The Power of Community

Like my Facebook Page to view all the fun photos from the conference.

Over the weekend I got up at 6am, stripped off my clothes/shoes for airport security, boarded an airplane and climbed into a cab with a maniac driver, all in an effort to attend the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago.

Was traveling, losing sleep and getting motion sickness worth it? Oh, yes! Without a doubt attending the conference was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

My mindset going into the weekend was completely business oriented, and I didn’t think I would have much personal enjoyment at all.

I expected to learn tips from all the great speakers and to hear stories from all the other writers but that was about all.

I completely underestimated the power of community and the impact that meeting someone face to face can have on a personal level. Companies and websites alike are made up of people, not robots.

Everyone has their own story, their own personality and their own view on life. It’s refreshing to be around people with the same interests and similar goals.

Sometimes even my own family doesn’t understand my views on money or finances. But becoming part of a community of financial bloggers silences the feelings that I’m weird or don’t fit in anywhere.

Feeling like I belong somewhere and having reassurance in the choice I made to start writing and building this blog has priceless value.

The time I missed sleeping, the money paid for the flight and hotel are all worth it (and so much more) when such amazing memories are made with people that completely understand and share the same passions as I do.

If you’re in a situation where you feel uncertain, alone or misunderstood I encourage you to find your community.

Whether it’s a wellness group that keeps you motivated to stay healthy, or a few frugal friends that help you stay on track towards financial goals, having an encouraging support system is very important.

I found out that I am not alone, and neither are you. That’s the power of community.

 

Volunteering Phils Friends

Volunteering for Phils Friends

Here’s a photo and a link to the video of a group of us volunteering for Phil’s Friends, an organization that brings hope and support to those affected by cancer.

 

 

 

 

Please read other testimonies from writers within the blogosphere:

FINCON11 Saved This Blog by TheJennyPincher

Ten Takeaways by Financially Consumed

Financial Blogging Conference 2011 by The Financialite

How to Handle Meeting Hundreds of Collegues by Consumerism Commentary

Moving Beyond Blogging by The Centsible Life

Steve Jobs and Learning to Seize the Day
How I Paid My Car Loan Off in Half the Time
About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and editor behind Careful Cents. She helps creative entrepreneurs make a living with their creations, and reach financial freedom through systems and financial organization. She’s been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed October 4, 2011, 9:40 am

    I can sense the honesty in your article. It really is inspiring to be surrounded by so many motivated people. From Phil’s Friends until the closing remarks, it was all super positive. It’s going to be difficult to top this next year!

    • Carrie October 4, 2011, 11:35 am

      I agree next year already has lots of anticipation and expectations awaiting it. This year’s conference was so uplifting and positive, I loved it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      PS your Ten Takeaways post is fantastic!

  • Travis @debtchronicles October 4, 2011, 10:37 pm

    I agree with you totally, Carrie. I left FINCON11 feeling like I am a part of something special. I feel like I have a support system of real friends out there on my journey to eliminate my debt. It was great to meet you!

    • Carrie October 5, 2011, 8:09 am

      Oh definitely, I’ve made some real friends for life. It was very nice meeting you guys too. Thanks for commenting

  • Peter October 8, 2011, 1:04 pm

    I agree that there really was a great sense of community at FINCON, people were all so friendly, eager to chat and learn. It was extremely motivating to meet so many like minded folks. I also think the Love Drop was an awesome event, I think it was important to set the precedent that the conference is not just about getting what we can for ourselves (knowledge, sponsors/etc), but more so about helping others along the way. By helping others – we help ourselves!

    • Carrie October 8, 2011, 9:28 pm

      I agree, making the contacts and seeing the sponsors and speakers is great but the important thing is volunteering and helping others. Thanks for commenting.