All posts by enricojenko

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Critics of WriteAPrisoner.com will often point to the fact that we are a commercial endeavor. It is important to note that income allows us to do what we do. We have 160 work hours going into this site each week on mail processing, typing profiles and development. This is not volunteer work, and none of this would be here without income. Also, I am not here just to earn a living. I have exchanged hundreds of letters with friends and loved ones in prison long before ever starting this. I had a great uncle who died in a U.S. prison 40 years ago. The guards claimed he committed suicide by hanging himself with his sheet. The autopsy showed he was beaten to death. A letter smuggled out from an inmate to my great-grandmother claimed the guards did it and then dragged his body by their cells as a warning to other inmates. I have a mother who helped launch the first literacy program in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections nearly 30 years ago because tutors were afraid to go inside to tutor the illiterate adults there. 

I have childhood friends who will never leave prison. One who was a timid and good kid is now serving life for murder here in Florida. He originally went to prison on a lesser offense. When he came home, he was different, and I later found out why. Once released, he killed another young man over a simple argument. Before this, I ran into him at the state college, and he was trying to get his life back on track. My preferred memory of him is still as the boy who stashed my bike in the woods and pedaled me miles home on his handlebars when I cut my foot open on an oyster bed as we were dragging a sand net in the Indian River. We were maybe ten or eleven years old, and it is a reminder – to me, at least – that a person should not be judged on their worst deed. I am not one-sided on this, and I have met many good people in corrections who also want to see these people have an opportunity and a chance to succeed and grow as human beings.

F.I.T.E …because iron sharpens iron

because iron sharpens iron

Class 21 VCP

Friday, February 21, 2014 — Oh my word! What a day! Class 21 took turns presenting pitches to a panel of executives (think Shark Tank) in an event called Venture Capital Panel (VCP). While butterflies certainly swarmed our bread baskets, the word I would use to summarize the day would be COURAGE. Triumphant 21 stepped up to the plate and delivered despite the fear, displaying courage I’m not sure we knew we possessed. We changed today, but we weren’t alone. The bewildered look upon the faces of the first time executives said it all. Prison isn’t supposed to be like this. Today we experienced life, abundant life.

F.I.T.E Scott Wesley The Shine King

Scott Wesley - Control Alt Delete

Yesterday, before a crowd of 120 people at the River Oaks Country Club yesterday, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program hosted our first “free-world” Business Plan Competition.

The event featured amazing presentations by three PEP graduates:

  • Clarence Campbell, “The Shine King” (shoe shining and leather care)
  • Steve Gutterud, “Complete Home Innovations” (home renovation and remodeling)
  • Scott Wesley, “Control-Alt-Delete” (tattoo removal)

After a very tough competition, our audience chose the winner …. Control-Alt-Delete, a tattoo removal service that allows people to overcome “tattoo regret” by taking CONTROL of their lives, ALTERING the way they are perceived by the world (and themselves) and DELETING their old tattoos!

You can see photos from the event here:
http://prisonentrepreneurshipprogram.zenfolio.com/fastpitch2014

If you would like to get involved in helping any of our entrepreneurs with their ventures, pleasecontact us today!

Ex-offenders and felons can get a job or start a business

Ex-offenders and felons can get a job or start a business

Ex-offenders and felons can get a job or start a businessFinding employment as an ex-offender is a tough job. Finding employment as an ex-offender in a down economy is an even tougher job. There are countless people without criminal records competing with ex-offenders and felons for fewer and fewer jobs. No matter what the situation is, one must earn money to live.

Many ex-offenders and felons have skills and talents that could be turned into Ex-offenders and felons can get a job or start a businessincome. There is always money to be made – even in a down economy. You just have to have a little creativity and willingness to do what it takes until you can find work. Oftenex-offenders turn to self-employment as a way to earn money.  Take a few minutes to look at the video below.  Maybe you will get some ideas about a small business you can start with little or no money.  Who know it could possibly blossom into something really big.

Ex-offenders and felons can get a job or start a business

From Prison to Success on Global Stages An Interview With Lisa Grossmann

lisa grossman From Inmate To Entrepreneur
From Inmate To Entrepreneur

Welcome back, and today’s interview is POWERFUL! You simply must hear this story. Shut off all other distractions and get ready!
Play

Let me tell you a little about Lisa. Lisa Grossmann began her business career working in a family owned traditional business.

In 1988, she was introduced to Network Marketing. She had the good fortune to become part of a company that in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was a starting point for where some of the greatest network marketing professionals of today began their careers. As she worked her way up through the compensation program in that first company, she was working hand in hand with the best of the best.

Lisa has since become known throughout the industry as an elite professional. She and her business partner, Curtis Broome, are Black Diamonds with an international company and have an organization of more than 150,000 worldwide generating a 7 figure annual income for their position.

However, in addition to being a top performer and annual million dollar earner, she fully understands the business side of the profession to such an extent that she is constantly sought out by companies and leadership for her insight, guidance and coaching expertise.

In early 2008, Lisa and Curtis co-founded Your Vision Partners, Inc. Together they continue to consult for multiple companies on domestic and international expansion, product development and operations as well as provide in-depth training for company executives, top field leadership and their teams on the foundations of success in the NWM profession.

Lisa’s Success Quote –  Eleanor Roosevelt – Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

Great minds are rare, about innovating  and work toward helping people and moving things forward; and average people get caught up in things, events, gossip and drama, which is what Lisa believes holds most people back from being what they can be. What you need to change on a daily basis to improve one’s position.

Before network marketing, she was a mom, and involved in a family business that she did not love, and felt that getting into a family business is

When you win the rat race, you are still a rat.

What it looks like on the outside to own a business is not always what it is on the inside.

How did you find Network Marketing, Lisa?

Lisa’s aunt called, so excited, had found her fortune and was on her way to get rich! She came over, hooked up a water filter and left it with Lisa for a week, to prove the product worked!

And, it did! The water was great, the pets didn’t like the old water a week later!

Lisa ran the math on what her aunt would make and she couldn’t figure out how she was going to get rich with this.

When Lisa asked questions, her aunt had her watch a video. then, she got her on a 3 way call with someone making $30,000 a month and very successful.

Next step, she went to the local meeting, and could barely wait for it to get over! Then, came the testimonials. She wasn’t so impressed with the money but statements like -

“I have Freedom.”

“I travel.”

“I never miss my son’s hockey games.”

She told her husband – it was worse than you can imagine and these people are dumber than us, uglier than us but they are successful and having all kinds of fun, so I think we should do it, too!”

Some great insights here are that her aunt was so smart to use the tools of our profession. She did not try to explain it herself, even though Lisa was family and close to her. She followed the exact system for success that we work to teach today!

Did you have a negative blueprint about MLM?

She had one bad experience in college where she was visiting a friend who thought she was being set up on a blind date, and instead, it ended up being an opportunity meeting for Amway! One cute college dude, and a roomful of college girls who dressed up to wow him!

Her impression wasn’t negative or positive, but rather – “Well, that was amusing!”

She hated it along the way and ultimately fell in love with the profession. She had a drive that made her not want to be someone who quit and wanted to be successful.

How did you launch your business?

She didn’t understand the business model, depth, or anything, but she knew she wanted to get to a certain level. She sponsored 50 people; big mistake – how could she possible work with them all if they wanted to work…which, they didn’t.

She made a decision to learn the business model. She knew the mechanics and what you were supposed to do, so she just needed to do it with the ones who wanted to.

That’s when she began to fall in love.

What profession in the world where, the more you help people, the more money they make, the more money YOU make? So different than the competitive, territorial atmosphere of traditional business.

She says she built a “Paper Empire” in the beginning. I asked her to explain.

She wanted all of the “Brownie Badges!” She identified how to be the “Star Fleet Commander” in her company.

In the perfect world, it may take 200 to reach a pin level but in reality, it may take 2000 because most people won’t get three who get three, and so on. Instead of working with people, she drew out on paper what it would take, and she placed people accordingly to promote herself to the pin level she wanted.

We call that “Stacking” most often and it is a BIG mistake. You can build fame, or fortune, and only both if you build it right.

The business itself is not about selling something, which is a monologue. It’s about transferring your belief and someone says – hey, I see what you see!

She didn’t get that so she was doing sales presentations, and so people bought a lot of product, but no one was really “in” the business.

It’s about marketing through your network to find those who are looking for you.

No one in that initial group really went to work. A few people did, but not much. She was doing “Country club” network marketing and everyone had to bring their people to her, and she made herself the issue.

You have to go to school to be successful. You can’t skip the skips. You can’t go from first grade to fifth grade.

What was the defining moment that made you want to learn more and “go to school” as you put it?

When Lisa realized that the strength and beauty of Network Marketing is not “right now money”. Certaonly the model is designed to enable someone to make some money getting started, and mostly that should be through product sales.

But the real money – the freedom – is created through “indirect.” Meetings happening in cities where you are NOT. You’ll see results 90-120 days based on what you do now. She realized that she had accumulated a bunch of transactions to get a title.

She decided to learn it and she went to the best, and that is the key. IF you want what someone else has, you need to surround yourself with them and learn.

And, don’t change ANYTHING – not one thing – until you are making at least $10,000 monthly and you have others making money, too.

Human nature doesn’t change and some things just work!

So, then what changed?

From the business mechanics, say less to more people; never present to your own prospects, use third party tools.

From the time the prospect hears the name of your company, you are training them.

I can do that; or I can’t do that – your prospect is thinking one or the other, based on how you are introducing the business and the steps you take them through,

3 WAY CALLS

VIDEOS

ON A CONFERENCE CALL

These are things people say – “I can do that.”

What challenges/obstacles did you have to overcome?

Well, she had some great success, but then real life got in the way. Some things happened.

She started her family; she changed companies because the company she was with did not have a consumable product.

When you sit down with someone, it’s not about what you want, it’s what they want. Make it about the other person and get good at asking questions. The better you get, the more you’ll be able to get anyone to take a look.

Lisa has three questions -

“Are you happy? Is life meeting your expectations and are you on the road to get you where you want to go?”

“Do you have a plan” is the second question. No, they don’t have a plan or they wouldn’t be talking to you.

Third question – “Would you like to see one? I’m sure it’s not for you, but I’m sure you’ll love the product.”

You mentioned “life got in the way” – what happened?

The family owned business got into some challenges with the Federal Government, Lisa’s mom owned the company and the end result was – Lisa had to choose – testify against your mother; watch her husband be indicted; or cut a deal and go to a Federal Prison Camp for 12 months and 12 days in 1997.

“God sent me to time out.”

Once she got out, she came back to network marketing in a consulting role. Ultmately one of the companies ask her to join the field and build a business. And, she did. Today, she suffers from “TB” – True Believer-ism.

What was the 12 months in prison like?

The first 3 months, she took “self pity” to an art form. She isn’t totally to blame but she knew she had to accept responsibly because no one had held a gun to her head.

Once she came to terms with the fact that life goes on, people’s lives go on, the sun rises and sets, she decided to make every day count,

A Prison Chaplain said to her – “9 months is going to show up, no matter how you spend them. When you look back, what’s the story you want to tell. The time either does you or you do the time. IF you do the time, you have control.”

Liberty, some one can take from you, the ability to come and go as you please. But how you choose to respond, that freedom, everyone has that choice.

How will you respond to the things you don’t control.

She read 365 books, she played sports, she started running. She started to understand what we teach in Network Marketing.

All skills develop over time and things just take times.

Everyone is equal there – same clothes, some chores, all have to get a job and it’s a lot like Network Marketing.

Network Marketing is a level playing field and it doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s how you spend the experience. Your past can help or hurt you.

What did you learn there?

I’m not as important as I thought I was, but I also wasn’t as fragile as I thought I was. Life goes on, and we are far too dramatic about things. It was life changing and emotional, but not that big a deal, which comes back to response.

At the end of the day, you have to be who you are, and some people are going to like you; and some people are not. Be the best YOU that you can be!

Were there challenges coming out and sharing the experience?

No, because she got some good advice. No one tells your sins or your story like you do. People figure that if you tell the truth about that, what else is there to lie about?

We are so often afraid of what people think of us, but people appreciate honesty and transparency.

Heck, she made the 6 O’Clock news in Dallas, so it was no secret.

She never expected it to become a big story, but it has. It proves that you can do anything in network marketing.

People put themselves in prison with their own decisions and never realize the door didn’t lock behind them.

We all suffer from a disease called terminal comparison. They start comparing.

They look at some one and take their “highlights reel” and compare it to their “bloopers reel” and then they feel bad.

Was your business growing while you were in prison?

No, not really, she put it together before she left, and a few weeks in, they took her check and terminated her for non support of her downline.

She survived, her family survived. You would be amazed, when you really have no choices, how much you can get done.

Don’t get caught up in the small things.

If you had to name 3 primary skills one needs to develop in order to be successful, what would those be?

Listening – the most important skill you can develop in any business and especially this one.

Patience – it’s important because Rome wasn’t built in a day. Building a business is a vastly different thing. It takes time for something to take root, and behaviors to become habits.

Consistency – it’s not about knocking it out of the park the first day, it’s sticking with it.

And, to add a fourth, you must develop a belief in what you are doing to create the consistency.

How does one develop belief?

It starts with tolerance and understanding. Most people don’t get what Network Marketing. And, most belief comes from  person’s relationship with themselves.

Everything we have to learn; but so many have an expectations that there are no skills to be learned. Belief comes from respect that this is a business and the people achieving great incomes are not the best sales people. They are highly committed to helping people change their lives.

You will crawl before you walk, and walk before you run, because Universal Truths are the same every where!

How do you incorporate Social Media and the Internet into your business; because you say you aren’t technical?

It wasn’t until the ANMP that she realized that she did use social media. She was confusing being an online marketer with using Social Media. She has a Facebook page, and it’s mostly about motivation and travel.

People contact her all of the time and she responds, and has conversations with them. Could be in Google Hangout, Skype and so on. It’s just another way of connecting with people.

Beyond the presentation itself, it’s all about conversation and people coming together.

The internet is just a way to meet more people and get your message out there faster when done right.

Don’t do things differently than you do offline. Have conversations.

How important are events to one’s success?

Events are everything, for so many reasons, and here are the main ones.

Most people will get into Network Marketing, and work it part time and won’t make bit incomes. Event make it real and connect us as people.

The last time the average person had someone clap for them was at their high school graduation.

The events help them see the big picture, beyond the product and the comp plan.

The way to get better at anything is to get around people who are better at it. Connect with people who can help you. Events are the business.

Everything else is just getting ready for them.

If you were just starting today, with the knowledge you have now, what would you do to build your business?

The first thing and most important building block – I would buy the largest package the company offers and move that into my hot market – family and friends that you don’t want to talk to about the business, but they are your best market to support you, and I would ask for their help. Get them on the product.

IF you like it, will you be a testimonial for me? IF you do’t, I’ll never ask you again. That’s how you create a story.

Creates belief.

Then, you go to the warm market and ask questions and tell your story.

“Are you happy? Is life meeting your expectations and are you on the road to get you where you want to go?”

 

“Do you have a plan” is the second question. No, they don’t have a plan or they wouldn’t be talking to you.

 

Third question – “Would you like to see one? I’m sure it’s not for you, but I’m sure you’ll love the product.”

 

I don’t know that much, I am new. I ordered twenty bottles, I went to my family and friends to help me and I ran out of product. It works, I am excited and there are people smarter than me and I would love to get you on the phone with one of them.