Release From Prison Journal: Day 489

Sunday, December 14, 2014

 

This morning I woke up exhausted. The quick trip to Orlando this past week really drained me. I woke before ready to go run. After lacing up my shoes, I changed my mind and returned to sleep for another two hours. Although my running has slowed down, I remain ahead of schedule with regard to the 2,400-mile running goal that I set for this year. With less than 100 miles to run in order to reach my goal, I realized that I could afford another day of rest to catch up. This week will bring an enormous amount of work. I need to spend several hours working to complete the Prison Professor website and get it ready to launch. If all goes well, we will go live this week. I’m waiting for a federal tax ID number so that I can open a bank account in the new business’s name and begin taking orders. Once the site goes live, my schedule will become even busier. I’m really enthusiastic about this business, but it isn’t the only new business on my plate. I’ve got to invest some time and resources to launch Alternative Investment Seminars, the live-event program that I intend to build during the first quarter of 2015.

My younger sister, Christina, is in town from Miami. She and my mom joined Carole and me for dinner this evening. I left my office early so that we could enjoy dinner together. I just realized that it was the first time that Christina and I had dinner together with my mom in longer than 26 years. I need one more year to catch up with my peers and then I’ll be able to celebrate the holiday season more normally. One more year.

 

Days since my release from prison: 489

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 26.72

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 73.87

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,304.86

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 95.14

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 18.5

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 488

Saturday, December 13, 2014

 

Carole didn’t have to work today so we enjoyed the morning together. She was scheduled for an exercise class at 10:30, so I postponed my run until then. I worked from home, finishing up a grant request that I had to write for our foundation. The grant I’m applying for will sustain our organization for anther three years, allowing us to distribute the Straight-A Guide and to expand our Straight-A Guide Staffing Solutions program to 10 different counties across the state of California. We’re currently at the second round of the funding stage. The next stage will be a meeting with the funder. If all goes well, we’ll likely receive notification on the status of our request before the end of January. In the meantime, I have an enormous amount of work ahead of me, with the foundation, the advancement of my career, and the many ancillary projects that I currently have underway. I’m grateful for all of the work and I’m grateful to have wrapped up the grant request that I finished writing today.

My run really rejuvenated me. I wasn’t able to run since I left for Orlando. While there, I couldn’t miss a single opportunity to promote the event. Such responsibilities meant that I had to forego exercise and focus all of my attention on making the most of the event that I possibly could. The live events are great opportunity, and I’m giving a lot of thought on how I can build a new business around this channel. It will come with some costs, like extensive travel, but I could make a commitment for a year.

 

Days since my release from prison: 488

Miles that I ran today: 13.3

Miles that I ran so far this week: 26.72

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 73.87

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,304.86

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 95.14

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 25.07

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 487

Friday, December 12, 2014

 

What a long day. After only four hours sleep, I freshened up with a shower and then I packed so I’d be ready for my flight home. I went downstairs to meet Danny in the lobby. We secured a large table in the restaurant and prepared our presentations for the guests we expected to join us. Instead of eating, I drank coffee. I was running on pure adrenaline, hoping to add a few more orders from last night. I was pleased to speak with one young woman who was hovering on whether to buy or not. I asked what she did for a living and she told me that she was a nurse. “My wife is a nurse,” I told her. As a nurse, she could pay for the investment by simply working one extra shift each month. When I explained the opportunity in those terms, she seized the moment and signed up. Our team signed up another prospect from the event last night, allowing us to return to California with 14 new orders that were valued at $1.68 million. I had hoped that our presentation would result in 20 orders, but we are pleased with the outcome. Now I need to build a system that will scale this live-event channel. I know exactly what I must do, and I will begin writing the materials that I will need to persuade prospects on the value of this opportunity we’re offering. After breakfast, I watched another presenter for an hour. Then our team shared a taxi ride to the Orlando airport. I found seat and sat down to write a full report for our team in California.

 

Days since my release from prison: 487

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 13.42

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 60.57

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,291.56

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 108.44

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 18.34

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 486

Thursday, December 11, 2014

 

Today was our big event. After only a few hours sleep, I woke to go for a run around the hotel’s perimeter. When I saw that people were already getting into the hotel’s convention center, I realized that I would have to postpone my run. I needed to return to my room, shower, suit up, and get to the opening of the convention so that I could take a pulse of what was going on. There was a frenetic energy. The name of the conference was “Never Work Again,” and just as in the event from the previous week in Palm Springs, more than 250 people were in attendance. They signed up for the program to learn about investment opportunities.

After an hour of listening to the opening comments, I walked to the lobby so that I could finalize my presentation. Since I was presenting alone, I couldn’t use the same presentation that I had used in Palm Springs. The changes would take several hours, then I had to rehearse to ensure that I came across as credible. At 1:00 I finished. Danny and Robert joined me and we walked back to the convention center. We set up our marketing materials, which included two banners and all of our brochures. I set up my computer outside of the seminar room so that participants could see our amazing videos.

I was scheduled to present at 8:30. But as the day went on, I could see that my time slot would be pushed back. The speakers were speaking for longer than an hour. After their presentations, audience members surrounded the speakers to learn more and to place orders. The early afternoon presenter sold digital marketing services; the mid-afternoon speaker sold lessons on hard-money lending; the early evening speaker spoke about value investing and sold a course that would teach others how to invest. He didn’t finish until after 9:00 in the evening. Then there was dinner. My slot got pushed back until 10:15.

The audience had been in the room since before 9:00 am, so I was somewhat apprehensive about how much energy they would have for the investment opportunity I was about to present. Our was a compelling offering, at least from my perspective. We were offering 1/2-acre home sites in an oceanfront community, a tropical paradise, for $120,000. The real value were the financing terms, as buyers would only need to pay their first-and-last month payment of $500, plus pay another $1,000 to cover the costs associated with touring the property. With that $2,000 payment, and an agreement to pay $500 per month with no interest, they would control an appreciating asset in an appreciating market.

At the end of my presentation, we signed up 12 prospects who became owners in our development. I had hoped to sell more, but I was pleased with the result. Since I didn’t finish my presentation until 11:30 in the evening, I invited those who wanted to learn more to meet my colleagues and me in the hotel’s restaurant at 7:30 for breakfast. We would treat them to breakfast and respond to any questions they had about why our project made so much sense for any investor who had a five-year time horizon.

Danny, Robert, and me went to the hotel’s restaurant at midnight to celebrate our good day. Pizza was the only item on the menu at that late hour, and we didn’t mind at all. I got to my room and went to sleep around 1:00 am.

 

Days since my release from prison: 486

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 13.42

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 60.57

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,291.56

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 108.44

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 24.91

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 485

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

 

I worked from home in the early morning because I had to get things together for the trip to Orlando. My flight was scheduled to leave at 2:00 in the afternoon, but I had an enormous amount of work to complete because of the last-minute change, with Luke not going. I wrote a script that he could recite on video. Since Luke was a principal owner of the project, having him on video would add enormous credibility for those in the audience. Then I went through the laborious chore of transferring my PowerPoint presentation into a Keynote presentation. With the videos and high-resolution photographs, the file size was too large for my MacBook Pro computer. The annoying spinning beach ball that appears when my computer freezes kept slowing me down. At 9:00 I decided to go to the office. Carole was enjoying the new iPad we purchased, so I didn’t want to take that tool with me. In my office I have an iMac that I hoped would ease my work. I also have a video expert who could provide some assistance in speeding up my computer. We advanced the ball as far as we could, and I knew that I could finish the rest of the presentation once I landed in Orlando. Carole drove me to the airport at noon. My flight took me through Houston, and then a second flight carried me to Orlando. I arrived at midnight, worked until 1:00 am, and then slept, eager to make another live presentation on the opportunity we were offering at Kanantik Belize.

 

Days since my release from prison: 485

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 13.42

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 60.57

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,291.56

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 108.44

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 31.48

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 484

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

 

Late in the afternoon today I learned that Luke would not be able to accompany me to Orlando. He is the father of four young boys and family obligations were going to hold him back. Ok. That mean I would make the entire presentation. I would not only educate the audience on the importance of considering alternative investments, but I would also make the presentation on the offering at Kanantik Belize. That was fine. But the short notice meant that I would have a lot of work to complete. This presentation would have to be very different from the presentation I made in Palm Springs. The offering would be the same, but the presentation would differ. In Palm Springs I only spoke about alternative investments, helping the audience understand why investments that did not correlate to the volatile stock market or the low-yields of the bond market might make sense for them. Then Luke presented on the offering of Kanantik Belize and the compelling financing option. In Orlando, I would have to do both. That meant I had to write a new slideshow in a rush. The slideshow would help people in the audience follow along with the presentation. But since I’m not a principle of Kanantik Belize, I had to figure out a way to make the presentation in a coherent manner. I roughed out an outline and made the decision to forego my run in the morning so that I could devote more attention to it. In an effort to ensure that I would have the tools I needed, I sent Carole to the Apple store to purchase a new iPad that I could take with me.

 

Days since my release from prison: 484

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 13.42

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 60.57

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,291.56

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 108.44

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 38.05

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 483

Monday, December 8, 2014

 

Today I had to catch up with Prison Professor. The site is coming along well. I’ve finished all of the writing last week for the initial launch. Today I finished a lot of the details. The site will launch with 17 different videos. I filmed each video with the intention of bringing more awareness to the products and services that we’re going to offer. Besides filming, I had to write descriptive information for the Vimeo service that hosted the videos. That way, people who searched for topics that my videos covered would be able to read the short description and determine whether they should invest time to watch. Each video is short, at less than two minutes. Once we launch the site, I’ll have to write more descriptive work for the YouTube platform. So, a lot of work remains ahead, but I’m making progress each day. The challenge this week is that I’m scheduled to fly to Orlando for a second live event to sell our company’s properties in Belize. My presentation is ready, but I don’t know which day I’m going. I’m thinking that I’ll fly out on Wednesday, though I don’t know how long I’ll stay. In any event, I won’t get as much done as I would like on Prison Professor this week. Busy schedule ahead.

 

Days since my release from prison: 483

Miles that I ran today: 13.42

Miles that I ran so far this week: 13.42

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 60.57

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,291.56

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 108.44

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 44.62

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 482

Sunday, December 7, 2014

 

Prison Professor is getting much closer to becoming a live site. Today I worked with my web designer to advance the project. We have to work through the backend-store portion of the site and also some of the final design details. I wrote copy for the initial marketing campaign, but there is so much more that I must put together. I’m looking forward to bringing this site online, as it will launch an entire new business for me. The model for PrisonProfessor is quite simple. I wrote a series of lesson plans to teach defendants what they can anticipate as they advance through the criminal justice proceedings. Primarily, I want them to understand that despite the challenges, they can establish a deliberate a course of action that will help them restore confidence and build a new life. Through various marketing techniques, I will offer the products and services Prison Professor offers directly to the consumer. But we’ll also have an “enterprise license” that will offer to defense attorneys. The defense attorneys will be able to purchase a license to use PrisonProfessor products and services, then pass along the products to their clients. I’m optimistic that a huge need exists for this information, and I look forward to testing that theory. The tests begin in 2015, when my site is live.

 

Days since my release from prison: 482

Miles that I ran today: 0

Miles that I ran so far this week: 0

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 47.15

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,278.14

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 121.86

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 37.77

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 481

Saturday, December 6, 2014

 

Today I woke early for a light run. Then I made the two hour drive back to Palm Springs for the live event. I really wanted to present last night, but I didn’t have any control over when I would present. I didn’t mind the long drive. I’ve been listening to a lengthy audio book on marketing that I enjoyed listening to while in the car. I arrived in Palm Springs around 11:30 in the morning. I saw Luke, Zarnie, and Mark in the conference room. We watched one of the presenters. He spoke about digital marketing services. The audience broke for lunch at 1:00 pm. The group’s coordinator instructed the audience to pick up their meals and then return to the conference hall for our presentation. There were 250 people at the convention before lunch, but when the organizer expected Luke and me to take the stage, there were only about 50 people back from lunch. That was a real disappointment. I didn’t mind. I wanted to show that live events could be a viable new marketing channel.

The organizer introduced Luke and me. We took the stage and I began making a case on why alternative investments would make sense for any investor who had a five-year time horizon. I spoke about looking at the world as it would evolve in five, ten, and 20 years. Then I asked how investors in the room had positioned themselves to profit from those change. The stock market presented opportunity, no doubt. Yet market volatility also brought risk. The bond market offered security, but with low yields, investors couldn’t get excited.

Then I spoke about Luke Chadwick, the principal owner of Kanantik Belize and Sanctuary Belize. His development generated excellent returns for early investors in Sanctuary. I’m convinced that buyers who got in early could ride on the coat tails of success in Kanantik Belize, his new development. After my 30 minute presentation, Luke took to the stage to speak about the offering. After presenting a series of stunning photographs and videos, he made the offer. He was selling the ½-acre home sites for $120,000. But investors could purchase with zero interest, and zero down. They simply needed to pay $1,000 for the first and month payment, and agree to $500 in monthly payments.

Despite our speaking to a relatively small audience, we sold 10 lots after our presentation, bringing another $1.2 million in receivables for our company.

 

Days since my release from prison: 481

Miles that I ran today: 7.65

Miles that I ran so far this week: 47.15

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 47.15

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,278.14

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 121.86

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 44.34

My weight for today: 168

Release From Prison Journal: Day 480

Friday, December 5, 2014

 

Today I drove to Palm Springs for the purpose of a live event. Our company has a very successful sales and marketing strategy with its advertising campaign. But we’ve not had a live-event strategy. Conversations I’ve had with the principals of the company got us started in this direction. Today we were scheduled to present for the first time to an audience in Palm Springs. The group was supposed to include 500 people, but when I arrived, I found that only about 250 people were present. That was fine.

John Allen, a friend of mine, drove me over to Palm Springs for the event. He is a successful entrepreneur who has built a business in the credit-repair industry. We’ve been discussing the possibility of my doing some writing to systematize his firm. I would love to undertake the writing project, but I’m so busy at the present with Prison Professor and the start of these live events. I don’t know whether I can devote sufficient time to get his project off the ground. We had a good talk about the project during our two-hour drive from Irvine to Palm Springs.

In Palm Springs, however, I learned that the convention was behind schedule. I was scheduled to present with Luke Chadwick, the principal owner of Sanctuary Belize and Kanantik Belize. But we weren’t the only presenters. Other people were presenting on digital marketing, investing, banking, and other types of business opportunities. Some of the presenters had gone on for too long, and as a consequence, I learned, our speaking slot had been pushed back from an originally scheduled 7:30 to 8:30. Then we were told that it was too late and we would have to return tomorrow for our presentation. I was okay with the change, but Luke has a lot of responsibilities and he wasn’t too pleased. He had brought Zarnie and Mark, two colleagues who work with us in Irvine. As a consequence of the delay, they would have to stay the night in Palm Springs. Since I drove over with John, I decided to drive back with him and return in the morning.

These are the challenges of business. We just have to seize every opportunity and be grateful that we can create value through our work.

 

Days since my release from prison: 480

Miles that I ran today: 13.14

Miles that I ran so far this week: 39.5

Miles that I’ve run during the month of December: 39.5

Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,270.49

Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 129.51

Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 43.26

My weight for today: 168