That’s the word that comes to mind as I reflect on my first in-person FinCon experience. I saw many creators from different walks of life, disciplines, and backgrounds, all in the same space. All with a similar goal to teach, learn, educate, and inspire on the topic of personal finance. But the specific event, held at FinCon, that gave me the vocabulary, the feeling, and the magic of community was the Plutus Awards. Hosted by the Debt Free Guys, the Plutus awards were compared in passing to the “Oscars of personal finance”. If you have a blog, a podcast, a youtube channel, or even posted personal finance-related content on social media you want to be recognized at the Plutus awards.
My favorite moments included seeing some of my favorites get their awards. Kiersten and Julien of Rich and Regular, and Jannese Torres of Yo Quiero Dinero, people whom I’ve followed and watched their journey, won multiple awards. I remember scrolling through social media afterward to see a message of inspiration from Jannese encouraging her audience to take that crazy risk and start that podcast or blog because she didn’t expect to be honored twice with awards when she started hers. I’d be lying if I said that in reading that message I wasn’t inspired immediately to record what would be an episode of a new podcast.
Another moment that stood out to me was during a skit where one of the hosts was talking to his fairy godmother about wanting to save the world. The response from the fairy godmother was something to the effect of we can’t save the whole world alone, but by doing our small part collectively we can all save the world together. That message hit hard for me because while I create inclusive content that everyone can learn from I was trying to create an audience of everyone instead of niching down into an audience–a community– that understands and can relate to me. That message hit home for me and let me know that my message can be so much more impactful if it were directed and intended for a specific audience while contributing to the personal finance community as a whole.
In the many conversations I’ve had since the event, I’ve stated the following: You don’t understand the word community until you are part of one. That I thought I knew what it meant until I could feel the energy and enthusiasm of people who shared my interest and passion for financial education.