This title might be a slight exaggeration.

Thank you to the great fans of Paychecks & Balances and the illustrious P&B Family. We were nominated for the 10th Annual Plutus Awards’ Best Millennial or Generation Z Blog and Podcast of the Year. We took home the hardware for Best Millennial or Gen Z Blog, complete with a celebratory stage walk.

First, THANK YOU for the votes! It was cool seeing so many other nominees that were guests on the show like The Budgetnista, Rich & Regular, HerFirst100k, FIRE Drill Podcast, B****es Get Riches, and many more.

Second, as I have promised our fans for years, I plan to let these accolades immediately go to my head and forget where I came from. It was definitely nice knowing you all over the years but no more fake-humble acts. It’s time for me to ascend to a new level of haughtiness. The details of which will be forthcoming. Until further instructions are provided please begin all introductions to the smooth sounds of P&B with “The AWARD WINNING Paychecks & Balances…”

FinCon: Where Money and Media Meet

In my 30s… Ok, in my late 30s, I had a revelation leading up to FinCon19. Rich originally introduced me to the conference in 2016. I protested (it wasn’t in my budget) but ultimately attended. I was on campus for approximately 37-minutes before I saw a return on my investment.

While FinCon markets itself as “Where Money and Media Meet,” the greater takeaway for me has always been the community. I’ve attended a lot of conferences in my career. Most leave me depleted and defeated. Every time I leave FinCon I’m excited and already looking forward to the next 12-months. What I witnessed in those first 37-minutes in 2016 was a network that lifted my spirits, compelled me to move forward with my business goals, and held me accountable, yet supportive, when I fell short.

For P&B, that excitement comes from FinCon (and Podcast Movement). For you, it might be a Facebook Group, Company Retreat, Networking Event or other community (that you establish?).

Set yourself up for success! Then go out and surround yourself with successful individuals. I waited far too long to do this for myself. Or, as my father advised when I was far too young to appreciate the weight of his wisdom, “Use your 20s to learn, your 30s to apply, and your 40s to teach, mentor, and pay it forward.”

Get comfortable striving for greatness. Several successful guests explain that they wouldn’t be where they are today without surrounding themselves with the appropriate community, mentors, coaches, or network. Don’t underestimate the influencers in your own life. The older I get the more I try to surround myself with as many positive people as possible. I respectfully remove the negatives like cancer.

Aint nobody got time for that.

Lessons Learned and Calls to Action

With the experience of four FinCons under our belt, this year I went in with no Action Items. Our 4th year felt like we were truly owning our Senior Millennial status.

It was fun seeing first-timers running around bright-eyed and bushy-tailed burdened with to-do list growing by the minute as we calmly strolled the hallways. FinCon19 reaffirmed that we still have a lot to accomplish. Yet, I don’t feel overwhelmed like FinCons past. I feel motivated. With the awards, I feel validated.

With age, I have collected sufficiently more data points to compare myself against. By nature, I don’t measure myself against all the progress I make. Instead, I focus on all the areas where I failed. I’m exhausted because the finish line in my mental rat race is always the starting gun to the next race, hustle, or chase.

Rise & Grind, I guess?

I need to stop being so hard on myself. I am one of my worst critics, so I don’t need haters. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. I’ll make plenty more. In some ways, these lessons are why I am where we are today. My inability to give-up and pick myself back up even when I was kicked, pushed, or knocked down is a good, albeit personally exhaustive quality. There has to be a balance. And, it’s my responsibility to get better about finding that balance. Luckily, I’m getting some help in that area.


I’m not sure what Paychecks & Balances will look like in the long-term, but I know exactly what it needs to do in the short-term. We have proof of what hard work and dedication can do for a brand right in our own subject matter experts. “It takes dedication and discipline to execute and everyone doesn’t have that.”

Lets out-execute the competition.

Calls to Action

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by FinCon, and, well, life. A couple of ProTips and productivity hacks that help me focus my various to-do lists and Action Items. I currently use three high-level categories:

  • 2 Minute / Quick Wins – these are items, emails, or action items I can knock out quickly. List 1 – 5 things you want to accomplish that you can do first thing in the morning, before work, or during a lunch break. For instance, fire off all those email-contacts and “thank you” to those business cards you collected (and likely already put away). Everyone will get caught up in the real world. Keep the momentum going while the excitement is fresh on both sides!
  • Money Makers – or put your HIGH PRIORITY items here. I went into FinCon hyper-focused this year: Revenue Generation, Affiliates and Network Partners were my high-priorities. It took me four FinCons to realize I will always leave with more to do than I came in with. This list of items may take you a few weeks or months to work, but it should keep you focused. Stay motivated without getting overwhelmed, which is easier said than done. Therefore, this list should have deadlines, objectives, milestones and if you have a team, give them specifically measurable assignments. For example, we typically work in Quarterly goals. Our team uses Slack, Trello and Google Drive for tracking. Our Action Items should see clear deliverables every 3-months. If you don’t have a team-member, find an accountability partner by joining like-minded individuals on Facebook or on your social media of choice. Remember, your goal is to make progress. You don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
  • Miscellaneous – This is my catchall queue of low-priority items. I would like to get them done but they won’t make or break the brand. Frankly, I probably won’t have time to get to this list. And, that’s fine.

Thank You to the Fans Past, Present, and Future

With a conference attendance of over 1,500, you’re bound to have a lot of conversations. There are certain points where you’ll get stopped to talk every two feet. It’s easy to forget the faces but the memories stick with you.

One such conversation that sticks out in my mind–although the actual face and name of the person is a blur–is how I managed to produce anywhere between 52 to 156 blogs a year? Naturally, I’ll add to our course library on this topic soon. But, the immediate answer is much simpler.

It is easy for me to produce this much content, podcast, blogs, and more, because 1) it’s my passion, so it doesn’t feel like work; and 2) I assume every time I hit “send” no one will read, listen, or pay attention. In my mind, every piece of content I have ever produced on the internet will be my last, and even if it isn’t, no one will read it anyway, so it doesn’t matter. It is this accidental humbleness that has allowed me to be part of several businesses and websites, and ideally, one might actually succeed in making me wealthy (Paychecks & Balances, LLC., fingers crossed!).

For this reason and more, we are each grateful, if not outright surprised, for every click, vote, comment, Re-Tweet, 5-star review, or interaction you have with us on- and off-line. Until that stops, we will be here producing even more AWARD WINNING content we believe will help Millennials make money, save money, and get out of debt.

We highlight people like you in our Personal Finance section. Think you have a unique financial story? Send me a pitch here to reach thousands more with a possible feature on Paychecks & Balances.

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