FinCon and a New Direction

I recently travelled out to Dallas for FinCon.

FinCon is an annual gathering of folks that write and podcast about money. It’s four days of panels, talks, workshops, networking, and parties.

It was a lot of fun. I met some Internet friends in real life for the first time and I made a bunch of new friends. I learned a lot of new things, talked to a lot of great people, and drank a lot of free drinks.

Photo courtesy of Route to Retire

This article is going live a week and a half after the conference ended, so a lot of folks have written some great recaps. Instead of writing my own, I will point you to some of those:

Why FinCon 2017 was Amazing and I’m Going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando – The Mastermind Within

Purpose, Community, and Beer: A FinCon 17 Adventure – Adventure Rich

What a Frugal Week at FinCon! – Picky Pinchers

Physician on FIRE also has his own recaps and links to 30+ other recaps if you just can’t get enough.

For my part, though, I want to go on a bit of a tangent.

Conversation Starters

I live in Washington, DC.

Here, when meeting someone new, the conversation almost always starts with either (a) “What do you do?” or (b) “Where are you from originally?”

At FinCon, the conversations started with either (a) “What do you write about?” or (b) “Why did you start?”

I expected the former (although I had not prepared an elevator pitch-type response), but the second was a surprise. The more conversations I engaged in, the more these questions melded with other thoughts already swirling in my mind.

It’s Not About Money.

This is the thought that everything melded into.

It’s not about money.

It is important to talk about money. Money matters. Money is important. We all want more money.

But when we stop and think about it, we want more money for a reason.

We think that more money will allow us to live a better life.

A Better Life

And, let’s be honest: more money would allow most of us to live a better life.

I don’t want to pretend that money doesn’t matter. But it is a tool. It is one piece of a larger puzzle.

We can’t let that truth slip from our minds. We can’t let the pursuit of better investments, higher earnings, or more frugality override the big picture goal of a better life.

Going Forward

With that in mind, here’s what you can expect from this blog for the rest of the year:

First, I will finish the How I Invest series that I started before FinCon. I will publish an article on my investment choices on Thursday and then an article on my investment timing decisions on Tuesday.

Then, I will publish an explanation of what you can expect from this blog in 2018 and a picture of the year-long experiment that I intend to run.

Then, I will stop publishing for the rest of the year.

(In case you’re wondering, “Stop writing when you start to build momentum” is not a lesson that they teach at FinCon. That’s my own brilliant move.)

I will use the last six weeks of the year to more fully design my 2018 plan and start writing content. I want to do a full redesign of the site and develop a logo and header. (If you know anyone who might be able to help, let me know!) I want to go through my current content and organize it in an understandable and navigable manner for new readers.

Mostly, though, I want to step back, see the big picture, and have some time to think. 

Keep in Touch!

In the meantime, I will be available on twitter @mattlanewrites and by email:

I will start back up with the blog on January 2, 2018, and go back to publishing every Tuesday and Thursday.

Anyway, thank you all for reading and for the support. Check back next Thursday for more information on what to expect for 2018 (and to give your input on what you’d like to see!)

22 thoughts on “FinCon and a New Direction”

  1. At the point you stop writing for the year, will you have enough posts already written and queued to last through the end of 2017? Or will there it a silent period?

    We are a couple weeks ahead right now and working to fill up the schedule for the rest of the year. Since this tends to be a slow period in personal finance (people are spending rather than looking to save) we’ll drop to one post per week. That will help stretch things out.
    Brad – recently posted…6 Important Lessons For Starting a Business You Need To KnowMy Profile

    1. I’m going to have a silent period. I had a slight backlog at one point, but burned through it during a busy period at work and had fallen off of my normal posting schedule before FinCon. Dropping to one post per week probably would have been better for traffic and holding momentum, but I liked the idea of a clean slate and having time without writing responsibilities to plan.

      Thanks for stopping by, Brad!
      Matt recently posted…FinCon and a New DirectionMy Profile

  2. Nooooooo don’t stop. I look forward to each of your posts. Each one is inspiring educational or both. You get it. It’s not about the money but how we can use it to fuel our wants and needs. You said it above so well. Enjoy your break. Looking toward to your plan and new posts in January.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Jason. I plan to bring inspiration and education to my 2018 project, so I hope you’ll enjoy and get some value out of it. I would say I will see you then, but I’m sure I will show up in your comments between now and January.
      Matt recently posted…FinCon and a New DirectionMy Profile

  3. Hey Matt, thanks for sharing your thoughts going forward. It will be good to re-charge and get things in place for the new year.

    I’d be happy to help on the web development side of things. is a good resource. For a logo and header, I got mine off fiverr, but now that I’m better at design, it’s not too difficult to make one up (also try googling free logo design…)

  4. I think that’s great, Matt, that you have a vision for your blog that you want to pursue and you’re going to take the time to work on the vision. I plan on taking the second half of December off, but not necessarily for productivity purposes. I have a fair amount of Christmas themed posts, though, and will probably do a bit of updating and republishing.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…State of the Blog: October 2017My Profile

  5. Hey Matt – when my Father-in-Law passed away earlier this year I took a step back from the writing and it’s been great for me. I’ve been able to think more about what I want from my own blog moving forward and have also done a lot of behind the scenes work (I deleted about 50 posts and have been cleaning up what’s left).

    Best of luck to you and Optimize Your Life! And by the way, Mystery Money Man did my logo for me and was great to work with – shoot him a message.
    Ty Roberts recently posted…Don’t Kill Your Golden GooseMy Profile

  6. I think I need to find more of the “money isn’t everything” people if I go next year. I keep reading these recaps with that same amazing takeaway. And it’s one I agree with whole heartedly, but didn’t necessarily draw from the conference.

    It’s smart to take time to get organized. I will miss reading your stuff while you’re gone, though!
    Femme Frugality recently posted…Disney on Ice Presents Frozen: ReviewMy Profile

    1. I think part of it is that I went in questioning the big picture already and debating whether I wanted to keep writing. Relatedly, I skipped all of the sessions that talked about how to make more money or get more followers or build a bigger email list. That all probably contributed.

      Thank you for the kind words.
      Matt recently posted…How I Invest – InvestmentsMy Profile

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