courses that range a couple hundred dollars to several hundreds of dollars. There are some bloggers that make $100,000+ per month on their blog by selling these courses that teach you something “exclusive”.

I hate to break it to you, but anything you can learn from an online course, you can probably learn for free on Google. If you are planning to take one of these extremely expensive courses online, be sure to see if there are free resources out there that will teach you the same skill (I guarantee there is).

At a certain point, I think some people have become so large and so entrenched in their business that they forget that the mission is: to help other people.

America’s Addiction To The Magic Bullet

There is no “Magic Bullet”. Throwing your hard earned money at a problem is not the answer. You are most likely not going to turn your life around by buying lottery tickets, diet pills, or overpriced online courses.

Do you know what will turn your life around?

Dedication and hard work!

That’s the magic bullet – spending hours, weeks, and months learning and honing a craft that has value.

Even if you do buy one of these courses, I am sure there is a boat load of hard work that needs to be done in order to succeed.

If you have bought an online course in the past, please let me know how you have liked or disliked it. Please help explain the pros and cons to a layman like me.

-Jack

5 comments

  1. @Jacked – I wonder how much of this monetisation issue is down to the increasing “side hustle” mania currently hitting the financial blogger world. Everyone seems to be sprouting how you can make thousands – there are very few people who see to just blog for the pleasure of it or do it to help people. Its the sad reality facing the financial blogging world now – everyone is walking around with dollar signs and it isn’t the FIRE $ sign either!

    1. Agreed. I’m not sure whether there is a spike of Financial bloggers or I am simply paying more attention to the space now.

      I think there is a lot of merit in just giving away your best stuff for free. Good things should be shared. I will eventually monetize this site, but it will not be at the cost of the readers.

  2. Great post. Extremely impressed by the amount you’ve saved and debit you’ve paid off! I’ve never bought a course – you are right, you can certainly learn all the basics for free online!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! It definitely requires a lot of discipline to make the right financial decisions.

      I have seen many courses on SEO, affiliate marketing, and other blogging courses. But I also found so many helpful free resources. I would love to see if anyone has gained significant value from an online course.

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