Journal Entry 

 Profits Better than Wages 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

In this newsletter, I’d like to share some reasons why I believe it’s better to earn profits than to earn wages. While not everyone may agree, I hope to offer some insight into my perspective, and I’d welcome your thoughts in response.

Given the brevity of these newsletters, I can only share so much here. If you’re on this list, you should have received a copy of my book, Earning Freedom: Conquering a 45-year Prison Term. It provides more backstory and validates that I would never ask anyone to do something I didn’t do myself while preparing for success from prison. The book also offers strategies I learned from others to deal with the complications of prison life.

At 23, I entered the prison system, aware that it would present many obstacles. It would obstruct my access to education, block me from using new technology, and limit my interactions with others.

However, these challenges did not excuse me from preparing for my future.

I started by considering how much I would have to spend to get started in society. I anticipated needing clothes, a vehicle, a computer, and working capital. I devised a plan to build a sufficient savings account to cover all my expenses and enough money to live off for a year–whether I earned a wage or not. With 25 years ahead of me before a halfway house, I had time to sow the seeds for my future.

First, I set my priorities. For me, this meant investing in myself. I aimed to earn academic credentials, build a support network, and create mechanisms to contribute to society. Every decision was part of a broader plan to eventually earn profits–those were profitable decisions.

If I had focused solely on earning wages while in prison, I wouldn’t have achieved much. Instead, I invested in myself and became a confident writer. Writing turned out to be a valuable skill, and I earned a living by ghostwriting for others and writing my own books. Although ghostwriting wages were modest, about $3 per work, they allowed me to build a savings plan while in prison. I might have been one of the few guys who left prison and had to take a pay cut.

But that wasn’t a problem.

Earnings from books I wrote allowed me to leave prison with about $100,000 in savings. I could leverage that capital, along with the investment I made in personal development, to acquire appreciating assets in appreciating markets. Within two years, I had my first $1 million. Over time, my wealth fluctuated, but I continued building and growing.

Today, I primarily live off my investments. I work from anywhere, but I don’t earn wages. Whether it’s $20 an hour, $100 an hour, or $500 an hour, none of those wages would compare to what I can earn by owning appreciating assets in appreciating markets.

For me, these assets include real estate, stocks, and bitcoin—cryptocurrency. In the books I’ve sent, each participant can learn how to value and acquire those kinds of assets. 

Before acquiring assets, the most important investment a person can make is to invest in yourself. Develop skills, learn about valuations, cultivate critical-thinking skills and discipline yourself with a self-directed work ethic. These resources are crucial for earning profits and reaching the next level in life.

Avoid television (except CNBC) and table games–those strategies that lead a person directly to unemployment, underemployment, homeless camps, and continuing problems with the criminal justice system.

If you’re participating in the Prison Professors program, I want you to reach your highest potential. Just remember, no one should work harder than you on building your success. It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to start.

Today’s Question:

How do the educational credentials you’ve earned influence your prospects for success upon release?

Steps to Build Your Profile:

1. Send an invite to [email protected]

2. Once accepted, send an email 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 start memorializing your journey and demonstrating 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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