Earning Freedom With Michael Santos



Earning Freedom teaches strategies for those who want to lead more fulfilling, relevant lives. This show will motivate and inspire, teaching lessons that empowered Michael Santos through 26 years of imprisonment. While incarcerated he earned university degrees, published more than a dozen books, married and supported the love of his life, and emerged from prison as a taxpaying citizen. He shows how those strategies set him on track to earn a million dollars and how you can earn freedom, leading a richer, more fulfilling life by following the same strategies and principles.


  • 258: Returning to Society after Decades in Prison

    30/03/2016 Duración: 33min

    Today I interviewed Marcus White for the second time. He talks about his adjusting in society after decades in prison. Below is a brief bio he wrote. At nineteen years old the penal system had nearly captured the rest ofmy natural life for gang violence. Sitting in a jail cell paralyzedwith this gripping fear that i'd die in a prison I found myself onmany nights with tears in my eyes as I clung to hope for a secondchance. Fortunately for me that second chance came in the form of18yr. 9mon. prison plea agreement. Overwhelmed with a sense ofgratitude and a new zeal for life, I vowed to use these years tobetter myself. First by ridding myself of the gang infested mentalitythat had enslaved my mind and dictated my actions for so many years.Secondly pursuing personal growth relentlessly, taken advantaged ofall the programs DOC had to offer, and engaging myself in any andevery curriculum I could get my hands on. And sixteen and a half yearslater I returned home with this nagging ambition to execute the planthat I h

  • 257: John Thomas and Success after three times in prison

    29/03/2016 Duración: 32min

    Success After Three Times in Prison John Thomas started making bad decisions as a young man. He sold drugs and went to prison. While in prison, John continued making bad decisions. Those decisions resulted in his serving many years longer than he had to serve. He could’ve been released after five years. Yet his adjustment in prison resulted in his serving nine years. After he was released, John reverted to the type of behavior that got him into trouble the first time. Within 88 days, he returned to prison. Then he got out, again he returned to prison. In today’s podcast, John talks about what he learned through the experience. He also tells us what he wish he would’ve known at the start of his journey. Then he talks about how he built a business that has kept him crime free and living a much happier life as a self-employed entrepreneur. Learn from John Thomas’ success. He wrote the following open letter to describe more about his journey: My name is John Thomas early in my life I had a desire to help my famil

  • 256: Transformation from State Prison in New York

    29/03/2016 Duración: 37min

    Shakoure Char Carpenter grew up in a tough, New York environment. As a young boy, leaders from the streets influenced him. He got sucked into their lifestyle. The friends he chose led him into deeper problems than he could imagine. At 18, authorities arrested him for felony murder. A judge slammed Shakoure with a life sentence. He served 23 years in high-security prisons.   While incarcerated, Shakoure made a commitment to prepare for success. He educated himself. When resources dried up, eliminating funding for prisoners to study toward a university degree, he kept going. After 18 years in prison, he earned his first bachelors degree. Then he earned another, and eventually he earned a master’s degree.   Shakoure is a mastermind. Rather than being traumatized by life term in prison, he found strength from within. He rejected the criminal lifestyle and prepared for success. His podcast describes strategies that empowered him through the decades he served. Now that he’s free, Shakoure works to improve outcomes

  • 255: Conquering Prison to Become Success

    28/03/2016 Duración: 34min

    Conquering Prison Rodney White is a native of Richmond Virginia and served 15 years of an 18-year sentence for drugs and firearm charges. He tells his inspiring story on the Earning Freedom podcast. After release from prison, Rodney became an award winning sales person, motivational speaker, facilitator, community college academic adviser, and radio host.    Audiences are drawn to Rodney because of his unique ability to develop and deliver practical solutions to people in transition and growth. His strength is in providing simple strategies that enable individuals and organizations to pursue their goals with confidence and clarity. In his “R.E.A.D. to Succeed,” motivational program Rodney delivers a message that inspires and teaches a very simplistic way of problem solving. Drawing on skills honed as an inmate, salesperson, business owner, and speaker, Rodney has created and conducted training programs for groups ranging from trade associations to governmental agencies and educational institutions. Rodney’s

  • 254: Gang Leader Transforms in Prison, Becomes Author

    27/03/2016 Duración: 35min

    Gang Leader Transformation: Becoming Published Author I interviewed Abner Garcia, a remarkable young man who transformed his life while serving lengthy prison terms. He is an inspiration to anyone in prison, showing that at any time, a man can become more than past bad decisions. He grew up in a gang infested neighborhood and become a product of the streets that attracted him. While incarcerated, he chose a different path. Learn from his leadership. Below I include information about the career Abner created after decades in prison.     The Pastor’s Son – Back Cover Abner Garcia Falero, the sixth son of a renowned pastor, grew up in the shadow of his parents’ painful divorce. His life began to unravel at an escalating pace when as a young boy he realized that his broken family now lived a life of poverty and hardship. Confronted by constant struggle, juvenile delinquency, crime, violence, and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, Abner had to choose between life and death. It was the consequences of his dec

  • 253: Former Prison Gang Leaders Becomes Judicial Expert, 2

    23/03/2016 Duración: 37min

    Dr. Jesse De La Cruz: Prison Gangster to Community Leader, part 2 So proud to feature part two of my interview with Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, a formerly incarcerated prisoner who emerged incredibly successfully--as a doctor of education and judicial expert. Check out his resume. Listen and watch his amazing two-part story on Earning Freedom, at MichaelSantos.com Dr. Jesse De La Cruz  JSD ConsultationsP.O. Box 1993 Stockton, CA  95201Cell: 209-423-4794Email: jesse.delacruz588@gmail.com www.jsdconsultations.com Education: Ed.D: California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, CA                                                                                     2014Concentration: GangsDissertation: Mexican American/Chicano gang members’ voice on social control in the context of school and community: A critical ethnographic case study in Stockton, California Masters of Social Work: California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA                                              2003Concentration: Deviant behaviorThe

  • 252: Former Prison Gang Leader Becomes Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

    22/03/2016 Duración: 32min

    So proud to feature Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, a formerly incarcerated prisoner who emerged incredibly successfully--as a doctor of education and judicial expert. Check out his resume. Listen and watch his amazing two-part story on Earning Freedom, at MichaelSantos.com Dr. Jesse De La Cruz JSD Consultations P.O. Box 1993 Stockton, CA  95201  Cell: 209-423-4794 Email: jesse.delacruz588@gmail.com www.jsdconsultations.com Education: Ed.D: California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, CA                                                                                     2014 Concentration: Gangs Dissertation: Mexican American/Chicano gang members’ voice on social control in the context of school and community: A critical ethnographic case study in Stockton, California Masters of Social Work: California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA                                              2003                                                                      Concentration: Deviant behavior Thesis: An evaluati

  • 251: From Decades in Prison to Business Success

    21/03/2016 Duración: 33min

    Michael E. Jordan transformed his life while serving multiple decades in prison. He's become a role model for others who aspire to lives of meaning and relevance after struggle.   Michael E. Jordan, CEO and Co-Founder |Managing Business Partner - Folsom, CAMichael E. Jordan, was a career Medical Imaging Technologist with over 20 experiences; Mr. Jordan earned a PhD in Human Relations and Ethics at the School of Hard Knocks, Mr. Jordan also earned a Bachelor of Theology at Sacramento Theological Seminary and Bible College.Mr. Jordan also has expertise in the Financial services arena, as an Independent Life Insurance Agent # 0J15055,  areas of expertise are Premium Financial Services; Indexed Universal Life; Fixed Indexed Annuities; Debt and Mortgage Elimination. "My responsibility is to share financial instruments which fill the Client's need and too educate the Client on those financial products. I share with the client about the traditional IRA's, 401K's and 403b's and the volatility of those products, coupl

  • 250: High School Student Andrew Kang Asks About Prison

    20/03/2016 Duración: 27min

    High School student Andrew Kang called to ask about prison. We recorded our conversation to inspire others and to show steps we can talk to improve outcomes of our nation's prison system.

  • 249: NY State Prison to Media Spokesperson on Prison Issues

    20/03/2016 Duración: 31min

    Erik Jensen on Earning Freedom podcast At the very tender age of 11, Erik Jensen was living in an abusive, single parent household with daily violence fueled by alcoholism. He sought escape on the streets, committing theft, selling and using drugs, and was always in trouble with the law until Erik found himself in some of the worst prisons in New York. From his late teens to mid-twenties Erik was convicted on an array of charges including Robbery in the Second Degree, Promoting Prison Contraband, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree. He ended up serving 12 years collectively in the New York State Department Of Corrections. He did his time at Greene, Franklin, Watertown, Bare Hill, Five Points, Attica, and in 2011-2012 at the now infamous Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. It was there he became well acquainted with inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt. On June 6, 2015, the two convicted murderers pulled off one of the most daring prison escapes in recent history.       

  • 248: Success After Prison, Episode 30

    17/03/2016 Duración: 22min

    11. Spreading Awareness: Although our growing portfolio of rental properties had become an integral part of our wealth-accumulation strategy, I remained determined to build a digital-products business. With hopes of finding more institutional buyers for the program, I accepted 12 speaking assignments in the fall of 2015, keeping me in different airports every week. I traveled to various cities between Tacoma and Washington DC, striving to create market awareness for Earning Freedom products. Some of those speaking events provided memorable experiences, and opportunities that I hope to leverage in months to come. Earlier I mentioned that the Washington State Department of Corrections was a client of the Straight-A Guide product that I created. When I made my initial sales call in Washington State, I had an opportunity to build a friendship with Michael Colwell, assistant director of Correctional Industries. He introduced me to his colleagues, including Bernie Warner, Dan Pacholke, and Scott Frakes. At the time

  • 247: Multiple Income Streams After Prison, Episode 29

    17/03/2016 Duración: 20min

    10. Multiple Revenue Streams: Throughout this book, I’ve tried to share lessons I learned from masterminds. They taught me that I could advance my prospects for success if I lived in the world of reality rather than the world of fantasy. When authorities took me into custody, back in 1987, I had to live with the reality that I had made many bad decisions as a young man. While locked in the Pierce County Jail, prayers led me to the story of Socrates. From that story, I learned to think about the avatars that would influence my prospects in the future. Instead of dwelling on challenges that my bad decisions created, I had to think about the best possible outcome. With that vision, I could engineer a path that would take me from a jail cell, through multiple decades in prison, and into a life of success upon release. Certainly, I wish that I had made better decisions as a young man. If I’d made better decisions as a young man, I wouldn’t have been locked in jail. But I couldn’t deal with the world of wishes. No

  • 246: Podcasting About Reentry, Episode 28

    16/03/2016 Duración: 22min

    Podcasting: The more research I did, the more I realized how podcasting could serve as a wonderful tool to build authenticity. After watching a webinar on Podcaster’s Paradise, I pulled out my credit card and paid $1,000 to enroll in the podcasting course. Through that course, I learned everything I needed to launch Earning Freedom, which would become my new podcast. I purchased microphones and software to get started. Then I retained Scott Houston, an audio engineer to set up my podcasting studio. I retained Brent Boates, a graphic designer to create my logos. I retained Zach Swinehart to redesign MichaelSantos.com so it could more easily accommodate podcasts. And on March 15, 2015, I launched the Earning Freedom podcast on iTunes. When I began Earning Freedom, I envisioned the podcast as part of my overall strategy to create digital products and services. I set a goal of creating new content for an ongoing show that would follow a coherent structure. Each episode would last roughly 30 minutes and adhere to

  • 245: Earning Freedom Mastermind Course for Prisons, Episode 27

    14/03/2016 Duración: 21min

    Earning Freedom Mastermind Course: Mike Tausek came across the Straight-A Guide course that I created for Justin’s nonprofit foundation. We had distributed the course to several jails, schools, and prisons. Mike contacted me to learn more about what it would take to bring the Straight-A Guide to Maine’s prison system. The Straight-A Guide was a comprehensive course, with ten modules of five lessons each. The course included workbooks, videodisks, and softcover books. Further, facilitators needed to proceed through a full day of training to learn the concepts. I created the course with intentions to sell the Straight-A Guide to institutions across the United States, yet as I described earlier, we lacked capital to fully implement our plan. Since I had accepted the fulltime position with Andi’s organization, I didn’t have liberty to travel to Maine so easily, I told Mike. I explained to him that I was working to create new, digital products, and suggested that he allow me to create something new that we could t

  • 244: Orange County After Prison, Episode 26

    14/03/2016 Duración: 20min

    9. Orange County After teaching my final class at SFSU in May of 2014, Carole and I loaded our Chevy Aveo to make the seven-hour drive south to Newport Beach. Earnings from books I wrote while in prison provided resources Carole needed to live while she advanced through nursing school. Those earnings also allowed her to purchase the small, four-cylinder Aveo. The car brought a lot of memories for both Carole and me through our journey. From prison yards, I used to wait for her to drive in on visiting days. When I got out of prison Lee asked what type of car I was going to buy, because Carole would need to drive hers. The tone of Lee’s question told me a great deal. Although I wanted to buy a nice car, and I had savings in the bank, I knew that wasting money on an impressive car wouldn’t be prudent. For one thing, blowing resources on a high-end car would not have endeared me to Lee. In fact, I’m sure that if I would’ve purchased an expensive car, he would’ve lost all respect for my judgment. Successful people

  • 243: Changing Jurisdictions After Prison, Episode 25

    14/03/2016 Duración: 21min

    Transferring Jurisdictions: Since I was still on Supervised Release, making a move to Newport Beach would not be so easy. I reported to a probation officer in a different judicial district. As a resident of the San Francisco Bay area, authorities required that I report to a probation officer in the Northern Judicial District of California. Andi’s employment offer required that I relocate to the Central Judicial District of California. Besides convincing my probation officer to support my move, I’d have to persuade a probation officer from the Central District to authorize my transfer. If I could overcome those challenges, I’d have a few additional complications to resolve. Fortunately, the seeds I began sowing from the start of my journey positioned me well to seize opportunities like the one Andi offered. I felt confidant Carole and I would be able to transition from Northern California to Orange County. But I needed to see what she thought. After Andi made his offer, I called Carole to ask what she would li

  • 242: Corporate Sponsors After Prison, Episode 24

    12/03/2016 Duración: 21min

    Corporate Sponsorship: To succeed in building the Straight-A Guide program, I would need to find a different source of support. My Socratic questioning convinced me that I didn’t have sufficient experience to accept responsibility for $3 million worth of investor money. But that didn’t mean I would have to abandon the idea altogether. Instead of raising money necessary to hire a staff, lease office space, fund travel, marketing, and advertising expenses, I decided to venture into the market and get more experience. To validate the concept and build the business, I knew that I’d need to continue efforts I’d been making since I concluded my prison term eight months previously. Yet those efforts required me to spend money on airfare, on rental cars, on hotels. I had to travel frequently. Further, I needed more resources to pay for services like web development and marketing. I wanted to attend trade shows, purchase display booths, and interact with administrators who would consider purchasing my products. I didn

  • 241: Expanding Markets After Prison, Episode 23

    12/03/2016 Duración: 20min

    Total Available Market: First and foremost, I anticipated that investors would want to know the total available market for products that I could create. As I wrote above, I envisioned a multi-billion-dollar annual market. I arrived at that number after reviewing published reports showing that state and federal governments spent in excess of $80 billion per year on corrections. Although I didn’t have any data, I estimated that at minimum, 5% of those budgets funded programs designed to reduce recidivism and to prepare offenders for successful lives upon release. Using those metrics, the total available market exceeded $4 billion each year. Obviously, if I could put an organization together, we’d only receive a fraction of those resources. But if we implemented the program successfully, and we became an evidence-based program after three years, it would seem that the The Straight-A Guide could secure an average of at least 20 clients in each state, for a projected, estimated total of 1,000 clients. If each clie

  • 240: Raising Capital After Prison, Episode 22

    08/03/2016 Duración: 20min

    8. Raising Capital The wisdom of Socrates has lived for longer than 2,000 years. His teachings influenced my thinking and approach to problems. To figure out next steps in the development of my career, I turned to his question-based approach to learning. The more questions I asked, the more truth I found in his saying, “The one thing I know is that I know nothing.” By the spring of 2014, I’d been free from the Bureau of Prisons for eight months. The experience of creating the Straight-A Guide and striving to bring the product to market taught many lessons. More than anything, I learned that I needed help. In order to build a truly sustainable business, I’d need to inspire a team of qualified professionals who could accelerate sustainable growth.   Venture Funding: I did some simple back-of-the-envelope math. Attracting candidates who could execute a plan would require sufficient capital. To start, the organization I envisioned would have to pay livable wages. We’d need at least $300,000 per year to build a te

  • 239: First Mortgage After Prison, Episode 21

    08/03/2016 Duración: 21min

    First Mortgage: Carole and I met with a mortgage banker and provided all of the documentation requested. We took the next step of ordering an appraisal of the property. By considering comparable prices in the neighborhood, the appraiser provided documentation valuing our property at $454,000. To avoid additional charges for mortgage insurance, we agreed to accept a mortgage of 80% of our home’s appraised value, or roughly $363,000. We wrote a check for $17,000 to cover the remaining amount we would owe to pay off the note to ABS Development. With the $12,000 we had put as a down payment when we initially signed the purchase agreement, and the $17,000 in additional funding we had to pay at the time of the close, our total out-of-pocket investment in the property was $29,000. But in less than 18 months of ownership, our total equity in the property surpassed $90,000—or more than three times what we put into the property. In applying for the mortgage, Carole and I considered the term of the loan. Traditionally,

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