Category Archives: Events

FinCon 2016

Went to San Diego recently for FinCon 2016.  It’s a financial blogger conference, of which I was one of the first financial bloggers online!

This blog originally started just to track my finances and what I made.  As the numbers got larger, more and more people would just copy everything I did which got frustrating, so I stopped.

However there is now a huge financial blogger community (FinCon this year was 1,000+ attendees) which is neat.

Here’s some of my memories from it:

Ate at El Puesto (twice)!  They even has filet mignon tacos!
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Took at ride in Pat’s Tesla X.  That thing is so fast. Even though it’s a 7-seater family SUV, it can beat any Ferrari or Lamborghini to 60mph!
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There were tons of cool yachts right outside the hotel:
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….may have (or may have not) snuck onto a few of them:
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I liked it when people organized private dinners outside the conference because it made meeting other people much easier and in a quieter and more intimate setting:
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The hotel was great and had balconies and amazing views:
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Photobombed by seagull:
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Went with Patrick, Noah, Jenn, Jordan to a cool taco spot in a hipster-ish area of San Diego and also coffee shop:
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Being a rebel in the gym. Plz don’t rat me out to the police ;)
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Another private dinner:
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Hung with Steve a bunch:
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A group of us took a trip to In-N-Out Burger with Jordan and a couple other peeps! I got a double with cheese and fries.  I got hungry just typing that :)
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Did this cool escape room thing!
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Hahaha…..Noah in his room prepping for his keynote speech.  He gave away $8,000 in cash + lottery tickets during the speech!
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Rented bikes and went for a quick bike ride + beer:
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The weather and sunsets over the San Diego Marina were ridiculously pretty:
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Expert Breakout Sessions:
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Steve’s session:
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Pre Noah’s Keynote with PT:
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Lol @ Noah sitting on the ground before waiting to go up:
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Noah gave literally the best keynote speech I’ve ever seen!  Really stepped it up on this one.  People laughing the whole time, $8,000 + lotto tickets given out to crowd, great message, lots of concrete examples, and super funny!
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Good times!

SF in August

For most of August I took a trip to San Francisco:

1.) Because it’s currently crazily hot in Austin and my brown skin can’t take it. SF weather is perfect for me.
2.) Because SF is the tech hub of the world.  Nothing even remotely compares.

So since I forget everything within a week, here’s some random pics from the trip so Future-Neville can remember it!

First stopped in San Diego:
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Then arrived in SF:sf2

Sid The Dog picked me up:
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Hung out at TheHustle offices:
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Bought a scooter for the trip to ride around Glen Park:
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Even had a little workout station at the house:
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Took a few hikes.  Saw a dude selling refreshments on top of one of them!
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Made a PitBullBurrito:
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The WeWork at Civic Center was home to several work sessions:
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Held an office hours from a little room there:
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Gus the Dog:
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….helping me write a story:
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Yummm:
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Met up with Chandler Bolt:
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This pup!
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Photobombed:
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Happy to go on a boat!
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….then realized he hates boats:
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Out on the Bay:
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Drive-by of Alcatraz:sf20

Sam docking:
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Classy boat dog:
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Boat Dog at Angel Island:
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Under the Golden Gate:
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Dinner with Jordan Harbinger, Noah Kagan & Neville:
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Dinner….we all ordered the same salmon dish!
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Boat:
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Golden Gate Entrepreneur:
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Austin friend JR:
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Lunch with some entrepreneur peeps:
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Had ice cream made with liquid nitrogen:
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….and I totally ate it all!
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Latenight WeWorking:
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Went to the Founders Fund offices to hang:
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….the lunch was awesome:
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Blanket Bull:
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Sid “guarding” my room and guitar:
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Had Soylent’s new coffee version…was actually pretty good:
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Some drunk guy bumped into our group, made awkward conversation, then left.  No biggie.  5 min later waitress brought us 25 shots…..that dude bought them for us for some reason.  Weird!
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Working out of Facebook:sf40

Facebook lobby:
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Facebooking….but the productive kind:
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Drank Facebook coffee.  I’m 98% sure it was just regular coffee :)sf43

Upstairs at FB overlooking the other campus across the highway:sf44

Hangin with Stepan at FB:
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The FB cafeteria:sf46

“What is this….a building for ants!?!”
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FB HACK:
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PitBull Bookstand:
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The Apple Store at Union Square is one of the best designed and architected retail spaces I’ve ever seen!
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Rented a drop-top for cruising around the peninsula:sf50

Top up:
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Hanging out with Steve Chou in Mountain View:sf52

Saw my buddy Ryan Holiday talk at Google:sf53

Google Nev:
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Good times!

Saw Madeline Albright speak

My current interest in politics: 0.0000001%

I’m sure that will change throughout life, but currently it’s super low.

HOWEVER…..I do find the process of running a campaign fascinating.  It involves:

  • Fundraising hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Forming alliances.
  • Playing strategies.
  • A bunch of shady “scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-your-back” deals happen.

Plus I think this is what super rich people do.

It seems when each economic class moves upwards, they discover something:

Poor: “Oh wow! I can learn valuable skills that will make me more money.”

Middle Class: “Oh wow! I can create my own income and don’t have to work for somebody else.”

Rich: “Oh wow! I can actually switch out the people who make the rules.”

For this reason I went to go see Madeline Albright (former secretary of state) speak at a private house.  I had to pay money to attend:

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Visiting an offshore oil rig (on land)

I visited an offshore oil rig my dad helped design, it was pretty cool getting to actually go on one (normally it’s NOT a thing visitors get to do)!

These are huge billion+ dollar projects with thousands of parts from hundreds of different suppliers.  Cool too see projects of this scale come together:

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Something I found interesting:
To get this platform built and setup costs about 1 billion dollars.  It can pump roughly $5,000,000/day in oil.

Assuming there’s only 300 full-production days per year, that’s still $1.5billion/year for 10+ years.  This rig will probably scrounge up $10 – 20 BILLION in oil over the years.

Wow….oil ain’t a bad business!!

LA, India, Japan

Hamma yamma.

I was out of town for about a month starting Dec. 29th, with a ski trip to Vail right before that.

It was Los Angeles for New Year’s, india for a few weeks, then Japan for 8 days.

Unfortunately I’m forgetful and won’t remember any of it, so I’ll post certain pictures here, and in the future when I see a few pics, all the memories will flood back!  Hooray for having a blog!

I’m literally making this post whilst at a SuperBowl party right now, so it’ll be kinda lame:

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A Kopywriting Konference

So this past weekend I was at a conference called “Titans of Direct Response.”

As you may know, the copywriting industry had some of it’s infancy in the the direct-mail industry.

Back in the days before the el interneto, people would send physical mail.  So it was hella expensive to reach a large audience.

So if you wanted to broadcast your message to a large audience in the 1900’s, you could either:

  • Advertise on the TV.
  • Advertise on the radio.
  • Advertise in magazines.
  • Advertise through the mail.

There were a lot of advantages to selling through direct mail.  For one you could TEST different advertising messages to smaller samples, like 1,000 people get mail with pictures, 1,000 people get mail without pictures, and then you can compare which set generated more sales.

The reason copywriters became so crucial back then, was it was EXPENSIVE AS HELL to test this stuff.

Not to mention back in the day it wasn’t so simple to get 1,000’s of letters printed up (today you can literally do it from a desktop printer and a laptop, but not back then).

So it may cost you $2,000+ to send out a single test to 1,000 people.  Since so much money was on the line each time, it was crucial to have someone experienced in sales copy to be writing these letters so you could at least make your money back.

 

…..well the conference I went to this past weekend in Stamford, CT. had all the famous veterans from that industry.

What’s cool is those guys who cut their teeth on direct mail for years generally ALSO kill it when they move to the internet.

The one’s who’ve been around for a long time know that whether it’s direct mail, email, radio, or TV….it’s all about the human psychology behind the purchase.  So they’re adaptable.

So some of the biggest guys in the industry were there including Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Joe Sugarman (I’ve read the books of every single one of these guys).

Price to get in: $3,500.
Chartered cars: $400
Hotel Room: $400
Flight: $500
Lessons Learned: Priceless.

Ripped-off joke from MasterCard: 100%   :-P

NOW HERE’S NEVILLE’S PERSONAL THEORY ON GOING TO CONFERENCES:
You can pretty much watch ALL of the speakers I saw on YouTube for free.  In fact you can probably get MORE information from each speaker for free on the internet.

So why go?

You don’t need to pay $5,000+ to read/listen/watch these guys speak from a stage.  However it’s NEVER about watching the speakers on stage that makes a conference worth it.

It’s about the friends you make at the conference.
It’s about the small connections you make that might turn into something more.
It’s about the “oh yeah I know that guy” conversations you have after the conference.
It’s about getting to hang out with the bigshots in the room in a casual environment.
(And my number one….): It’s about taking hella notes in the conference and then getting to read them later!

I. Love. Taking. Notes.

Mainly because I suck at remembering things.  Like, I really suck.
So taking notes is the only way I remember stuff.

In a month I’ll look back at my notes and allllll the information will come flooding back.  But without the notes my memory is probably 98% erased from the conference.

So my notes are the most prized possession I have from the conference.  What’s funny is that MY notes may not actually mean much to YOU.  But to me they resonate.

So I’d like to share my notes right here.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get something out of them.

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

.zip download of 26 jpg images
-or-
.pdf download

Download the Transcribed notes if you can’t read my handwriting:
.pdf download
Word download

(Special thanks to David Lowry at kickball.com for getting these transcribed)!

So obviously one of the main reasons to attend a conference is to mingle with other like-minded nerds.  My friend Ryan did something cool whilst at the Titans of Direct Response conference:

He hosted a fancy dinner at The Capital Grille for 30 people.

He took care of the entire bill, and kind of “moderated” the dinner by assigning seats with people he thought would be good to meet each other.  He also made everyone go around the room and take 30 seconds to introduce themselves, and tell people what help they need.

I thought this would be super-annoying but it actually turned out to be pretty cool.  You got to hear a brief blurb about everyone’s companies, and they get to pose one question they need help with.

Often it was something like “We need help finding more people who do Google AdWords.”  Almost immediately several people would chime in saying, “Hey I know the right guy for you.”

Instant connections made!

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

The highlight was Jay Abraham was at the same restaurant having dinner with his family, and he stopped by to say a few words and even bought the entire group bottles of champagne!

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

Incidentally Jay Abraham was the author of one of my favorite business books ever (Ask Noah, I mention this book all the damn time).  So I brought my well-used copy of the book along to the conference hoping Jay Abraham would sign it.

Success!  Clearly excited for him to autograph my book:

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

titans-joe-and-jay

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

An interesting side note about this little inscription.  He wrote it with a regular pen on the inside cover whilst standing up.  This means it was VERY difficult to write on since it isn’t a hardback cover.

And it took him quite a while to write out this inscription.  Halfway through I told him, “You know…..I kind of just expected you to write “Jay” on the inside, you don’t have to write much more.”

He responded with something like: “You know, I could easily just write something short, but if I take 30 extra seconds to sign this properly, you’ll much more likely remember this forever.”

(that was paraphrased based off my poor memory).

It’s kind of cool that the most in-demand guy in the room was the one who took the MOST time.

Notice he even wrote out “Kopywriting career”!!!

Welp….that was my experience at Titans Of Direct response.  If you have the patience to read through my poorly-scribbled 26 pages of notes, be my guest!

You can download the notes here:

Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

.zip download of 26 jpg images

-or-

.pdf download

Download the Transcribed notes if you can’t read my handwriting:
.pdf download
Word download

(Special thanks to David Lowry at kickball.com for getting these transcribed)!

Sincerely,
Neville Medhora – Future Titan