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April 5, 2022

How to Go From NEGATIVE $102,000 Net Worth to Retired In Your 30's w/ Josh and Ali Lupo

How to Go From NEGATIVE $102,000 Net Worth to Retired In Your 30's w/ Josh and Ali Lupo

Josh and Ali Lupo were the average american couple. Decent Jobs with heaps of student loan, car, and credit card debt. Until one day they decided that this life could be BETTER.

Saving and investing every penny they were able to pay off all $102,000 of their debt completely within 2.5 years. While doing this, they created an uber popular instagram page @theFICouple to document their entire journey!

Now, they are on pace to retire in their 30's. Follow along with us today as we break their journey down step by step!

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Transcript
Unknown:

Josh and ali, the FI couple what is going on? We are super excited to be here with you today, Brian, but I think we're doing pretty good. Yeah, overall, we're keeping busy and we're excited some of the stuff we're working on in 2022. Yeah. So awesome. For everyone that's listening, I was telling them a story, I started to tell them a story off camera, but we're all season podcast bits here. And we know that we can't leave any of the juicy details out. So this is actually hilarious. This just happened. I'm in my job right now. We had all the senior VPs. And everyone come in, and they were doing this presentation. And they're like, Hey, here's all the retention that we're doing. And here's all of our KPIs that we're doing to just really keep our employees engaged and happy. And then the Senior VP of Sales says, and I've been working really hard for the last 12 years now I'm 49. And I think at 54, I'm going to be done. And that's what this company can do for you. I was just going back just thinking I'm like, I'm 27, I'm done. Finished. And I know that was, I know. That's part of your story as well. But first, I want to really get into just the genesis of this brand and introduce yourself, introduce the brand and tell people who you are. What's your story? Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that. And first of all, congrats on the job. That is such a massive milestone. And to accomplish that at 27 is absolutely incredible. So you should be really proud of yourself, first of all, but in terms of us, we are Josh and Allie from upstate New York, and we are the faces behind the brand, the fi couple. We met in college, it state school. And when we were in school, we were both studying Human Services. So like social work. And I remember being in school and professors saying, if you're in this field, you're never going to make money. And I feel like from a young age in our early 20s, it was just, we're not really going to make money. We're going to work for a really long time. And then maybe one day, we'll have a modest retirement in our 60s. But we'll still probably struggle. And that was the mindset that we had. And so we we went to the same state college, we met there, started off as friends. And then a year a few years later, I started dating and now we're married. And we between undergraduate as well as a grad program with Alli, we managed to amass about $102,000 in student loans, to pursue careers where frankly, we weren't really going to be making a whole lot of money. And then the beginning it was like we just want to change the world and have a really big impact. And that sounded really cool. And we really do want to have an impact. But we also had bills to pay and things were really expensive. And very quickly, we found ourselves living paycheck to paycheck, and everything seemed okay until it wasn't okay until the year of our wedding when Josh got laid off from his seven year employer. And we went from an income household of two to one literally overnight, and we realize how leveraged we were, how highly leveraged we were, and how risky it is to rely on a single stream of income. And that's when we realized we're not in a good financial position. We have a ridiculous amount of dead. We're not making a lot of money. We're working multiple jobs, we need to do something to turn this ship around because we don't like the direction it's going. So was this. So did you begin the brand on the journey? Or did you begin to brand fast forward a bit? You paid off the freakin 102,000? Yeah, in two years, right? Yeah, it was. It was quite the journey, two and a half years, two and a half years. And then that was also we had car loans and their credit cards and personal loans and stuff like that. But about 18 months ago, so I think or 15 months ago was November of 2020. We were in lockdown here at the house. We're in upstate New York, there wasn't much to do. And Allie woke up one day and she said, we should start an online brand. And document our journey to financial freedom. I thought that was like a really dumb idea. Because neither one of us honestly are overly big on social media we keep to ourselves for the most part. So I didn't really expect anything to come over. So when we were first starting out, like back in 2018, we would listen to tons of podcasts and read stories and connect with folks that had made it they had achieved financial independence. They had all the money or the rental units or whatever. And they were in really strong financial positions. But that wasn't us. We had tons of debt. We made a million mistakes. And the journey seemed like a really far away ahead. So for me, I wanted to create a platform where we normalized making money mistakes and no, we're not financially independent yet. I wanted to show that grind. Because I think when we were first starting out, we looked for people that were more relatable. And we didn't see a whole lot, because a lot of them already were like multimillionaires. And I was like, I have a really deeply negative net worth. This is not it. Yeah. Nobody talks about the negative position. So that like, that's my Genesis, and that was gonna be my question to you guys is if you started this brand, documenting the path to paying down the debt, or if you started after, so, that kind of answered that question. But for me, it was like I was making money on paper, do my job. And then I looked down one year, I think it was probably around the same time. 2018 2019. I was like, okay, so this is what net worth is. I was like, oh, seven zero? Yeah, I didn't have that. But also didn't have assets didn't have anything. So I was making money, spend the money, make more money, spend more money. So was that kind of like, the breaking point? And that was like the snapping, like, Pebble through the windshield? What when it was like time for your wedding? And then Josh got laid off? Or was there like another event that kind of set that trajectory? Emotion? Yeah, no, like D all the above there. So we Aly graduated with a master's in 2017. And for the first time, we were both making a full time income. So we had a two income household. And that was the first time we ever really started figuring out actually how much debt we had, we never really talked about finances. Prior to that, we certainly didn't talk about our net worth, we didn't even know what net worth really meant. But we knew we had a wedding coming up in a little over a year. And so we said, we should really plan for that and figure out what our financial situation is. And honestly, I thought it was a lot better than it really was. Um, but when we realized our net worth was over negative $100,000. And we were not saving any money because we figured out how to calculate that too. That was pretty eye opening. And it was at read about them, we figured out we kind of need to start making some changes, not only if we want to be able to afford a wedding, but also just a better life. I love that. And in the back half of this, we would really like to go like on a journey here is step by step how you dug out of that hole. And now how you're skyrocketing. On the other side, I really want to stick on this brand. Because I just did an episode with my podcast coach, he was going to literally grow seven figures from his brand. And he doesn't have millions and millions of downloads on his show. And I don't either, but the niche niche is very targeted in the audience is very niche down. So I'd really like to hear more about how you overcame that initial resistance and been like, oh, man, this brand is dumb to Oh, man, like this thing's got some traction, too. Oh, man, I want to spend a lot of time doing this. And Oh, holy crap, this can help us on our journey. So walk me through all of that, because that's so interesting to me. It was pretty crazy. We started in November of 2020. And we I was really excited about it. I don't think Josh was too into it. But he agreed because he's a good husband. Right? He knew he didn't have a choice, it was compromised. But we started in November, we were like, and maybe our moms will follow us on social media, we'll see what happens. And I would say it took us six months to get to 10,000 followers, which was good. It took six months from November to April. But then it took one month to get to 20,000 followers. And then it took another month to get to 30. And then from there, it just was like exponential growth. We were growing by about 10,000 a month. And we were just networking and connecting with literally the people that like inspired us to get started on this journey. So I really feel like at some point it there was so much traction, and we were like, wow, this is really happening. And then we realize, Wait, you can actually make an income with social media. And this could actually be your job. And we're hearing numbers that we never believed we could. And I think that was when we realized we could take the pursuit of financial independence and sharing our passion with the world and educating people. And we could use it as a lever to reach our goals faster. It started off as like a pretty passive endeavor. Because again, Allie was still working full time at the time as well. So it was really just a here and there thing. But once we started getting some traction, and specifically when some friends and fellow creators started reaching out and sharing some of the stuff that they were doing, and frankly some of the income that their brand was making them. Yes, we started approaching that fork in the road because as we started growing so did our time commitment. And so we are starting to look at it and saying, Okay, we're putting a lot of time and energy into this. So we're either going to go all in and actually try to make this like a viable business where we can ever reach and help people but also make a living in the process, or, which is going to continue to be this kind of this side project, passion project kind of thing. And obviously, we leaned into that, let's see what we can do with this kind of thing. We didn't know what to expect it middlee, we're still pretty new, we're, again, 18 months in, and we only really started making an income from this probably about 910 months ago. So we're still very much figuring it out. But it has become something that is far more scalable than either one of our human service professions. And it played a huge role, both in terms of finishing off our student loans, which we didn't think would happen so quickly. And then also with buying more real estate, which we can talk about later. Yeah, it's just so cool, because now I'm so huge on personal brand. And I'm harping and harping, because for the longest time, I thought that I was unworthy in that I was ill equipped to be able to have anything to provide value online, even though I was like, had the investments. And I was like until I have 100 units. I can't post Yeah. Because I don't know how it is for y'all tell me if this was your journey, but you start and everyone tells you how you're going to mess up how you're gonna fail. They're like, that's a dumb idea. And all of a sudden, you start surrounding yourself with like minded community, and then eventually that community overpowers the naysayers. And then you're like, Screw it, I'm gonna do it. And then all of a sudden, it just starts taking off. So I'm curious, like, where did you really get that traction? Do you think? Was it like on Instagram or like, tick tock? Like, where do you what do you? What do you attribute the spikes to? Yeah, so for us, it's always been Instagram, and we have other platforms as well. I think one of the biggest mindset shifts for us was like, in the beginning, when you get consumed in all things, personal finance and real estate, and you're listening to podcasts and people with 100 units, or multi million dollar net worth and stuff, you're really getting absorbed, honestly, and like maybe five to 10% of the demographic. And when that becomes your measuring stick, you're like, Okay, what value can I possibly bring, when we started zooming out, because one of the reoccurring messages we were getting from people is how relatable Our situation was. So when we stopped zooming in, we said, Even if 5% 10% of the audience isn't really going to resonate, because they're way beyond us, that leaves like another 90% of people out there who are right on the verge of what we're doing or want to do something similar. So we can probably bring value to 90% of people. And that's what we started shifting our message to. And then Allie was describing earlier, our trajectory really just took off. And the reason I keep driving this home and driving this home is I'm so far down the rabbit hole, a personal brand that like I'm telling every single person I'm like, hey, whatever you're doing, find your zone of genius. This is so cool. Find your zone of genius, post about it, publish about it, do it because I'm doing it now and it works. And people start, even if the monetary part isn't there, I'm sure that you guys can relate to this. You start getting support and support from by just Hey, keep it up. You're doing great, too. Hey, I see you're looking for a laundromat. Like, I've got 20 laundromats in a package I'm trying to sell, hey, I've got a I've got a duplex I'm trying to get rid of I saw that you guys were looking for one is that been your experience too. So we talk a lot about how social media really acts as a digital resume. And I think that it really gives you a lot of credibility, and it helps connect you with the right people and your people. When we first started, we were the only people in our day to day lives that we're doing the things that we were doing that we're interested in real estate and financial independence, but Q the internet and we're suddenly surrounded by all of these like minded people that have the same goals and ambitions and everything. And we don't feel like the weird people anymore. And it's also been a really big tool to connect with people to find real estate deals, to figure out how we're going to pay all cash for our next rental property and all of these things. So I completely agree with you. I think that not only can it be an amazing career, but it can really like 10x your ability to be successful in whatever area you're working on. For us. It's real estate right now. There's like a common message. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around and don't be the smartest person in the room or at the table. And I used to take that like literally, and I used to think, oh God, in real life, who do I spend most time around. But ultimately, when you start building a brand, and you start spending more time, purposefully using social media, because I think it can also just be like a huge time suck. At the same time. We started like virtually spending a lot more time around people who were like minded but doing things. They weren't necessarily 10 steps ahead of us, but they're like two or three steps. And those were the people that we started spending a lot more time with all around the country, and sometimes even all around the world. And that very quickly elevated our consciousness in terms of what was possible, especially in the world of social media. Because up until 18 months ago, we were always consumers, not really producers. And today, we produce much more than we consume. Yeah, it's funny. I'll be stuck in the Tick Tock rabbit hole. Because there's upsides and downsides to this. If you don't control your time, like my screen time right now was ridiculous. And I was like, in the beginning, I was like, Whoa, I need to cut back on screen time. I'm like, No, like my screen time is spent producing. And sometimes I'll get down that rabbit hole. And I'll say, hey, remember, produce, don't consume produce, don't consume produce. And then that's helped me through it. So another one of the last questions before we get into the actual financial part. I have a girlfriend, I have a significant other that lives with me, we're in a house hack. It's cash flowing, awesome. Y'all geek out over it. This is like investments ever. She doesn't care. Bella, if you're listening to this, I love you. She doesn't care about this. She wants to live in the middle of the city in a nice apartment like she was before. And this is something that we're having to work on strategize with compromise, because it's a team sport, right? It's not I went to you. And it's we win. And I see a lot of couples that are unable to come to the same financial mindset simultaneously and together. So I'm really kind of, I'm really curious about how you guys both came to that conclusion together. partnered up, do this as a team, and then how you do like your vision together about where you're trying to take it. And then you just really play this as a team sport, because I think that's rare. And that's awesome. I love that. I love everything you said. And I think that when you're coming at this with a partner, you don't have to arrive to the same financial mindset simultaneously for us. That was not the case. Josh definitely discovered. Yeah, Josh. Yeah, his face says it all. Josh just covered all of this. Before I did, and he got really into it. And I thought it was the worst idea ever, and he was gonna ruin my life. Like, I hated everything about real estate and financial. Yeah, yeah. But I think what you realize is, it is way more than me, it is we. And I think for any couple that is going to last long term or have success, they need to get on the same page with their finances. Because if you're not working as a team, and you're not creating those goals, you're going to veer off in different directions. And I think something that I had to learn was, we're not always going to speak the same language in terms of what our values are. And if I'm coming at Allie with spreadsheets, and cash flow, and analytics and stuff, like that's not her language. But prior to that, one of the big reasons we started exploring financial independence was like, what are the things that we value the most? And how can we find ways to do more of them specifically, travel time to get more time with family, especially aging parents, and grandparents, etc. So I made the mistake of coming at allI with my language, right data analytics, stuff like that. When I went back to the drawing board, and I listened to podcast all about this exact topic, it was learning how to speak your partner's language. So now I came back with Ollie instead of talking about analytics and stuff like that. It's remember those values that we said we care about, well, you might not care about the ROI or cash on cash or anything like that. But just understand if we do these things, and we modify our lifestyle in this way, these become bridges to the things that we say we want to do more of. And once I could show her that and speak her language. I got a lot more buy in. Yeah, yeah. And for everyone listening, I know that a lot of you are going through the same thing. So one of us makes the mistake of picking up freaking Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And then we just start going and then just crow hop and people will Yeah, look at this. This is an asset, not a liability. Look at me. And I met we all made that mistake and all of us. I think it was remede CEPII was on was on the BiggerPockets money show and he was Just like just shut up. post about it. Let people come to you meet people where they're at. And so that's what I'm doing with her is now I'm okay baby. I know that you don't want to live here and you want to live in the city I get that. But now when we are going to be able to travel around the world, we don't have a mortgage payments worry about we don't have a rent payments worry about even go travel. So like for her living situation is massive. Yeah. So for people listen to think about what you're seeing the view through their lens bank, what is super important to them. For my girlfriend, she really cares about living situation because she wants to host and she had a big family before. She wants to bring people in to be the life of the party and be the place for people to come. And so I'm like, okay, cool. I see this now. Not, that was a very cool part of your story. So that's funny, Josh was like, Oh, he come on, come on. Yeah, I was not about it. And I can really relate to your girlfriend. When we first started, I remember moving into our 120 year old duplex. And I was like, oh my god, like I wanted a nice single family home, all my other friends had and I wanted to have my friends over like I can so deeply relate to that. But for us, we had a lot of debt. And Josh was like, our debt is holding us back. This is a byproduct of our circumstances. And then we bought the next duplex that we house hacked. And then we realized, I realized, Oh, our duplexes, you string a few together, they're gonna pay for the mortgage of that single family home. And now I was able to quit my job because our cost of living is so low. So I think that it's one thing to focus, like, I really wanted that single family home. But by, like having a little patience and taking some steps ahead of that. We're gonna get this single family home, I'm able to have more time freedom. And we're doing that on our terms. So I think your girlfriend could absolutely get that beautiful house in the city. But it sounds like you guys are going to travel and that probably is going to be a lot cooler than it has to be mortgage for a house you don't want to live in right now. I sent her a reel of Lake Como in Italy. I said, Doesn't this look cooler than Atlanta? Yeah. So I really want to I really want to stick with what you just said, How much are y'all bringing in to where you were able to quit your job because you're not bringing in like $100,000 a month. Let's go back to being relatable here like people overinflate, how much they actually need to start pivoting off and do what they want to do, how much you're bringing into allow for this? Absolutely. So we don't share exact figures of our income. But what I will tell you is that our monthly expenses, because we got rid of our car payments, and we house hack is less than $2,000 a month. I mean, everyone has different costs of living. But we are very lean right now. So it did not take much of an income to be able to leave my job because we were making so much more than what our monthly expenses were. It gave us that wiggle room and that breathing room. I was working as a school social worker, I was totally miserable. And we were like it's now or never we don't have kids yet. Like I should leave the damn job because I'm super unhappy there. And the cruel thing pretty Yeah, yeah, if you would talk to us maybe two years ago, that would have been like, Nope, we this is our five year plan, we're gonna check this box, and then this box, so on and so forth. But as we go through the process, our journey towards financial freedom, health, especially over the last two years, it shocked us a little bit and says, like, refocus on what your values are. And so even though we weren't yet financially independent, we still had some debt. They got to be to the point where her job was really detracting from her health and well being. And it just no longer made sense for her to subject yourself to that. But because of all the steps we had taken over the last couple of years between paying off debt, house hacking, starting businesses, side houses, etc, we now had that flexibility, if you will, to prioritize that over just like trying to make more money from a job. And what's cool is like the universe has a funny way of working out in your favor if you're willing to take the necessary steps. And as a result of Allie leaving that job last year and having more time to focus on our brand and everything like that actually allowed us to really scale what it is that we're doing through the fire couple, which more than replaced all the money and then some that she lost from leaving her job. Yeah, and I tell people over and over again that when you're thinking about financial independence, it's not black or white. It's this Man Ray evolving stretching thing. And so what I what I recommend people to do is I take that how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time Yeah, maybe you're thinking, I do a lot of coaching calls and everyone's, oh, I want $10,000 A month so I can quit my job and focus on real estate first full time. I'm like, Okay, what does that mean? And so what I tell people I was, like, let's zoom that back. Like my in my cash flow is three to four grand a month. So that is enough for me to cover my living expenses in my bills. That's it. I get my living expenses and my bills. Now my lifestyles, I like traveling, I like going places and stuff. But what that allowed for is now I have the base like concrete foundation poured to now I can take risk, right? Because I can You can quit your job and focus on the online brand. You can travel more, you can become a digital nomad, you can do geographic arbitrage, you can start that business and start your own side hustle. And then the risk is an uncalculated reward, because now it's like, there's not that much risk, because you're always gonna be good. But then the game possibilities are exponential. So it's so much fun. So I love that I completely agree with you. And it sounds like, obviously, we have different circumstances. But there's a lot of the same fundamentals and principles, I mean, that we were really scared when I left my job. It was exciting. But it was like, Okay, we're taking the leap, we're going all in. And then, in the first three months of our business this year, we made what I would make an entire year from my job. So I was like, oh, okay, all right. This this. This was a good leap that we took in something to write so obviously, so we're in the real estate space as well. And so our student loans were like, 4.3% interest. And we used to get flack all the time. Why are you aggressively paying off 4.3% loans when you could leverage that up and stuff like that? For us to in the back of my mind, and you made a great point, I was like, but I know not having that debt is going to give us the confidence we need to really go full fledge into all the things. Because that's always it was always like, Yeah, but we could do this, but it was always like this looming thing. Oh, we have $100,000 in debt. So from my big thing was like, I don't care about the interest rate. I just know, when that's gone. And that Yeah, but is gone. What we're going to be able to do both in terms of income generation, but then also just like lifestyle flexibility is literally on calculable. So I wasn't worried about oh, 4% interest or whatever. And spoiler alert, it's paying off. Yeah, that's awesome. So now we can transition over into the financial part. And we can actually talk about portfolio. So I'll let you describe your portfolio because I don't want to get too deep into the numbers that y'all don't want to get into. But give me whatever numbers that y'all want to share with with the audience and walk us back on the journey of acquisition here, and timeline. And then also like what your plan is for the future? Absolutely. That first house hack again, it was at first I thought that was listen on the podcast. And also, in order for this to be successful. We have to live in a basement apartment behind a curtain like Craig curl up, and I live in an apartment. And I was like, that's the only way that this is going to work. And then I would have to live for free. Yeah. And I was showing Ollie the worst places where those numbers would make sense. And very quickly was like, this is not going to be a good situation. And I thought it was like, it's either got to be a decent place to live with crappy numbers, or the numbers are great, but it's a scary place to live. And it turns out with due diligence, you can find a happy medium. And so our first house hack was actually like the nicest place. Yes, it was three bedroom, one bath had a one car garage, backyard, we got super lucky. It was off market, another husband and wife who had been house hacking, they wanted to do similar to what we're doing. And then they had a couple of kids and they're like, we can't really house hack anymore. But we don't so don't want to just sell it to like a random investor. So they resonated with our story. And I think that's something that we always tell people is make sure you tell people your brand. No, this was before the fight couple this was in 2018. But our big thing is tell everyone in anyone who you are and what you do, so we just network like crazy people. And hey, we're newlyweds. We're looking to buy our first home, like just share that story. And we met a couple. We ended up buying the house for 155. It's a duplex. The mortgage was 1384. Yeah. And there was a tenant up top for 725 which is actually really low. We knew we could get more but we were previously living in like a tiny apartment for $1,300 a month. So at that point we went from $1,300 a month down Got six. And in the back of my mind, I was like, plus, we probably have no $200 a month when that guy moves out, we weren't in a rush to move out, we were just happy to be not spending as much on rent. So we bought that we lived in it for almost two years, eventually the guy moved out, we rented it out for a little over 900. So that lowered our rent even more, all that money that we were saving. That's how we started hammering away at the student loans. And then in 2020, we were networking a ton, because we love the neighborhood we live in, we found another investor and I said, Man, I love that duplex. I'll never sell it. Alright, I'm Josh, that's alley walk. I should probably all the time. Yeah, I told my story. A year later, he's walking past us and we're doing some renovations. I was like, Oh, by the way, we're looking to buy really like your property. Long story short, we ended up buying that property off market as well. That was 100 and 150, houses 150,000. So that's where we are right now. And between the apartment up top, and then we rented our old apartment. So all the cash flow from those covers our portion. So we finally hit that live for free goal. And that was a huge way for us to really start paying off student loans. And then currently, we're actually under contract on an off market triplex and this will be our first property, we're not house hacking. So for us, we bought a property in 2018, we got another one in 2020. We're now under contract and 2022. As our friend Scott trench says, we're buying consistently and not aggressively. So for the past few years, the focus has really been like pay off student loans, pay off student loans. House Hacking has helped reduce our cost of living. But now that those loans are paid off, we are really excited to go a little heavier unreal estate and really scale that portfolio without house hacking every property. Yeah, yeah. And then that's where that's where that baseline financial independence like that. Now, you're like, you can have a pep in your stuff. You're like, oh, let's take them on. Yeah, I love that. And that's what I did. So my specialty is I do five bed, four bath houses that are zoned multi use. So it's a single family house that just basically convert into a duplex. Yeah, those things, those things print out about a grand or grand each net. And it's super fun. And that's what Creek your lot was doing over in Denver, like the rent by the room strategy. Yeah, but not. That's so cool to think about. And I like what you said about the consistency versus the aggressiveness and investing. I can really relate to that. Because last year, I left a job and then went to another job because I got head hunted. And then it was supposed to be like a promotion. It was terrible culture fit, I quit, income dropped like 60% 70%. And so like lash to get my extra property like always buys now this year, I'm sitting on this cash cushion. I'm like, I gotta buy something, I gotta buy something, I gotta buy something. And I'm looking, I'm like, and my friend just called me and he said, and this is why you surround yourself with the community. My friend called me and said, Hey, man, you're trying to force a bad deal. Yep. He said, You're trying to force a bad deal. And can I offer some perspective? And I said, Yes. And he goes, you may not be buying an asset right now. Maybe this isn't like firing you up anymore. Like y'all said, like, the house hacks aren't firing me up anymore. It's time to move on. It's like, but you're building an asset with the brand. Boom. And I was like, I love that. Yeah, and he was like, You're not buying an asset right now he could, but it's gonna be a bad deal. It's like right now. Could I go through and find like alone? A local bank that would fund me? Yes. Could I find something off market? Yes. Could I figure out how to go through the Atlanta legislation to Airbnb it? Yes. That's a lot of work and a lot of mental space. It goes dude, if I was you right now, I would focus completely on this podcast you completely on your brand, and build it build the asset. So it's so cool. So yeah, Josh is live preach, man, like, reaching into the choir. Now Josh is laughing because I was really into social media and scaling our brand. And I hear this guy in my ear. Yeah, but it's not real estate. We're not buying a deal now. Wow, how many units would we need to own to make what we're making doing this? It's exponentially more, but it's way more active than what real estate is. So that's why our biggest goal is we've built the brand we're continuing to grow it and our goal is to just funnel whatever money we're making from that into the real estate and the physical assets, you know, and something that I had to learn to deal with to and better understand is, if you think of it like the 8020 rule The 20 is the actual buying of the deal. The ad is the mindset and all the things that you have to learn about you and your market, there's so much so I was so transfixed and I got to buy a deal. But not I need to become a better investor, I need to become a better partner. And there were so many things I needed to get better at. And gratefully, I have a partner who after we bought our last deal said, I'm not buying another deal until our student loan balances zero. Now, I could have took that as one of two ways, oh, we're not buying a deal for a while, I'm just going to shut things down. I'm going to start reading, self educating, networking, analyzing, so on and so forth, because we're not buying a deal for I mean, at that time, I thought it was gonna be like three or four years. Turns out, it's a lot sooner. But instead, I said, Okay, this is an opportunity for me to grow and to learn. And so every day I woke up, we continue to look at properties, we continue to walk neighborhoods, I knew every day, I wasn't buying a deal. But I went through the habits, I worked that muscle. And as a result, I made connections we made connections we never other would have if we just focused on the deal. And that's been a big learning opportunity for me. Yeah, it's funny, whenever you're doing like your goal setting, especially in real estate, it's like there's two different types of goal setting. There's linear goal setting, and then like compound goal setting. So in the beginning, everyone looks at their numbers, and they're like, Okay, cool. What's my cash flow? 10,000? How many units? Do I need to get to that? 10,000? How many doors do I need? How do I get these doors. But then when you start getting into the game that you guys are playing, and the game that I'm playing in the game that we're all playing one relationship, you're always one relationship, one connection, one idea away from 10 acts in anything you've thought possible. So you walking down the street, saying, Hey, I love your duplex. I'd love to buy it someday. That is so cool. So what's next for you guys? What's on the horizon? Where do you see all this going? Yeah, the FY couple is very much like huge for us right now. So I'm working two days a week, the goal is to do that for as long as it makes sense. That's where we get our benefits from. But I'm excited to not work two days a week. And for Josh, I think we were looking to really cut his working hours in half this year. Our goal was to buy three to four doors this year, we pretty much already met that because we're buying three. So I don't know just continuing to scale our property have more time for family. And that's I think that's something that we've begun to measure is originally, it was like, I need x number of doors, which equates X number of cash flow, so on and so forth. And obviously, we tabulate those things still, but we were just talking a short while ago, we have a lot we kind of measure time freedom to because I think it can be really easy. It can be really easy to just stay super busy, but not overly productive or aligned with what it is that your values are. And so what if we go back like four years ago, our goal wasn't like, create this big brand and file it was like, we want more time with each other with family doing the things that we love, and we love to travel. And so those are really the benchmarks, right? It's not the real estate, those are just bridges. And because we use those values as our compass, that's really what we're measuring a lot more. And so as far as what's next, it's just like more of that. And whether it's social media, or more real estate or other investments, those are the vehicles, but we're always keeping our finger on the pulse of like, are we doing the things that we set out to do? Or are we just keeping busy kind of thing? Because especially as the world starts to open up and more opportunities become available? Yeah, it's really easy to just start doing things, we periodically have to step back and say, Okay, we need to start saying no, to, because we're no longer really doing the thing that we started out to do, right? Yep. So Allie, as you're doing all this, you're focusing on the brand a lot, I say you're enjoying that write about it, I love it. I love it. And I get more excited about this than any job I've ever had. And I get to do it with the person that I like more than anyone in the world. So to me, it is so cool. And I think that social media is so powerful and incredible. And when you couple that with investing in stocks, and real estate and all of the other stuff, I just feel like it has limitless potential. And one thing I'll say too, is for a long time we both will be like man, we always want we always had the dream of working together. So I was like, maybe I can get you a job at my company. So we could work together. Like maybe you could work at my school district. We always got an order to spend more time together. It was contingent on the availability of someone else or something else. And then eventually thankfully, I got fired and just different events transpired. And I said instead of Putting our eggs in someone else's basket in the sense of us being have more time together? What if we created something together that we could do more of together as opposed to holding out hope someone else would allow us to? And that's been a really cool benefit of all the stuff we're doing. Yeah. Yeah. And the reason I asked that is because I was at a Tony Robbins event, Unleash the Power Within, and I'll sit next to a guy, and we're doing all this vision, work and everything. And he's, what's your vision, I was like, I see $25,000 coming in a month, I see all this stuff. So I could go travel the world and be on a beach with my loved one. And we're all out there. And he was like, huh, don't strike me as the type that would just sit on a beach. And I was like, that's what I'm saying. You're always one interaction, one comment, one idea away from completely changing the trajectory of your life. And I was like, I don't think I would like to just sit on a beach. And it's like that with y'all too. It's like maybe after two weeks of just, if you just had retirement and financial independence, and you're maybe go on a beach trip. After about two weeks, all of us are builders. We're creators, like, we do stuff. And after two weeks, you'd be like, all my friends are still a nine to five. I love you, babe. But I'm already burned. Yeah, so now it's a constant pursuit of taking passive income to a wow, for passionate income. Oh, I love that. I love that. And I think it's building a life by design that you love. So it's not a life that I have to escape from one month vacation. It's, I like my life in my day today. And I think we're building that together. So yeah, we could go live in Florida for two months in the winter now. And when we do that, we'll probably be working Bubu will be working from a really awesome place. So I think there's just so much potential there for sure. That's awesome. So as we end this, is there anything specifically that you're looking for that maybe my audience can help you with? Are you looking for any so you said you kind of knocked out your audit, you kind of doubt your unit go already? I guess just give everyone? Where can people find you? Where can people follow you and give your pitch about all the different stuff that's in your link tree? Cuz you got a bunch? Yeah, absolutely. Our main platform is Instagram. So people can find us at that F fi couple stands for financial independence. And we also have a website, the fi couple.com. But really what we do every day is just work to educate people on the fundamentals of personal finance, we have a course coming out this spring specific for couples and getting on the same financial page. We're really excited for that. We also do couples coaching. And we have a private community where every month we host master classes where we educate people about all of these topics that we all should really know but no one ever taught us. So this is something that we're so passionate about, and we love and yeah, it's cool to do it together. So if you have questions, or you want to connect with us, Instagram or shooting us an email through our website is probably the best way. Perfect. And then what's the email address? Or should they just go to the site? It's on the site, but it's also info inf o at the fi couple.com Gotcha. So if anyone's listening to this, especially for the couple's thing, because that's one of the things that I wanted to hit on with them. If you're if you're interested, if you are on this journey, and your spouse or girlfriend is not on board or vice versa. Give them a ring. They will help they're doing it. Love finally making this happen. I've been following y'all and it's been cool to watch your journey and then I was like I need to get this recorded like that. We need to have this done. Awesome. exceeded all expectations. So Josh, Ellie, I appreciate you. Thank you very much for coming on. And this has been Brian and the fi couple but the action Academy podcast signing off. Am I