Journal Entry 

 Lessons from Warren Buffett 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

While I was in prison, I read a quote by Warren Buffett. Many people consider him one of the world’s most successful investors. I always wanted to learn from people who achieved high levels of success. He said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

This quote stayed with me. It emphasized the importance of creating passive income streams. Buffett advocates for investments that generate income without requiring constant effort, such as dividends from stocks, rental income from properties, or other forms of passive income that continue to earn money over time. This approach allows for financial stability and growth, even when a person isn’t actively working.

That sounded like practical advice. The question for someone like me, serving multiple decades in prison, was how to get started earning a passive income.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Since the government and my attorneys did an excellent job of separating me from any money I had at the time of my arrest, I had to figure out how to start with nothing. I couldn’t invest capital I didn’t have, but I could invest my time. I reasoned that if I invested time in personal development, more opportunities would open. I devoted hours every day to improving my writing skills, building my vocabulary, and enhancing my critical thinking to understand the opportunity costs that accompanied every decision.

Those are the fundamental lessons in a course I created: Preparing for Success after Prison.

As it turned out, that strategy put me in a position to build passive income. By improving my writing skills, I became an author. I only had to write the book once, but each time a person purchased a copy, the publisher reserved a portion of the proceeds for me. Even today, more than ten years since I got out, I receive checks from publishing houses for books I wrote while I served decades in prison.

That’s passive income. I worked for it once. Although I no longer work on the project, people and institutions continue purchasing the book from publishers. They continue to pay for the work I did decades ago.

I leverage that income to invest in other types of asset classes that will also bring passive income. These investments include real estate, stocks in public companies, bitcoin, gold, and private businesses that I create. As those assets appreciate in value, I pledge them as collateral to borrow money that I can use to purchase more assets. If the assets appreciate in value at a higher rate than the rate I use to borrow money, I build wealth.

It turns out that the cycle of wealth creation keeps going, just like the cycle of poverty keeps going. Anyone can learn strategies to create wealth. It starts by investing in personal development.

The strategy has worked for me, and it can work for you. First, you must understand the importance of preparing for success. If I hadn’t prepared in prison, those opportunities for passive income would not have opened. I would have been stuck working at a job, trading time for money. That is not passive. It’s like another kind of prison, and it’s not secure because an employer could choose to fire me.

Then what?

If you think about how you would respond to that question, you will realize the importance of investing in yourself. It’s the best investment you will ever make. The more you learn, the better you will position yourself to succeed upon release.

Today’s Question:

  • In what ways can you work today to position yourself for passive income in your future?

Steps to Build Your Profile:

1. Send an invite to [email protected]

2. Once accepted, send an email to the interns with the following information:

   – Your name

   – Your number

   – Your location

   – Your sentence length

3. Respond to any questions presented in the newsletter by sending your answers to the email above.

By taking these steps, you can memorialize your journey and demonstrate your commitment to a better future.

Keep striving for greatness. Your efforts today will pave the way for your success tomorrow.

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