Kate, where have you been?
I was quiet in the past couple of months. But in the background, serious work has been going on.
Work powered by an extreme sense of motivation and inspiration. I finally took a look at the blog’s SEO strategy. I finished my About and Contact pages. Check them out – they are finally something I’m proud of.
Where does all the excitement come from, you would ask. Didn’t I love the Start, the but dreaded the following through? Well, there was that. But then I went to the FIWE conference (Financial Independence Week Europe) and everything changed.
The FIWE Conference
Emma and Robert from What Life Could Be started the FIWE conference in 2016. Since then a bunch of Personal Finance aficionados joined and turned it into a yearly event. It spanned across 3 days with extra 3 days for hardcore enthusiasts – FIWE Extra.
People from the community gave presentations, we did yoga together, had lunch, dinner, drank beer, explored Budapest, and talked about all things Life and Finance.
Workshops and presentations
The conference schedule was a mix between presentations and interactive workshops. My favourite are:
- The 1 Million $ Strategy FIRE Plan
- How to Be Happy, or Actionable Summary of “The Science of Wellbeing” Course
- Why FI Might Be the Best and Worst Idea Ever
- Making Money Online
- Panel Discussion: What’s FIRE Really Like?
More about the group
- 48 participants, with 5 kids in tow
- Exact 50/50 split between repeat and new participants
- 16 women, 32 men
- Countries of origin:
- Germany: 9
- Hungary: 7
- Romania: 3
- UK: 3
- 2 participants each from Austria, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Spain
- 1 participant each from Belgium, Bulgaria (that would be me 🐒), Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine, USA
- Countries of residence:
- Germany: 13
- Hungary: 8
- Austria: 7
- Romania: 4
- UK: 3
- 2participants each living in Croatia, Malta, Switzerland
- 1 participant each living in Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel, Serbia, Spain, Thailand
Meet the Bloggers
I met many of the FI bloggers at FIWE – Sonia from Money For The Modern Girl (but guys can also read it ;), Patrick from DividendCake, Emma and Robert from What Life Could Be, Will and Fog from Los Revisionistas, the German Mr Money Mustache Florian Wagner from Geldschnurrbart, Peter from HaltCatchFire and many more!
Conference from the people for the people
Let me tell you – that was a blast of a conference! The organisers thought of every single detail, from the venue, the food to the additional activities such as morning yoga, jogging, and all the activities in the FIWE Extra which I, unfortunately, didn’t stay for. The communication was timely and spot on.
The best of all – we, the participants took an active role in the conference. We voted for the available presentations, and choose our own food choices. I felt like this conference is from the people for the people. We filled our minds and souls with inspiration instead of bags full of merchandise.
The FIWE was so successful that smaller, local conferences are starting to pop up around Europe – check some of the events on the European Financial Independence Hub.
It’s hard to reproduce all the good moments, but I will say one:
If you have the chance, go to the conference next year. – Kate App
Life after the FIWE Conference
I met many amazing people in Budapest. Now, more than a month after FIWE, I have 4 ongoing activities:
- once in a week Mastermind group. We are 5 and we talk about our goals, challenges, and keep each other accountable for #thanksMastermind
- once a month private sync up with a participant to work out our side hustle and passion projects concepts
- once in a month call with a bunch of kick-ass ladies to support each other in our entrepreneurial pursues
- The Science of Wellbeing course on Coursera a.k.a Happiness course – I can highly recommend it!
It sounds like a lot. But this is all I have been wanting all this time – like-minded people to support and empower each other. I had my trouble with keeping my motivation and not seeing where it’s all going.
I created and lived my empowerment ritual but I often felt like a juggler at a circus – if only one ball fell off, I would drop all the other balls. Indeed my empowerment ritual destabilised during a period of increased workload.
The magic of the community
Now after FIWE I feel supported by a whole network of people. Just when I start to get lost and demotivated the next group call comes up and I have to prepare and report on my goals. I hear something amazing a person is doing, or we share a common goal – and BUM! I am all excited and engaged.
External vs internal motivation
This led me to think about external vs internal motivation – what’s really better? If you are primarily externally motivated, is this so bad? Aren’t we all wired to be a part of a tribe? To keep each other’s backs so we can escape that tiger and continue to evolve?
What good is a single individualist alone in the jungle (of modern life)? And who’s entirely internally motivated? Can you live and work in isolation?
It’s all good as long as I as an externally-motived person know how to create the environment around myself to get me going. I’d say:
Interdependence is the new Independence. – Kate App
As a conclusion
To wrap it all up: If you are behind on your (financial) goals, or feel uninspired – lookout for like-minded people. Go out to a meetup, make an attempt for a real face2face connection.
Commenting on your favourite blogs and following your favourite youtube channels is one thing. Meeting the real people behind them is a whole different. Engage!
The human beings on the other side of the computer screen never cease to amaze me. Why only live my life if I can learn and get inspired by the paths and experiences of all of humanity?!
A special note: the official part of the conference concluded with a Workshop: FIWE Takeaways, Action Plan and Connect. Usually, after long days of engaging conversations, your mind is already on the flight back home or overloaded with information.
The final session of FIWE was exactly for that – to note down the topics we’d like to research, the action points we want to take. On top of that to enforce the interconnection, we could see the other participants’ action points and give advice or put our name next to theirs: Hey I want to work in parallel with you on this. Let’s combine forces on that!
Thanks to the person who facilitated the session – it really took the FIWE conference message home!