This is FinCon week! FinCon is a conference where a bunch of money nerds get together to talk about finances and drink beer, mostly at the same time. This year, the big show is in Orlando.
In celebration of FinCon, 1500 Days takes a little diversion this week. Today’s post is meant for attendees. I’ll teach you to make new friends at the conference. Tuesday through Friday, I’ll be featuring other bloggers in the form of my 10 Questions series.
And readers, if you’re near Orlando and would like to chat for a spell, give me a shout out.
How To Make New Friends
The best part about FinCon is the community. As great as the conference is, it doesn’t even last one week. Therefore, your mission in Orlando is to get lasting value by making new friends (aka networking).
I know what you’re thinking:
I’m an introvert!
Crowds are terrifying!
People scare me!
Hey, me too. If you meet me and I seem extroverted, I’m putting on a really good act!
Coming out of your shell is going to take some work, but trust me, it will be worth it. To help you out, I present to you my best tips for becoming a FinCon extrovert.
Tip 1: Plan
The FinCon site has a list of all conference attendees. Review it and figure out who you’d like to meet. Make contact through the offficial FinCon app (search in your app store for FinCon):
May I buy you a coffee tomorrow morning?
When you do meet, be strategic with conversations by doing your homework. Instead of a mundane conversation, research your new friend’s blog or podcast. Instead of opening up with:
It sure is humid in Orlando, eh?
I read your article about saving on travel hacking and really appreciated it!
Your new friend will be impressed and the conversation will be much more productive.
Tip 2: Smile
Imagine that you’re walking through the FinCon hotel and you see two other attendees; one is wearing a scowl and the other is sporting a huge smile. Which one is more approachable? The smiling one of course! Happiness reduces intimidation and invites conversation. Turn that frown upside down!
Tip 3: Offer To Help
At the New Orleans edition FinCon, conference founder Philip Taylor said something amazing. It went like this:
Ask others what you can do to help them.
I encourage you to try this out. When you meet someone, ask them what you can do for them. I’ve practiced this ever since and folks are genuinely grateful for the gesture. It’s also led to some wonderful collaboration.
Tip 4: Stay Within Your Circles
Of course you want to have a deep conversation with Mr. Money Mustache, Pat Flynn, and J. Money. So does everyone else! Don’t be afraid to say “Hi!” to your favorite blogging superstar (I guarantee that they are all nice people), but be respectful of their time. A better strategy is to talk to people with audiences that are similar in size to your own.
Tip 5: Talk To Me!
Introverts unite! Let’s get through this thing together! I need all of the help that I can get. If you see a goofy looking guy wearing shirts with dinosaurs (and carrying plastic dinosaurs), come up and have a chat. Unlike the dinosaurs, I won’t bite.
See You In Orlando?
FinCon is a wonderful conference, but to get the most out of it, you’re going to have to come out of your shell. My mission for you is to make three new friends in Orlando. When the conference is over, follow up. Some of our best work happens when we leverage the strengths of others.
Now tell me, what can I do to help you?
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
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