Journal Entry 

 Building Empires 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Subject: Building Empires: The Blueprint of Success from Prison Cells to Corporate Halls


From the confines of a prison cell to the bustling corridors of corporate powerhouses, the principles of success remain consistent. I learned those principles by reading. While I served multiple decades in prison, I read books that helped me prepare for the challenges I would face in the future.

The journey through prison may differ from other people who work through challenges, but the blueprint is universal. Whether you’re laying the foundation for a new venture or seeking personal transformation, the steps to success are timeless and proven.

The Mitigation Arc Journey:

Recently, I launched a new venture called Mitigation Arc. It’s a digital platform aimed at improving outcomes for justice-impacted individuals. The creation of this business required meticulous planning, unwavering commitment, and the application of principles I teach in our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison.” If you’re incarcerated and seeking a roadmap to success, I urge you to enroll in this course. It’s more than just a curriculum; it’s a lifeline to a brighter future.

The Universal Blueprint:

1. Define Success: Whether it’s launching a global e-commerce platform like Jeff Bezos’s Amazon or revolutionizing the coffee industry like Howard Schultz’s Starbucks, it all starts with a clear vision. What does success look like to you?

2. Craft a Plan: Elon Musk didn’t just stumble upon the success of Tesla, SpaceX, or Neuralink. He had a plan. Chart out your journey, detailing every step from your current position to your ultimate goal.

3. Set Priorities: With multiple ventures like Amazon Web Services and Blue Origin, Bezos knew the importance of prioritization. Focus on what matters most.

4. Gather Resources: Schultz transformed Starbucks from a single coffee shop to a global brand by leveraging the right tools, tactics, and resources. Equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge.

5. Maintain Accountability: Just as Musk keeps a close eye on the progress of his companies, maintain an accountability log. Track your progress, celebrate milestones, and learn from setbacks.

6. Stay Adaptable: The business landscape is ever-evolving. Bezos, Schultz, and Musk didn’t achieve their successes without facing challenges. They adapted, innovated, and overcame.

7. Execute Relentlessly: Every day is an opportunity. Whether it’s expanding Amazon Prime, introducing a new Starbucks blend, or launching a SpaceX rocket, relentless execution is key.

Your Challenge:

Drawing inspiration from industry titans and personal journeys alike, it’s evident that success isn’t reserved for a select few. It’s attainable for anyone willing to commit, work, and persevere. Whether you’re in prison, in a corporate office, or anywhere in between, the principles remain the same.

I challenge you: Define your success. Craft your plan. And embark on your journey with the same tenacity and vision as the world’s most influential leaders. Remember, every empire, whether it’s Amazon, Starbucks, or Tesla began with a single step. If we learn from leaders who launched businesses that changed the world, we can change our life. That mindset helped me grow through 26 years in prison, and I’m confident it can help you.

I encourage you to build a record that shows your commitment to success. Start writing. You will create a record that you can leverage later. Your record will persuade others to invest in your future. Send us an invite to [email protected] to get started.


Michael Santos

Founder, Prison Professors Talent

PS: If you haven’t enrolled in “Preparing for Success after Prison,” check in with your Reentry Affairs Coordinator or Supervisor of Education. Sentry Code PSAP

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