Aug 23, 2021
Today, I’m interviewing Diania Merriam and she is the founder of Econome Conference. Diania is sharing the story behind the conference, her vision, how she brought it into reality, getting sponsors, getting speakers. I love sharing stories of people like Diania who has committed herself to bringing what she most wanted into reality.
One of the things I love about talking to Diania is she’s able to explain situations that she’s gone through as a witness to the journey -- which is something that helps each of us to consider how what she’s learned applies to our own lives.
Diania Merriam is the founder of The EconoMe Conference, an event centered around financial independence, also known as the Ted Talks of the FIRE movement. She’s also the host of the popular podcast Optimal Finance Daily where she narrates articles from the best personal finance blogs on the planet. After getting out of $30k of debt in 11 months, she used her newfound financial freedom to negotiate a remote working arrangement with her employer, take a 2 month sabbatical to walk 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, buy a house, and launch her own business. Diania saves 60% of her income and is on track to be financially independent by the time she’s 40 years old.
Diania shared this: “My first year, so my first event was on March 7th of 2020 which is crazy because it was like 1 week before everything shut down. If it would have been 1 week later I would have been forced to cancel it. So, I really feel I dodged a ball on that. But the first event, you know, I had no history in this space. I wasn’t a popular blogger. I didn’t have a podcast. I didn’t write a book. I don’t have any kind of following. And so it was really hard for me to convince anyone to believe in me, honestly. I had to call on a hundred-fifty people to get my 9 speakers. And those 9 speakers believed in my vision and they believed in my ability to do this. So sure of my enthusiasm for the idea which is amazing. But I had a lot of people that will doubt me which I think would need to be 100% expected especially when you’re first starting out and you don’t have a track record of success in this specific thing that you’re doing…”
“I would say that the big lesson is creating this business has really shown me what I need to work on personally and my own personal development and has been pretty challenging for me. But I think it’s going to – it’s almost like when you self-imposed challenges, you’re really looking for what’s on the other side of that. And even though I have a lot of fear over the unknowns with an event space business and me figuring this out as I go along, I’ve also been able to see myself at my best. You know when you have that image of yourself of what I would look like at my full potential I’ve gotten a glimpse of that and that’s really exciting. So as much as it’s hard and is very challenging at times to get over of my own insecurities is I really do feel like it’s worth it… “
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