Despite knowing what to do, a great many would-be entrepreneurs never take the steps to get started because they are afraid of failure. But what if you could reframe the way you think about failure, and see it not just as an opportunity, but maybe even a necessity?
Today’s guest takes grit to another level, and if setbacks in your business have tempted you to quit, his story will inspire you to play the long game and view mistakes as opportunities for growth. Damion Lupo is a serial entrepreneur, having started 30-plus businesses. His latest venture is Total Control Financial, an Austin-based FinTech that seeks to disrupt Wall Street and empower individuals to take control of their own financial future. He is also the author of five books on finance, investments, and personal growth.
Damion has a history of bold moves, getting his start in real estate by purchasing a rental house with his VISA. Over the next five years, he grew the business to include 150 houses in seven states. He took a $20M hit in 2008, but used the lessons from that epic failure to reinvent himself – and write a book about the road back, Reinvented Life. Today, Damion is a consultant and coach who appears regularly on podcasts and radio shows centered around finances and personal development. Listen in as he shares his personal philosophy of 10X thinking, advice regarding retirement planning, and strategies to help you view setbacks with gratitude.
Damion’s advice about going all-in
- Stay in motion and you won’t have time for the fear
- Quit you ‘day job’ when you realize you’re stretched too thin
- Trust that the universe will give you signs when it’s time
Why it’s important to play the ‘long game’
- A business takes time to grow
- Plant the seeds by sharing who you are
- Then adopt a willingness to let things germinate
Damion’s 10X thinking
- Say no to being satisfied with 10% growth
- Ask yourself, ‘How can I make this year 10 times bigger?’
- Surround yourself with people who will help catapult you into a bigger space
- Remember that exponential growth makes you 10 times more impactful
The significance of reviewing big picture goals quarterly
- Understand the numbers and assess your progress regularly
- Don’t waste nine months going the wrong way
- ‘Go where the puck is going’ by anticipating changes
How Damion frames failure
- Our mistakes are not us
- Wisdom is sometimes wrapped in an ugly experience
- View mistakes with gratitude (that’s how you grow)
- Failure allows you to reinvent yourself
Damion’s advice on writing books
- Open up a channel by committing to write 20 words
- Allot a specific amount of dedicated time
- Consider hiring someone to hold you accountable
Damion’s tips for retirement planning
- Do something today
- Build the confidence to make your own decisions
How to identify a professional financial advisor
- Weed out the ‘salespeople’
- Find out if they have created wealth themselves via what they’re selling
The benefits of the eQRP as a retirement vehicle
- Gives you control of your investments
- Allows you to contribute $50,000/year
- Empowers consumers
Damion’s first steps to retirement savings
- Educate yourself
- Play Cashflowto understand how you interact with money, finance, and investments
Connect with Damion Lupo
An entrepreneur at heart, first business at age 11, started 30 more since. Founder of his own martial art, Yokido ™, and holder of 3 other black belts. Damion paid for his first rental house with a VISA, bought 150 houses in 7 states over next 5 years and then went through a $20,000,000 meltdown in 2008. Today he runs an Austin based FinTech dedicated to Disrupting Wall Street by getting people off the Wall Street Roller Coaster and in control of their money and financial future. Damion has written 5 books with two more being released in 2017.
Laura Pennington (Host): Welcome back to the Better Biz Academy Podcast everybody. Remember you can get new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday and I love to bring you inspiring people who have built amazing careers with them living a fulfilling and flexible life. And my guest today exemplifies that mission of my podcast. My guest today is Damion Lupo. An entrepreneur at heart he had his first business at age 11 and has started 30 more since then. He founded his own martial art and he holds three other black belts. He paid for his first rental house with a Visa and then bought 150 houses in seven states over the next five years and then went through a $20 million melt down in 2008. Today, he runs the Austin based Fin Tech, dedicated to disrupting Wall Street, by getting people off the Wall Street roller coaster and in control of their money and financial future. He has written five books with two more being released in 2017. Welcome to the show, Damion.
Damion Lupo (Guest): It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me Laura.
Laura: I am excited to talk with you and I have to go with what jumped out to me the most from your bio. So, I’d love to hear about – a little bit about your background and then I’d love to hear about the $20 million meltdown.
Damion: You know it’s funny. Everybody wants to know how you lose $20 million and don’t jump out your window, but that’s I think it’s part of the fun story of this whole entrepreneurial journey and understanding what it’s like to go through bumps and twists and turns and everything. The beginning of that before the whole rollercoaster down was the rollercoaster up and that was – in the beginning, it really started after I left high school and pretended to go down the normal route to college and when I did that, it lasted about a semester at the second school. The first school was kind of a test run. The second school, I started a bookstore in the dorm room and it took about week for the bookstore, the normal bookstore to contact the president and say, “hey, you need to stop this kid from under cutting us because he is putting us out of business” and they invited me to either shut down or leave. And I said, “I am not leaving or I am not going to shut down because I am paying for school”. I finished up the week pay for school, that one week and laughed and realized that when you got entrepreneurial blood, rejecting that is like trying to breath under water. It just doesn’t work. So, I ended up leaving there and then I ventured into kind of a traditional job; selling insurance, had an agency, had a big firm supporting me. And after a couple of years what I realized was that the bug for really creating and making things up on my own was just biting at me and I had to make the decision whether I was going to go all in, into the real estate world, into the real entrepreneurial world of that or whether I was going to dance between the two and fortunately, for me I guess, in retrospect, the insurance company Farmers Insurance said, “you either have to be here or there.” There was no both ways and that’s one of the lessons that I learned that if you are going to be an entrepreneur, at some point you have to be willing to say I am going to go all in. You can’t just kind of be half in and half out because you really don’t get the traction and you don’t have the universe supporting you like it will once you say I am in; I am totally in 24/7. 3:00am, I am in. And so, I switched gears, left the insurance world and went into the real estate world. And that’s where I just said, okay whatever it takes, whoever I need to listen to, I am flying all over the country, learning from people at seminars and over a period of about six years I spent around a million dollars on seminars and coaches and mentors – and to me that’s pretty all in. Like you are putting everything out there and there is nothing else that’s going to get in the way and nobody can tell you no because you are just going to figure a way through and so that was – that’s how I started. It was diving in and then figuring it out by modeling all the people that were out there teaching. Not all of them were great. Some of them were great warnings on what not to do and others gave me some great ideas and then it was the action, and that’s the big thing. I think a lot of times, people gather up all this information and get really excited, but then they don’t take the next step and that’s one of the – it’s the biggest key in the world of being an entrepreneur, it’s constantly taking those next steps. I think everybody would agree that’s gone through this path – are down this path – that’s what you have to be willing to do is take a step and when you are in motion, you don’t feel the fear as much as when you are sitting there staring at your naval and fretting and shivering and shaking. You have to stay in motion, you don’t have time for the fear when you are moving forward.
Laura: That’s really powerful and a lot of the people in my audience and even my own story kind of reflects that; fear of going all in. I actually stayed in my day job for twelve months after I started freelancing and it really did get to the point where I couldn’t do any more in a given day and I was making more freelancing than I was at my day job, but I was terrified to leave. So, what advice do you have for someone for identifying that point where you have to go all in where you’re kind of faced with these two different decisions and you have to figure out, am I going to jump ship and do something completely new or am I going to continue to try to balance these?
Damion: I think that – it’s a great question Laura, because there is that idea that may be there is a moment where you’ll just have the epiphany that it’s time and you can do this psycho way which is I what I did, where I basically just jumped off a cliff and hoped to learn how to fly on the way down. And I think that works for some people. The other thing is, if you’re taking action on your freelancing and whether – whatever freelancing that is – whatever you are building, there is going to come a point where you are going to realize this is taking most of my time or I am being stretched too thin and the universe people, they are going to start showing up with saying I want you, I want to pay for your thing. And you are going to get to a point where it’s going to be natural move. It doesn’t have to be jumping off a cliff and hoping you’ll learn how to do it on the way down. I think you get the signs. I mean that’s what people have to trust, that they are going to get the signs as they move through it. I don’t think you necessarily are just going to have that moment where you have the idea and you go, “yes this is the perfect idea and I can leave my job” because you don’t even know if the universe likes your idea. You don’t know if anybody is going to care and really, people will give you the direction because they’ll say I want more of your time and I want more of you and at that point, it becomes obvious because your bank account is a reflection on you being on the right path.
Laura: So, when was that moment for you, when you started realizing that whatever you were offering currently was really gaining traction and it had those financial implications for you as well?
Damion: The first time I did this, back in 2000, when I went from insurance to real estate, I had about a 30-day period where I said “yes I want to do some real estate” and I “tried it”, which meant I went and bought a house and I was in the middle of it. So, at that point I realized that I can actually do this and I didn’t – that experience wasn’t one where I had a lot of feedback. I had to make a leap of faith and so I did the leap of faith. Down the road in the more traditional freelancing world, I am doing consulting, I am doing some of the wealth coaching and in that work that I’ve done, what’s been interesting is that when I am out there sharing – and I think this is a big key – when you are out there sharing who you are, the right people are going to start paying attention and then all of a sudden, you are going to have people popping up out of nowhere and they are saying, “hey, I’d like some time. I’d like more of you” and that’s what showed me that “hey, this is actually something that people care about” and that probably took – honestly it probably took a couple of years to be out there sharing stuff and it wasn’t like a week or two or a month or a – I didn’t have a launch that just blew everything out of the water. It took time sharing who I was and a lot of people watched and most of those people didn’t say anything and they never raised their hand and then eventually people start popping up. So, it’s important to have the patience and be willing to let things germinate because this is kind of a farming thing, it’s not necessarily you go out there and you hunt. Like you really have to plant seeds and give it time to grow and bloom, otherwise you harvested too quick or you leave your field and when things start to sprout and you are already gone.
Laura: I love that advice because I know that some of my students I have worked with directly, coaching them about how to launch their freelance career, they want immediate results. They want to be able to say they have their first client in three days. And for some people that’s possible, but for other people it’s a long game and especially as you grow your business, I really feel like that there are so few things that are honestly an overnight success anymore. A lot of the times, the people we see as the overnight success have kind of been doing things quietly for many months or for many years and have just made a positive impression and all of a sudden, in one moment it just sort of explodes. So, I think that’s a really important lesson for anyone who is growing their business is that you have got to stay consistent and you have got to be playing the long game with this. Now, it sounds like another part of your business as well as your personal philosophy is this idea of 10X thinking. I’d love for you to explain what that means and how that relates to your life in business?
Damion: Yeah the 10X thinking has been popping around and people talk about it. [Indiscernible 00:09:36] has talked about it. Grant Cardoon has a book called the 10X rule. The idea is that if we are thinking traditionally in terms of 10% whether its investing or 10% growth with our business or may be a 10% incremental change in our life, may be its even in our relationship; if we are thinking about that, we really don’t have to utilize things that are cutting edge, we don’t have to really think big and we can kind of stay in the same life and not a whole lot is ever going to change. The unique thing that we have going on now is that the technology is changing things at an exponential rate and if we are willing to ask the question, how do I have 10 times better results with any of these fields, with any of the parts of our lives; it forces us to literally blank slate everything where we have to say, okay I have to start over because I can’t take the car that I am building and go from 30 miles per gallon to 300 miles per gallon using the same ideas. I can go from 30 to 35. I can go from 10% returns to 11% returns or growth in my business if I just tweak here and there. But if I want to go – if I want to take my business and grow up by 10 times in the next 12 months, then you really have to start thinking totally different. I mean one of the things that happens that you have to start paying attention to different people. The people that are around you are probably going to be very in line with what you have been doing. It’s less likely that they are going to have the ideas that are going to catapult you and launch you into that much bigger idea, that bigger space. So, if you are forcing yourself to always ask that question; how can I make next year or this year then times bigger than last year, it really changes everything about how you look at everything and it’s going to push you into some different conversations that you would never ever be in if you were okay with a 10% type of growth. So, we are always – in my company and in my life, I am asking that question all the time; how do I do ten times? And it’s not necessarily because I want to have ten times as much money because to me, money is a side effect, it’s an off-shoot of the value that we create. So, I am asking how can I be ten times more impactful, one on one, how can I go deeper with the person that I am with and how can I have an impact of 10 times as much on the world? So, if we’ve touched a hundred people in the last year, we want to go with a thousand or ten thousand in the next year and that requires different platforms, it requires different centers of influence. It just requires thinking differently and that’s what keeps us growing and truly, if we are not growing, we are dying. So, why would you want to do anything other than figuring out how to grow bigger and faster.
Laura: I love that thinking and it sounds like you have got regular reviews on the calendar where you are taking a look at how things are going. So, I know a lot of people do an annual review; are you doing checks on your personal and business life more often than that?
Damion: Yeah, that’s one of the most important things. It’s one of the biggest lessons that I learned in the real estate investing days was understanding the numbers and being on top of that stuff all the time and it gets to the point where you can drill down and have those things where you get updates from your systems or your people on a daily or weekly basis. At the very minimum you want to know what’s going on every month. I like drilling it back to where I know every week, but we look at our stuff, our annual and three and five year projections; we look at those every single quarter. So, we don’t wait a year because way too much stuff happens in a year and the world is changing so fast, the amount of information is doubling every 12 to 18 months. Why would you weight an entire year to look at your projections when all the world has essentially doubled? We’ve got to be more real time than that. So, I think at the absolute minimum you want to be looking at your big picture goals every quarter and really assessing, are we on the right track? Otherwise you could easily waste 9 months going down the wrong track right off a cliff, if you are not really assessing where things are going to be. It’s kind of like Wayne Gretzky used to say, he is not with the puck, he is not going to where puck is, he is going to where the puck is going to be and we have to be thinking about where is the world going to be based on what we are doing in our vision and then kind of plan for that because it is changing and it’s going to look the same in five years as it does now at all, and we have to anticipate that or we are going to get run over.
Laura: A really good lesson to not get too complacent with your business or with your personal life goals. It’s pretty easy to reach this point where you’re relatively happy with the way things are going and you know that was something I encountered about six months ago, I thought, “okay I have got great clients, I am fully booked, this is great, everything is going smoothly.” And I thought, “alright I’ll just ride this wave for a little bit.” Well that got old after about two weeks and then I was ready to start thinking about, “okay where am I going from here?” And I think that that is valuable for anybody who is caring about personal growth and about business growth as well. And there is a saying that fortune favors the bold and it sounds like you have to be pretty bold and take some calculated risks to grow your business and achieve your personal growth goals, but that sometimes means that you have a setback or a failure. So, how do you respond to that situation where you didn’t perform as well as you expected, your business didn’t grow in the way that you had hoped. How do you re-evaluate that meaningfully and determine the next step?
Damion: This kind of goes back to the idea where in the beginning of my real estate stuff, I was going straight up and it seemed like I could do no wrong and when I ultimately had my experience, my learning opportunity to lose $20 million, that was a pretty big mistake. It was a pretty big experience that was painful and I think most people are concerned that they’ll make a mistake and they are either going to look bad or they are going to lose some type of money or something and what we realize is that if we can realize that our mistakes are not us, that they are part of our experience and they give us an opportunity – I mean universe is giving us mistakes, it’s a piece of wisdom wrapped up in this really ugly experience sometimes. And that’s the gift, it’s the gift of the universe. If we avoid the mistakes, we avoid and we lose out on the wisdom which means we are really not growing because the people we look up to, the people that are creating legacies are the ones that constantly went through things and kept growing and they kept their foundation and their baseline kept rising because of those experiences; because of the mistakes. And when you start to look at those with gratitude, you start thinking, “okay cool, how fast can I make the mistakes? How fast can I move through those things?” And when you realize that you are not going to be eaten by a saber tooth tiger if you fall on your face, if you go into the bushes, there is nothing out there that’s going to eat you. I mean losing $20 million is a big deal and nothing ate me. I mean I’m still here. It wasn’t fun but it gave me an amazing experience with emotional intelligence that I would have never learned by reading a book or just going to a conference or anything else. You have to go through some of this stuff. That’s what life is all about, it’s about the growth, it’s riding a bike, it’s doing anything. We have to do it. We have to be in the middle of it and to let go of this idea that mistakes are wrong. And really, this probably comes back to the educational system where the A students, if you get an A you’re good and if you don’t you’re a failure. And that’s stupid. I mean, life is all about going through things and stumbling around and learning and making those mistakes. So, if we can let go of that old thinking that we’ve all been pounded on from when we were five years old, I think there’s a lot more opportunity to grow and be successful and be fulfilled and then realizing that when you make the mistakes, there’s an opportunity to constantly learn and then you’ll ultimately reinvent yourself from wherever you were to wherever you want to go. And it’s through those mistakes that that happens.
Laura: Have you ever read the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth?
Damion: Grit, I understand grit. I haven’t read the book but I can appreciate that.
Laura: Yeah, you sound like the type of person that she’s talking about in this book. She’s a psychologist and a professor and it’s basically this really long book but it goes into what successful people do, and it’s that they view every opportunity, good or bad, as a chance to learn and as a chance to get better. And it’s the people who take the feedback and it’s the people who are still striving towards their goals even when they have massive setbacks or other people tell them they can’t make it happen. You might want to check that one out. I bet you would rank pretty high on what she calls her ‘grit scale’ which is somebody’s ability to internalize this information and then still keep working towards their goal. So, that’s a great book to check out. And speaking of books, a lot of people who are in my audience, myself included, would like to start writing books but it’s so hard to find the time to do that when you have a busy schedule of clients and you’ve got other responsibilities. How did you work that into your schedule and add that to your list of accomplishments?
Damion: Well, the way you do that is just make sure you have 37 hours a day and then you take those extra 13 hours on top of the 24 that you’re already packed – you’re right, it’s a piece of cake. Now in all seriousness, it’s the way I – I forget who said it and I’m going to totally mess it up. But it was essentially that the way that you write 20 pages is to commit to writing 20 words and when you write 20 words, you open up a channel. And what I’ve used is Gary Keller has a – and I read this book after I wrote all my books so far – but he wrote the book called ‘The One Thing’ and in there he talks about time blocking and giving yourself chunks of time where everything is shut out of your life and you basically bunker up. And maybe you have an hour or whatever that is, it’s going to be enough time to get something done. So, what I would do is I would chunk out my time and I would say, okay, for an hour this is all I’m going to do. Not a complex thing but then the next stage of that is really the accountability. And the most extreme way I’ve written a book is the one I wrote with Chris Ashby when we wrote “Reinvented Life” and we decided to write it together in 2012. What we would do is we would have – we mapped out our topics so we had 12 topics and each topic we would say, okay, today we’re going to write about this topic and we shared a Google Doc to where we were in the same document, writing in the same chapter which is a bizarre experience. And as we were doing it, we would say, okay let’s do this. We are going to reconvene in one hour. And when you have that type of narrow focus and you’ve got somebody that is going to show up on a Skype call or they’re going to be back in – you’re going to be talking in an hour, there’s no place to go. You can’t hide, you can’t delay. You’re literally focused and forced to go into your space of writing. You may have a bunch of junk. The cool thing is you have a bunch of junk on that page and you can start tweaking it but it forces you into this space and then you get things done. And the other option is you pay somebody a whole bunch of money to hold you accountable on a daily and maybe hourly basis. And I’ve done that – a friend of mine that wrote his first book – he said, I want to get my book done and we talked about it for a year or two and I finally said if you want to get this done, I have an option for you and it’s called “you can buy my time and I’m not cheap.” And if you want to buy my time, I will have a conversation with you every single day until your book is done. We’ll talk five minutes, we’ll have a plan for the day, we’ll have the results and in three weeks his book was written. So, there are ways to do it if you get help. I think that’s one of the most powerful ways in addition to the time blocking and then you get results. But without that, books can take forever and they really just kind of stay gestating until you just – you either hate them or do it but usually people just hate it and they always talk about the book they have inside. That’s a sad thing because we do have a story to tell. So, you have to find some structure to support you in doing it.
Laura: I love that. I think so much of productivity and actually forcing yourself to sit down and do these things that are hard is knowing where your weaknesses are. So, if your weakness is distraction, it means literally taking your phones out of the room and disconnecting your email for the time being and those kinds of things. And if you know that it’s just thinking about it all the time and not doing it, then having somebody else to check on you with that kind of accountability. I have a woman right now who’s helping me write a book and she checks in with me every other day and honestly, it’s just so annoying to get the message, I don’t want to respond back “sorry I didn’t write today”. Like I don’t want to let her down so even though it would be much easier to let me down when I get that message, I’ll do anything I can to avoid having to send back the annoying response of “oh I haven’t worked on and I just haven’t had time”. So, that really does work and that’s very interesting. I want to shift gears a little bit because you seem to have an expertise in something that I know my audience definitely needs. I know I’m weak in this area, especially people who are just starting their new business may be coming into it with retirement savings from another job, may have nothing saved at all, have no idea where to start. I’d love to hear a little bit more about where that fits into your business and just sort of your general thoughts on people who need to get started with the retirement savings process.
Damion: The retirement thing – so in my mind the idea behind retirement – the word retirement is something that just makes me cringe and it’s really because I don’t believe so much in retirement but since we all know that that’s this idea of getting older and having some type of financial safety security and backing to be able to live, then we can kind of maybe talk about it in those terms. I think a lot of people have this idea that they are going to start living when they retire so I just I say, let’s rethink the idea but in terms of building up a financial nest egg or something that gives you the security down the road. The most powerful thing is to do something today and really, that could be putting a dime in a piggy bank. People tend to hesitate because they don’t know what to do next but the reality is we can start with something and oftentimes we default back to the whole Wall Street system where we’re going to go and we’re going to hand our money off to people, I think, to invest for us or to make decisions for us. And what I’ve done with my whole career is to help people become more self-responsible and powerful in their ability to make choices. Once we build the confidence for actually making the decisions and knowing that we’ve got results that we can control, to me, that’s financial freedom. That’s something different than just having a million dollars in the bank because once you believe in yourself, once you’ve got the confidence to be able to recreate something, you don’t care about market cycles, you don’t care about what Wall Street does, and that’s the entire point of what my company is doing. It’s giving people that power and that tool to drive themselves down the financial road and be able to create their own investments and cerate their financial wealth. So, it’s more of a mindset than an actual tool and it’s a dedication to saying I’m going to start something today and I’m going to own it. I’m not going to delegate or abdicate responsibility. That’s typically what our system is set up to do and I fundamentally disagree with it.
Laura: So, there is a lot of stuff out there online that kind of leads you to believe that you can just like set up a retirement account and get started with it. But I imagine like with any situation, you want to have a relationship with somebody who’s a professional who can help advise you about the right things to do and a long run strategy. Do you think that’s true and if so, how do you identify someone who can help you with that process?
Damion: I think one of the things that’s important in identifying somebody that is an actual, that’s actually done something and isn’t just selling products. I think most of the people that are the “advisors” are really just sales people. And so, if we think about it – and there’s nothing against those people because we all have to make a living – but an insurance person, or a certified financial planner or these different people, they’re just selling stuff. And what I like to do is I like to look at people and say, okay if you’re going to give me advice, show me that you’re taking your own advice, show me that you’re creating wealth because of what you’re selling. If you’re selling life insurance, I want to see you become wealthy with it and the reality is most people haven’t. I remember years ago buying life insurance, not that I really needed it, I went crazy with it. And I bought it from a guy because he showed me his balance sheet and he had like $4 million worth of actual cash value in his life insurance policies. And I went, okay you’re seriously eating your own cooking. You’re totally in integrity and I’m willing to trust you. I’m not willing to listen to people that are just selling information and not doing what they’re teaching, so I’m always curious about that when I’m looking at people and the advice I’m taking. I want to know it’s not just academic. And I think that that’s the first thing we need to do is figure out where the people are actually investing or if they’re just sales people.
Laura: That’s really important. Now I know you had mentioned in your biography that you have a powerful patented tool that is supposed to be 10 times more powerful as a retirement vehicle. What is that? I’d love to know.
Damion: It’s called the QRP. It’s a Qualified Retirement Plan and it’s something that was set up by Congress many many years ago – like 40 years ago – and it’s not known by most people that they have this option. Most people have heard of 401(k)s or IRAs and what this does is it allows people to invest in things that they want to. It’s not restrictive to the five mutual funds that your company, trustee or administrator says you’re allowed to do. It’s basically a checkbook or your retirement money is in your hands and you get to go out there and invest in real estate or private businesses or precious metals or whatever – just about anything you can dream of. It gives you the ability to control what you’re going to invest in and it also – it allows you to contribute up to $50,000, a little bit more than $50,000 a year, and that is literally 10 times more than you can do with an IRA. So, people don’t know about it because when you think about why we invest in the things we do, we typically do it because Wall Street says this is a good idea. If we pull our money out of that system, then the people in Wall Street are not going to be able to get the fees that they get. So, most people don’t know about this because there’s no reason for anyone to tell them about it. It’s not financially in that system’s best interests but this is in your best interests because you get to keep all your money, you get to be in control, you get to not pay the fees to the system. and it just ends up being a lot better for you which is why that’s our – I mean, our entire focus is to empower people so they can go off and do their own thing, make their own choices, be successful and it’s truly 10 times better and 10 times more powerful than anything people have used in the past.
Laura: And that really capitalizes on your previous comment about being an integrity and not just selling the product that has the best commissions for the person selling it or just promoting things to be all about the sale. It’s really about doing what is best for the customer or for the potential client. So, to wrap up, I’d love to know your advice, somebody who’s never invested in saving anything for their retirement, where do you start? Is there a certain type of account that should be the first place you go before you go to the more advanced vehicles?
Damion: The first thing people can do – and I’ve heard Robert Kawasaki talk about this a lot and other people that talk about context and investing and finance, really it’s to educate yourself. There’s not a magical tool. I mean, I have my own favorites; I love real estate, I love precious metals and I love the QRP. There are so many different things but the most important thing is to educate yourself so you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. The worst thing you can do is say, yeah I’m going to do it because so and so told me that I should go do this particular tool or have this type of account. And you don’t really understand why. The education piece, like the books that I’ve written on precious metals and on QRP, those things are valuable. I oftentimes give those away to people because if they’re willing to read that, that’s worth more to me than selling the book to somebody. So, I look forward to people reading that information because it makes them more powerful and then they come into potentially into my company and my ecosystem. Being educated, they know why they’re there. They’re not doing it because somebody just kicked them over there or they got sucked into something. They’re really doing it because it makes sense and it’s an alignment with their goals. So, the education piece, I think is powerful. The one thing that I would tell people that really helped me 20 years ago in terms of money, finance and investing was playing a game called Cash Flow. It’s a board game that really helps you understand your psychology and what you get to do is you get to speed up time by playing a game to see how you interact with money, finance, investing and you also get to see what other people that are around you do and how they show up. So, you can learn a lot about a spouse – it may be a little dangerous to learn how your spouse is going to show up seeing several years in several hours and you really get to condense time. I would encourage everyone to play that game and just watch what happens and see what you learn about yourself.
Laura: A lot of interesting recommendations and great ideas there. So, to wrap up, where can people go to learn more information about you and to get the books that you talked about?
Damion: You all can find me on – I have the books on Amazon and the website for the company is totalcontrolfinancial.com. And there’s a place there where you can click a button that says ‘Get Started’ and you can get a copy of the book if that’s something that’s interesting to you, it’s my gift to you. So, I’d love to have people visit, get a copy of the book and then reach out and say, hey, I’ve questions, I’m curious. We’re here to help people become powerful and confident and be able to take control of their financial eyes. So, please get a copy of the book and let me know how I can help you and how my team can help support you guys.
Laura: Awesome. Well, it’s really been a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from you and you can definitely tell that one of the reasons you’ve been so successful is because you have this genuine mission of helping other people and not just giving them the quick solution or the most necessarily profitable solution for you but really finding what’s going to work best for them. So, thank you. It was a real pleasure to talk to you.
Damion: Likewise, thanks so much for your time.
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