On this episode of Investing For Freedom, Mike is joined by Diego Corzo. Diego is a part of GoBundance and brings us on his journey, telling us how he went from being an undocumented kid struggling to get through college, to becoming a millionaire before his 20s are out!
“I had to get out of my salaried job because I know my work ethic and I know that if I am responsible for my income I can make so much more money.”
0:00 – Intro
1:16 – The like-minded mentors in GoBundance had a great impact on Diego’s life
2:40 – Adversity and resourcefulness helped Diego look at problems differently
4:29 – Diego faces obstacles while living in the U.S. without a green card or citizenship
7:49 – Diego first felt the effects of being undocumented when he couldn’t get his driver’s license
8:35 – Diego had great work ethic in school, but was unable to get financial aid for college
10:04 – Diego did an unpaid internship, but was unable to become and employee without work authorization
11:18 – Diego started to work as a contractor, making websites for small business
12:43 – Diego read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad which taught him more than he learned in school
13:19 – After Obama passed the DACA program, Diego was able to apply for work
14:16 – Diego started investing in real estate with a method called house hacking
19:36 – Diego’s mentors changed his whole life
28:13 – FSU gave Diego the award of alumni of the year
29:48 – Diego discusses getting out of your comfort zone
30:55 – By the time Diego was 28 he had 8 properties and had become financially independent
31:16 – When the Trump administration wanted to abolish DACA, Diego spoke out in support of DACA and people began to reach out to Diego asking for help
33:25 – After studying millionaires, Diego has come up with six key areas that helps you become financially free
42:00 – Diego discusses reaching his goal of becoming a millionaire
44:06 – Diego doesn’t compare his life to others, but he tries to learn of them
Mike: Thank you for joining me on the investing for freedom podcast. Today, I’ve got a guest that I’ve been wanting to bring on since long before I even started the show. I’m always so inspired by this person. Every time I’ve ever talked to him, met with him, seen the way that he interacts with people. He’s just always showing up as a servant. And his story is just so empowering. I think you guys are really going to love this episode. So Diego, thank you for being on the show.
Diego: Mike, thank you very much for having me here, it is a pleasure.
Mike: So we have Diego Corzo on today and I’m just going to jump right into the questions. And then, again, I just can’t wait to get into your story. So who’s had the greatest impact on your life?
Diego: The greatest impact? I will have to say the mentors with the mastermind group called GoBundance.
Mike: That’s awesome. So that’s where we met actually was through GoBundance. Tell me, how’d you get connected with GoBundance.
Diego: With GoBundance, I got connected by listening to a podcast and the podcast was with Pat Hiban. I followed him on Twitter and I chatted with him. I asked him a few questions and he mentioned the podcast and in one of the podcasts episodes, he mentioned the importance of surrounding yourself with likeminded people. And he mentioned a mastermind group and I was like, oh my gosh, I need to be surrounded by them. I asked him about it, and he says that it’s a mastermind for millionaires who like financial freedom accountability and adventure. And I was like, oh my gosh, I want in. But the problem was that I was 23 years old at that time. And I was like nowhere close to being a millionaire. But I surrounded myself with them. I was able to go to one event and yeah and I can share that afterwards with my story and all of that stuff, cause they have been an incredible impact on me.
Mike: That’s awesome. If you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what do you think that would be?
Diego: Narrow one thing, I think it would have to be resourcefulness.
Mike: Elaborate on that a little bit for me. Just making stuff work out of nothing.
Diego: Yeah. So basically so, resourcefulness I believe comes when you’re faced with adversity and instead of taking on the victim mentality, and this is something that Tony Robbins does is like, the quality of questions that you ask yourself conducted your future. So instead of asking yourself, why is this event or situation happening to me I ask myself, why is this happening for me? And when you ask yourself the for me, you begin to get an empowered mentality. And you begin to, instead of seeing like excuses about why you’re in that particular situation, I feel like you get resourceful and you get to find more solutions rather than trying to see why you’re in that problem. So resourcefulness has come from being in situations where one can say, Oh my gosh, like, what do I do next? And if this is happening for me, how can I get creative to either get out of this situation or not have it be an obstacle and how can I achieve my goals, despite everything that’s going on.
Mike: That’s awesome. And it’s unfair because I know Diego’s story and a lot about it. And sometimes I wonder if we should just skip the questions and go right to it, but you’ve definitely been resourceful. Can’t wait for the audience to learn from just everything that you’ve done and been through. It’s awesome. So what was your greatest setback and what’d you learn from it?
Diego: My greatest setback man, I feel like I’ve definitely, so I’ve had a few. But I would say me realizing and I would say the first time that I found what it really meant to be undocumented. For everybody in the audience here, I am undocumented. I don’t have a Green Card. I’m not a citizen. But figuring out, like understanding that my life was going to be different than my friends’, I believe definitely gave me that like idea and understanding that like, okay, even though that’s my situation, I’m how can I continue to achieve what I want to achieve?
Mike: Awesome. What’s the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?
Diego: The piece of advice that I find myself sharing the most, I would say. Yeah, so because I’m in real estate, I tell a lot of people that as they want to get started in real estate or starting investing, they always want to hit their home run right away. And I always tell them, just get to first base, just start taking action, because as you begin to just submit an offer on a property or buying their first property you get to learn a lot of things that you will not be able to, or you wouldn’t, unless you did take that first step. So instead of being in the sidelines, just get to first base.
Mike: That’s good. That’s awesome. Cool. Well I’m going to let you just kind of talk about background where you came from. You’ve already alluded to the fact that you’re undocumented and the thing that I want to say here, Diego has overcome so much and really, it’s just such a testament to your resourcefulness, as you said earlier, your tenacity, being the underdog, if you will. And now you’re actually out advocating on behalf of others. And it brings, it brings a slant to the story that maybe a lot of us don’t get to hear. On a day to day basis. I think a lot of people maybe don’t get involved in the whole Dream Act and, and all that kind of stuff. But I loved hearing your story because I got to know you first and then understand your story. So give us your background, tell us how you got here. And you’re so good at telling this. I don’t even think I really need to lead it.
Diego: No. Yeah. So let me start by where I am now and then I’ll share where I started. So I just turned 30 about like two weeks ago. So we are doing this in August, I turned 30 August 9th. But I came here when I was nine years old from Lima, Peru, I came here with my parents. We came here with a Visa and then my parents decided to overstay it, and that’s when we became undocumented. I grew up knowing that I was undocumented, but it didn’t really hit me until I turned 15 years old. When I went to the DMV to get my driver’s license, like all of my friends. And they said that Diego with these documents were just missing, some kind of document that says you’re allowed to be here or a Visa. And when I asked, my parents were like, we do not have that. So that’s when I knew that my life was going to, that I was going to face some challenges different than all of my friends. We were 15 years old in high school and I see them getting their cars and being able to drive. And yeah, so I decided that no matter what that I was going to still try to spend as much time with my friends and all of that stuff. But I graduated third in my high school class. I put all of my emphasis in school. I’m the oldest too. So like, I’m the oldest of all my cousins. I was the first one that graduated high school and college here in the United States, so I was like the example for all of them. And that’s how I graduated third in my high school class. And then I got into Florida State University. As I am getting into college and applying for scholarships and grants and hearing that all my friends are getting some kind of financial aid here, a grant there. I applied for them and because again, I am not a citizen, I don’t have a Green Card, I couldn’t qualify for any financial aid. Couldn’t qualify for any kinds of loans or grants. And then I won some scholarships because I did graduate with good grades, but they said, hey, Diego, we could give you this, but because you do not have your Green Card we’re not going to be able to give you this award or whatever. So I was like, okay, I have like all these challenges. I did everything that I had to do, I was able to still go to college for the first semester with some help from my parents and also some scholarships that I was able to get. Now as I’m in college, because my background is technology, I decided that I wanted to do an internship in building websites for some non-profit. I got internship working for free, and after six months they said, Diego, you’ve done more work for us as a freshmen that what seniors do in a year. So we would love to hire you. I was like, this is great, this is awesome. I submitted my work application, job application, everything, and they said, all right Diego everything is looking good, we are just missing your work authorization, and you can start here pretty soon. So I called my mom. I’m like, okay, great, mom I need to have my work authorization. And she says, Diego, we do not have that either. And I’m like, crap, okay. I’m 19 years old, cannot drive, and cannot get student loans or financial aid, and now I cannot even work. I’m like, how am I going to pay for college? Just do everything that all of my friends are doing? And that’s when I realized that I do have to get resourceful. I always try to figure out a way. And at that point, my only solution after doing a lot of research because I couldn’t get a job anywhere, as an employee, was to create my own company and work as a contractor. So I created an LLC and that’s how I was able to work. Through my LLC, I was able to do websites for small businesses, nonprofits and that’s how I was able to also get experience. And man, in getting resourceful, right, I mean, at the end of the day, my bike was my only mode of transportation at that point. This is before Uber, before all these apps like back in 2010, 2011. And I just had to get resourceful and figure out a way to make sure that I could pay for my college, pay for the things that I wanted to do. So yeah, it was definitely a challenge.
Mike: That’s interesting. And I’m open to going wherever you want, but so you created your own LLC and were able to start going out doing work and making money. How did you get into real estate investing? Is that a good place to pivot?
Diego: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, for sure. So while I was in college, I was reading, like I read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was 20, 21 years old. And that book taught me that there’s two things, two ways for people to make money. You can either trade your time for money or you can make your money work for you. That book taught me things that I didn’t learn in high school, that I didn’t learn in college. Now, I knew that at some point I was going to start investing in real estate, but I’m wrapping up like I’m in school. I can work with my LLC, but as I was graduating college that was when Obama passes the DACA program. And that program allows me to finally at the age of 22, be able to work and drive and that happens as I was graduating. So I graduated college with two degrees. I got a job at GM and GM allows me to start working here in Austin, Texas. Now I’m getting my paychecks, right. I started, I’m very open, so I started making 60,000 a year. But when I read the book rich that poor, that I realized that like I needed to put my money to work. So I was living below my means, and I decided to start investing in real estate through the strategy called house hacking. Now in times of like, I’ve always have, because of my status of being undocumented or being part of the DACA program and all of that stuff, I’ve always had to go through a bunch of hoops, like through so many nos before I get my yes. And so I had to speak with like over 10 lenders to be able to get me to qualify, to be able to buy a home. So I bought my first house to house hack when I was 24 years old, I put 5% down and I lived in the master, it was a four bedroom home. So I lived with three other roommates and the rent payments they were paying me cover for all of my mortgage and also pay for my car payment. So since 24 years old, I’ve been living for free and not having to pay a car payment, which has been pretty awesome. But through that perspective, as I started house hacking and understanding that I wanted to, that I wanted to invest in real estate, I also became a realtor. My parents, like my parents are also like entrepreneurs. They own two Peruvian restaurants, and I just wasn’t a person that I could work a nine to five go home and watch TV. I had to do something else, so I got my license to, to be a realtor. So I started doing that part time, and from 2013 to 2015, I worked at general motors full time. And then I pulled the trigger and started being a realtor full time, which was definitely a tough conversation to tell my parents. After all of this, and working back then in 2012, like GM was a fortune five company. And it’s like, hey, I was starting my career in technology. Because I graduated with a degree in information technology and MIS and so telling them, hey, I’m going to go from technology where I could have an amazing career as a software developer, to being a realtor and selling homes. They’re like, are you sure you want to do that? But I knew that I had to get out of my salaried job just because I know my work ethic and I know that I could, if I work in an industry where, or work in a way that I am responsible for my income, because of my work ethic, I can make so much more money and putting that money to work. So that’s what I did. And that’s what allowed me to actually be able to leave my job because I wasn’t dependent on the money coming in from work. Number one, because I was living for free, number two, now it was a blessing in disguise. But I realized that, some of my friends had $60,000 in student debt. And because I couldn’t get into student debt, because of my undocumentedness, I would say I realized that that was a blessing in disguise and no matter what kinds of obstacles I’ve had in my past, I have the mindset that if the door of opportunity is closed, I go through the window. Like I always find a way, and that’s the resourcefulness that comes to it. I feel like having that mindset has definitely given me the opportunity to just continue to hustle and continue to take action.
Mike: So speaking of mindset, you had to mentioned to me that that’s a big important driving factor in everything you do. More important than becoming a house hacker or having your identity in being a software engineer or whatever at GM, it’s more about the mindset and the person you have to become. So my first question, just circling back to you put all this time and energy and effort into like literally battling to get to college, and then through college you get this degree, your parents, like back to that conversation, you’re telling your parents that you’re going to quit your job, that you’ve worked so hard to get. And I think there’s probably a lot of people, I talked to a lot of people regularly that, in America, well, in the world in general, were taught to go to school, get good grades, go to college, go into debt, get a good job, spend 30, 40, 50 years working there. But what I heard you say was a little different. You read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and it was all about trading your time for money versus making your money work for you. How did you overcome, were you so focused on finding your own freedom and having that mentality that you just went for it? Or how did you overcome all those thoughts of not wanting to give up your degree? You didn’t actually give up your degree, but you worked so hard to get that job, and then you’ve got your parents saying, are you sure? How did you battle through that?
Diego: Yeah. At the end of the day, I have to take you back to when I met the, I would say like the guys, like Tim Rhode, David Osborne like all of those guys, right? So I’m going to take you back to that because having them as my mentors changed my whole life. So when I was 23, 24, getting my license as a realtor I heard the podcast with Pat Hiban, I submit a form on their website, and I get a call from Tim Rhode who is one of the elders of the mastermind too. So I get in a call with him and they invite me. This was back in 2014 where GoBundance was only like 30 people. Now there’s over 250 or something. And so I get on a call with Tim Rhode and he invites me to go over to David Osborne’s house for an event. And he says, Diego, you’re going to be one of the only ones that’s not a millionaire. And by that point, it was early 2013, it was 2014. I put it in a credit card because I didn’t have that much money then. And I go to that event, a lot of my friends told me Diego are you sure you’re going to go to that event? It’s $2,000, you don’t even know them. Is it a pyramid scheme? And I’m like, dude, I need to invest in myself. I told Tim Rhode, I was like, look, I’m a big believer that you are the average of the five people that you surround yourself with. I’m a big proponent of Tim Rhode, and he’s like, all right, you’re going to go to this event. And I was like, okay, I’m in. I go there and I guess Tim didn’t tell everybody that I was not a millionaire. So you had to be a millionaire to be in that room. And when everybody’s going around introducing themselves, there was guys that were 40 million, 5 million, 1 million, whatever, like 10 million. And then they come to me and I’m like, my name is Diego, I’m 23 years old, my net worth is $25,000, and I work at General Motors and I own one property. And they were like, who the heck let this kid in. But after that event, after that weekend, I turned 24 years old at that event, and I was like, my life is not going to be the same. They took me to the side and they said Diego, GoBundance is for millionaires, but we love your story. I told them everything about me and they’re like, we want to help you become a millionaire. We’re going to mentor you. You are going to be our first apprentice. Are you in? And I was like, heck yeah, I’m in. Two weeks later, I’m flying out on a private plane with the guys and like running a Spartan race. But because I had them as my mentors, as my example, I felt like if I surrounded myself and if I did what they told me, if I can learn from their experience. I could cut down the 20 years that it took them to get to where they are at. I can do it in five, or I can do it in three years. So having that, now fast forward to 2015, when I’m having that conversation with my mom and my dad, I was like, listen, it will be okay because I have my mentors. I have them teaching me and the accountability that they’re giving me, I’m going to be able to succeed in this next chapter of my life, which was becoming a realtor. So it’s not just me going from one day to the next, but I have people that I can call and learn from them and ask for advice. I felt like that is what they told me, you know what Diego, we trust you, everything that you do, we know that you work harder. So yeah, I did that and it was, I’m very happy. I’m very happy.
Mike: Yeah. And so not to get crazy or woo-woo. But there are things that we can learn in a book like ABCS, one, two, threes, six steps to whatever. And then there’s times in life where we’re at a crossroads. And like, when I’m hearing this story, why the heck did Tim invite you? Was this something they were planning on bringing in apprentices? Or was this just like…
Diego: He liked my story. He really Liked my story, like this is so crazy. And you know Tim, I don’t know if he’s been, I think he’s been on this podcast or maybe in the future. I was talking to him and after I shared my story a bit, because we had like a 20 minute conversation, he’s like, Diego, I know you don’t know me. I know this is crazy, but one day you’re going to be speaking at my events for my nonprofits. I was like, I don’t even know you, but sure, I mean, I will be happy to do that. And what’s crazy is that, in him telling me that and being surrounded with a lot of those, a lot of those guys too, it’s like, I don’t know, but I don’t know if they, like, I don’t know why Tim invited me, but it was more from the perspective that like maybe he heard something in my story that I’m like, okay, we want to help him. And yeah, I said, yes. And it was life changing.
Mike: You just said where I wanted to kind of pull together. So I’ve been saying this for a while, and this is kind of how I live my life, I say yes and figure it out later. And you did that, you get invited to this room of millionaires and all your friends are saying, hey, this is a Ponzi scheme or whatever you said yes and figure it out later. And so many times in life, again, there’s things that you can check off in a book process wise, but then there’s certain times where you just got to go with your gut. Were you experiencing fear or overwhelm or anything knowing that you’re going into a room of, or were you just like, so I got to do this.
Diego: No, I mean, it was scary, it was definitely scary. And I have to say that I’ve had a speech impediment since I was five years old. And I used to skip class if I had to give a presentation and if I had to read out loud, it wasn’t good. But what was crazy is that in that event for GoBundance, one of the requirements for the night was that we had to give a three to five minute presentation and I was like, okay, holy crap. I’m going to be giving a three minute or five minute presentation to share something about my life, where like, I don’t know what I could teach a millionaire, like super successful entrepreneurs. And I’m 23 years old and I’ve got like zero life experience. Let’s say from that perspective, like what can I teach them and speak like, yeah, it was insane. I was super nervous. So when you said that, it was sort of like, I was happy that I was there and I felt like I belonged there too because of my mindset, but it was definitely out of my comfort zone. But at the end of the day, I did give a presentation and because of my speech impediment, I made everybody close their eyes and took them through like some kind of a meditation example, whatever. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but like, it was a three minute presentation. And for two minutes, everybody had their eyes closed and that’s how I had to get resourceful. Because then I just turned around and it was like, nobody was trying to see me. And it was just me like, just like if I was talking to myself. So I had to get creative. And that sort of like resourcefulness again, I feel like it definitely challenged me, but being part of that group and knowing them and like, for example, Rock Thomas telling me, hey Diego, you have to take some like speech classes and all this other stuff. Like, it helped me to today that I’ve given a TeDx talk and going from like skipping classes because I wanted to not give a presentation to being able to give a TedX talk has been definitely life changing. But I have to say that everything has to be because of the confidence that I got in myself by surrounding myself with my mentors.
Mike: Yeah. You were just telling me, we just went on a hike and you were telling me you got some award recently from the college, right?
Diego: Yeah, yeah. So from FSU, I was chosen as one of the four alumni of the year for 2020, which is crazy. Now I did gave a TedX talk last year at FSU. But, yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, a lot of the successes and everything has come by me taking action.
Mike: I love that. And you bring it back to resourcefulness and then even just back to saying yes and figuring it out later, I look back at my life and you’re such an example of this and for the audience, I want to just really point this out. Every time that you’re going to go to another level in life or level. I think of so many events that I’ve been at or things that I’ve been asked to do. And I’m scared like you literally, that night spent 10% of your net worth to be in a room that completely changed your life. And you had a speech impediment, you found out that you were going to have to speak to this group of people that you felt inferior. Like, what do I have to give to a room of people that are worth 40 million or a million or whatever? You literally spent 10% of your net worth. If you told most people right now to spend 10% of their net worth to get into a room, they would freak out. But every single time you’re asked to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. It sets you up to catapult yourself to a whole other level. And I think a lot of times we take the safe route. Would you agree with that?
Diego: Exactly. Because it’s easy. Because it’s much easier because it’s something that we’re comfortable with. So yeah, it’s super easy to just continue doing what you’re doing, but I feel like being challenging yourself definitely number one takes you out of the comfort zone. And I feel like some people are also afraid of what can happen once they do achieve their vision or their goals.
Mike: So this was 2015, right?
Diego: 2014. With the GoBundance guys. Yeah. 2014.
Mike: So you had talked about and if you have anything else you want to add before this that’s fine. But you had talked about like six areas that you learned hanging out with 200 millionaires. Do you want to dive into that?
Diego: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So what had happened was that, as I shared my story more as a DACA recipient. Let me just go back a little bit, but just explain where I was coming from. So by 23, 24, I bought my first property, by 26, 27 I had 8, 10 properties. I reached financial independence and then by 29, I have, so as of right now, I have 15 properties. Some are in Austin and Tennessee where I do Airbnb and in Florida. Now in 2017, I shared my story for the first time on social media, coming out as a Dreamer, sharing the taxes that I paid off over $28,000. This was when and not to get political, but this was when Trump, when the Trump Administration tried to take away the DACA program. And they shared that the DACA recipients are taking away jobs from Americans. And I wrote a long post about how that’s not true, what I did, blah, blah, blah, and how by 26, I paid over $28,000 in taxes, I already owned eight properties, and when that post went viral, it got me on Fox News Austin that weekend. It got me on Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur.com. I’ve gone to meet with congressmen, but what came out of that was that I had a lot of people that reached out and there were like, they were part of the DACA program and the Dreamers and Americans, millennials that reached out and they were like, Diego, you’ve done this with your circumstances. How can I do it? Can you teach me? How were you able to do it? And I told them that, okay, what I’m going to be telling you is not stuff that I read in a book or stuff that I saw in a YouTube video, but it has become what I’ve been able to learn and implement in my life.
Because when I joined GoBundance, I was a big believer that I had already, I am becoming the person that achieves financial freedom, that achieves financial independence. And if you don’t first become that person, you’re not going to achieve it because if not, you’re going to lose that money. Like Jim Rohn says that if you were to give the money away to everybody the same way, in a matter of years, the same people that had in the beginning, they will be the ones with the money again. And it’s because of the habits, and it’s because they become that person. So after studying 200 millionaires on my path to become a millionaire, to become financially independent, I found out that there are six key areas that gets you to become the person that achieves financial freedom. And that starts with number one, managing your personal finances. It is super important for you to understand how much money is coming in, how much is coming out every single month, because if you don’t, if you do not have that, you’re not going to be able to have the awareness that you need for you to make the right choices with your money. Number two is scheduling personal development. You have to number one, invest in yourself. And now of course you can buy books, you can buy courses, seminars, with Audible for $15 a month you can get an audio book while you’re driving to work, while you’re exercising, YouTube videos, like there’s so much free stuff, but scheduling personal development is super important, because that’s where the mindset comes in. If I didn’t have the mindset that I’ve had, I don’t think that I would have been able to achieve or endure quote unquote the different challenges that I’ve had to go through, to get to where I am today. It could have been super easy to just create excuses. It would’ve been super easy to use if I graduated college and not being able to work, like why wouldn’t I just be able to stay at home and be, and like stay with my parents and work at the restaurant. Like it was definitely those challenges of me, scheduling the personal development. Because at that point I knew that my mindset was strong enough that, no matter what I was going to be able to achieve what I wanted to achieve, number three is understanding the power of your peer group. This is super important. That’s where GoBundance comes in. That’s where, like, you’re the average of the five people that you surround yourself with comes in, your friends. You better ask yourself if they’re holding you to the right standard that you want your life, are you having the right conversations? And there’s a guy named Ty Lopez who I was able to spend the day with at his house back in 2017. He’s the guy that has a YouTube video, like this is me and my garage. But he shared that a lot of people focus on, how am I going to get there? How am I going to accomplish my goal? How am I going to do this? What is my next step? Ty Lopez said, if instead of asking yourself how, ask who, who is that person that you need to know, that you need to meet so that you can get to the next level. For me and I know we’re talking a lot about GoBundance, but at the end of the day GoBundance is a mastermind group. It can be so many different mastermind groups. But for me, the how, the who back in 2014 was GoBundance. If I look back at other, at other things, for me example, my first personal development event was with a guy named Adam Carroll and his quote changed my life. And he said Diego, you have to build a bigger life, not a bigger lifestyle. And when I heard that at 21, my whole mindset changed because if I look back, that’s why I ended up renting a room when I moved to Austin, Texas, instead of renting an apartment, paying a thousand bucks a month. I figured even though it was making 60K a year, I started paying just $500 a month because I wanted to have other sets of freedoms that just didn’t have to do with my lifestyle. Lifestyle can come later. But the choices that we make to have a bigger life I believe are more fun. So then now ask yourself who in your peer group, like who is the next person that can help you get to the next level. It can be something, it can be a friend. It can be like somebody that you meet. That can be free. You might have to spend $5,000 to get into a room, like for me, my tab to meet that group in 2014 was $2,000. So some people might pay $25,000 to go into another event and be able to sit with people that can get them to the next level. So that’s number three. Number four is goal setting. But it’s super important that you do it with accountability. Goal setting is great, but if you do not have somebody or have some accountability to help you get there, you’re going to quit. That’s why a lot of people go to the gym in the beginning of the year. And they’re like, I’m going to go five times a week. And then it rains, or it’s cold, and you’re like, you know what I’m going to go tomorrow, today it is raining, I don’t want to wake up at 6:00 AM and Go out in cold. But what if instead, you had somebody there that was waiting for you that you told them, if you didn’t go, you were going to give them a $100 or 500 bucks. That’s where it hurts. That’s the accountability that you need to be able to get to your goals. Number five is increasing your income. I’m a big believer that sure, you can have your job. You can have your salary job, your contracting job, whatever, but you have to figure out how you can increase your income. And this is again where creativity comes in. Even like multiple streams of income, that at least you have to work for it. that’s totally fine, but you have to increase it because when you ask yourself those things, you get to get creative and that’s a skill. That’s a talent that will help you grow in the future. That’s why I have that as number five. And when I look at my life, I did have a salary with GM but I also became a realtor part time. And then I was doing websites for people that I found on Craigslist, so that was another side hustle that I had. And then number six. Oh, but it’s super important for, as you increase your income, that you do not spend it. You have to make sure that you’re saving that so that when it comes to number six, which is investing for passive income or investing overall, that’s when you’re going to be able to use whatever resources you got to be able to create that level of financial freedom or financial independence. There’s so many different avenues. There’s real estate, stocks, Bitcoin, whatever you want to call it, at the end of the day, so many different things. I chose real estate, and that’s what got me to create some passive income through house hacking, getting more and more and more properties. But a lot of people feel that they, like if they are given a million dollars one day, that they will become financially free or financially independent, that is not true. They will lose that money because they never got to learn how to manage it. They never did the other previous five steps that actually gets them to understand. Number one, the value of money, and also becoming the person that achieves financial freedom. Because I feel like investing is not easy. I mean, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of ups and downs. I mean, we’ve seen that in the freaking the stock market this year, right? Because investing is not easy, you need to have the right mindset. You need to have the right circle of influence with your peer group, that you can have these conversations. So that’s why I feel like you need to have all six in order for you to be successful in your financial independence journey. And that is what I’ve been able to learn from surrounding myself with 200 millionaires and to the level where now I’ve grown into becoming a millionaire this year, and this is the first podcast that I share that. But yeah, so now I did become a millionaire in my twenties, but it was because of my work ethic. It was because of me taking action and investing in the right way.
Mike: And I have to take a minute to just celebrate you and I appreciate you being so open and honest. We’re used to it because in our peer group GoBundance that you talk about, I mean, that’s part of, one of the things that stretch us, we share our financial statements. You can’t have authentic relationships and extreme accountability and all of that without the transparency piece. But a lot of people are not used to that. So number one, I thank you for sharing it here first, but that’s just so cool that you hit that milestone. I just think it’s so amazing watching your journey. You were a part of GoBundance long before I ever was. And here’s the crazy thing, Diego talks a lot about, first becoming the person that you have to be, and what’s interesting, when I met Diego I wouldn’t have even known that you weren’t a millionaire or that you weren’t already at some certain level because you had already become that person. It just took a while for your financial statement to catch up with it, but you’re a Testament to what you’re talking about. So Diego, isn’t just one of the people that throws theory out there. When I met you, I would have had no idea that you weren’t already at the top 50%, 10% of GoBundance. I would have had no idea because your talk, your walk, the way you carry yourself, the way you mentor and give back all of that already said to me, that you had already become the person that you needed to become in order to reach that million dollar mark. And I have no doubt in my mind that you won’t skyrocket way past that. But again, the thing I really want to point out is that you don’t just talk it, you live it. So I appreciate you for that.
Diego: Well, thank you very much for that. Yeah, because I mean, it’s been an incredible journey and one of the things, especially there was a guy in GoBundance that asked me, Diego, this is back in 2015, 2016. He was like, do you compare yourself a lot? Or do you get frustrated that you’re not there yet as a millionaire? And I told him, I was like, no, because everybody’s going in their journey, in the journey called life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot compare my chapter two in life to somebody else’s chapter 10 or chapter 15, but I can learn from that. So from a lot of the mentors that I’ve met in GoBundance, I try to learn a little bit and then implement that in my life and knowing that, because it has worked for them, more than likely it can work for me. And I look at their mistakes and I’m like, great, I’m not going to do those mistakes, I’m going to continue doing this. So I feel like it has definitely giving me the opportunity to become that person, of course, but not comparing myself but, from learning and seeing what I can apply into my life.
Mike: Wow. That’s amazing. Well, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story. It’s so inspiring. And again, I just want to point out as I’m sure you’ve gathered. I mean, Diego’s not a talker, he’s a doer, you have a mastermind group. So you’re teaching what you’ve applied and learned. Tell us a little bit about that.
Diego: Yeah, so I have so I have a group where we teach people how to buy their first rental property, because a lot of people don’t, are afraid to take action. They have the analysis paralysis. And exactly what I was talking about earlier, they just want to get their home run right away. And I’m like no, in this group, in this mastermind group, which is called Rat Race to FI. So literally like everything that we’re talking about here from like rat race to becoming financially independent is we help them, we give them the accountability, we have a Slack channels, we have Facebook groups, we have two calls a week and the goal is to help them get there from their first rental to probably their fourth. That is somewhere where I feel very comfortable in helping people out. And yeah, right now we have about 40 people, 50 people in the program and it’s been going awesome. It’s really cool to see their progress, really cool to receive like the wins, like everything that they’ve been doing, people taking action, people seeing like, hey, if it wasn’t for this group I wouldn’t have made this connection or been able to think this way. Because as I share a bit of my story, especially on the real estate side, there’s so much other creative stuff that I’ve had to do because I’m still undocumented, I’m part of the DACA program. So there, it serves a lot of people just inspiring other people when they’re taking action. And I’m a big believer that you just, you can learn from somebody who’s just two steps above you, not like 10 or 20 steps away.
Mike: That’s awesome. So your program, is it specifically around house hacking or is it just anybody that wants to go from one to four rentals?
Diego: Anybody that wants to go from one to four rentals. Most, not most, but a lot of people are starting with house hacking because it’s the easiest way to get started in real estate. But we have guys that have 14 doors and he loves being part of the mastermind because he gets to ask all these questions. We bring incredible guests into the group too. So, yeah. It’s awesome.
Mike: And just so that I’m clear and so the audience is clear. Do they have to have one or is this somebody that’s intent on even getting their first one?
Diego: Intent on getting their first one or already have one. At the end of the day, they may have one, and what we’ve learned is that they just love being able to come on a zoom call and just share what they’re going through or share because they may talk to their brother and they’re like, well, why don’t you quit? It’s like, no, in here we’re like here, let me give you a solution. If you don’t surround yourself, especially like we are in there, this is like step number three, your peer group. It’s really cool to see that they have a community that they can share their wins and their losses.
Mike: And I would imagine it’s part of number four. So you’re helping them to goal set with accountability and yeah, that’s awesome. So you’ve kind of, you’ve realized what it takes, the six steps, but then you’ve built a program around that to help these people get through it. I love it. So what’s the best way for our listeners to find you, if this is something that’s interesting to them.
Diego: Yeah. They can, or if they have any questions too, they can follow me on Instagram at realdiegocorzo, or they can check out the website ratracetofi.com, and if they want to send me an email email@example.com.
Mike: I can tell you first and foremost, having spent some time with Diego, genuine, genuine love for teaching and just helping people. So I would highly recommend anything that he has to offer you if it’s a fit for you and just reach out to him and get to know the guy. You’re just fabulous person. So anything else you want to talk about that we haven’t covered or that we’ve left out?
Diego: No. I mean, I think we did really well. We did really well. We covered a lot of the mindset stuff that I feel like it’s really important. That stops a lot of people. We talked about some of the real estate stuff, investing. Yeah. It’s good. I’m really, really happy to be here and share with your audience.
Mike: Awesome. Well, you are a world changer and I appreciate you being on the show.
Diego: Thank you very much, Mike, take care.
Mike: Thank you, Diego.