Undocumented to Financial Independence with Diego Corzo

I know work can be a tough part of life for some. I’ve had it lucky in many ways, in spite of the many struggles I’ve had over the years.

Our guest today had to overcome more than most, and his story is incredible. Diego came to the United States at 9 years old, undocumented. He was a great student — top of his class. And spent his time outside of school volunteering. When he was offered a job he discovered he couldn’t just get one — unlike his peers .

What he did next took resolve and creativity. I’ll let him tell that story.

Today Diego works to inspire others with his story and help them find financial freedom as a real estate agent and educator.


Listen in here:

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In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What Diego does
  • Diego’s career journey
  • The power of questions
  • How finding the right “why” helped him
  • How to set your vision and choose what to focus on
  • The power of a peer group and how Diego found his
  • Where to start when it comes to finding that kind of community
  • How he defines financial independence personally
  • What is house hacking
  • His words of wisdom for people who are stuck and do not know what to do next

Resources Mentioned:

Dan’s list of Real Estate and Financial independence books

Diego’s Website: Free by 26

Diego’s LinkedIn

Diego’s Ted Talk

Transcription:

Dan

Diego, welcome to the Meaning Movement podcast, I’m so happy to have you here with me today. 

Diego

It is a pleasure Dan. Happy to be here. 

Dan

So the question I’d like to begin with is how do you begin to talk about your work in the world? 

Diego

How do I begin to talk about my work in the world? That is a good question. My perspective of like where I am today is about helping others, inspiring them to reach their true potential. That is my goal right now.

Dan

And so let’s break that down a little bit and just maybe a little bit practical and into the details. How do you go about doing that?

Diego

Yeah, so and to tell you the truth, I mean, with what it means, like, I feel like the meaning that I have now in twenty twenty wasn’t the same meaning that I was living my life or that I had, let’s say back in twenty twelve. There’s been different transitions, different events that have happened throughout my life that has made where I am today have the meaning that I have now. And it’s super, super interesting. I guess as I’m thinking back, there’s been definitely things that I can tell you, like this is where it changed or these are the things that happened that change the meaning of what I really wanted to do with my life.

Yeah, let’s hear some of that story I think I’d love to hear just before we jump into it. I love that you’re thinking about it and starting us off with this process. Right.

Dan

There’s always a process that’s evolving process that the way we’re thinking about our work changes over time and just as we change over time, which I think is really, really fantastic. So let’s rewind a little bit.

And I’d love to hear where you say you mentioned 2012. If that’s a good place to start, we could jump in there or take us back and then let’s hear some of the journey.

Diego

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So I am what Congress calls a dreamer. So I am basically a person, a kid. I am an adult now. But I came to the United States when I was nine years old from Peru, from South America. And and that’s where my story sort of starts with a few of the challenges. Right. As a kid coming to the states, trying to learn a new language, trying to see what America is all about, and especially seeing or like having the understanding as a kid that we’re here in the United States, but that we are undocumented.

But it doesn’t for me, it didn’t really hit me until I turned 15 years old when I went to the DMV so that I could get my driver’s license just like all of my friends. That’s when it really hit me. The whole perspective that like, OK, even though I knew that I was undocumented as a kid, I was now going to be facing challenges that my other friends didn’t have. So that’s where it really starts. And then I graduated high school, third in my class.

I got into FSU in Florida, in Tallahassee. And as I was going applying to student loans, grants, scholarships, I realized that I do not qualify for any of that because, of course, I wasn’t an American. I didn’t have a green card. I didn’t have a citizenship. So even though I graduated third in my class and won a lot of scholarships, they couldn’t wire the money to my account or give me the checks or whatever because they needed to see my green card.

So those were the types of obstacles that I had. And then I went to college, I was volunteering at a nonprofit, and then they decided to hire me and I was like, OK, this is great. Now this is going to be my opportunity to make some money so that I can pay for my studies. And then as I was going through the application process, granted, I’m 19 years old at this time and they said, “Great, Diego, everything looks good. We just need your work permit.” 

So I go to my mom, I ask her about it. She says, (giggles) “You do not have a work permit”. So at the age of 19, I found myself that I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t get student loans or financial aid or anything. And now I can’t even work here in the United States. But I remember that when we came to the United States, my dad told me that the U.S. is the land of opportunity, but it is up to us to find it.

So I always had that instilled in me. So I knew that no matter what, I was going to figure out a solution, figure out a way to make. At the end of the day, I want to help people achieve their own version of the American dream and which is really the best, like the potential that they can see in that, especially in this country. Where is so much opportunity? So at the end of the day, I found a way to create an LLC and that’s how I began to do work for nonprofit small businesses.

I was doing I.T., so doing websites, and that allowed me to get paid through my LLC as a contractor so that I could pay for my studies and people and all of that stuff. But all of my meetings, all of my appointment with business owners, with everybody I was riding my bike to and from work. This is back in 2011 where there was no Uber, no Lift, no nothing back then.

So it was literally me with my bike and a suit in my backpack and just driving to those meetings with a towel drying off and changing in the back of the building, walking to the front of the building and all of that. It wasn’t until the Obama administration passed that Dacca program, which basically, I was twenty two at that time, twenty one twenty two years old, and that program allowed dreamers like me who came to the United States as kids to be able to get a driver’s license and a work permit. So that basically at the age of twenty two, I was finally able to get, quote unquote, a real job and be able to finally get a driver’s license.

And I’ll tell you, like, usually people hate to go to the DMV. I was one of the happiest persons there at the end of the day. So it’s all perspective. But one of the skills that I learned through so many obstacles is like sort of like the art of being resourceful or the science. I don’t know what to call it yet. Right. But at the end of the day, it’s like if option A doesn’t work out, A function B doesn’t work out, there’s always option C.

And I’m a big believer that if the door of opportunity is closed, I go through the window. That’s been something that no matter what, there are challenges, no matter what, right? Whether you’re American, whether you’re undocumented or whatever, there’s always challenges. But it is the mindset that I believe you need to have to know that, OK, this is a challenge, but there is always a solution for it.

And the meaning, because after I graduated from FSU, I got two bachelor’s degrees and I got a job as a software developer for GM in Austin, Texas. I worked at GM for about two years. And in between that time, I got really interested in real estate. I’d read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and that taught me that there’s two ways for people to make money. You can either trade your time for money or you can make your money work for you.

So in that journey of like learning about personal development and reading books and deciding what I’m going to do to make my money work for me, I stumbled into real estate. I became a realtor, and I also set a goal to buy 10 properties by the time that I turned thirty five. It’s interesting that by age 27, I had 10 properties already. I’m twenty nine now and I have around 20 doors all over the US and I’m technically financially free.

But it’s been a heck of a journey with a lot of ups and downs. And I would tell you the event that changed my life, that really made it that meaningful for me of everything that I was doing to the subject like I’m doing now. The current administration, and not to get political or anything, but the current administration decided to terminate the DACA program. And at that moment, I was twenty seven years old at that time and that program was terminated, quote unquote, because they believe that DACA was denying jobs of hundreds of other Americans from getting those jobs and by allowing those jobs to go to the dreamers, to people like me.

So I got mad at that situation because I was like, no, I worked my butt off to get to where I am. By that time, I already owned 10 properties. And I was like, look, if I can be a dreamer and a DACA recipient and own 10 properties already quit corporate America, I’m employing Americans and paying all of that like I’m paying taxes. I showed a picture. I came out and shared on social media that I am a dreamer and that I am a DACA recipient with a picture of the taxes that I paid in twenty sixteen or over twenty thousand dollars.

And that post went viral.

And when that went viral. Right. I get a lot of people that supported me and then I got a lot of haters, people that I never talk to in my life that just went viral. I got so many comments like you’re still undocumented no matter your success, you should go back to Peru, whatever. But that moment had a huge impact on me because after that I was featured on Fox News, Austin. That same weekend I’ve been featured in for CNN Money.

I flown to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressmen. I have given speeches like at a press conference I’ve been able to give to TED talks. But at the end of the day, the meaningful and this is this goes back to I can relate your first question. I always wanted to help other people become financially free. But the event that actually what made it explode, quote unquote, was when the current administration tried to terminate the DACA program, because I got so many people that reached out asking for help. Like, “Diego, I’m a DACA recipient, too. I am a dreamer as well. How can I do what you do?” Or I had other friends that were Americans that said, “Diego, I didn’t know that you were a doctor. I didn’t know that you were a dreamer. And I read everything that you’ve been able to accomplish. Can you teach me? Can you show me?” And so since then, I’ve created different opportunities, different programs or different ways that people can reach out to me so that I can help them out and showing them different ways to invest in real estate.

And so the meaning has changed from like I was just literally a realtor here in Austin, Texas. Like I went from being a software developer to a realtor to now I’m teaching people how to achieve financial independence. And that is what really, really fueled me.

Dan

I love it, man. Just absolutely incredible, incredible story. And I love how you’re tying it back to the meaning. And it sounds like in some ways it was for you, like it was first.

It was for you to, you know, maybe even achieve what your family hope was coming to the United States. To seize the opportunity and pursuing that for yourself. But it sounds like that kind of shifted for you with the current administration. And now it’s not just for you, but then also for others. I guess, shifted to be a bigger sense of purpose. 

Diego

Exactly right. 

Dan

That’s incredible. That’s really incredible.

There’s so much I want to unpack in your story. It’s just like it’s just so many. I mean, it’s just incredible.

I’m curious for you, as you’re you know, we’re just up against so many, so many obstacles.

Is it just your nature just to be positive and to remain optimistic?

And if not, like, how did you keep your hopes up in the face of such adversity and so many obstacles that your classmates don’t even have to worry about?

Diego

Yeah, and it’s something that I guess like as years went by, they were quotes or there was things that I read that I was like, “Oh, that’s the mindset that I have, or that’s the way that I’ve lived my life.” Right. And it goes there’s two quotes. And after going to Tony Robbins event, I feel like at the end of the day, no matter what the circumstances that you go for or that you have.

Right? The power of questions like the questions that you ask yourself, have power. So instead of asking yourself, why is this happening to me and take the victim mentality, I’ve always asked myself, why is this happening for me and to be empowered mentality? So instead of like, OK, I can I get a job now? Because they say that I cannot I do not have a work permit. OK, how can how can this help me or what other opportunities can I can I have now this I found out that I can create that LLC and it was interesting that looking back by me, not having the opportunity of being able to either like to work for a company or for a non-profit.

And right. As I was going through through college and then not being able to qualify for student loans later, that sort of seemed like a blessing in disguise, because as I got the job at GM, they literally hired me on the spot during the interview because they looked at my resume and they were like, Diego, everybody has like they worked on a student project senior year or and you’re actually you’re giving me like company work, like you’ve actually done these websites that I can literally log on to or like, see, your work is like you’re actually working and they’re like, we are going to hire you.

So and then I got the job and my colleagues, we got the same job and there were sixty thousand dollars in student debt. And I didn’t have that right because I did have to work a lot during college. But at the end of the day. Right? Is that is asking myself the right questions of why is this happening for me. And also there’s a quote by Hal Elrod that I heard back in twenty fourteen that I read.

He says, You should focus on your vision, not your current situations. And I feel like definitely by focusing on our goals. Sure, there’s going to be challenges. Sure there’s going to be obstacles. But I always feel like if you focus on the right goals that you want. And you have to have the right why. The why for me has been my parents. The sacrifices that my mom and my dad did in order to give my brother and I a better life here in the United States. Like you can be like Diego, like you were driving your bike four or five miles in the heat.

That’s awesome that you are such an achiever or like you’re such a hard worker. But I’m like, “Yeah, but my parents have done so much.” Like, working two or three different jobs at the same time. Like working at the restaurants from like 11:00 in the morning till 5:00 in the morning the next day to sleeping for two hours and going back again from 11:00 to 5:00 a.m. again, because in Miami there’s like events and parties and all this other stuff so my mom had to work.

So it’s sort of like, sure, I can be a hard worker. But the example that my parents set for me and the sacrifices that they had to go through make my work like nothing.

Dan 

Yeah, yeah. It really puts in perspective. And I can see how that can really drive you to achieve and to make sure that you’re making the most out of the opportunity that you have.

Yeah. You mentioned your vision for your life, that you’re focus on your vision, not your current situation. I love that. How do you set your vision? How do you choose what to focus on? What do you think about what’s next for you?

Yeah, that is a good question, because I feel like for you to know, like you first have to know what you really want. And but the thing that’s going to help you is just like asking like why you want those things, like why do you want it and why do you want it? Because sometimes it’s so sort of like, oh, I want a million dollars. OK, but why. And then you might answer that question. OK, but why.

Diego

And then at the end of the day, maybe it’s not the million dollars that you want. Maybe it’s literally that you just want to have the freedom to have at least like five hours out of the day to be with your family or to actually have the time freedom. It’s not just money, but it’s more like having the ability to have choices. So I feel like it’s super important to go set what you want and then ask yourself why you want it so that you can really know and set a goal, right? At the end of the day, just to give you an example, a lot of people think that they need a million dollars to retire from their job. Or like, “Hey, I need a million dollars in the bank.” And that’s not true. You just need to have maybe ten or fifteen thousand dollars a month coming impassively so that you can retire. It does have to be a million dollars or five million, whatever that is, right? So that’s number one. And as in asking yourself why you want certain things and going a few “why’s” in.

The other thing is that you have to surround yourself with people that have a similar why so that you don’t quit. Also so that they can hold you accountable so that you can share different resources. I feel like that is super important. You have to understand the power of your peer group and the people that you surround yourself with. 

Dan

Yeah. How is that played out with you and specifically the peer group? How have you found people to help hold you accountable and to help carry you along?

Diego

Yeah, I got in. For me, I know that like without the example of my parents and without the example of my mentors of a mastermind group that I belong to, I wouldn’t be where I am today. There is a mastermind group that to join you have to be a millionaire. And I found myself in a room with ten of those entrepreneurs. And at that point I was twenty three years old. And when they came to me, like everybody was introducing themselves, they were like, my net worth is forty million, ten million, two million, whatever.

They come to me and I’m like, hey, my name is Diego. Like I was the youngest one in the room and I was not supposed to be there. So they say I’m like, my name is Diego. I’m twenty three years old. I worked at General Motors and they were like, How are you here? And I was like, I found about this on Twitter and now I’m here.

But after that event, my whole life changed because I told them a little bit about my story, about being a dreamer, all the obstacles. And I told them, look, I’m a big believer in what Jim Rome says. You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. And I really want to be connected with this tribe, they told me like, “OK, well, we’ve created GoBundance for millionaires, but we will allow you to come in and you will be our first mentee, our first apprentice. Do you want to be that person?” And I was like, oh, my gosh, yes.

And they have set the example for me because all of the sudden I was able to surround myself with millionaires like over one hundred millionaires now because that was in twenty fourteen. Now fast forward. Twenty twenty, they have set the example and what may have taken them 10, 20 years, I know that I can accomplish it in less than that, like in five or ten years. Right, because they would have been the ones that have challenged me. The levels of conversations and the standards are a little bit higher.

So I know that, like, I just have to take action that is super important. You have to be action oriented for whatever your mentors tell you, because if not, you’re going to be wasting their time. So I feel like in taking the right action, holding myself accountable and having the right goals, I feel like that has helped me a lot and doing everything that they told me 

Dan

In that room, so you saw it on Twitter. I just want to know more about how you got into that room. So you just walk right in. Or like, how did that play out? It’s amazing.

Diego

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I heard a podcast back in me wanting to become a realtor. I was like, OK, well, I’m in front of a computer doing websites for like eight hours a day. How can I be as productive as possible? So I listen to podcast while I was becoming a realtor and one of the podcasts was called Real Estate Rock Stars by Pat Hiban. And this was when he was first starting out, literally like his podcast.

And now they have like 600 episodes. So after each one, I reached out on Twitter and thanked him for it, I’m like, “Hi, Pat Hiban, thank you so much for this episode. This is what I’ve learned.” 

And from one of those interviews, he talked about the power of your peer group and the mastermind group that he has. Now, back then in twenty fourteen, that mastermind group was only like 30 people. It was just starting now. Now there’s over two hundred. And so I also reached out, I guess, at the right time because if I would have reached out now, there would be like, “Ah ah.” So it just matter with that timing and everything.

So I reach out to him on Twitter and he says, “well, this mastermind is for millionaire entrepreneurs that like to lead epic lives, have financial freedom and have accountability and contribute to others.” And I was like, oh, my gosh, I want in. So I went to their website and I fill out a form. And then I got a call with one of the other creators of GoBundance. And he’s like, Dude, we created this for millionaires, but let me see what I can do.

Give me a couple of days. So a week goes by, I jump on a call with him again and he’s like, all right, we want you to come. But just know that it’s going to be around ten or fifteen millionaires and yourself.

I was like, oh, my gosh, OK.

So all this time I’m like, I don’t even belong in that room, right? But I decided to go for it and I was like, No. One, this is going to be an opportunity of a lifetime. And I went for it. And it’s interesting because everybody had a connection with somebody, right? When they were doing their introductions, they were like, oh, I got invited because of this person or I got invited because I read this or I read that.

So everybody had a connection that they knew somebody. I was the only one that literally called, like on social media, on Twitter. I just reached out to him and it happened. And what’s crazy is that I turned twenty four years old at that event and I was like, wow, my life. Like, I will always remember that year, that birthday. Is my life completely changed to the point that two weeks later I was flying on a private plane with one of them to go run a Spartan race.

And they were picking up his buddies like we stop in from Austin to Dallas to whatever to whatever, to give you an example. Right. The level of conversations, it was more like he asked, like at the event it happened to be like in August of twenty fourteen. He told me, Hey, Diego, if you want to join us, we’re going to run a Spartan race. It’s going to be in two weeks and we can come on my private plane.

Do you want to join. I was like, OK, first I need to ask my manager because I already took five days off to come to this event. And let me ask him because I Diego, I don’t want to hear your excuses.

You just need to tell me yes or no.

So that’s like the level I was like, oh, OK, yes, that makes more sense. Like, they don’t want to hear your excuses is just a simple yes. Yes. You’re going to join or not. That’s it. 

Dan

I love it. 

Diego

Yeah. So I mean, I did everything that they told me to afterwards. Right. They said, Diego, we think you should go to Tony Robbins. I was at UPW that same year. They had a non-profit. I went to that event. I basically did everything like Diego, you should read this book. You should do this. I did. I feel like by connecting myself with that peer group, it gave me the confidence to share my story a bit more.

Yeah. And to come from a way to, like, inspire others, because I’ve had a speech impediment since I was five years old. I used to be that kid in high school who used to skip classes like parts of classes because I didn’t want to give a speech or because. I used to just like stutter like a lot. I used to stutter a lot and even now I still do sometimes. But I mean, at the end of the day, I had to overcome a lot to get over that fear of public speaking because I did a TEDx talk in twenty nineteen.

And it’s crazy because if you would have told me that when I was in high school I would be like, there is no way I’m literally skipping classes or telling my teacher if I could give them a written report because I didn’t want to stutter in front of and I would get nervous like for like the popcorn reading that we have, like in middle school. Those were the worst days. Yes. I was like, yeah, but at the end of the day I just had to do what you had to do.

Right. Like they told you when you have a speech, don’t memorise it. I had to work for word for my TEDx talk so that I didn’t have to think about what the next word that was going to come, because if not, I would stutter. Yeah. So I did like if you go online and see it is 12 minutes or 13 minutes and I memorized everything word for word so that I didn’t have to go through all of that.

Dan

Wow. I’ll look it up, make sure to link to your TEDx Talk in the show notes. I just love that picture of you showing up at that meeting. And that’s something that really stood out to me is telling that story is it sounds like you’re basically told you’re not going to belong here. But for you, that wasn’t a deterrent. And it sounds like throughout your whole life, that’s a story that you’ve had to live with from trying to get a driver’s license and not being able to get one.

And like so much has told you so often you’ve heard that story that you don’t belong. So then when you walk into a room and there’s a bunch of millionaires and you know, you don’t belong like it doesn’t bother you anymore because you’re just so used to like you’re so used to being in that place.

Diego

Yeah.

Dan

I love that. So for people who are listening and they’re hearing just how impactful this group of mentors have been for you and they were like, I need people like that in my life, I don’t know, maybe they’re on a different journey. Maybe they’re not necessarily looking to for financial independence, which I wanna talk some more about that with you. But just on the mentor piece, like where do you recommend where do people start when it comes to finding that kind of community?

Diego

Yeah, I would say so. That’s a good question. There’s definitely a lot out there depending on, like, their speakers. Right. Like if you go to Tony Robbins event, if you go to if you just read books on the personal development side, there might be just communities on Facebook, too, that you can join just to get started. At the end of the day, you do not have to spend money yet to join a mastermind group.

You can join some of the groups and some of the challenges. Right. If you read a book and they say, hey, we have a Facebook group for like a seven day challenge, to do this. Maybe it is Hal Elrod’s – Miracle Morning. I know that he has some like a 30 day challenge so you can join their Facebook group and get to know a couple of people. And if they have a more intimate mastermind group, you can definitely join that.

So it really depends on also like what kind of group do you want to join? There are some for like mastermind groups, for entrepreneurs, for people that are doing social media and or people that are more into health. But I feel like being part of the masterminds definitely helps and try a few out, you know, try them out for like three to four months or maybe a year and just know that you don’t have to commit for like years and years on end.

You can always join, get what you wanted from it, like for that particular stage that you are in your life, then if you want to quit, you can quit and move on.

Dan

Yeah, I love it. I love it. It’s fantastic. Fantastic advice. And I think it’s a great yeah. Great way to go about it. Like find someone who’s doing what you want to do at a high level and find the people that are gathering around them and connect with those people. It’s a great a great process.

So I know you’ve mentioned a couple of times financial independence and that you’re financially free and not something that we’ve talked a lot about on the show. And I know that you’ve used real estate as a means to get there, but I’d love to just just introduce listeners who might be unfamiliar with the idea of financial independence. How do you define financial independence for you personally?

Diego

Yeah, financial independence for me is where the passive income that you get from your assets, from your income streams surpass your monthly expenses. To give you an example, if your monthly expenses are three thousand dollars a month or five thousand dollars a month. And you get that from owning ten rental properties or from your stocks, the dividends or whatever stream of income that you have other than active income from your job or your salary. That’s where financial independence gives you.

And a lot of people, as I was saying earlier, they think that for them to retire. Higher, they need to retire one three sixty five for one, they have six like a million dollars in their 401k or whatever, but it’s totally achievable to get financial independence in your thirty or forty three women in your twenties if you just decide that you want to build and buy income streams, not just from your job, but other ways to make money, sort of like while you sleep.

Dan

I love it.

I love all that stuff. Yeah, that’s a great synopsis of it. To just find ways to make money outside of just trading your time for money, whether those be investments or businesses or real estate, like you said.

And so you do some education, you help people pursue financial independence. What does that look like for you now?

Diego

Yeah, so it’s interesting. So in me, like in me being on like Forbes and sharing a lot of different like podcasts and all this stuff, I had a bunch of people that reached out and that wanted to get started investing in real estate. And one of the best ways that I found out that one can do it is through the strategy that’s called house hacking, which is basically where you buy a property like a duplex, triplex or  quadruplex. You live on one side, rent out the other, or you can buy a property with low money down literally three to five percent down and you live on the master bedroom while you rent out the others and then your mortgage payment gets paid off.

Now, I am teaching people how to do this, I got other people reaching out that were like, Hey, Diego, I just don’t want to do this with one house, but how can you help me buy more properties?

So now I created a mastermind group this year, and right now we have 50 paid members in the mastermind group and we’re basically teaching them how to buy their first property. And we have members that are buying like their second and third. And at the end of the day, it’s like that accountability, that peer group that people didn’t have. Right. Because when you’re surrounding yourself with light minded people it is super easy to create excuses. It’s really easy to like, share your goals with one of your friends and like or some of your family members and they’ll tell you, oh, don’t do that.

Because I heard this. I heard this about it. Oh, don’t make that investment it’s too dangerous. Yeah. And then all of the sudden or like it’s too risky. If I would have heard some of my buddies, some of my friends when I bought my first property of twenty three or twenty four, I would not be where I am now if I would have to hear what they had to say. Instead, I’ve heard what my mentor has had to say because they had the experience and they had already gone through it.

So that’s why we created that group and is basically like sort of my way to give back based on everything that I learned from my mentor. So now I get to teach others.

Dan

I love it. I love it. I love the principles of house hacking. It’s something my wife and I have been doing for quite some time. Our primary residence. We have a couple of Airbnbs on it. It allowed us to get started in real estate, ended up buying the house next door to ours, you know, a handful of other things. So keep keep your cost of living low and find ways to monetize the assets that you have, including your primary residence.

And then you can put those funds into creating passive income streams just like you’re talking about. And I love that you’re helping people achieve that. It’s incredible. Really cool. I’d love to link up to the show notes. So I’ll make sure after the interview here to get a link from so people can follow along and find out more if they’re interested.

Diego

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And we decided to call that brand Rat Race to FI because we wanted to help people realize that, sure, if they love their job, they can stay on their job. But it’s sort of from going from the perspective that instead of saying you have to go to work, it’s more like you get to go to work or you choosing to work. That’s what financial independence gives you.

Dan

I love that. And I feel like that just ties in so well with well, with what I’m trying to do here. Right. It’s just to talk about work, like why we work, why we choose to work, what are the things that we choose to give your time to, because work begins to shift for you, a place like where you are. You said you’re at the place now where you could just, you know, live off your investments if you want to.

But you choose to continue to work because you have a purpose, you have a why behind what you’re doing, which is it’s really, really great and really, really inspiring for a lot of people listening.

If you’re stuck in some way, they feel like they’ve got a job that they went to school for and it’s just isn’t fulfilling for them. Or does it feel like it’s it’s what they thought it would be and they’re looking for a change.

They necessarily know what that change would be, but they just know something. They need to change something. I’m curious from your experience, if you have any words of wisdom that you’d offer to people who are in this kind of stuff, I don’t know what to do next kind of places.

Diego

Yeah, I’ll tell you. So I went to an event back in 2013. It was called Succeed Faster. And I knew that even though I had my job, my salary job, and I really liked it and everything. I knew that it wasn’t where I wanted to be for the long term just because I just wanted more. Now, in that event, a guy named Mitch Matthews, he shared and this basically changed the way that I saw him.

He basically says a lot of people feel like their job is their home and they feel stuck because that’s like their house is like where they might not like it, but they’re comfortable and stuff like that. But what he said is like, if you just see like they think that their job is like their final destination. But what you should see your job is, is as the bridge to get you to the next step that you want to be. So I went from seeing General Motors, GM, like sort of like that final destination and that I need to be there no matter what to like.

OK, I’m seeing this as my bridge and my bridge to what that is a question that maybe your audience might have to ask themselves to make sure, because there’s a lot of people that hate maybe they do hate their job and they’re only going there because that’s the only thing that they know. Right? But if you just change your perspective and perspective, is everything right? So at the end of the day, you just change your perspective to be like, hey, I’m going to this job but, it’s my bridge to become a real term, full time job.

Like, that’s the way that I saw it wasn’t that my job was taken away from me, taking away from what I wanted as my job is going to help me get to the next level of where I want to be. So I feel like that might help you.

Dan

I think it’s a great, that it’s such a fantastic response. And one of the articles on my blog at the Meaning movement that gets the most traffic it ranks and Google is an article called Stop Feeling Ashamed About Your Work and What to do about it or something like that.

It’s about feeling ashamed about your job.

And I get a lot of people commenting on it that they’re working this or that job, that they don’t like telling people what they are doing is not what they ultimately want to be doing. And I think what you’re saying here is exactly what I hope people can take to heart, is that wherever you are right now is not it’s not permanent.

It’s a path forward and it’s where you are. You know,  it might not be something that you’re super proud of because it’s not where you ultimately want to be, but it’s part of the process to get you there actually connects back to to that how Elrod quote or that idea from him that you shared earlier, that you got to focus on your vision of where you want to go about your current situation, which is just really, really fantastic.

I’m curious how you think about words like calling or purpose when it comes to work. Are those words that you think about in your own life, in your own work?

Diego

Yeah, and it’s interesting because like a lot of the stuff that I’ve done right, it’s like just through Instagram, just by me sharing my story more and more, I get people that reach out that basically they said, hey, Diego, I’ve been following you for a year on social media and just want to say thank you so much. It’s like you’ve helped me change the way that I think or I am a DACA recipient, too. And you showed me that things are possible.

I feel like by us living our most authentic self, living the life that we want to live, I feel like and the purpose by us fulfilling the purpose that we really want for ourselves, I feel like without wanting or not, there’s people watching and those people that are watching my you can be that might for them. So yeah, I feel like no matter what, it doesn’t have to be a calling or a purpose. Like even though I do want to help people.

Right? It’s an interesting perspective because it’s like I know that people are watching, but I’m living the life that I really enjoy, that I really want. And it has been helping other people. And I feel like that’s the purpose that I have. Yeah, that’s the purpose that I want to live. 

Dan

Yeah.

Like not being more of yourself and letting people see you. You’re inspiring change in others.

Diego

Yeah, that’s awesome for sure. 

Dan

That’s great. You know, this just been such a fun conversation. I feel like we could, I mean especially I totally geek out on everything related to financial independence and real estate. I’m not a real estate professional, but I am an investor. And so I would love to just pick your brain forever about all these things. But I know our time is coming to a close here. If people are resonating with you and wants to follow along with your work, is are there any action steps that you’d like to invite people to?

Diego 

Yeah, I mean, they can always go to the website www.ratracetofi.com to get more information they can join. I think we have the link there for the Facebook group that’s completely free. Right. And then in there they can ask me questions. My email is [email protected] So if anybody has questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer to them.

Dan

Love it.

I’ll make sure to link up to all of those in the show notes as well so people can follow along. Diego, thank you so much for your time. It’s just been so inspiring and so fun to connect it with you. Just really, really appreciate it.

Diego

Yeah, for sure. Thank you. And then the last. If anybody wants to follow me on Instagram, they’re like literally responding and it’s just @realdiegocorzo. 

Dan

I love it. I love it. Awesome. Perfect. 

Diego

Thank you for the opportunity Dan. 

Dan

Absolutely. Thanks, Diego.

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