October 6, 2011, 6:00 am

What I Learned From Meeting 300 Cool People in One Weekend

by: MD    Category: Other Financial Articles
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Don’t worry this isn’t another recap of the Financial Blogger Conference. I wanted to share what I learned in general about attending conferences and meeting people. This past weekend I attended my first ever conference. I’ve always wanted to go to some sort of event where I could meet cool people from the blogging world. I just never got around to it. This weekend there was an event that I just couldn’t miss. I couldn’t miss this event so badly that I was willing to drive 9 hours from Toronto to Chicago. Yes, 9 loooonggggg hours!

What did I learn from meeting 300 (that number might be off) cool people in one weekend?

I like to really get to know people.

Before the conference I had gone traveling through Europe for a month. Between Europe and Chicago I think I set a record number for new friends in one month. If I never left home I would’ve never known that all of these cool people really existed.

During the weekend I didn’t bring any business cards with me to the conference because I didn’t want to sell you guys anything. I went to every event because I wanted to meet as many of you as possible. I find that everyone has a story and you never know who you can connect with. For example, Tom of Canadian Finance Blog, J. Money of Budgets Are Sexy, JD Roth of Get Richly, and I went for dinner on the last day. I’m pretty sure that ‘s not a group of people you see together everyday.

I would rather invest in an A team than an A idea.

Sure you need to have a great idea to build a solid business up. More important than an idea to me is the team behind the idea. More important is the team that’s going to implement this idea and see it through. I met many great teams and partners that I see with a bright future. These teams/partnerships (business partners and couples) are going to create great things for the world with their joint competencies.

 Some people speak better than they write.

I sometimes come off very poorly when I meet new people. Some bloggers come off very poorly when they write. In person I was impressed with how well many bloggers came off. Some bloggers were much cooler in person than they appear to be on their blogs. I guess it’s because not all of us can convey our emotions through writing.

Successful people are humble.

I met many successful bloggers that were very humble. I’m of the opinion that just because you get more blog hits than me it doesn’t mean that you’re better than me. It just means that you’re a better blogger than me. I’m 100% positive that there’s something I’m better than you at. The same goes for everyone reading this.

We can all help each other some way. A success financial blogger can be helped by a rookie fitness blogger when they want to get in shape (and vice versa). Just because you’re good in one area it doesn’t make you better than anyone.

Remarkable people stand up to the challenge.

I was totally impressed by how many people were going through their first ever speaking gig. You would’ve never guessed it was there first time if they never told you. For example, it was Pat Flynn’s first speaking gig and he can definitely make a career out of it. What it comes down to is that remarkable stand up to the challenge. The challenge for many was just to open up to complete strangers. This is simple for social butterflies, but not for those that are naturally shy.

Has there been a challenge that you wanted to stand up to lately? Go for it.

At the end of the day I highly recommend that you get into the habit of trying to meet others in your field. There’s so much that we can learn from basic interactions that its’s amazing we don’t take advantage of this more often.

What have you guys learned from attending conferences/public meet-ups?

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Comments

Having a decent idea with an A team is much better than having a great idea with an inexperienced manager.

Hey Martin!
besides my post from yesterday, I’d say that meeting people opens your mind to a whole new perception of things. Your ideas get confronted and you have the opportunity to think differently. This is why it is so amazing!

I try to challenge myself all the time. I am always setting new goals and reaching further. Unfortunately, I could not attend the conference this year. I hope to next year.

Great takeaways from the weekend. I agree that some people have a way with words (writing and speaking). It is interesting to think about how humble many of the successful bloggers are…

[…] 14. What I Learned From Meeting 300 Cool People in One Weekend @ TFB. […]

Nice takeaways indeed!

Thanks for sharing, glad you had an awesome time.

Mark

It was good to meet you at the conference Martin. I definitely enjoyed the experience a lot.

Just to clarify my last comment – by “experience”, I was referring to the conference. 🙂

It was great to meet you and I hope I was one of the cool people you met.

I have learned so much at various conferences. My main takeaway this time was to start capitalizing on the opportunities out there. My first action is working with Jesse Michelson to get a newsletter going.