Journal Entry 

 From Vision to Victory 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

“From Vision to Victory: The Power of the Straight A Guide in Realizing Dreams”

In the journey of life, especially one that involves overcoming significant challenges like incarceration, having a clear strategy is crucial. At Prison Professors Talent, we’ve always emphasized the importance of a values-based, goal-oriented approach. This philosophy is encapsulated in our Straight A Guide, a blueprint that I personally used to navigate through prison and beyond, leading to tangible successes such as acquiring my first rental property while in a halfway house. This article aims to inspire and guide our students and participants in “Preparing for Success after Prison” to apply these principles in their own lives.

The Essence of the Straight A Guide

The Straight A Guide is more than a set of instructions; it’s a mindset, a way of life. It’s about aligning your actions with your values and goals, creating a consistent path towards achieving your objectives. This guide helped me maintain focus and direction during my incarceration and was instrumental in my successful reentry into society.

Attitude, Aspiration, and Action

  1. Attitude:
    • Your mindset is the foundation. It’s about maintaining a positive outlook and a resilient spirit, no matter the circumstances. This attitude helped me see beyond the prison walls and envision a future filled with possibilities.
  2. Aspiration:
    • Setting clear, achievable goals is vital. For me, it was about visualizing the steps needed to achieve financial independence, starting with the goal of owning a rental property.
  3. Action:
    • Dreams and goals are only as good as the actions taken to realize them. I took concrete steps, such as educating myself about real estate and financial management, even while incarcerated.
  4. Accountability:
    • We need to create tools that will allow us to measure the progress we’re making. My accountability logs helped me persuade financial partners to provide capital I could use to grow my enterprise.
  5. Awareness:
    • We’ve got to keep our head in the game if we want to seize opportunities. The more we apply our strategies to succeed after crisis, the more other people become aware of us. They invest to become a part of our journey, accelerating our prospects for success.
  6. Authenticity:
    • We cannot fake our preparations. If we do not produce a solid body of work, people will see as being full of happy talk about what we’re going to achieve. We’ve got to work on personal development every day.
  7. Achievement:
    • We’ve got to celebrate the small achievements. It’s the little things we achieve that put us on the pathway to further opportunities.
  8. Appreciation:
    • We’ve got to live in gratitude, appreciative of the blessings that we receive. I’m grateful every day for an opportunity to connect with the brothers and sisters still serving time in prison.

This commitment of living a values-based, goal-oriented life helped me get started after my release from prison. It’s the reason that I succeeded in raising capital to buy real estate. 

Buying My First Rental Property

While in the halfway house, I applied these principles diligently. I researched, planned, and took calculated risks. This proactive approach led to the purchase of my first rental property, a significant milestone that marked the beginning of my journey towards financial stability and independence.

Applying the Straight A Guide Today

The principles of the Straight A Guide continue to guide my decisions and actions. Whether it’s expanding our nonprofit, developing new courses, or mentoring others, the same values-based, goal-oriented approach underpins all our endeavors at Prison Professors Talent.

Your Invitation to Embrace the Guide

We invite you to adopt the Straight A Guide in your journey. Whether you’re currently incarcerated, in a halfway house, or navigating reentry, these principles can be your compass. Join our course, “Preparing for Success after Prison,” and start building your path to success.

Share your progress, challenges, and victories with us at [email protected]. Include “Request a Book” in the subject line of your email, and we will donate a book from our resources to aid your journey, provided our nonprofit has the resources available.

Books to Illuminate Your Path:

  1. Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-Year Sentence
  2. Success after Prison
  3. Prison! My 8,344th Day
  4. Release Plan 2024
  5. Preparing for Success after Prison

In conclusion, the Straight A Guide is not just a method; it’s a testament to the power of a values-based, goal-oriented approach in overcoming adversity and achieving success. It’s a guide that can lead you from vision to victory, just as it did for me.


Michael Santos

Founder, Prison Professors Talent

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