8 lessons from FinCon 2018

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For those who don’t know, FinCon is an annual event where financial media, bloggers, podcasters and more come together to build relationships, partnerships and connect with like-minded people. It’s basically a giant money nerd convention.  Last year, we went for the first time with zero expectations other than to learn from people who we believed were doing some pretty incredible things.  This year, we showed up with a plan to help take this platform to the next level.

Overall, it was as amazing as we thought it would be. We kicked it with people we’ve admired for years, conducted a handful of podcast interviews and spoke on a panel with people who can only be described as pillars of the FIRE movement.

Some of the major highlights were…

the release of the trailer for Playing with FIRE. If this is the first time you’re hearing of this film then you should know that it will likely be the single greatest contributor introducing the FIRE movement to a broader audience. So far, the film exceeded its Kickstarter campaign goal but is still available for further contributions. This momentum matters because that’s what major film houses look for when evaluating the support (aka funding) they will put behind a film. Our fingers are crossed that it does well, is picked up by a major studio house (ahem Netflix) and even goes as far as landing at a major film festival (ahem Sundance). If you can, please consider supporting the Kickstarter campaign. We did because we believe in this movement, we know the work it takes to get to this point and because we personally know and adore the team who pulled it together.  Not to mention, our sweet chocolate a$$es made the cut for the trailer!

On top of that, we won best NEW Personal Finance blog at the 9th annual Plutus Awards! We found out we were finalists a few weeks ago and were shocked, so you can only imagine how we felt when we’d actually won. The competition was EXCELLENT but a community of our peers chose us to bring home the award. For that, we are humbled and grateful. We are also buckling down and taking the work we do here even more seriously going forward. Hint hint… change coming soon.

img_3707Lastly, we met our money heroes. We can’t quite describe what it feels like to eat dinner, drink wine, and shoot the $hit in a giant inflatable pink flamingo with people you’ve admired for years.  We know they’re regular people just like us, but to meet them and to have them respect our work is a feeling that stays with you forever.  On a contrasting note, this trip was the first time we had to manage being recognized by people who’d heard of us on a podcast or were loyal readers looking forward to meeting us. That is something that will take some time for us to get used to but it’s deeply humbling.

From left to right (Mr. Money Mustache, Doug Norman, Mr. r&R, Mrs. r&R, Brad (Choose FI), JD Roth, Paula Pant, Mad Fientist, Jonathan (Choose FI) and Travis Shakespeare, the film Director.

But besides those amazing highlights, we experienced dozens of “light bulb moments” at this year’s FinCon in Orlando.  Some of them were about money, others about life in general but all deeply meaningful. Here are a few—

1. Real, LIFE changing wealth is out here for the taking y’all

Stop bullshittin’ and secure👏🏾the👏🏾 bag. You don’t have to do everything but you should do something, especially if it generates passive income. If not for you, then for your children, parents or community.  You don’t want to look back at this decade and say, I should’ve invested in…

2. The internet is hella big!

If you’ve told yourself that your story isn’t worthy of being told or that nobody would buy something from you or come to your website then think again. Consistency, quality, being relatable, fearlessness and authenticity is rewarded handsomely IF you put in the work.  If you can do that, then your little digital plot of land (aka website, podcast etc) can work round the clock for you and make you and your family rich.

3. We live in a fast paced world

Annual plans are cool but you really should consider breaking them up into more easily digestible appetizers or in 45-60 day chunks. It’s easy for big thinking to overwhelm you which leads to frustration and indecisiveness.  Start small, be strategic, take action, finish strong and grow steadily—just like wealth building.

4. Stop being afraid to spend money

Whether it’s outsourcing something you don’t like doing, investing in a better quality product/service to grow your business or spending on sales activities you can’t always expect to reach lofty goals on a shoestring chump change budget.  Invest in yourself and spend on your business if you have one. In fact, you can start now with a free month trial to Linkedin Learning courtesy of r&R.  Click here to get started.

5. Making or having more money is not the answer to all of your problems

We learned this last year but the message holds true today.  We can now say that we’re friends and associates with several millionaires, early retirees and soon to be early retirees and they have the same problems you do. The only difference is, they have the time and money to address their issues.  Get free.

6. There is a time and a place for humility

Many of us have been taught to be humble to our own detriment.  Listen, there are times where you need to be bold, daring and tolerant of discomfort but certainly not humble to the point where you diminish your value.  Too often, we hear people talking themselves out of their dreams only to watch someone less talented than them live it before their eyes.

7. Happy people aren’t weird…you are. 

Even we’ve had moments where we listened to someone’s podcast, read their blog or book and thought…”they can’t be real” or “ease up on the gobs of positivity already…life aint no crystal stair“.  What we’ve learned is that many of these people are 1,000% authentically positive, have no reason to fake it and have the good life receipts to prove it.  Oh and a good handful of them are woke AF and doing their part in their only little ways to make social progress in this world.

8. Know your why

We’re often asked WHY we’re pursuing financial independence and the answer is pretty much always the same.  It’s because we love each other, we love our family and want as much time as possible to explore that love fully.  Work simply doesn’t fit into that equation…period.  Wanting more simple moments like these are why we’re on the path to financial independence.


See ya’ll in 2019 in Washington, DC!


  1. Great stuff guys. Excited to see “Playing with FIRE”, I love myself a good documentary. Perhaps next year you will be seeing me at FinCon. DC is less than 2 hours away after all. 🙂

    • We’re excited to see the film too! The team behind it is awesome so we’re sure it’ll be well done. We’re already booked for DC next year. Hope to see you there.

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