Transcript: Thanks, Allan. This is David Brower, and our special guest today is Damion Lupo, a financial transformation expert. His real estate investing career began almost 20 years ago when he bought his first rental property with a Visa card and six grand, and then he went on to learn everything not to do from a lot of various seminars, it looks like, and then you developed your own system to just kick butt, for lack of a better term. Is that about right?
Damion Lupo: Yeah. I developed a system how to kick butt, and I got my own butt kicked in that process too because my ego took over.
David Brower: Right? Yeah, egos are a wonderful thing, but boy, the value of the lessons that you learned. From your success today, it’s obviously worth the beating you took.
Damion Lupo: I think that that’s why I went through the process of building a $20-million portfolio. I mean I went from scratch as a college dropout, built a $20-million real estate portfolio, and then blew it up. There’s something incredibly valuable about building something, creating it, birthing it, and then watching it die. I mean it was so painful that it’s an opportunity to really understand yourself and the world differently because you’ve gone through it. It’s not an academic thing. It was a raw, in-the-trenches, bloody event. From that, I have these skills and these ways of teaching that I’ve turned into books, and now I’m operating life with a given operating system.
David Brower: You’re living life, loving life, enjoying life, and traveling like a mad dog, it sounds like.
Damion Lupo: Yeah. Before, when I was building this portfolio, when I was doing my thing out there in the trenches and hustling like a madman, it was really about more stuff. It was about more millions. One million was good, but I wanted to be a multi-millionaire, and then a couple million was even better, but then I needed more. At that point, it was all about, really, the money. What I didn’t realize is that money is a side effect and that if you’re focusing on what I call the fourth piece of the puzzle, which is the C of the peak, and that’s the contribution … If you’re focusing on the contribution, it’s about contributing to more people instead of just more money, then the more money is a side effect, and it actually happens automatically if you’re figuring out how to solve other people’s problems, kind of like Zig Ziegler used to say, where he would say, “If you give people what they want, enough of those people, you can have anything you want.” I really believe that that’s a fundamental truth for everybody.
David Brower: Boy, no kidding. That is absolutely right. I learned that without even knowing it, to be honest with you. I managed radio stations for a long time, and my whole deal was that the money’s nice, I appreciate the contract, but I figure if I do the work, the money’s going to show up, and it always did, or if a job went away, the next job always showed up. Having the right focus, and helping people, and paying it forward just comes back to you exponentially.
Damion Lupo: You’re right, and there’s a thing that has really shifted because of the digital world we’re living in now. It goes beyond just hustling. It goes beyond just working hard, because if you go out there and you look at somebody that’s in a field moving rocks around, that’s really hard work, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to be rich. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be free. They’re just going to be really tired. We have to think about using leverage, and we have to understand lag. There’s so many tools that are out there, and there’s ways for you to tap into other people’s geniuses that you can leverage other people.
If you think about that, that the world we’re in, you’ve got the whole world that can help you with your mission, your dream, where you’re going to contribute, and then you have to give things enough time so that they actually come to fruition. I mean everybody wants everything yesterday, and we have no patience. You really set yourself up for a lot of stress because you constantly bounce from one thing to the next. If you give things time, you find that being a farmer is a lot better life style than always being hunting for the next thing you’re going to kill and eat.
David Brower: Absolutely right. That’s a great analogy. Plant those seeds, let them grow, and be patient. I mean that’s really the hard part for a lot of us, isn’t it, first of all to show up, and then secondly to make the commitment to whatever that commitment means, and then be patient enough to give that commitment a chance to flourish because if you don’t, like you said, you just bounce, and bounce, and bounce, and fail, and fail, and fail. Man, patience is a key anymore these days.
Damion Lupo: It’s a huge key, David. This is what really helps to figure out what you love actually doing, because if you’re just chasing money and it gets hard, you’re going to go, “Dang it. I’m going to go to the next thing,” because there’s a million shiny objects. There’s all these squirrels running around we can chase and go after. If you understand what you love doing, a month or a year of being in that thing and struggling will seem like joy.
There’s a book, it’s basically when you were … I forget what it was called, but it’s about not really working but playing, finding that thing where it’s not work and where the thing you do day to day is play. When you’re in that space, you’ll actually continue working for years, and you won’t feel like you need to balance the next thing because you’re having so much fun, or it’s just … It’s your heart, it’s your soul that’s engaged. This is not [woo 00:05:26]. This is reality. Anybody that’s really at the top of their game in the world, they’re doing something that lights them up, and you can tell when you’re around them, because they glow, and that’s what you need to find.
David Brower: Well, I’m very blessed to be one of those guys because I’m … By vocation, I’m a full-time voice actor, and so I sit in my studio at home, and I do the work that I need to do. I do podcasts because they’re so much fun, and they’re educational, and it’s a way to give back and pay forward. In fact, I just told somebody yesterday. They asked me what I did, and I told them, and I said, “My goal is to never have a real job again because I’m just having a blast.” You know?
Damion Lupo: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of brain damage or there’s a lot of belief systems that we have to undo and to get into that space. It’s not about working 16 hours a day. It’s not about having millions of dollars in the bank. The truth is that you’re going to show up to something differently if you’re already happy. A lot of times, people think they’re going to be free and they’re going to be happy once they have a certain amount of cash or they have a certain amount of cash flow, and that drives their life. Really, what they’re serving is that security piece. It’s that certainty piece of the six human needs, and then all the other pieces, the contribution, the significance, the love and connection, all those things are totally secondary, and we live just really unhappy and miserable because it’s about fear and scarcity instead of abundance, and contribution, and connection.
David Brower: When you get somebody that’s interested in getting into the real estate business, real estate investing, those kinds of things, do you take individuals on? Do you take groups on? How do you teach what you do?
Damion Lupo: Typically, the way that I teach is I’ll set somebody up with, first, my book, Reinvented Life, because it really helps somebody to understand who I am. If you’re looking for somebody to work with, if you’re looking for a mentor, you want to understand who that person is before you start listening to them and following their advice. It’s me raw, and that’s the first thing. If it’s a good fit, the next thing that really happens is somebody will say, “This is the right fit. It’s the right energy, and I’m ready to actually pay attention and take action,” because the worst thing you can ever do is show up to somebody that’s really committed in your future, and you’re not as committed as they are. I do very few one-on-ones because, honestly, very few people are really ready to engage at the level that I play at, and when they are, magic happens, and so that’s typically the way it works. It’s that one-on-one.
Later in 2018, there’s going to be a bigger contribution factor for me, which means I’m going to be launching a digital platform for Black Belt Wealth, and that’s the financial game book. It’s the playbook for people to take money out of the equation. I mean just imagine what that would be like if money was no longer something you thought about, kind of like food in America. There’s so much food we don’t think can I eat today? It’s like it’s everywhere. Same thing with money. If you could take that out of the equation where you just always have that taken care of, what would your life look like, and what would you actually do?
David Brower: Man, what a great idea. You’re right. I mean the digital world changes everything, and it changes weekly, if not hourly at times. By the way, with the black belt thing, you’re a sensei. You’re a four-time black belt. There’s a lot of that training, psychology, motivation, strength, all those kinds of things, I have to think, help in your real estate investing and being with people.
Damion Lupo: It’s true, and the space that I am in with martial arts is Aikido and the art that I formed, which is called Yokido. It’s a blend of yoga and Aikido. What has happened over the last 20 years of studying that, I’ve realized that that is the same as finance and life. They are completely connected, and they’re really one and the same, so what it comes down to is it comes down to relationship, you with yourself, you with other people. If we’re really honest, we look around, and we’re generally in conflict with ourselves. There’s a disconnect between what we say, what we think, and what we actually do, and so there’s an integrity break, which creates a lot of friction, and we also have that friction with other people. When you start training and releasing that friction, and you go into a relationship, and it becomes a flow, that’s what you see with people that have trained in martial arts, especially in Aikido, for many years. You see this almost choreographed crazy thing that doesn’t look like it’s real because there’s so much flow the tension is gone, and there’s a connection to presence.
That’s the idea with money. The question is how present can you get so that you’re not in conflict? The more present you are, the more free you are. That’s really the teaching, whether it’s in the dojo where the martial arts happens or it’s the financial teaching. It’s how present can you be to the truth? What is the truth, and how much tension can we release so that you’re actually at ease and at peace?
David Brower: I mean those last two sentences, people need to live that in their life no matter what they’re doing. I got goosebumps on that one, man. That was a good one. I’m going to write that one down. That was good.
Damion Lupo: It’s funny when you find a place … This is really what makes me happy, and it makes me smile, thinking about what you love. When you’re in that space, you stop thinking. You stop trying to really force things. There’s a great book called Power vs. Force, and there’s an incredible amount of power in love and in contribution that you’ll never find in something that you’re trying to force. It’s amazing when you shift into that space because you end up in goosebumps all the time just living. It’s like you’re so happy with what’s happening. That’s what I wish for everybody, and I’m hopeful that people will start letting go of all the things that they’re doing out of fear, and anxiety, and scarcity, and really start opening up to what’s possible.
David Brower: Wow, what a challenge for a lot of people and what an opportunity for a lot of people. I mean, to me, everything in life is an opportunity, no matter how difficult it is, and you’ve obviously proven that with the great fortune that you had, the great unfortune that you had, and then coming back to just hit them out of the park all the time. It’s invaluable to be able to let go and find the authentic you and find a mentor who can help you get to where you should be, whether it’s … And it’s not financially. The finances come with doing the good work.
Damion Lupo: They do. If we really remember that money is just energy … It’s made up. I mean, when you think about these little pieces of paper, it’s just made up. I mean our current system, it’s just being printed. If you think about it that way and you let go of the fixed mindset … There’s a great book called Mindset by Carol Dweck, and she talks about the difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset. Unfortunately, most of us have at least a piece if not a full-on fixed mindset, and that makes it really hard to move through all of the adversity and all the changes because we’re constantly condemning and criticizing ourselves, and we live in a state of shame, and shame is a really low energy.
If we start asking the question, “What did I just learn?” and we get excited about stumbling, and tripping, and falling on our face, then all of a sudden the world gets really exciting because there’s nobody on Earth that’s not going to trip and fall on their face. It doesn’t matter who you’re looking at. They’re all falling down, and so we’re one of those. The more you can embrace it, the more life gets very interesting because you speed up in your learning, and you speed up in your growth. When you’re growing, you’re alive, and that’s really what we want. We don’t want to be zombies just kind of tip-toeing safely to death’s door.
David Brower: I’m wondering … And maybe you’re already doing this. Maybe you’re thinking about this. I don’t know. What’s just hitting my brain is if you set the real estate aside, the real estate opportunities aside, and you create programs, opportunities for self-improvement for people, ignoring the real estate piece and getting people into those places to where they can feel authentic, and they can feel the energy, and they can let go of the friction, and then bring back in, all right, let’s talk real estate, let’s talk this, let’s talk that, I just think there’s a huge opportunity to help people grow and flourish even without your real estate piece, man.
Damion Lupo: Yeah, I agree. It really does start off with the work. It starts off with the personal development piece. When Chris and I wrote Reinvented Life in 2012, the book was broken into two pieces. The first five chapters were the internal pieces, and the last five chapters were the external. Unfortunately, if you think about it, what are we most focused on, and what are we taught, and what do we see on advertising? It’s all about external stuff. It’s about shiny cars. It’s about ways to make more money. It’s all this external stuff.
The hardest work and the work that matters is the internal because once the internal is adjusted or fixed or acknowledged, the external becomes a reflection of that. If you’re trying to make another million bucks in real estate, and your internal work says you are basically a poor moron, you’re never going to make a million bucks because it’s just going to reflect your poor moron-ness, so you’ve got to get your internal stuff fixed first, and then the external almost kind of magically starts to form up around who you believe you are, so the question is who do believe you are? Whatever that truth is, is what you’re going to see in front of you.
David Brower: Well, that’s what I mean. Getting them to a point where they actually feel authentic and discover who they really are supposed to be and then bring that internal out to that external. All of a sudden, you got epiphanies going on, you got smiles going on, you got laughter going on, you got fun going on. It’s a lot of work, but boy, is it worth it.
That’s part one of our interview with Damion Lupo.
Allan: Your 20 Minute Podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anywhere podcasts can be found, including I Heart Radio, the Spotify mobile app, and at davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.