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 Halfway House: 2013 

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Michael Santos

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Starting My Career

As Carole drove me from the federal prison to the halfway house in San Francisco, I laid out a plan that we could follow. During that final year that I would have to serve in the halfway house, I pledged to create new opportunities. I would spend that year assessing my environment, but also sowing seeds to start my career. If I did well, within five years of completing my sentence, Carole and I would have our first $1 million in assets. If I succeeded in building that portfolio of assets by 2018, we could leverage them to create prosperity.

The recession had decimated markets across the United States, and many people worried about a lack of opportunity. But I had come out of prison and all I could see were opportunities to grow. Before I left prison, I wrote letters to hundreds of business leaders. Those efforts paid off, as I had multiple opportunities to earn an income.

I arrived at the halfway house on Monday, August 12, 2012. On Thursday, I went to apply for my driver’s license. On Friday, I reported for my first day of work with a real estate developer. I opened that relationship while I was in prison. My work ethic persuaded the CEO to invest in me, and he agreed to finance my first real estate transaction—a $400,000 acquisition.

While serving that time in the halfway house, I used my time to learn more about technology and the world that I left behind in 1987. Prior to my imprisonment, the Internet did not exist, so I had to learn a great deal about computers. I had to learn how to use technology for marketing, for sales, for business. With help from others, I built websites, marketing campaigns, videos and audio courses.

By the time I concluded my year in the halfway house, I created a fully developed digital course with packaging. I felt confident that I was ready to launch my business and my life.

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