I wanted to share a recording of a talk I'm giving lately at conferences and user groups during 2021. It's called Money is Undefined or Not an Object and I've just flipped the switch to make it Public on YouTube.
It's exactly 50 minutes long and shares everything I wish I knew years ago about managing my money. It's about financial independence. It's for people who, like me, grew up without anyone telling them how to build wealth. Who, like me, didn't really understand taxes or investments. It's oriented towards developers but also for anyone, really.
Why I did a talk on personal finance
In January, I asked people what kind of talk they'd prefer I give:
The majority votes went towards Personal Finance and Software Dev Career Progression, which I was happy about because that's the one I really wanted to do for the past two years or so.
The first version
I pitched the talk I had in my head for awhile to MDC 2021. I gave it in May. It went really well. I had all positive feedback after the conference.
Except, I wasn't happy with it. I wasn't happy with it because it wasn't done yet. I gave myself 4 weeks and I got something in for MDC. I was literally working on it 1 second before I joined the Zoom (and then ran into audio issues, of course).
I realized too late that this is not the kind of talk I've given before. It wasn't a technical overview, or a live coding session, or an info dump talk.
This talk is personal. It's my story. It's everything about me but from a financial lens. I talk about my career, my upbringing, my habits, my spending, it's all laid bare. And what I found was that I didn't understand my past as well as I thought. I constantly had to research my own backstory--talk to my grandparents, parents, or pull data out of my spending tool from years ago, or dig out old bank statements, to get the right numbers.
So I didn't tweet a link to the video after MDC. It remained unlisted on YouTube, technically accessible by attendees but we all know nobody really goes back to watch anything 😅
Why I kept it Unlisted
I decided I wanted to wait until I polished it up. I ended up spending half my summer leave, about 5 weeks, working on it. Adding things that should have been there initially. Cutting, adding, cutting again, ceaseless editing, until I got what I wanted across in a way I was happy with.
I'm still not 100% happy with it but it's done enough for now. I've probably spent 50+ hours on this talk and I don't plan to invest much more into it until I give it again. I gave the newest version of the talk at the Twin Cities .NET User Group in August. It was a resounding success. I've never had people email me after a talk before, this was a first.
However, I kept the recording Unlisted. I recorded a full version of the talk to pitch to conferences. So far, no one for the rest of 2021 has accepted the talk. I don't mind being rejected but this is a talk I plan to keep evergreen. I don't want to keep it under wraps just because I can't give it at a conference.
So with that in mind...
Why I'm now making it public
My brother recently got hired full-time as a developer, his first full-time position in tech since working at Starbucks since dropping out of and then finishing his associates degree. I sent him the talk.
This past Labor Day weekend, we were both up at my Nana's cabin. I was talking to him and asked if he liked the talk. He said he watched it twice, then afterwards set up his 401k to contribute 15% and opened his own Roth IRA account. Holy shit. My talk got my own brother to take action.
At that point, I realized I needed to make the talk public. If it could help another person take action, then by golly it needs to see the light of day.
Maybe I can't give it anywhere for the rest of 2021. That's okay. I'll keep pitching it because this talk won't get old, I'll always have something new to add for each passing year.
So enjoy it, folks. If you watch it, let me know what you thought.