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Damion Lupo is the founder of a form of martial arts that combines the stillness and focus of yoga with the aggressive and flashy moves of aikido. He is also a financial adviser and became a self-made multi-millionaire at the age of 25.

Today, Damion tells us all about his life journey and how he became fascinated with yoga and aikido. He shares his advice to those who want to be successful, and explains his definition of financial freedom

“We’re in a space right now where the alternative is becoming more and more mainstream, more and more relevant.” – Damion Lupo

On Today’s Episode of the Low Carb Leader:

  • What is Yokido and why is it different than other styles of martial arts?
  • His thoughts on yoga and how progressed in it.
  • How he began practicing aikido?
  • What is “Walking Aikido”?
  • How to get into the correct mindset when starting something like fitness?

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Connect with Damion Lupo:

 

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Read Transcript Podcast

045 – Yokido – the Fusion of Yoga and Aikido with Damion Lupo


DAN:

Hello, and welcome to The Low Carb Leader podcast. I am your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined me for Episode 45. Today I have a really interesting interview with Damion Lupo. Damion is a financial advisor. He was a multimillionaire at a very young age. But what we’re going to talk about today is Yokido. It’s a fusion of yoga and aikido. And he holds multiple black belts, a third degree and two first degrees in three different styles of aikido, which is a pretty amazing feat. He wrote a book a few years ago called Reinvention, which we will talk about. So we’re going to talk about several things today. We’re going to talk about how he founded a martial art that combines yoga and aikido, and we’re going to talk about the importance of mindset and how to reinvent any aspect of your life that you are trying to improve.

 

I just returned from Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas, which was an amazing conference. About 250 vendors selling organic, grass-fed, all paleo type of stuff, which was just very cool, and great speakers, such as Dave Aspry, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf. What a great experience. And luckily I caught up with Damion in his last week in Austin. He had been living there for several years, and he is moving to Arizona. So I was able to meet up with him, and I know we’re going to be lifelong friends. We connected, and I know you’re going to enjoy this interview. He brings a wealth of knowledge in several different areas.

 

So as a reminder, if you enjoy this podcast you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio, and please check me out at thelowcarbleader.com, and it has links to all of my social media sites. All right, so I hope you enjoy the interview with Damion.

 

Welcome to the show, Damion Lupo.

DAMION:

Thank you for having me, Dan. I appreciate you inviting me, and I’m looking forward to the conversation and sharing all this with you guys.

 

DAN:

Yeah, you’ve got a pretty cool background. Before we get into the Yokido kind of walk us through how you dropped out of college four times and what led to that, how you became a self-made millionaire at age 25 and what has brought you to this point in your life.

 

A Nontraditional Route to Success

 

DAMION:

I think the thing that happened, I went from the traditional route to the alternative route, and we’re in a space right now in the time that we live in where the alternative is becoming more and more mainstream, more and more relevant because the traditional methods of, whether it’s business or careers or even the way we eat, the way we take care of our bodies, it’s all morphing. And I think there’s a shift in energy across the entire planet. So I started going off to doing the normal going to college, and I left a few times, but I was actually invited to leave, which means they threw me out one time. And that was because – I mean I’m just being me, and I was thinking about this problem, and the problem was everybody was being ripped off by the bookstores. They were all being overcharged, and I thought I can do better than this. And before Amazon started doing their used books I basically built a bookstore out of my dorm room and convinced the post office to let me put slips of order forms in everybody’s mailbox without a stamp, and this happened, and within a couple of days I got flooded with people saying yeah, I want to buy books for less, and I want to sell my used ones for more. And the president said I need you to come to my office, and I need you to stop because the bookstore is going out of business, literally real-time. And I said you know what, I am here to do something more than just conform to whatever the normal is, and that’s really – that was probably the breaking point where I shifted into a place of entrepreneurship, and I just started acknowledging who I was. And who I was was not a traditional type of guy, and that was kind of a trigger moment for me when I was invited to leave the traditional world and went out on my own.

 

DAN:

What college did you go to?

 

DAMION:

I went to the University of Portland in Oregon, and the one I got thrown out of was New Mexico Tech, in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, and it was the – that was the fourth one. So University of Phoenix and Thunderbird, and actually the last school I went to was the University of Texas here in Austin, and I was a full-time student for 45 minutes, which I think may be a record. I was fully enrolled at 32 years old, and it was one class, and I went to the class and I thought what in the world am I doing here? I was still holding on to these old belief systems that college was the way that you had to go if you were going to be successful. And I mean this was after I had become a multimillionaire and I’d had probably 20 different businesses at that point. I was still stuck in those thinking, those patterns and that belief system that was just pounded on me and really is pounded on most people. And I went what am I doing here? And I ran off campus and pulled out of school and said okay, I need to focus on me and be real and authentic. And when you’re around 20-year-old people, they’re thinking about things – they have different life experiences. By that time I had probably been to 30+ countries and lived all over the United States, and it just – it’s a different world to be in, and I just wasn’t able to have the conversations that I think are so important for us to keep growing and expanding and not get pulled back into something that’s really not us.

 

DAN:

Damion, your first books are about financial control. Talk a little bit about that. We will get into the Yokido, but so everybody understands your background is really focused around financial success.

 

Making Mistakes, Learning and Sharing

 

DAMION:

The reason I even wrote the books – the first book, which is a little funny because if you want to see the worst possible book cover that’s ever been designed, I think in history, it’s my book. And it was called Maverick Mistakes in Real Estate Investing. I never give it to anybody. I hardly ever mention it, but what happened is I started doing real estate, and after a few years I had made a number of mistakes, and while I was making millions there was documented evidence of losing about $1 million where I was writing checks, and I thought I need to make sure that I never write those same checks. So a great way to learn your lessons is to document those lessons in a book and then put it out there because two things happen. One, you can see them when you acknowledge them, and two, if you ever get close to the edge of those mistakes again somebody is going to say hey, chapter 7 says you did this already. Why are you doing it again? And so I started doing that with anything I was learning or any business I was in. Writing a book forces you to get really clear on what you know, and you realize very quickly what you don’t know, and you have to go deeper into it. So that’s why I kept writing about finance and precious metals, retirement accounts and just all the things I was doing. It made sense to write a book about them.

 

DAN:

Did you design that cover?

 

DAMION:

I did. It was actually – so if you’re going to design a book cover never use PowerPoint. I used PowerPoint and comic sans. Any designer would just shake their head and go that is literally the stupidest thing you could possibly do. But that’s what happens when you don’t know better.

 

DAN:

That’s awesome. Your entrepreneurial mindset, I can see that in everything you do, and that leads to my question about the martial arts are pretty traditional, conservative type of art. How did you come about to design a new form?

 

Spiritual Growth

 

DAMION:

Dan, this is a strange thing that happens. If we ever go deep into anything eventually we start to embody it, and it goes from an academic intellectual exercise into more of a spiritual emotional space. And in that space things start to form that you really can’t even get your mind around, that you really can’t even put words to. And after about 12, 13 years of studying aikido and then spending a few years in the yoga world I started to realize that my form of aikido was different. It was unique. There was a lot more focus on breath, and there was focused on not only connection – because in aikido you’re blending, and so it’s a wonderful art where it’s all about blending and connecting with people. But there’s this missing piece about presence that I noticed in many of the dojos, and with yoga I saw people, and I felt my experience there being about presence and being grounded. And eventually you start noticing that you’re doing things differently, and I went this is not really – this is not the aikido that I started with. And this is really – this is my expression of this stuff. So that’s where it became kind of clear to me that I needed to really get my arms around this and then share it. And because I had become it, I think that that’s the time where you really start needing to share something, when it’s who you are and not just pretend that you’re doing something like it was, but really who you are, what it is becomes important to be clear on.

 

DAN:

Yeah, so let’s take each one separately and then talk about the fusion of them. So what do you see as the most positive attributes of yoga?

 

The Practice of Yoga, Mindfulness and Presence

 

DAMION:

I think the most positive attributes of yoga is that it creates a place where you’re able to get grounded, and you start to pay attention to your body. And you’re not doing things because you just happen to be tripped up by your amygdala, or you’re running from something, or your glands are driving things, but you’re actually conscious. You’re consciously focusing on how your body is feeling, you’re consciously focused on the energy around you, and then your breath is driving this. And so being just starting off in that space that’s where you start to build this power within you, and it slows you down to get really clear on the moment that you’re living in. So you stop attaching to the past, and you stop thinking about 20 minutes from now. You’re right there. And it’s really cool because in yoga when you’re not right there you tend to fall over. The balance part of it, it’s instant feedback, and that’s what I love about it. The feedback is real time.

 

DAN:

Yeah, we don’t live in the now. I think about this all the time because I struggle with this, too, and I’ll stop, and I’ll do breathing to try to get back to the now. But if we’re not thinking about what happened yesterday we’re thinking about what we should be doing tomorrow. I don’t think a lot of people just appreciate the moment that they’re in.

 

DAMION:

No, and it gets worse because we tend to spend so much time focusing on highlight reels on Facebook, and so we’re thinking, and we’re regretting that our life is not as cool as somebody else’s highlight reel so we’re living in the past, and then we’re stressing out about the future how we’re going to create a life that looks like somebody else’s highlight reel. And it’s really kind of screwing us up because we’re not engaged completely in the moments we’re in with the people that we’re actually with and not the virtual-reality version of all these people that we may not even barely know.

 

DAN:

So how did you get into yoga?

DAMION:

Yoga was kind of an accident. I moved to Austin, and it’s a pretty big yoga town. And a very, very close friend of mine who I had met just recently, maybe like seven years ago in 2010, I was talking with him one day, and I started to get interested in meditation, and I said so why do you do yoga? This is Chris Ashby who co-wrote Reinvented Life with me, and he said I do yoga because it opens me up to meditation. And I went, oh, so then all of a sudden I became obsessed with yoga because it’s hard for me and my squirrel brain – and I think a lot of people can probably relate to this – the squirrel brain that allows you to focus for about 1.7 ms until you’re chasing something else that’s shiny that moved by you. And that’s where I was able to start opening myself up to be present in that meditative state for more than a minute. It was the 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes of Shavasana, really being able to calm my mind and start to hear what was being kind of shared with me by the universe, if you will, and it gave me that space, and it becomes pretty addictive when you experience silence and you experience that flow.

 

DAN:

So how have you progressed in yoga from the beginning? Like how much time did you spend doing yoga, and I don’t know all the steps to advancing, but kind of talk through that.

 

DAMION:

One of the funny things about yoga, and I think this is especially true with guys, guys go in there and the ego just takes over. And I see this less with women, but I definitely see it with guys. I’m sure that there are women that do this, too, and there’s this sense that maybe it’s like a martial art or something in that the progression of becoming an advanced yogi and people that go in – and I did this, too, where in the beginning my level of progression is to let go of the progression. So I’d go in, and I’d look around, and people were upside down, and they’re balancing on one toe. And I’m going how in the world are these people doing this? And then I wanted to do it. And that’s how you get hurt. You’re comparing yourself to everybody else, and what you don’t realize is that they’ve been studying gymnastics for the last 27 years, or they’ve been doing yoga five times a week for a decade, and that comparison, instead of being really present about where you are, is – that’s the biggest progression. It’s not about doing something more. It’s about being something more, being present when you’re doing it. And that was the shift over the first few years, just getting into that space. The great thing about yoga is that you start to open up, and you stop – like the tension and the toxicity in your body starts to break apart, and that’s probably the physical part that I love so much that I feel like being able to move freer. And without yoga I would probably just be in a lot of pain that increases as we get older where we’re sitting, and we’re stressed, and the tension sits in our body. Yoga starts to wring that out.

 

DAN:

How often do you practice? Do you have a daily ritual that you go through?

 

DAMION:

In my ideal world it would be like four or five days a week. In reality it’s two or three days a week. So I’ve got that rhythm that I do it. In fact, I came from yoga about 20 minutes ago, and it’s one of my favorite parts about the weekend because I can sit there in that space and digest the week and be really present. And it just – it allows me to rejuvenate. And so there’s at least a couple of times a week. The ideal I think is where there’s a rhythm. And this is kind of how Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning, is so powerful where you can do things – you can do yoga for a minute. And a lot of that has to do with sitting still in your breath. So if you can have a daily rhythm around that you don’t need to carve out the hour. If you just have a rhythm it becomes normalized, and it’s like waking up and having breakfast. You just do it every day.

 

DAN:

Yeah, that’s cool. Okay, so shifting over to aikido, I believe Steven Seagal is the most well-known aikido practitioner.

 

The Unique Energy of Aikido

 

DAMION:

Steven Seagal is probably the most recognized. If somebody says what’s aikido, I say you know that Steven Seagal guy? Have you ever seen any of his movies? They go, yeah. I go, that’s aikido. They go oh, so like pool sticks through people’s neck? I go, not exactly. That’s a little different. That’s his form of Hollywood. But yeah, that’s right; Steven Seagal is probably the most well-known.

 

DAN:

Yeah, I remember. So I was in tae kwon do when I was younger, and I went to a demonstration and they had an aikido master. And I remember just how amazing he was, not in the Steven Seagal type of bar fight, but just that he would have people come at him, and his ability just to move and deflect them was just amazing. They couldn’t even get near the guy. And I always remember that out of everything I did in the martial arts, I remember that demonstration. That was very cool. But I’m looking at your accomplishments. Kind of walk us through that. So you’re a third degree and a first degree and a first degree [inaudible 0:15:10.2]. Talk about how you got into the martial arts and then how you achieved what you achieved, and then we’ll talk about the new form.

 

DAMION:

Well, this is probably a lot like business or school or anything where I tried a lot of things that didn’t work. I went and did things, and that’s really I think the secret to my success or my life is staying in motion and moving into things and not living in my brain. So what I mean by that, when I was a kid growing up in Alaska I went and I did karate, and I lasted about a month. It just wasn’t me. And for some people it’s their perfect space, their perfect martial art. For me there was something off, and I went to college and did tae kwon do for a year, and then I left and really, same thing, didn’t fit. And then when I was in Arizona I probably saw a Steven Seagal movie, and I went okay, you know what, I’m going to go check this thing out. So I went to a dojo, and I saw – I probably watched for 15 minutes. Same thing that you saw, Dan, just this – the flow and how it was almost this mystical magical movement where people were just blending. And I went up to the sensei and I said hey, how do I do this? Can we get private lessons? And he looked at me and he said why don’t you see if you last a month? And I went, a month? Man, I’m going for my black belt. And he just said okay, and I was his first black belt four years later.

And it was because it resonated. The energy of that art, and any type of martial art has a unique energy, unique principles to it. That one resonated with my soul, and so I was in, and I was practicing three, four, sometimes five days a week. And then it just, you know, you evolve. You start letting go of your brain stuff. It starts to – the thing that you’re practicing starts to become who you are, and it was something that will be a practice the rest of my life, kind of like what George Leonard talks about with the book, Mastery, one of my favorite books ever. It’s not something you get to. Just because you earn a black belt doesn’t mean really anything. It means that you’ve taken it seriously enough to get to a place where you maybe understand the principles and you can start working on the basics again. So for me the entire practice is literally going to be the rest of my life.

 

DAN:

What are the differences between the three styles that you’re in?

 

DAMION:

There’s different levels of aggression, and so what’s fascinating is that in the original one I did there was an aggressive nature to it, the Bugakai, and the next one that I ended up going into – I was studying with a guy that I still study with in Austin, and he formed something called KajuKido, which was a blend of aikido and Kajukenbo. And Kajukenbo, if you want to find the most brutal thing out there – a lot of people think it might be Krav Maga. I think it’s probably Kajukenbo. Kajukenbo, once the guy’s down on the ground unconscious and bleeding, you’re still kicking him. And it’s just a crazy aggressive space. And so he blended these two, the Aikido, the very gentle blend, and blending type of tactics and strategies with this just brutal, bloody, break their knees and their soul and their spirit at the same time. So I ended up in that space, and that was a little less intense, but it was still – it was different for me. It wasn’t quite in alignment. And then we moved into the other one, which is the Ichikan, and that was pure aikido, and then the Yokido is, that’s the focus for the way I teach. And it’s really gone into the place where it’s the most gentle, and it’s also in my mind probably the most dangerous if it needs to be because when you’re gentle it forces you to become incredibly present. Any idiot can punch somebody, but for you to disappear and make somebody fly or move or rely on you for their balance requires massive amount of focus, discipline and training. And you have to become so connected with other people it forces a gentleness even though you become extremely deadly in the process. So it’s sort of like a yin and a yang blended together.

 

DAN:

So I’m going to ask you to create a visual over the podcast. So somebody who would be interested in Yokido, what would be your first say three months? Would you start focusing on one side or the other, or is it a combination? How does that work?

 

Beginning Yokido

 

DAMION:

Well, the first three months are going to be focused on getting really present, and it’s going to be a departure for most people because in the beginning of martial arts people are thinking about the move, like do I turn left, or do I punch right, or what am I doing? And really I’m teaching people to calm down and get into the moment because when we’re in the moment we can start feeling things, and we stop thinking about things, and we start feeling the tension that’s driving us. So we spend a lot of time those first three months just letting go of the tension. So we’re paying attention to where our mind is putting energy, whether it’s in our arm or squeezing things or grimacing. And then we’re moving, and we’re doing gentle movements, but we’re starting to ground down. So just as we’re moving around a lot of people end up being way too high in their natural movements. And if you shift your hips down –everything comes from the hips – we practice keeping ourselves an inch lower, and what happens is people are able to stay closer to the earth, and their balance ends up getting very, very solid. So when somebody comes after them a slight turn means the other person is flying and they’re just standing there. If you don’t get that first part down, if you don’t really have the grounded focus or if you don’t have – if you’re not grounded and balanced it doesn’t really matter what technique you have because you’re going to end up on the ground with somebody else.

 

DAN:

So when you go home and practice do you practice yoga separately, or aikido separately, or is it a combination?

 

DAMION:

There is something called walking aikido, so I do yoga, and anybody can do yoga literally by themselves. It’s no big deal. The walking aikido is something that I practice all the time, and it’s really a mindfulness, and it’s about – it’s walking through life where you let go of the fear and you’re present to other people and their energy, and you’re not looking for conflict. So I’m practicing this even when I’m not in the dojo. I’m always blending around people. There’s a natural movement. And when you start incorporating your training into your day-to-day movement, your day-to-day activities, even the conversation, the conversation we’re having, there is aikido happening here, and it’s because there is a – it’s a dance. It’s us kind of spinning around each other, and if – and people would be able to tell if there was conflict. If I was coming at you or you were coming at me, or in negotiations you can tell when there’s a conflict or when people are working together and there is a dance. And that’s what you’ll notice about me. I tend to not be in that head-to-head butting type of thing. I’m more in a dance with most people, whether I’m on the phone or walking around or in the dojo.

 

DAN:

Damion, are you the only one that offers this, or do you have other instructors? I’m just thinking if somebody is like oh yeah, I want to try that. Is it possible if you don’t live in Austin?

 

 

DAMION:

It will be possible eventually. This is fairly new. So I’ll be teaching this in Sedona shortly, and then from there there is guest opportunities. Like I will be at the Wanderlust conventions this year, and I’ll be doing some of that training like in Squaw Valley in July. So people are going to be able to engage and start to understand it. Eventually there will be other teachers that are sharing this, and for the time being it’s really just a mindfulness activity and training process because there is – it hasn’t spread physically for the training, but if people can understand the activities in their mind and they can start to become Yokido-y in the way that they move through life.

 

DAN:

Do you offer anything now, like videos, or is there a book or anything like that?

 

DAMION:

Yeah, on Yokido.org there is a way to opt in, and one of the things that I’m putting on there is videos, and so people actually end up getting videos and some instructional pieces so that they can start to learn how to be more present, and they can learn how to start moving, just very simple things that they can practice. They don’t need a dojo, and they don’t need to go take lessons somewhere. It just gives them some ideas around these philosophies of power and relationship and connection. And so those are available there, and it will at least get people started on that path towards mindfulness.

 

Setting your Mind for Success

 

DAN:

That’s cool. So I kind of want to shift a little bit. So I see that you have a really strong mindset around improvement, success, and this is a podcast about nutrition and fitness, and it seems what I see is that people jump into they want to lose weight, or they want to get in shape, or they want to go to the gym or something, and they just do it. They don’t get their mind set correct before they do it. And then I see a lot of people bail, or everybody who joins the gym January 1st within two weeks they’re gone. Or somebody wants to go on a diet and they jump in with grilled chicken and broccoli, as I always say, and that lasts a day. What are your thoughts around getting your mind in the right order, getting your mind set correct before you jump into something?

 

DAMION:

Dan, this is the key. I mean you’re hitting the thing that people miss because they go right to the external. In Reinvented Life Chris and I spend the first half of the book on the internal transformation and reinvention, and then we shift into the external. And what most people do is they say I’m going to go to the gym, and I’m going to do this thing. And the problem is there’s a misalignment between who they are and who they believe their self – who they believe they are in their mind and how they see themselves. And so what they end up doing is they go to the gym, but then they also see this fried chicken, and they go ooh, that’s good, because in their mind they still see themselves as this really unhealthy person. So there’s a misalignment. If you get the mindset right and you shift that and you start to see yourself – and this is about visualizing. It’s about the stories we tell ourselves. Once you shift that, then the other things happen as a side effect. It’s the same thing with finance and investing. If you start focusing on the things that are truly your calling, the things that the universe is really wanting you to do, you’re going to have this side effect called money. Most people focus on the money first, or they focus on the big muscles, but they don’t get the thing right. They don’t get themselves right. And starting there makes everything else open up because there is a natural magnetic pull because the belief systems are in place. Without those you are literally toast. There’s no possible way you’re going to have a sustainable shift even if you go to the gym for a year. I’ve seen this happen with people transforming their lives, close friends of mine, and because they didn’t internally shift, all of a sudden wow, 18 months later they’re back to being totally unhealthy again. So you’re right; it is the internal shift first. You have to start there, and then you go sign up for the gym.

 

DAN:

Yeah, I agree with that because – and you’ve got to have a why. We talked about this in a prior podcast. Just saying I want to lose weight or just saying I’m going to eat healthy, it’s easy for the first 12 hours, and then it starts getting hard, and if you don’t have a real why like I want to be healthy for my kids, or I want to live a nice quality life as opposed to I just want to look good – you know, I’ve done a couple physique shows in the past, and it’s hard. It’s hard to get in good shape, and the mental drain, and you’ve really got to have a reason why to succeed. So I agree completely. And nobody takes the time to get their mind right.

 

DAMION:

They don’t. Something that can be a really powerful immediate shift with people that have kids – and I don’t have kids yet, but I can tell you that – and I think everybody kind of realizes this, that kids model. They do whatever they see, and they become these little like Xerox copies of their parents, and it’s crazy, but it’s just how it works. And if somebody is saying I don’t know what my why is; I don’t know why I’m going to – I’m going to stop overeating, or I’m going to stop smoking. Just look at your kids and realize that they’re going to become exactly like you. And if you’re sitting there smoking a cigarette and chowing down on fried chicken and you’re 50 pounds overweight, just realize your kids are going down that path, and they are going to become you. If you want a why, ask yourself are you trying to kill your kids? And that may be hitting something, hitting a button for parents to get them to shift. There’s got to be something that is that profound to where you feel like you’re going to do some type of trauma to somebody that you love. That can make all the difference, and it can shift your mind in a moment.

 

DAN:

That’s a great point. Well talk about your book just a little bit, the Reinvented Life. That’s your most recent book, correct?

 

DAMION:

Reinvented Life, there’s been some different iterations of it. That one was written with Chris in 2012, so we worked on that thing, and it was sort of a funny story because I told him I was working on this book and it had to do with my whole buildup of my financial world and all these successes and then blowing it up, losing a $20 million portfolio and having to start over and reinvent. And I said I’m going to write this book because I just have all this stuff in me. And this is also a really powerful thing for people to do. It’s why journaling is so valuable. To write a book about your story, it gets it all out, and it’s powerful thing to either lead by example with some of your stuff, or in my case there was a lot of warning in here, a lot of things like hey, don’t do this because this is really bad, and this is going to hurt a lot. And so I said I’m going to get it out, and Chris said cool. I want to write that with you. And if you ever want to bond with somebody in a very cool, like you want to become kin and create a brotherhood, write a book with that person. An unbelievable bond that gets created.

 

So we basically shared our journeys, and it wasn’t just a story about here’s what happened to us. We said okay, in each of these pieces, each of these things that happened and the shifting that went on, how could we take that and provide a blueprint for somebody to use that lesson and use it for their own reinvention? And so there is this chapter by chapter playbook on how to reinvent. And for Chris, he went from being a world-class classical musician traveling all over the world and realized that he was going to basically be broke the rest of his life because he was not Justin Bieber. He was a guy that was very talented, and he said there is something else I want to my life. I want to create abundance. And so he shifted into this financial space where he was incredibly successful, and for me I kind of did this inverse. I went from all this money and the Ferraris and all the glitz and glamour and shifted into this more mindful space of I’m focused on purpose and legacy and thinking about how I’m going to impact people. The idea of becoming a billionaire today to me means a very different thing. Back 10 years ago it was about $1 billion in the bank. Today it’s how do I express myself to impact and lift up a billion people? So that shift has changed everything, and you would not recognize the person I was 10 years ago because of that internal to external reinvention.

 

DAN:

What was your biggest learning writing this book?

 

Transparency and Freedom

 

DAMION:

Holy cow. The biggest learning writing this book is – this was actually one of the most emotional processes in my life. The biggest learning was that we trap ourselves by the things that we keep inside that we’re not willing to be transparent on to ourselves and to the world. With my company now, it’s really interesting. The company was started 15 months ago, and when it was set up one of the first things that happened was the values of the company that were the same as me were decided upon and put out there, and one of those is transparency. And so everything that we do, everything I do is very transparent. One of them is candor. So I’m going to tell you what you need to hear. I’m going to be straight with you. And this is the customer, the team, all of those things. It’s a different way of focusing. It’s a different way of showing up. I think people are afraid of being honest and authentic. It’s missing in the world. Jack Welch talked about this, about the missing piece in business is candor. And when you shift into that space you stand out, and people go you’re different, and I want to be connected to you. I want to be with you. And a relationship gets created. So I think if somebody can take one thing away it’s to find ways to be more transparent and open yourself up. And you’ll be amazed at how present that makes you and the type of relationships you start shifting into.

 

DAN:

So Damion, we talked about a bunch of stuff today. So what would you recommend as maybe just two or three things that somebody could get started, because we talked about meditation and yoga and aikido, and mindset. What’s some simple ways to start shifting everything toward a better place in your life?

 

DAMION:

Everybody has a piece of reinvention going on, and there is a process to go through that. I did everything I could to bring that process to the surface with Reinvented Life, and I would encourage people to get a copy of Reinvented Life and take the pieces that work for you out of that thing so that whatever you’re shifting from into you can start doing that. And there is a game plan in there. It’s laid out in a way where you can take action on that shift, whatever that is. It might be business. It might be family. It might be your integrity. It could be anything. But it’s going to show up the way you need it to show up. And that might be learning about Yokido, but whatever reinvention you need in your life, this book will speak to you, and it will help drive you towards that place, and it will help you become your own inner guru because it’s going to tap into the thing that’s probably been missing from your eyesight and your ability to see for a long time. That’s where I would get started.

 

DAN:

I think we just get so caught up in life that we don’t take time to sit back, think about the now, enjoy life, which is unfortunate because everybody is so busy being busy. You end up at the end of the day not happy.

 

DAMION:

Yeah, at the end of the day – it’s funny because people are so focused on all these things that they’re doing, and they’re really just going to end up being old. I mean, so if we’re not present, that’s where we end up. We end up being old. And what’s the point if you don’t actually live in the time that you have? You’re just going to end up on the end of that thing, and you’re going to be in a box somewhere buried underneath the dirt. That’s not the point of living. It’s really to be here and be in this moment, be in this life.

 

DAN:

Yeah, and I commend you on your shift from accumulating wealth, which isn’t bad in itself I don’t think, but to how you share that message and how you help improve others. And for those – probably everybody doesn’t know unless you’re a follower of Damion, but he has gone on so many podcasts trying to share this message. Damion, just talk a little bit about the number of podcasts that you go on so you can share this. I find that amazing.

 

10X-ing your Life

 

DAMION:

For me if I’m going to do something, and this is my personality, I’m going to really go into it. And I remember thinking I wanted to share the message, the story, the lessons, and really invite people into my world. And so when I started in the podcast interview process I told the people that were helping me set up shows, I said I want to be on a lot. And they said okay, well we can set you up on four a month. And I said how about 40? And they looked at me like I was insane. I said look, I have a fundamental belief on the 10X concept that Grant Cardone talks about, that people have been talking about, and I’m not interested in playing small.

 

The world doesn’t need me to play small. I learned this when I was with my dad the last few weeks of his life and he looked at me and he said you know man, I just had so many things that I wanted to do. And I mean I’m shivering right now thinking about that because what I saw was regret. I saw someone that was a good person, but he didn’t play to win. He was playing not to lose, and so I think about that all the time. I think about how can I show up bigger. And with podcasting there are so many people that are spending their time, they’re present to this message, to these conversations, and I went I can do more than four. I can 10X that. I can have more impact. Let’s do 40. And what’s happening is I’m shifting in this process and more people are hearing the message. And people are popping up and they’re going I really got that one thing, or they’re saying I thought I was the only one that had gone through this. And for me it just feeds that. It feeds my want and my desire to do more of this and to share more because I see that people are being lifted up, and I see that the billion person impact is happening, that the momentum is there. So I’m not slowing down. If anything I’m speeding up.

 

DAN:

That’s so cool. I’m just laughing because I’m going to start appearing on podcasts, and I’m doing the four a month, and I’m like that’s a lot. You know, doing my own podcast I do one episode a week, maybe sometimes an extra one, but for those that are not familiar with podcasts, 40 a month is an incredibly high number of podcasts. So that’s pretty awesome.

 

DAMION:

It’s a little bit insane when you think about what goes into these conversations and being present and just the follow up and everything, but we have to ask ourselves what are we really in on? I mean, if we’re going to do everything average we’re going to have an average life, and I don’t think most of us want that. We just have to be willing to do something that’s not average. And for me doing something not average was 10X-ing it. So there’s something you can 10X in your life. There’s a question, how can you 10X your health? How can you 10X your relationships, your financial wealth? If you ask that question you’ll start to see things that you never saw before, and it will shift you.

 

DAN:

In closing, what is your number one goal in life right now then?

 

Life Goals

 

DAMION:

My number one goal in life is to empower people with the confidence to drive their own financial future. I see people being trapped by money, trapped by finance. Even when people have millions of dollars in the bank I see them afraid that they’re going to lose it, that they would not be able to create it. And to me there is a difference – financial freedom isn’t just cash. In fact I think cash is trash. It’s not just rental property maybe that produces cash flow. It’s this inner confidence that no matter what happens to you that you have the belief and the trust that you can go out and re-create. And it’s the same thing that Henry Ford said a hundred years ago when somebody said you’ve created all this success and wealth. What would happen if it was taken away? And he said I’d have it back in five years. And when you have that confidence you are – you shift into a place of freedom. And for me I want everyone to be free, and freedom is a mindset. It’s not necessarily the country you’re in. It’s not the amount of money you have. It’s the confidence in yourself to create. That is my entire focus in my life with everything I do right now.

 

DAN:

That’s awesome. Well, Damion, it’s been awesome talking to you. Tell the audience how they can find you, your website, your books. You have a lot going on, so kind of walk us through all that.

 

More from Damion Lupo

 

DAMION:

The best place to go find me is go to DamionLupo.com. You will see whatever is important to you, and you will be able to see my books, and you’ll see the companies and the financial tools and the Yokido. You’ll see everything there. So just go to total – or sorry – go to DamionLupo.com and visit there, and everything will show up.

 

DAN:

And you have another website, correct?

 

DAMION:

I do. And this is all the financial teaching and where you can understand the focus on what I’m doing with people and their money. It’s called Total Control Financial, and that’s the company that I founded that’s really there to disrupt the status quo and get people off the roller coaster of Wall Street and put them in the driver’s chair of their financial lives, which tends to shift things. If you’re in the driver’s seat you tend to have a totally different experience of life versus the fear of maybe not having enough or not being in control.

 

DAN:

And on that website is that like personal financial coaching, or is it lessons?

 

 

DAMION:

There are some tools that you can use. There are some tools that we offer to people, and there’s a lot of education that is being put on there for all the different pieces. This is not the Dave and Suze show where we’re going to tell you to cut up your credit cards and to live beneath your means. That is not what this is all about. It’s all about the confidence, it’s the tools, it’s the shift in mindset. And then it’s practical things that you can actually do with money and with your habits that will create that freedom and that confidence going forward.

DAN:

Very cool. And we’ll link everything in the show notes. Damion, it’s been an awesome interview. I think the focus on mindset and living in the now, in the present, and how you can accomplish the things you want to accomplish is so important in every aspect of your life, just not nutrition and fitness, but financials and raising children and everything else.

 

DAMION:

Yeah, it really does, and at the base it starts in your mind. And when we can get that right everything else starts to transform, our bodies, our relationships, our money. We have to start in the mind and shift that. And if you can just focus on one thing, focus on the mental reinvention, and everything else will start to become easier and open up to you in a way that you can’t even imagine right now.

 

DAN:

Damion, thank you so much for being on the show today. It’s been very informative and very interesting.

 

DAMION:

Awesome. I appreciate it, Dan. Thanks so much.

 

DAN:

Thank you.

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