I made the cover!

There are a few conference I speak at every year that make me leave me feeling proud to be associated with such quality. This year, at #USAADigiMil, I bonded with my tribe of financial writers, podcasters, bloggers and speakers who want to serve the military in a plethora of ways. They #sponsored my trip out as I presented on “How to Be A Paid Speaker” and gave some favorite tips on how to up your game. One pretty basic technique is to have someone start to count your “ums” and “uhs” when you speak. Awareness is half the key in eliminating those bad habits. Another tip is to develop a speaking event sheet that asks for all the event’s info including the budget for the speaker.  Email if you want a sample copy.

This year, the podcasters were particularly inspiring as I heard the very humble Ron Fugle, from the highly successful Fire and Adjust  talk about how staying true to your purpose and your voice to find those like minded listeners. Joe Crane with Veteran on The Move manages to balance life as an airline pilot with a very popular podcast that has grown exponentially through his tireless efforts. He said that if you are one in a million, then you still have thousands of those who are just like you and finding them is key to getting your message out.


Hanging with Rylan Tuohy, Wendy Poling and Jen Hartzung at #USAADigiMil

I got to meet the 2016 grad from the Naval Academy, Rylan Tuhoy who is responsible for so many of our favorite Navy spirit videos including the Naptown Funk.  I also found out that Jenn Hatzung of She Percolates has a baby daughter with my exact legal name, Eleanor Ruth!

The tribe that attends is so generous and helpful including Joe Saul-Sehy, whose podcast Stacking Benjamins not only celebrated 400 episodes this week, but it was just named as on Kiplinger’s Annual Best List for Best 2016 Personal Finance Podcast.  He’s the emcee of the popular FinCon and the founder, Philip Taylor, was there as well to cheer on all the FinCon community who attended. Wendy Poling of My Military Life as well as Krista Wells, The Military Spouse Coach helped me come up with some fantastic ideas for my own podcast that I hope to launch in early 2017.

Besides the speakers, attendees and USAA community we also got to take tours of the ever fun innovation lab that is chock full of drones, 3D imaging and robots that allow virtual

USAA Innovation Lab

USAA Innovation Lab

employees to traverse the 5.5 million square feet facility. Krista Wells and I decided to do our best model-like photo shoot inside one of the world’s largest air conditioners.


Inside a very large air conditioner for a photo shoot with Krista Wells

At the Exposition Hall, we got chocolate to keep our strength up and learned about products I had not yet learned about. I’ve used the USAA car buying service to get $800 off my car but I didn’t know that you can search for cars and select options where you can buy cars from other USAA members. Plus, I learned that you can get a mortgage prequalified online and print out the documents needed when buying your home.

It’s hard to say which part of the trip to USAA was my favorite, but the seeing two of my partners in the Heroes at Home Financial Event was definitely a highlight. Mike Kelly and JJ Montanero are so wonderful in their support and advocacy for our non-profit work with the military. I’m grateful for their friendship and support.

My friends Mike Kelly and JJ Montenero who help bring Heroes at Home to the USAF

My friends Mike Kelly and JJ Montenero who help bring Heroes at Home to the USAF

The best tribes are bound by not only common interest but common passions and this tribe is fully committed to serve those who have served our country.

Who is in your tribe and what are you doing to connect with them on a regular basis?

©2016-2020 Ellie Kay


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