When I first started this blog, I did not have a good sense of where I wanted to go with it. I was just so fired up about getting the message of personal finance out to the veterinary community. I figured that blogging would be the best medium for me to use my voice.
Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
It didn’t take much time before I realized that this was going to require a LOT of work. The technical aspects of blogging. The time required to write, which I have learned is a muscle that must be used on a regular basis in order to improve. Reaching out to those who can share their stories, since I’m pretty sure no one wants to just hear about my own journey. Reaching out to those that are more experienced in this blogging space, so that I had some direction. And of course, reaching out to my audience, which was pretty close to zero when I first launched the blog in April.
It wasn’t just a matter of writing up some blog posts and hoping that someone would read it. Even if they read it, would it resonate? Would it compel the reader to actually want to learn more about personal finance? Would they want to share it with others? I’m not sure I’m succeeding on any of these fronts, but I hear that this sort of thing takes time, so I’m being as patient as I can be (which is hard, because I tend to be an impatient person).
What I keep thinking to myself is that I could have used a lot of this information a LONG time ago. During vet school would have been really helpful, for instance. When I got my first job out of school would have been helpful too. Oh, and getting married and having three kids…that’s when the whole personal finance thing became vitally important to me. All sorts of financial obligations started to demand a lot of attention. And it got to a point where I said enough….I need to learn about this because no one is going to care more about my money than ME.
It turns out that how you handle your money makes a big impact on how you live your life now, and how you will live your life going forward.
Early on in my blogging, I was encouraged by others to attend a conference called FinCon. It’s tagline: Where Money and Media Meet. It’s where people like me, so-called “money nerds” in the media space (blogs, podcasts, YouTube), gather to support one another as we collectively talk about personal finance with our respective audiences. Yes, there is actually a conference for money nerds. Until recently, I had no idea that such a thing even existed. But I decided to take a chance and check it out. I knew that not going would result in a lot of “what if” conversations with myself.
Unlike Mr. RLDVM, I can’t just leave for a conference at the drop of a hat. I’ve done this so few times since becoming a mom that it was actually really stressful getting everything ready before I left. I had to prepare the house for my in-laws, who graciously flew in to watch my kids. I had ensure that the fridge was adequately stocked and attempted to get some meal planning done. There is always the never-ending laundry, where my goal was to make sure there were enough clean clothes so that another load didn’t have to get done until I got back. Two pages of instructions were typed out to ensure that the adults knew when and where the kids were supposed to be on which days. I looked over our financials and made sure that all the bills were getting paid on time. Then there was the actual packing that needed to be done, although this part was easier because I only needed to worry about packing for myself.
The entire time, I kept wondering if it was going to be worth all this stress and extra money. It’s so easy to go into default mode, to do what you’ve always done because of inertia.
In case you’re wondering, I have made exactly $0 thus far with my endeavor. In fact, it’s in the minus category by quite a bit because I have spent money to put up this website and attend a conference that was a plane ride away. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m okay with this. I figure if this is meant to be successful, then I’ll eventually find myself in positive territory. I don’t spend a lot of money on myself, so I am more than happy to potentially lose some money and see where this all goes. If nothing else, this has already forced me to learn a ton of things that I didn’t know previously. I’ve also met some great people through this vibrant community.
The conference was a whirlwind event, full of enthusiastic folks from all over the world. I met a number of bloggers and podcasters that I’ve read and listened to, and it was exciting to meet these people that have made a difference in my life in person. I made sure to go outside my comfort zone and approach people, even though this is definitely not in my nature to do so. Seeing a crowd of people actually gives me a good bout of anxiety, but I told myself to be grown up about this and let loose a little. I also met another veterinarian who also shares this vision of helping our fellow colleagues navigate the world of personal finance. It’s a journey that I’m hoping to share with all of you.
So now that it’s over, I am feeling energized, excited to grow this little blog and see where this leads.
A big reason I wanted to write this blog post was to share some other wonderful personal finance blogs and podcasts that you might find helpful. Maybe you’re looking for other sources of information and inspiration. It’s all about what connects with you, so here is a list of blogs and podcasts that were nominated for the Plutus Awards, which are the equivalent of the Oscars for the FinCon folks. This was the 9th year that these awards have been handed out, and if you look in the archives, you’ll find even more resources that are waiting to be discovered.
I hope that you’re able to find a community out there that will encourage you to not only learn, but grow within the personal finance space. It is incredibly empowering to feel like you have control over your own money, versus feeling like your money controls you. If you have any resources that you would like to share, make sure you comment below!