Learning about finances isn’t just about managing budgets; it’s about finding a meaningful life. By understanding money rules and matching them with your own values, you can build a life full of purpose and satisfaction. Money is not the goal but a way to live a life that really fits who you are.

In this episode, Tim and Paul and their guest, Damion Lupo, the CEO of FrameTec, discuss the importance of financial education and finding purpose beyond wealth accumulation. They suggest taking responsibility for one’s financial future, narrowing focus for success, and fostering a supportive community.
The discussion covers topics such as debt versus savings, formal education versus self-learning, and crafting a fulfilling life beyond the confines of a traditional 9-5 workday.

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2:41 Real Estate Investment
7:27 Financial Education
17:03 EQRP Plan
33:23 FrameTec Company

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

Full Transcript

Tim Lyons 00:06
All right, this is going to be the episode with Damian Lupo. All right, 3-2-1. Welcome to another episode of the Passive Income Brothers Podcast. My name is Tim Lyons and today, as usual, I’m joined by two rockstars. One would be my brother, Greg. How you doing today, buddy?

Greg Lyons 00:21
Tim, that intro never ever gets old. I’m feeling great today, ready to rock and roll. We have a wonderful guest who I actually heard speak, I’m gonna say, like three years ago at the Real Estate Guys’ Secrets of Syndication Success. Took so much value out of that talk. And it only took us about three years to get him on the podcast. So this is going to be fantastic.

Tim Lyons 00:44
Also, you know, I’ve been listening to Damian on different podcasts, I think maybe since 2018, because I thought he was crazy. You know, how could you start a different retirement account? I never even heard of an EQRP. I never even heard of financial bondage and all these other things that Damian talks about. So much stuff.

Greg Lyons 01:05
Oh, thanks for this stuff.

Tim Lyons 01:07
I remember, you know, when I subscribed to literally every podcast out there and I would see Damian’s name, I’d always just, you know, click on that episode to listen to it. I just enjoyed it so much. And then who would have thought, Greg, that you and I would get off our butts one day, start our own podcast, and then it comes full circle.

Greg Lyons 01:22
The little old Passive Income Brothers from Alabama. That’s right.

Tim Lyons 01:26
So I want to introduce you guys today to someone who’s been secretly mentoring Greg and me for several years now without even knowing it. So Damian, welcome to the show.

Damion Lupo 01:34
Hey, great, great to meet some students. It’s good to be here.

Tim Lyons 01:37
Right? You’re like, I don’t know whether I should be nervous because I have stalkers or, you know, this is going to be a great conversation. But anyway, you know, part of the thing that drew me to you, Damian, was your story, right? Because, you know, a lot of people, why we started our podcast was, you know, I’m Tim the fireman in New York City, Tim the former ER nurse, right? Two W2 jobs. I loved them, they were great, they were exciting, most days, we’re laughing and having great times with colleagues and a handful of soul-sucking days. But something changed, right? I’m 41 now, something changed in my mid-30s. I had to get financially educated, I felt stuck. I felt like I was treading water, never getting ahead. My bills were paid, my two vacations a year were fine, my cars worked, you know, I was doing all the things, I was being a good little boy, right? And then I just felt like I needed something different. And, you know, when I started getting financially educated, listening to podcasts, going to conferences, you know, people like you were surrounded by Peter Schiff and the Real Estate Guys and all those kinds of guys. You know, something different happens to us. But I really wanted you to tell us your story. How did you get involved? How did you get started in real estate? And then what does that journey look like for you?

Damion Lupo 02:50
Gosh, the original backstory back in 1999, I was selling insurance. And this is after I got thrown out of school because I started a bookstore on campus that put the other bookstore out of business and they said, ‘You can’t do that.’ I said, ‘I’m gonna do that.’ And they said, ‘You’re gone.’ So they kicked me out. But I did pay for school in a week. So worked out kind of, it worked out great for me, but not the bookstore. But that was one of those things where I was like, ‘I’m probably not on the traditional path that I’m supposed to be doing.’ And then when I started selling insurance, that was a more traditional path, having an agency, and there, you can make a ton, or you could, back in the day, you could make a ton of money before all the internet stuff. I think that’s really hurt the idea of human connection for most of the stuff I was doing selling insurance. But ultimately, I read a few different books. One was Trump’s book, and one was Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad.’ And I was like, ‘You know what, let me be a real estate guy. I want to be Donald Trump.’ Now, some people today are like, ‘Oh my God,’ and some people are like, ‘Yeah,’ and they’re like, ‘But they’re not really, they don’t realize I’m talking about the real estate Donald Trump, who apparently is going to be the real estate Donald Trump in New York after this lawsuit that happened by the Attorney General. But back then I said, ‘That’s where the money is.’ And at that point in my life, we’ll call it the first half of my life, it was about the money. In our 20s, that’s a very big driver for most people. It’s like, ‘I’m gonna make money, I’m gonna create security, success, all the shiny objects.’ And so I went down that path, and just bought a house on my credit card, which is what everybody does, at least I thought that was normal. That was a dumb idea, but it kind of worked out because I got lucky. And then I kept doing the work, which is now a four-letter word according to a lot of people. If you do work, you’re crazy, you should just have everything given to you. But back then, I hustled my buns off and built this empire, and I was pretty proud of myself, and my Ferrari, and had millions of dollars. And then I got a whole big pile of humble pie smashing my head in 2008 with the GFC, the Great F***ing Con. I mean, there’s a lot of different ways you could describe that, but ultimately, I had talked myself into thinking that money was free, and that I could just keep riding a rocket, and there didn’t have to be based on fundamentals or foundational principles. And I took a $20 million high and turned it into a negative $5 million low in 12 months. That was a pivot moment, if you will. And some people, I hear over the years, will say, ‘Man, $20 million, that’s a lot.’ And I was like, ‘Look, if you have $20,000 and you lose all of it plus $5,000, you’re still negative. I was homeless, you’re still homeless. Like, things happen.’ So the pain is real when you lose everything, and I’ve done that three times. And each time, I learned something new. And one of the funniest things, I remember Kiyosaki saying this to me back 25 years ago, I was at some conference, and he said, ‘You know, you really haven’t gone through things, you’re not really going to make it until you’ve gone bankrupt at least two times.’ And I was like, ‘That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would you have to do that? I am way smarter and way better than that, you old guys, like, you know, all this young brilliance that we’re so wise at 23.’ And I lost everything three times. And I was like, ‘Oh, God, I think that there’s a value in doing that.’ And what part of what he was explaining, if you will, or trying to help me understand was that you have to be willing to go through the pain to get to the other side. And you have to, it’s not just all people think the last 10 years, you guys have seen this in the real estate space. And when you have really low interest rates, you’re free money, and you have this rocket, everybody thinks that’s normal. That is not normal. That’s crazy. That’s like a cocaine-infused ’80s party that lasted 10 years, but different decades in different space. Like, it was a lot of fun for a lot of people until reality set in and gravity got cold. And then that’s, I went through the same thing in 2008. And then had to reset and start over and ask some different questions. And that’s what happened for a few years, and then everything sort of changed and other things were born out of that mess. While some things died, my dad died. And then a new life for me was born. So there was a lot of transition in that period 10 years ago.

Greg Lyons 07:06
Yeah, you know, it’s not always Studio 54, sounded like it was for a little while. But, you know, setbacks, if you don’t use them as learning opportunities, are a waste. And it sounds like because you’ve built up again, all of the bankruptcy tallies that you had up on the wall, you know, it was a learning experience. And I think the main thing for you it sounds like is that financial education became really, really important to you, and how does money actually work? And I think you’ve kind of gone on a crusade of teaching people about financial education. You know, how has that played a role in your life? And in what you do now?

Damion Lupo 07:49
Where are you going a little bit even deeper than how money works? Because that’s part of it. And I had to ask myself, why, like, go deeper into that and really asking, what’s the focus is this the focus, the money, or what I’ve come to you is that money is a great is a really fun side effect. What most people mistake is they think that they need to focus on money, and they don’t focus on purpose. They don’t focus on value creation, they focus on, “Can I get a raise? Can I go make more money? Can I make bigger commissions? Can I flip a house, can I do this or that for money?” So they’re all chasing money and money. If you guys know this, and people listening, money’s made up, it’s literally not just made up as an idea, but it’s printed out of thin air, so you can’t possibly make it faster than they can print it. And so you have to start asking yourself, “Is that why I’m here? Am I a money bee or a honeybee? Like, what’s the purpose?” and I think most people have turned into money bees, and they don’t realize they’re actually supposed to be going and doing the honey stuff, and cross-pollinating and building something. And so that was the biggest shift. It was like, “Okay, should I go out there? And, and use what I learned to do better at making more money? Or, alternatively, could I take this opportunity to ask a better question like, why am I here?” and I did that instead spent two years on asking what is true, which is a really hard question, to ask one question for two straight years, every week with somebody staring at you in a conference room in a therapist room, literally asking you that same question. And every week, they’re like, “go deeper, go deeper, go deeper.” That’s the hard work. So when I say work in the beginning of our conversation, I wasn’t just talking about the external work, I’m talking about the internal work, which is a bigger deal than the external, you got to get yourself straight. And you got to ask the question, “Why am I here?” And that’s hard. It’s easier just to go to work and punch a clock. And even if it’s fun, it’s like, “Really, why am I doing this?” Like, Tim, you’re talking about the stuff you’ve done? And why are you going to do it? Probably not going to just go in there just for a paycheck or go in there just for the thrill as you’re going in there and make a difference. Save Lives, do things like there’s a reason that you’re going and spending your time, the only thing that you can’t go and buy back more of like once you spend it, it’s done. You can’t save it. And so I started asking the question, when my dad died, then right before he died, he made a comment to me that I’ve shared publicly. We were sitting down and he knew he had weeks he was like almost gone. And he said, “you know there are so many things was that I wanted to do in life.” And I lost it. And I was, I was sitting there. I was crying, I was a mess. I was like, “God, Dang, this is like this is regret spilling out of my father’s mouth and like searing itself into my soul.” You don’t forget that you don’t forget the feeling you don’t forget the message. And I asked the question, “Okay, why am I here? Why am I hearing this? What do I need to do with this?” And ultimately, what I came to was, I need to help people figure out how to never have this conversation with their son or daughter, I need to figure it out how to help people get out of this place of financial bondage, because our whole system is set up to keep us enslaved. I think money is modern-day slavery. I think it’s the current tool to keep people stuck in prison. And they don’t even realize it. But he looked everywhere. People are saying everything’s more expensive, everything is harder. I can’t get ahead, we have to have two people working. You have kids that are that yapping and ticking and talking and telling everybody they can’t afford the American dream. Why is that? Because our system is a fraud. And you have to get out of that conversation, you have to start saying, “What am I here to do?” Because if you are on purpose, the money stops being an issue. I’ve seen that over and over. I’ve seen it but with my own life, the abundance that I have going from bankrupt to nine figures in five years had nothing to do with me saying I want to go to make a bunch more money. The question I was asking was, “how do I help enough people get what they want? How do I make a difference with what I’m supposed to be doing with my purpose?” So what Zig said years ago, “help enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want.” I was thinking about what I could do to serve the most people do the most good, where everybody would win. And that’s where EQ RP came from, because it was breaking people’s shackles. And that’s where frame tech came from, like all these things were born from that it was not me saying how can I go make a billion dollars? That is the dumbest question that people fixate on, it’s not a question that they shouldn’t ask, because you want to ask if I’m going to create a billion dollars, I have to impact a lot of people. But if you’re sitting, “how do I get me a million a billion dollars,” like whatever that thing is for you, you’re never gonna get there. Because it’s selfish, you have to be selfless. And all of a sudden, you’ll watch the financial resources pour into you as a side effect. That’s the problem with most people in society. They’re bitching about how they’re not getting enough. And what they should be asking is, “how do I give more,” and then everything changes?

Tim Lyons 12:10
Well, Greg, I’ve been known to do some push-ups on the Ioway of the podcast when I get super excited about one of the guest answers. And I’m going to tell you that that was probably the best answer I’ve heard in a long time because maybe be able to do more than 10. Maybe this time, right? It’s because I’m guilty, right? I’m guilty of the same thing. How do I work more overtime? How do I even—how do I get two jobs? I mean, what the heck was I thinking, right? Like, New York City firefighter, dad to three little girls, married, right? I live life trying to have time, right—time with mom and dad and my kids—and here I am working 80-90, 100-hour weeks. I’m like thinking to myself, “Man, if I just work a little bit more overtime, I’ll—you know, what am I available?” And hey, baby, can I work Saturday night, Sunday day overtime and just destroy the entire weekend? Like, you know, there’s these things, right? Because that’s what I was chasing, I was chasing more money being like, “Oh, good, you know, got my tax return. Oh, look, I get paid three times in the month of March because I get paid on the first to 15th and the 29th.” Like, “oh, my god,” like, you know, and I wasn’t thinking about money about how it works. Right. And all of a sudden, Greg, you know, we started having conversations about well, you know, what, the banks—they lend money into creation, and how do they do that? Well, they do that by lending money on real assets, like real estate or land or businesses—are really, well, how do we get a piece of that? Right? “Oh, let’s get into the real estate business.” Right. You know, Greg has done some development work. He built 70 Something condos with his family business in downtown Boise, Idaho. Right before the GFC which was great, Greg, right. And you know, but you know, it’s creating though, we were living these—these very safe lives. Greg very inside insular right. You know, we went to school, we went to college, we got to a degree, you know, we bought the house, we got married, we contributed sort of 450 740 1k, right. You know, we started to do all these things, right? “Hey, if you make one extra payment or your mortgage a month, you can shave seven years off your interest,” man, let’s go do that. Right. That was my tax strategy. You know, I didn’t have a strategy. I had nothing. And all of a sudden, I started to surround myself with podcasts and books. And I’m like, “wow, there’s a whole nother world out there. There’s alternative assets.” Wait, what does the EQ RP, wait, what—you know, you can get leverage from the bank to go buy assets that are cash flowing and give you tax benefits? Wait, how come? How come the financial advisors don’t, you know, kick down my door and force me to do this, you know, or, you know, and it’s because if you don’t take that responsibility, you don’t have that purpose. Like, like Damien, just so eloquently put out there for everybody, you know, then we’re not going to get there. Right. And what I fear is that, you know, I feel so grateful that I was able to—or we, Greg, were able to kind of see that light and position ourselves to do something about it, but so many people, unfortunately, I hear stories like, you know, Damien’s dead or you know, having that regret, right? I mean, there’s a book out there. Talking about I’m hearing an insane amount of feedback on my end Do you guys hear about it too?

Greg Lyons 15:06
Yes. Hey, Tim.

Tim Lyons 15:09
Do you have your headphones plugged in? Greg? Yeah.

Damion Lupo 15:17
I’m going to mute myself.

Tim Lyons 15:27
Testing, testing 12120 You’re

Greg Lyons 15:29
about data better now?

Tim Lyons 15:31
Because he’s muted. That’s why

Damion Lupo 15:34
I barely a two cycle blower is out there. But it just might not be picking it up.

Tim Lyons 15:44
I was testing that Testing one, two. Testing, testing.

Greg Lyons 15:51
All right. Well, would it sound like it’s better? Alright.

Tim Lyons 15:56
I was, I was, uh, alright. So what I fear is that people just don’t see that light. Like, they don’t see that, you know, that’s another way to do things. Besides, you know, the way that we’ve been taught by our parents and mom and dad did the best they could for us, Greg, right. They told—they told us whatever they thought they knew. I mean, my dad, he still letters to see these at the bank, everybody knows that he was listened to the show for more than, you know, two episodes, you know, the poor guy had, that’s what he likes to do. I mean, that’s what he does. But Damien, you know, what I—what I love about, you know, some of the stuff that I’ve heard you talk about is having that purpose, right. And Greg and I always talked about the five freedoms, right? Freedom to do, you know, to live where we want to live to, you know, freedom of relationships, freedom of purpose, freedom of, you know, to do what we want to do when we want to do and how we want to do because time is our biggest asset, and we’re not going to get that back. And a lot of times people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s by the time they hear about this. And what we need to do, what I tried to do is to really kind of tell people in their 20s like, listen, there’s another way, right. So one of the ways that you came up with was the EQ RP. And, you know, all of that is, you know, breaking what you call breaking the financial shackles, right, and getting away from Wall Street. So can you just kind of tell people, you know, what is an EQ RP? And why? Why do you frame it the way you do about breaking the shackles?

Damion Lupo 17:25
Well, when I look at what I had a conversation about 10 years ago with with some folks that came to me, and they said, “Hey, we were referred over to you by some friends of ours, and we want to talk to you about money.” And I said, “alright, well, you want to talk about like, I didn’t really know where this was going.” And they said, “Well, here’s the deal. We’re—we watch CNBC, we watched Jim Cramer, we watch all these people, these talking heads, and and we watch the stock market and we see it going up, we’re excited. And then we see—we see a red arrow the next day, and it’s going down, and we feel poor, but then we see a green arrow, and we go, it’s gonna be red tomorrow. And like, we’re on this roller coaster, and we feel like we have no control, we feel—” and they said, “we’ve got a couple of million bucks. We’re, I think they were early 50s. And they said, We have no idea what to do. And we don’t feel safe.” And I said, “got it. Alright, so you guys have been very, very passive in your whole life making your money and just kind of it’s on the sidelines, you got a 401k, you made a bunch of money selling a house that you’ve, you’ve now put into the stock market. And for—and so I said, so this is probably the experience of most people, they if they’re fortunate enough to have a big pile at some point, they’re their biggest concern is I don’t know how I really got this. And I definitely don’t have 30 more years to do it again. So what do I do, I don’t want to lose it.” And that’s, that’s the fortunate ones. The other ones are like, “I’ve got 50 bucks in my account. And I’m 45 or 50, or I’ve got 50,000 And I’m like I can’t, I can’t retire. And so security sounds terrible. I mean, anybody that knows what it’s like to live on Social Security, they say the same thing. It’s like, wow, I’m glad to have it, but it’s just not enough.” So I started looking into this system, especially after my dad retired, broke and really didn’t do the things he wanted to do in the in the 10 years or so of his retirement. And I started asking, “Well, what, what could people do,” and I started digging, and that’s, that’s where I started to understand the tax code and really understanding that most people were, they were on this very passive, not passive in a good way passively, like an abdication of responsibility, not a delegation. And it’s very different when you abdicate and you’re like, hands up, I don’t know, just walk away hope it all works out. I call that smoking hopium. Very, very dumb idea. But that’s what most people do. They just smoke a bunch of opium and then maybe when they wake up at 60, most financial advisors say just put the money in here, and then you’ll have enough fuel, and you can spend 4% of it a year and everything’s gonna be good. And that is horseshit. It’s a terrible plan that puts people in a place of bondage because one they don’t have any control. They have no understanding they have no confidence about how they’re doing anything. And they have no real way of, of controlling or influencing their future. So with—with traditional 401k As you’re just along for the ride, your advisors, the advisors to all these are people that sell stuff and then hope to get AUM for the rest of their lives, they can go golfing every day, they’re just taking you along for the ride, in most cases, and I know that there’s some good, there’s some good advisors out there. Most of them are they have a book of business and their job is to keep you in the book and never let you get out of that book. EQ RP was meant to get you out of the book. And what it is, it’s the ability to take your money and go invest it the way you want. So you’re breaking your money out of Wall Street prison, you’re taking the money out, and then you’re breaking your shackles by developing the confidence, because I don’t care how much money you have, or how much cash flow. If I were to hand those people an apartment that cash flowed, most people would not have that apartment or the cash flow within two to three years, it’s just gonna go away, because we don’t have the confidence or the muscle we haven’t, we haven’t built anything. And so ERP really forces people to engage, they have to go do the work, they can be passive, but they still have to choose what they’re doing. It’s not like they can say, “Oh, I’ve got an EQ RP, we’ve had some people that came in, said, I want an EQ RP, I want to get out of Wall Street, and then they sit there and they stare at their money in their bank account for the next two or three years. And they go, This isn’t working. And I look at them. And I say, What do you mean, it’s not working? You’re not working? The problem isn’t your account, it’s you and then go off. It’s like they’re offended, because I told him the truth. And then there’s other people that feel like they’re doing something illegal, because they have control. And those are the fun ones. They’re like, “Am I really allowed to have my money? Can I release this? Okay?” Like, “yeah,” they’re like, “I have a $600,000 check sitting in my hand. And I can invest that in real estate, I can invest that in Bitcoin or, or gold, or almost anything I want?” And the answer is yes. And people lose their minds, they get so excited. And then they start building the muscle. And then as the years go along, they feel empowered, and they’re not sitting there wondering if they’re going to run out of money before they were not in life. That’s the big shift. Most people are just hoping they don’t, they don’t run out of money before they expire. And I think my dad probably expired earlier than he would have if he’d had resources, because I think he didn’t want to be a be a burden to his family. And I think that that’s a lot of people, they don’t want to be a burden. So unfortunately, when you mentally check out spiritually checked out, it’s very likely you’re not going to last physically very long. And money has a big part of that. So if we can empower people to where they have their resources, and that’s the HQRP it gives you the ability to control your money, your retirement money inside a system that gives you the ability to do that without being taxed. In fact, you could do it where you’re never taxed. People say, “really, I can do what I want with it, and potentially never be taxed?” That’s a completely different world. It’s like mind blowing to people. And I’m like, “yeah,” they go, “Why didn’t anybody tell me,” the reason they didn’t tell you is because they wanted to keep the Aum that assets under management fee forever, and, and keep you trapped, that’s good for them not good for you. And they say this is a good plan, they aren’t being honest, it’s a good plan for them, but not for you. So this shifts the responsibility and the opportunity into your hands and takes it away from Wall Street. So for me, that’s a huge win, because I’m not afraid of Wall Street winning and, and Main Street getting crushed. I’m a fan of Main Street winning in Wall Street, I can give two craps about.

Greg Lyons 22:54
You know, what’s interesting, you know, I think when people join the workforce, and maybe they’re going to high school and college, maybe they go to college, but when they join the workforce, a lot of the time the learning is over. And, and that’s the tough part. So when you shut your brain off for 20 years, just go into work, doing whatever you’re doing, you lose that muscle, and I think it’s really hard to get it back. So sometimes, you know, you wake up, you’re 45, or 50 or 60 years old, and go, “oh, boy, I gotta start saving for retirement or I have to learn about money, I have to figure out what my next move is.” And a lot of times, it’s too late. And, you know, I think we’re taught early is, you know, just give your money to the financial advisor, throw it in the 401k. And I think you put a great—you’re just smoking hopium at that point, you know, when you retire, we gotta hope that the markets riding high, and we’re not in a GFC we’re not in a recession. And so your money can last as long as possible. But I think that taking responsibility for your own, not even money, it’s your own education is really, really important, and getting people empowered, but how do we take people more laissez-faire with their money with their retirement? How do we go from that laissez-faire? Hands-off to empowering people to say yes, I have to learn about this at 20, 30 and 40. So I’m set when I’m 50, 60, and 70.

Damion Lupo 24:21
Great, great question. And the answer is community. And this is one of the differentiators people say, well, how is EQ RP different from an IRA or some other thing out there? So a 401 K. And there’s a lot of differences in the actual tool. The biggest part of this is the community. We’ve got this group of thousands of people that are in a community that are all supporting each other, they’re all talking to each other, and it’s close. It’s not the general public. It’s not like your Facebook page where there’s 8 million people and most of them are bots. It’s actual real people that are really part of this. And what happens when you surround yourself, and you guys know that you’ve been to different conferences, it becomes normalized if you’re in a mastermind or in your in a seminar and you’re surrounded by people that are multi-millionaires. And guess what? You start doing the same things that make those people millionaires is what you’re gonna start doing. Because it’s called osmosis. This is the power of changing your environment. So the first thing for people to do is get out of their environment in some way. If you’re like, “I’m literally choking because I live in the middle of a coal area and I’m breathing in smoke,” you’re gonna change your health, you’ve got to move. Like, you can’t just sit there and go, “Okay, I’m gonna exercise real hard, or I’m going to eat better,” like, you’re going to change your environment. Most people are ingesting toxic fumes from their friends and family, unfortunately. And it’s not that they’re necessarily bad people, it’s that they have a plan, that’s going to be your plan, unless you get out of it. Because most people’s today is gonna be the same 20 years from now, they’re gonna have the same life, 20 years down the road, they’re gonna be doing the same things. So my suggestion is, start by figuring out how one thing you can do to change. And that’s the thing that we’ve built that I love about the EQ RP community, you have all these people. So when our people get together, they jump in jumping online, and they’re talking to each other. Look, I’m not the only one, I’m not on an island, being on an island in the financial space is terrifying. You’re already freaked out because you’re like, “I’m going to make a mistake, I’m going to do something stupid, everybody’s going to laugh at me, I’m going to lose my money, I’m going to be broke, I’m going to be homeless,” you’re afraid a saber-toothed tiger is going to come eat you because you’re going to make a mistake. Like, this is all the stuff that’s going on in our brain. And when you get into a community, not only do you feel safe, which is a tribal, effect, we want to be around other people that are doing the same thing, we feel safe, or we’re not going to be picked off and eaten by something in the wild. But you also start doing the things that they’re doing and it becomes normalized. You’re not like, “Oh, if I put $100,000 into this apartment, wait, everybody around me is doing the same thing.” And you start feeling more comfortable with it. But you’re not going to do that if you’re in the environment where everybody else is investing in Netflix. And that’s what’s happening. And I’m not just talking about investing in the stock market. Most people are investing their idea of investing is eight bucks a month to be entertained. They’re investing in Netflix, that is not a good plan. But that is most of America, like, “how do I get entertained and know myself?” And you’re exactly right when you said most people stop learning when they start working. And that’s true, mostly. And then people go, “Well, I need a raise. I need to make more money.” My question is, what are you doing that’s providing more value? What are you doing that’s expanding the pie? They’re like, “Well, I’m busy, man. I got kids, I got a wife, I got soccer, I got all these things. I got a wife.” I’m like, “Alright, good. And you know what? Your life is your own damn fault. So shut up, stop whining and get a life.” Those, by the way, were two Larry Winget’s books, which I highly recommend. Those two titles are so good. They just sort of fit right in there. But this is the problem. People don’t want to change anything, but they want some change to happen. And I’m like, “You want change to happen on your head? Okay.” So that’s not how it works. But people have a different idea. And they feel like that’s how it should work. And it doesn’t matter what you think should work. It’s what it’s the way it does work. So getting yourself into an environment and this is why masterminds are so powerful, why mentors are so powerful. I don’t care if it’s a meetup on Main Street, whatever it is, you got to get out of your environment, and then watch the magic happen because your life becomes normalized in a different way with different ideas.

Tim Lyons 27:59
Oh, I love that one. I totally love that because listen, Greg and I started with the community we were part of the Jake and Gino multifamily learning, learning multifamily, learning the language of multifamily. I mean, like you said, if somebody handed us an apartment building five years ago, I don’t know, we probably wouldn’t have it today, right? Because we didn’t understand the tactics. And we didn’t understand the knowledge and how to run it and the language to speak. But, you know, part of the, you know, just, I couldn’t help but think of everybody knows that I’m a fireman, everybody. And they know that I’m very passionate about it. I love the New York City Fire Department. I love the firefighters I work with I wouldn’t trade it for the world, right. But uh, compensations in the firehouse can be different right there. We’re talking about overtime. We’re talking about medical leave, we’re talking about pensions, we’re talking about, you know, all sorts of things, you know, but we’re not talking about how to make money or if there’s one guy in the kitchen that has his hot stock tip, you know exactly what stock to short that exact week because it’s going to go down to zero, right. So and I couldn’t help but thinking about Jim Rowan’s, quote, you know, you know, you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with, right? And I always say to Greg, like, you know, like, if you spent, you know, time with five Olympic swimmers in a swimming pool, you think you pick up a thing or two, you know, I’m saying if you hung out with you know, same thing, whatever NBA doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. If you’re if you’re surrounded by people that are doing the thing that you want to do, and they could, you know, you’re probably going to pick it up, you know, and you can follow in their footsteps in real estate. And what we do here at cityside capital was just that right? We didn’t invest real estate we didn’t invest private placements, we didn’t invest 506 B and C’s, we didn’t invest any EQ RPS, right. But there’s somebody out there and we built a team and a good community around us right so that we can only learn and up our game, but now we can bring that value to others. So I just love out that and I just want to stack on top people are so afraid Damien to start small, right? They hear these stories. Oh, Damien had 20 million bro. I mean, like, I can’t do that. So I’m going to change the chance I’m going to go do something else, I’m going to go watch some Netflix, right? That makes me feel good, right? People are so afraid to start small start with 25,000. Right Start with a $50,000 investment, start small, see what it’s like learn the process, and see how it works. So I just love that.

Damion Lupo 30:16
There’s something that I think that you’re onto for a lot of people and they go, well, it must be easy for you. And because your ex and I, and I’m like it is a different space, it’s a different time and it, it can be easier. It’s also way more complicated when you’re dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars versus a few bucks. The thing about starting with wherever you are, that’s where you are. That’s where you start, you don’t start where I am, you didn’t start what you guys are you start where you are, wherever you’re sitting. And in 99, I started with zero, that’s why I took out a cash advance on my credit card for 6000 bucks. That’s how I bought that first house. So that was less than zero. So I there is no excuse except you, if you’re not doing something you’re the excuse has nothing to do with your money. I turned that and turn it into $20 million, and then lost it because my ego got in the way. It has nothing to do with the amount of money it has to do with whether you’re committed. When somebody says they go to the gym, they’re like, I don’t want to hire a coach, are they I don’t want to hire a mentor. I’m like, why they’re like, Well, I’m not sure that that that person is going to give me the results monetarily or physically. And I was laughing. I’m like, It’s because you’re not committed. The problem? Isn’t the coach, the problem? Is you the $30,000 mastermind program that Jake and Gino or anybody else has, the problem isn’t that you may or may not get value from them. The question is, are you going to commit and do the work? The answer is no. If you’re not ready to do it, you’re going to make an excuse, but you’re the problem. And you’re the solution, the moment that you commit, it’s like going to the gym, I’m committed, and I’m going to go do the work, I’m going to eat the right things and not a bag of Oreos, like I have this ongoing conversation with my coach about diets. And I was like somehow Oreos ended up in my house. And they did they somehow end up in my mouth at like 10 o’clock at night. And this is not helping my plan. I’m working out all the time. And he’s like, Yeah, I’m like, I’m the problem. And that’s the same thing with anything in our life. Once we identify the problem, and it’s us, we can solve it, we can fix it, until you get there until you stop blaming anybody but yourself. You’re screwed.

Tim Lyons 32:14
So John Assaraf. I don’t know if people know him. But he has, you know, several books. You know, he talks about a lot of this stuff and personal growth and development. And he says, you know, you have? Are you interested? Or are you committed, right. And there’s a big, big distinction between being interested in something and being committed. So I love how you so eloquently put that story about the Oreos, I happen to like Tate’s chocolate chip cookies. So weird how it happens. But so listen, so here we go. So I really wanted to talk about the EQ RP a lot today at this point in the in the show, but I feel like there’s much more to do, right, because you have gone from bankrupt to 20 million to bankrupt to starting, you know, over 70 different companies and growing them from zero to $100 million to a remarkable 25 year journey. Let’s talk about frame tech. That’s one of your one of your newer ventures, like I’m assuming. And what I love about this is that you know what you grown, you pivoted, you started things, you’ve done it right, you’ve grown multiple different companies, you’ve added value so many places. And that kind of brought you to where you are today. Right? So take it away. Tell us about frame tech what what is it and you know, why is it so important to you right now?

Damion Lupo 33:31
It’s funny because sometimes I think about it, this was just an idea on a napkin, pretty much a piece of paper that sat on my desk for six months, two years ago. And people go, “Wow, this, we have a manufacturing plant that’s almost online, it’s built and the equipment’s being put in, and it’ll start producing the summer, and then go into full commercial production this fall 111,000 square foot facility.” And it seems like, “Wow, that was an overnight success story that took 25 years,” because that’s how long it took. The relationships that led to this started in 1997. And the people that were involved that are the operators and visionaries, they started doing manufacturing and trusses and that world in the 70s, before I was even alive. So all these things took a lot of work. And it took a lot of lag. And then ultimately, all the magic, all the things came together. Luck is the combination of opportunity and the, what is it, the proverb when opportunity meets preparation, and there was all these people that came together that prepared and then there’s this opportunity, and then it looked very lucky. Because when these guys showed these and we looked at it, and we said, “Okay, we’d like the opportunity.” We met with these guys for an hour at lunch and we said, “We’d like you guys.” And so, yes, we’ll get you the $40 million. And that’s what it was. And they said, “You know what,” they said to me that in their mind, they told me later this is what they were saying unless these guys were full of shit. There’s no way that they’re going to say yes and hand us 40 million and literally the next week we started flowing money, and then started making deposits bought the land got the thing going and, and so ultimately what we have is we have a vision, we have a mission to help disrupt the housing and construction industry, which if you don’t know much about that the innovation happens about every 50 years, the nailgun was the last big thing that happened. And then we’re saying, “Okay, we’re going to disrupt this.” And the reason this was so exciting one, we had incredible people that had incredible track records and decades of experience. So we weren’t dealing with somebody that had an idea without the actual track record. That’s a big no no for anything. And they came in and they said, “We have this idea.” And we said, “Okay, what is it,” basically, “what we’re doing is we’re building all of the bones for a house inside a manufacturing plant. And we do it with almost no waste.” So instead of a house that you build on site, and it’s got 20% waste, which is all this wood that’s piled in dumpsters, which nobody likes, it looks terrible. And you’re like all those trees that are being thrown out, we have almost no no waste because of the technology. And we have this system that makes a two-and-a-half-month process of building the all the infrastructure for a house for all the bones, the floors, the walls, the trusses, we turn that into a two week process. So people go “Wait, what does that mean?” What it means is that somebody comes to us a builder, a homeowner, or somebody and they say, “here’s the house, here are the designs,” we take that converted into our plans. And then we build all those bones. And then we bring them out on site. And then we put it together and we hand it off. And we give it its predictability. It’s a better quality product, there’s almost no waste. And then people go, “How is this even possible,” because we’ve solved all the problems in one contained environment. And we can produce these things consistently on time. And we’re not screwing up the environment or destroying forests at the same time. So that when you have that kind of mission, you get really excited. And when you combine that with the team, it’s like Nirvana. And so the reason this is working, because all these things came together. And because that became the one focus. This is one of the keys. I hope everybody hears this and really pays attention. You’re never going to make any progress. If you’re splintered and scattered. You’ve got to narrow your focus. I’ve made this mistake so many times where I’m like running all these different things. The moment I started saying, “Okay, either I’m saying no to that thing, or I’m handing it off to somebody else,” is the moment I opened up space, I could focus on one thing. Great book, by the way, by by Gary Keller, focusing on one thing people are like, “I don’t want to miss out, I’m going to do 15 things, I’m going to invest in 75 different asset classes.” And they wonder why they’re all lukewarm or they lose money. And it’s because you’re not narrowly narrowing your focus and getting really good at the things you actually understand the thing that is a major pivot that really most people never get. And if they do, it’s very, very late in life because they want to hear diversify. And like Wall Street says that, “Yeah, diversify is diversify.” And it’s meant to be so that you never really have a huge loss. And so your money stays stuck. But if you really want to do well, I’ve had a lot of people that are moving out of Wall Street and investing in frame Tech with us. And they go, “Man, I feel like I’m really focused, like I’m really nervous, my eggs are in one basket,” and I’m like, “go touch the basket, go meet the people get really comfortable watch that nest, protect your eggs,” instead of saying, “Well, I just hope that Wall Street works and the s&p 500 moves up and Netflix gets converted into something bigger.” It’s a very different approach. And so we’ve given that opportunity and created it with all these amazing people that are creating the opportunity. And so that that’s the that’s the focus. And that’s I mean, it’s it’s really exciting. And it took a long time to get there. So don’t be afraid of something taking a long time or, or that things aren’t working, you may just be doing building the legwork, the groundwork and the network for things to happen five or 10 years down the road. That is part of the process. And I think we’ve been told because of feeds on social media that everything happens in five minutes, but it was five minutes ago. And we’re like, “dang, I’m behind the ball,” like “everything should be happening.” Like you’re talking about Timmy talking about overtime. And people are like, “I need to make more money because I need these things.” And the reality is most of the things that we think we need are somebody else’s agenda that we’re trying to keep up with, instead of saying, “what do I really value from our life?” Usually, it’s valuing time with people we love. And then the question is, what are the things that the money is required for that really matter? And can I start having money create more of itself? Can I start creating things that create money, it’s always going, it’s going deeper, it’s not just going and working for money, like you guys are, you’re creating opportunity for things to work for you so that it’s happening while you’re sleeping, and that that’s the big shift with money. It’s like, either you’re going to chase it and be a slave to it, or it’s going to be your it’s gonna it’s going to be your slave. And then that’s, that’s one of the big shifts. And so I say, how do you do that? You do that by going out and building something. First off, you got to build you and then you gotta go find something to be a part of that build something. And that’s where a lot of things change in the world. If you’re just trying to flip something or speculate, you’re never going to really get there and you’re always going to be nervous and it’s really, I don’t think that the universe supports that type of philosophy. I believe that there’s Providence when you have a focus on building something that serves people, especially when you serve a lot of people. That’s why is Elon Musk worth two or $300 billion. He’s serving millions and millions and millions of people. And you look at anybody that has massive financial wealth or millions, what did they do? They created something that served a lot of people. They didn’t just say, “hey, I need more paycheck,” that’s a very different way of approaching life.

Greg Lyons 40:15
That’s so true. And it’s interesting that you use the word “focus” because for someone like you, you’ve started a million companies and have done really well in real estate companies, right? But I think for you, I would classify you as kind of like a builder, a great communicator, a great networker. But when you build something, you have the right people; you put the right people in place to run your vision. And that’s what you’ve done with EQ, RP, your other businesses. And it seems like that’s where you’re putting your focus on frame tech now. So that’s really interesting. And if people want to learn more, we’ll put the link in the show notes. But, you know, this has been a great episode here. But let’s move to our last three short answer thoughts. And, you know, there’s no real segue there. Right? I mean, like, you know, but, you know, the thing I did want to say earlier is that when we’re talking about the people you spend the most time with, and Tim, that was very nice of you to say, if I spent time with five Olympic swimmers, I’d become a better swimmer. No, it could be 20 Olympic swimmers, and I’d still be a full-body dry heave trying to swim down the lane. But yes, neither here nor there. If you see Greg swim, it’s not pretty, but a lot of effort, a lot of effort. But, Damian, the first thought that we have here is you talk to a lot of people that work with a lot of people, you’re in the real estate world, what do you say to people when they just look at you and say, “You know what, investing in real estate is too risky?”

Damion Lupo 41:47
I would say that looking at something and blaming that thing as being the risky or not risky thing has nothing to do with it. It’s about you, whether you’re risky or not risky. The same house is either a risky asset or not based on the investor; it has nothing to do with the house. You can take your crack house and make it a really profitable thing. I know this because I did this in Montgomery multiple times. I was the risky investor because I was offside. I didn’t know anything; I didn’t do crack. I didn’t understand the culture. If I had actually been in that environment, there’s plenty of people that make tons of money in crack houses. I’m not one of them. I was a risky investor. It wasn’t the house. So it’s not about the thing being risky. It’s about the person. Once you educate yourself, like you guys are talking about, this is a really short answer, whether a right? There’s once you change your philosophy and dig into the education, the asset has you realized, “Oh, I can actually influence this thing.” But if you’re speculating and abdicating responsibility, then you start blaming all the assets, not the assets that you love that.

Tim Lyons 42:43
And we talk a lot about that with, like, you know, vetting operators and vetting deals and vetting assets and getting clear on what it is that you’re looking for, you know, why when the why behind the house? So I’d love that answer. Number two, Robert Kiyosaki. He’s a de facto mentor of ours. And he could say something that can drive people, you know, a little crazy, or, you know, it’s, you know, give them a double take. And he says that savers are losers, and debtors are winners in this inflation every time. What does that mean to you?

Damion Lupo 43:12
It means that to understand money, you must grasp that money is debt; it’s made up out of thin air, and it’s literally created with the stroke of a pen. It doesn’t have intrinsic value. People say, “Well, segueing into Bitcoin, how does Bitcoin have any value?” Bitcoin is a store of energy; you actually have to exchange energy—burn coal, burn electricity, something has to happen—and it’s stored in Bitcoin. Whereas you can create a trillion dollars with literally no energy other than clicking a couple of keys on a keyboard. So if you’re exchanging your life for dollars, euros, or whatever currency you’re working with, and you think that saving those is going to work out when they’re being printed a thousand times faster than you can save them, then you have to ask yourself, “Do I even understand money?” The reality is, if you can learn how to use debt to your advantage, most people use debt to their disadvantage. They bury themselves and compound against themselves and their future; they steal future prosperity. So using debt as a tool of leverage can be very powerful. I think people are learning how dangerous debt is now that rates have gone up by five points across the board. People are realizing, “Oh, man, money isn’t free,” and they’re getting hammered. Being more sophisticated about what money is—this is why Kiyosaki has hammered on this for decades—because people don’t even understand. They think it’s a thing, a made-up fictitious idea that came about zillions of years ago, and it’s not real. So you have to go deeper into your understanding and use debt to your advantage, not to your disadvantage. And I agree, savers are losers; you should have a small amount of liquidity, and beyond that, you’re getting hammered, and the bank is winning while you’re losing.

Greg Lyons 44:49
No doubt about it, especially in times like these days. So the last thought we have here is from another mentor of ours, Jim Rohn. And he said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” What does that mean to you?

Damion Lupo 45:04
It means that a nine-to-five job will get you by; it’s your security for today. But everything after that is really about you and designing your future. Most people have a nine-to-five life by default, and what happens five to nine—the other side of that clock—is your life by design. I spend most of my time— and it’s gonna sound extreme—most nights and most weekends, I’m thinking, I’m designing, I’m planning, I’m building, I’m learning. To your point earlier, when you said most people start working and they stop learning, that’s unfortunate. People think they’re going to be okay. I have a lot of employees, and I love them, and I can tell which ones are still going to be working in 10 or 20 years, whether for me or somebody else; they’re still going to be in basically the same spot because I know what they’re doing after they get off. They’re chasing activities, going to sports games, drinking beer, watching football—none of that is necessarily wrong, but their lives are a reflection of those habits. And when I hear that they can’t wait for football season because that’s what they’re gonna do Friday through Sunday, I go, “Alright, and you’re gonna be doing the same thing in 20 years; you’re not going to have any money, and you’re gonna wonder why you’re not free.” So people are putting themselves in their own bondage because they think the work ends at 5 pm. When people clock out and stop working, they stop growing, they stop learning—that tells me where they’re going to be for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, that’s where most people are. The reality, though, is we have 148 other hours a week, and I know we’re gonna sleep some of them, but what do we do with all those? We’re not designing a life; we’re going out there and getting wasted watching football. That’s unfortunately most people’s lives; they’re fixated on somebody else’s fantasy life—Taylor Swift events, now football. It all comes together, full circle, it’s crazy. But this is what people are thinking about versus, “How am I going to design a beautiful life?” Imagine this life; they’re not doing that, they’re fixated on somebody else’s fantasy life. Guaranteed, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce—if we want to talk about that for a second—they have a designed life; they’re living it, building it, thinking about it, doing it. That is not a promise of a nine-to-fiver; that’s around the clock, that’s an obsession. It’s Grant Cardone’s “Be Obsessed or Be Average.” Most people are like, “I’m average, this sucks.” You’ve got to be obsessed about something, go deep into it, and start working past the 5 o’clock deadline when you think that’s when you’re supposed to stop.

Tim Lyons 47:24
Well, that was a mic-drop moment, and I’m super happy that we have Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce mentioned because it’s gonna help our SEO, it’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be great.

Greg Lyons 47:34
But your daughters might even like it less than our daughters.

Tim Lyons 47:36
They might even say that you had Taylor Swift mentioned on your podcast. That’s right. Thank you. But no, I mean, listen, I couldn’t agree more. And you know, not that I like to be in an echo chamber, but I love to surround myself with people that are kind of rowing in the same direction, right? And I can pick up something from them and hopefully, I can drop something on somebody else. So that’s what I highly encourage. So was this episode more philosophical than tactical, right? So I would really highly encourage people listening, like if this is the first time you’re hearing about community or mindset or purpose or any of that stuff that’s kind of sticking in your craw, like, man, like, I think I should be listening to this. I don’t understand it quite yet. Go back, listen to it again. Google Damian Lupo, watch his stuff, listen to his podcast because this was really powerful stuff. So with that being said, I have to do my disclosures for our broker-dealer, Damian. So nothing we talked about today is investing advice or should be taken to heart, right? You should do your own due diligence. We’re not CPAs, we’re not financial advisors, we’re just registered reps of a broker-dealer, and we’re really bringing this stuff to you because it’s entertainment and education. So that part is done now. Listen, Damien, if people want to get ahold of you or your companies or learn more about Frame Tech and they want to get involved, what’s the best way for them to kind of get involved in your ecosystem?

Damion Lupo 49:03
Best do check out Frame Tech FinTech at frametechsi.com. Check it out and then connect with me personally on LinkedIn. I mean that. Keep it simple. I think it’s very exciting to see something literally in Arizona, so it’s kind of like the phoenix rising from the dust and the dirt. You have this amazing thing that’s being built in the desert and built on multiple locations now. Check it out. I think it’s inspiring for people to see something being built and a problem being solved and people serving communities. So I encourage people to go check out Frame Tech. And when you’re listening and you’re like, “Okay, I got a question,” great, reach out to me. You’ll notice that I will respond to you, and I love when people are taking a step in the right direction, especially when you take action. That just gets me all turned on like CNN and people’s lives. What I hate is when people talk about stuff and don’t do anything. That makes me crazy. So if you want to inspire me and not make me bananas, reach out, ask a question, do something, and tell me about it. And I’m gonna give you a high five and keep supporting you.

Tim Lyons 50:00
Love that. So, that’s gonna do it for this week’s edition of The Passive Income Brothers podcast, and we look forward to serving you again next week. All right, fellas, that was tremendous. If I can just figure out how to turn this off now, stop recording.