For those of you who follow me on Twitter, it’s probably not surprising to see a post about stalkers. After all, @FrugalBeautiful and I have been talking about them for weeks. Our not-so-serious goal: To gain free flowers and the occasional random text message to make up for our lame/nonexistent dating lives. However, I never thought I would become a stalker myself.
Confession – I unsuccessfully stalked JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly for the duration of the Financial Blogger Conference.
When I found out JD Roth was speaking at FINCON11, I was thrilled. (Note: I will always refer to him by his full name because that’s what happens when people are amazing.) His blog was one of the first personal finance resources that ever got my attention. Here’s this regular guy who got into debt and managed to pull himself out, becoming mega successful along the way. Who wouldn’t want to pick the brain of such an amazing person?
Here’s how it went down:
Friday, September 30 11:35am
JD Roth is sitting in the hotel lobby typing away on his Macbook. Holy crap, I’m going to meet him! Oh, but he looks kind of busy. Knowing my luck, I’ll piss him off if I interrupt what he’s working on. I’ll go sit outside and compose myself.
I’m such a dork! I should have just talked to him when I had the chance. Now I’ll probably spend the whole weekend mad at myself.
Friday, September 30 11:45am
Just stood up to go back to the lobby in time to see JD Roth leave the hotel for lunch. He walked right past me, but obviously I wasn’t going to stop him when he’s trying to go somewhere. This is going to be harder than I thought.
Saturday, October 1 7:50am
OMG JD Roth is standing by the snack table and no one else is there! Oh, but I shouldn’t bother him. He’s going to speak in a little while and he’s probably concentrating on that.
Saturday, October 1 8:30am
JD Roth is speaking about telling stories to make your blog interesting. This is one of the reasons I love his blog, and one of the things I tend to do on my own site – I’d rather read a story than a bunch of boring BS any day.
Saturday, October 1 10:44am
Just passed JD Roth sitting in a chair outside the conference room. I opened my mouth to say something, but another blogger sat down beside him and started talking. Foiled again!
Saturday, October 1 6:12pm
Saw JD Roth in the lobby again but he was talking to a bunch of people. Why is this dude never by himself? Oh yeah, because he’s super cool.
Saturday, October 1 8:50pm
Other bloggers are now telling me every JD Roth sighting in hopes of helping me realize my dream. But then it seems dorky, so I make excuses why it isn’t a good time. Or I play it off, like “Oh, it’s fine. I’m sure I’ll run into him before the conference ends.” DORK.
Sunday, October 2 9:00am
JD Roth is by himself again. Sweet! Oh no, there’s Donna Freedman. Is she going to talk to him? Of course she is. Darn you, Donna! *shakes fist*
Sunday, October 2 12:20pm
JD Roth is in the lobby. The conference is over, NO ONE is around – this is it! Oh, until that guy showed up and started talking to him. And now there are like 4 people standing around. And now he’s leaving. NEXT YEAR, JD ROTH! NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What does this have to do with anything?
It may not be obvious from my recent posts, but this blog is about admitting (and recovering from) financial mistakes. And my weekend of stalking demonstrates the EXACT mindset that got me into debt in the first place.
People in debt may think about taking action. We may talk about it with other people. We might even write slightly deranged journal entries about it. But even when we’re presented with opportunities to do exactly what we have been imagining, we make excuses.
But I tried to reach a goal – I just didn’t make it. At least I tried, right?
JD Roth was, of course, a very popular guy at the Financial Blogger Conference. When someone has been blogging as long as he has, it’s natural that other bloggers would be dying to meet him.
That doesn’t mean it was impossible for me to talk to him.
I could have waited while he was talking to someone else. I could have spent more time walking up and saying hello and less time freaking out inside my head. I could have sent a tweet asking him if he could meet me at a specific time and place. But I didn’t do any of those things.
Why? Because I was scared. Yeah, I said it. I was terrified of what I would find to say to someone I admire so much, especially since I’m a blogging noob and a financial disaster and JD Roth is all cool and debt-free and could blog about tree limbs if he felt like it.
What are YOU afraid of?
If you’re in debt, you’re probably reading personal finance blogs because you want things to be different. But I bet you’re also a fairly intelligent being – most likely, you already know what you need to do.
When we realize there’s a problem, know how to fix it, and find reasons not to, it’s usually because we’re afraid. Maybe you worry that you can’t handle the lifestyle changes it would take to get out of debt, or perhaps your debt is so overwhelming you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel.
Spend some time thinking about your finances and the specific things that prevent you from taking action. Make a list. And make a plan to work through those fears.
Until YOU decide you’re ready to act, nothing is going to change. No matter how many websites you read, no matter how many times you look at your bank balance, the choice is yours to make.
As for me, I’m going to spend some time figuring out why JD Roth intimidates me so much. Next year, I’m done making excuses. I won’t be able to entertain you with a stalker diary because I’ll be so busy squealing about talking to the great JD Roth. And hopefully you’ll be emailing me to say that you finally got over your debt.