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 Preparing Eric Lundgren For Sheridan Federal Prison Camp 

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Michael Santos

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Michael:                       We are back with Prison Professors. I get to offer a second episode with my new friend Eric Lundgren. Eric is a friend of mine even though we only met today, and he’s a friend because he’s somebody that’s gone into the criminal justice system, but I love his spirit. He is a guy that faces a struggle. It doesn’t get him down. Instead, he sees himself, and he’s going to get through this, come back with his dignity intact. When the judge says, “Don’t be a repeat offender,” he said, “I will,” because he moves to a higher calling, and that’s making the world a better place. That’s why I love this guy, and I know that you will too.

Michael: We are going to hear a little bit about what he’s been doing to prepare for the best possible outcome at Sheridan Federal Prison Camp after that judge slammed the hammer down and really let our system, I think, down, by putting a man in prison even when the judge specifically said, “I hate putting you in prison.”

Michael:  Just awful. Tell us a little bit about what you did to get ready for this journey ahead, Eric.

Eric Lundgren:  What did I do? Well, I started off by calling Justin, who luckily-

Michael: How’d you know Justin Paperny?

Eric Lundgren: It was kind of just a fluke. I was on Google. I’m looking around for somebody, and I watched a couple of YouTube videos, and there was some guys on YouTube that had been to prison before but didn’t really articulate the experience well or explain the … They weren’t answering the questions that I wanted to … I had questions, and they weren’t answering them well.

Eric Lundgren: So I came across Justin’s videos, and he is very open, very honest. When he talked, he just naturally answered a lot of the questions that I too had been worried about. Right? So, quickly I realized that I wanted to meet this guy, and in the process of trying to meet him, I didn’t realize how close he was. I lived in Woodland Hills, and he was right there.

Eric Lundgren:              I ended up going to his office and leaving a message in his PO box, and he got it and called me.

Michael:                       Awesome. Well Justin Paperny is a great resource for anybody who’s going into the criminal justice system. He’s worked with more than a thousand people, and he’s got a real depth and breadth of experience of the criminal justice system.

Michael:                       We’ve got … You know Justin Paperny. We’re really thrilled when we can connect with somebody like Eric and help him make a … restore confidence really, as he’s going through this difficult time.

Preparing Eric Lundgren For Sheridan Federal Prison Camp

Michael:                       Why don’t you walk us through a little bit of the process of how you guys worked it together after you initially reached out to him?

Eric Lundgren:              Well, I ended up meeting him at a local country club, and the first time that I met Justin, he seemed to truly care. He was an honest person, and really just … I connected with him quickly. He knew what I was going through. It was first hand experience. He knew from experience, and you could just tell that he wanted me to have the best experience possible.

Eric Lundgren:              Then he was also optimistic. He’s like me, you know, like we both want to turn lemons into lemonade. How can we make the best of the situation? How can we come out a better person?

Eric Lundgren:              That’s what I’m really looking forward to doing, and he’s helped me figure out how I’m going to do that.

Michael:                       Tell us how he has done that.

Eric Lundgren:              Well, first and foremost, I wanted to figure out what I was going to do with all this time. What was I allowed to do? He explained to me how I could start writing. He explained to me how I can start getting into better shape.

Eric Lundgren:              I’m the type of guy that, running a company is very stressful. I usually eat once a day, work ten hours a day, and never exercise, whether it’s running to the Tesla and back. That’s it. There’s no time for exercise.

Eric Lundgren:              Now he thought … He basically told me, “Look at the bright side of this. You get time to go do that jogging and the exercising that you never got before. You can get in the best shape of your life. You can write the books that you’ve wanted to write, that you’ve been meaning to write for so long. You can basically do all of the things that you’ve been putting off now. You have the time to really look inwards and figure out what’s best for yourself, how to get healthy, and how to make the most of this time that you’re going to spend in prison.”

Eric Lundgren:              For me, that’s 15 months.

Michael:          How much time do you guys spend together, you and Justin?

Eric Lundgren:    We spent about three hours that day together. He also came to my office, and I showed him around hybrid recycling and what we do with all these electronics. Yeah. I mean, after that we quickly became good friends, I guess you could say; and from there, he came to my …

Eric Lundgren:  We met two other times over sushi and just discussed all about what to avoid, who to avoid, how to make good friends, how to be less of a … I’m a very outgoing person, and I was told very quickly by Justin that I need to be more observant, that I need to be more … Just make sure that I’m not giving unsolicited advice, make sure that I am focusing on … You’re smiling because you’ve heard him say that before.

Michael: I have.

Eric Lundgren: Yes, Michael. So, he just gave me a lot of really good federal prison advice, and I’m looking forward to taking it here in three days when I walk into Sheridan Federal Prison Camp … Right here close to shere I am staying in Oregon.

Michael: The Sheridan Federal Prison Camp, which is one of the jewels of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I think that you will find some good friends there. Some of them are like you, in there for the wrong reasons, and you will have a good little community of people that’ll keep your spirits going.

Michael: I’m glad that you are gonna have that opportunity to see, really, that one of the greatest social injustices of our time, which is our countries over reliance on the prison system. There’s an old cliché. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, that when the only tool that you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Michael:  That’s basically the way they handle people. If I can put you in prison boy, we’re going to do it, and the judge can say, “You don’t belong there, but boy by god I’m gonna do it.”

Michael: It’s just that the concept of justice has really taken a different turn in this country, but Justin is absolutely right that you can find a way to get through this journey with your dignity intact, and make actually a time that is productive, and that I hope that you can be proud of as you come out on the other side of this journey.

Michael:                       Certainly, I have a lot of experience. You don’t know anything, I guess, about my experience in that journey, but if there is some additional guidance or questions that you-

Eric Lundgren: I have a lot of questions about federal prison.

Michael:                       Yeah. There’s nothing that you can’t ask me that I haven’t experienced in there.

Eric Lundgren:              Good. Good. So, were you in a low, a camp, a mid … Where were you at in the-

Michael:                       All of the above. So I started when I was like, in 1987. I don’t even know if you were born yet.

Eric Lundgren:              I was three years old.

Michael:                       You were three years old. So I started in 1987, and I was in a high-security penitentiary for eight years, a medium security prison for a few years, a low-security prison for ten years, and minimum security camps for the final ten years of my sentence, before I went to halfway house and home confinement.

Michael:                       So I went through literally every phase of the system, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that Justin gave you some very good guidance, that regardless of where you are, the pathway to success is all in your mind. Just as you, as a 16 year old boy, found that you can create your own path in this world, and you certainly have done so with your business. You will do so the same thing while you are in prison.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay. So in prison, if I want to write a book, I was told that I need to buy ink ribbon for a typewriter, I guess. I’ve never typed on a typewriter my entire life, but I need to learn how to type on a typewriter.

Michael:                       Eric, I’ll tell you something. I wrote more than twenty books during the 26 years that I was in prison. Seven are published under my name. The remainder are published under other people’s names that I helped them by interviewing them, and then writing the process; and I can tell you that every one of those books, I wrote with some really high technology. You may have seen it some place on your visits of Shanghai and [inaudible 00:08:04], but it looks like this … the technology that I used to write a book.

Michael:                       I’ll tell you, there’s a reason why.

Eric Lundgren:              Yeah.

Michael:                       When I was in prison, it was a different era, and they did not have … It was actually against the rules to use typewriters for anything other than legal work.

Michael:                       Now you’re going into the system at a better time era, and you’re going to find that, not only will you have access to typewriters … Perhaps you will be able to take them right to your room, but you’ll also have access to a quasi-email system.

Michael:                       What I would recommend you do, is you connect with somebody that can be like a repository for you, that can accept these documents that you write because you have a limited amount of time on the machine itself; and you have a limited amount of characters that you can type.

Michael:                       What you want to do, is start off with a process, the same type of thing that I would submit that you do when you are building a business. Right? You have a process so that somebody else can follow that process.

Michael:                       Well it all begins by visualizing, what is this book going to do? Who is my intended audience? Once you figure that out, then the next step is going to be, well how long is that audience, their attention span, going to be for a book like this? Then the next step is going to be, okay, if I know that I’ve got so many words, or so many pages to cover, how am I going to break that up into various steps. Then you can start attacking the steps step by step by step by step.

Michael:                       The more discipline that you can give to this, and the same way that you’ve used discipline to build a company that currently does 12 million dollars a year, and employed more than a hundred people, that level of discipline will result in you walking out of there with a book that will help tell your story.

Michael:          I really encourage you, as Justin Paperny did to use that time in a manner that can memorialize this great injustice that you experienced; but more importantly, what a great attitude can do to make you come back whole.

Eric Lundgren:              So, Michael, am I allowed to work with a ghostwriter?

Michael:                       Absolutely. You have a First Amendment right to communicate, and there are rules in federal prison. The key rule to understand is that you’re not allowed to make any money while you’re in prison. Okay. Now, I wrote dozens of books while I was in prison, and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from doing that. So there’s always a way for an individual to make the most of his time while he’s in there, but you’ve gotta comply with the rules of the prison system.

Michael:                       I’ve got a phone call here. It’s my wife, so she’ll know I’m on the call right here. As soon as she hears me talking, she knows I’m in an interview. In any event, she’ll hang up on me. She just did.

Michael:                       So what I was going to say was that, you can absolutely go in there with the mindset of saying, “I’m gonna make the best use of my time,” but you have to know the rules. The rules are that you can’t make any money. That doesn’t mean your mom can’t make any money. That doesn’t mean that your family can’t make any money. You can’t make any money.

Michael:                       It would also be wise to review some of the policy statements of the Bureau of Prisons, because there was actually a policy that states, “We encourage inmates to write manuscripts in their spare time.” That’s all you’re going to be doing. You’ve got a … and I know it doesn’t seem short to you, but it’s a relatively short sentence of 15 months, of which you’ll probably be in there for less than a year.

Michael:                       So if you break that out well, you could walk out of there with two, three books if you’d like, and it’ll help you significantly. It’s kind of like you’re building a ladder and climbing your way out with every chapter you write, and then every manuscript you complete. You just stay on that path, and it’ll keep you focused. It’ll keep you disciplined, and it’ll give you something to memorialize this time in your life.

Eric Lundgren:              Am I allowed to do business in prison? I mean, that’s a big concern of mine. I was told, “No,” and then I was told, “Yes,” by Justin. “As long as it’s legal business,” he said, and I said, “That’s the only business I do.”

Eric Lundgren:              So, am I allowed to?

Michael:                       Of course. Yeah. So, let’s talk about that because that is a … it depends how you answer that question. If you go an look at policies, there an actual policy that says you cannot conduct any business while you are in prison. Okay. That’s a policy. That’s not a law.

Michael:                       There’s a difference between a policy and a law. Unfortunately, you’re brought in for, sounds like breaking a policy maybe, but it’s actually a law whatever they charged you with. We didn’t even get to that and-

Eric Lundgren:              Borderline out here. I don’t know what it’s like in there.

Michael:                       So, in there, the Bureau of Prisons is the epitome of a bureaucracy, and will have a series … It is governed by policy statements and program statements, and those program statements will indicate that you’re not allowed to run a business while you’re inside.

Michael:                       Now, when you ask me … Well, you’ve got a business. I’m sure you’re still employing a lot of people. You’re still paying a lot of taxes. You still have a lot of responsibilities.

Eric Lundgren:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael:          What you can do is advise others on how to carry out what you would like to have carried out, but you need to be strategic. You need to be that same level of critical thinking skills that you mastered as a 16 year old, when somebody said, “What are you gonna do? I need to recycle.”

Michael:                       “I’m a recycler.” Right?

Michael:                       Opportunity presented itself, and you did not hesitate. You seized the moment, and it’s the same thing while you’re in there. There are going to be opportunities for you to contribute to the benefit of your company, and the benefit of the employees you trust. There are going to be opportunities for you to make every day in there productive, and at the same time, you’ve gotta have the intellectual athleticism to be able to look around and say, “Okay, what can I do? What can’t I do?”

Michael:                       And you’re going to have the smarts to be able to interact with other guys there that are gonna tell you, “Okay, this is how I do it.”

Michael:                       This is an institution by institution decision. I was in dozens of institutions during a journey that I was in, and every institution was productive. It was productive because I knew how to understand the world around me first, before I made decisions.

Michael:                       Your objective, Eric, is going to be to come home whole, and feeling as if you did not waste 15 months. There’s a lot of ways that you can do that, and I encourage you to use your time in there in such a way that keeps you out of the cross-hairs of the criminal justice system, and always on the pathway of the success that has defined your life for the past 30 years.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay. Okay. When it comes to this entire experience for me, the one thing that I’m worried about is feeling angry. I want to make sure that I don’t get angry. I’m not an angry person, but when somebody holds you for 15 months, and you feel that it was unjust, and you can’t put your finger on who you hurt, it’s real easy to start getting angry/ That’s my biggest fear.

Michael:                       Well, I’m a shareholder in Microsoft and I might …

Eric Lundgren:              Microsoft, just for the record [crosstalk 00:15:33]. I have nothing bad to say about Microsoft as a whole-

Michael:                       No I’m kidding. That was a joke. What I’m saying, Eric, is that you’re not going to get angry, because it’s not in your DNA. You’re sitting there smiling when you’re a few hours away from surrendering to the house of free room and board. You’re gonna get through this okay.

Michael:                       In fact, when you’re talking about writing books, you might look at this as a sabbatical. You’ve worked really hard for 15 years, and this is going to be an opportunity for you to really, really isolate your thoughts in such a way that you may be able to figure out how to turn that 995 mile drive you took in an electric car, which hit a world record … You may be able to figure out how to turn that into some type of sustainable pattern.

Michael:                       We don’t know what comes from ideas. The day that you walked into that bank and you saw those piles of computers, you had no idea that you’re career would be a recycler, but it changed your life.

Eric Lundgren:              Yep.

Michael:           And you can go into into Sheridan Federal Prison Camp with your eyes wide open, willing to accept the environment that you’re in, and find a way to make the most positive meaning from it.

Michael:                       Certainly that happened for me. I was 20 plus years old when I walked into federal prison with a 45 year prison sentence, but every single day was productive; and it allowed me to come back to society strong, well educated, many financial opportunities awaiting me, and if I can do that 26 years, I feel very confident helping other people understand you’re gonna make this a successful journey as well.

Michael:                       You saw that Justin has done so. You saw our other partner, Sean Hopway, how he has done it. Turn this experience into an opportunity to conquer your big, hairy, audacious goal, whatever it is. It may be writing the next business model that’s going to launch your next multi-million dollar, potentially billion dollar company.

Michael:                       You’ve got capital behind you. You’ve got experience behind you. Now, you’ve got a little opportunity to think, and to stare at the wall. You stare at the wall, you start crafting out a blueprint, and you’ll be very pleased at the result of that investment of your time.

Eric Lundgren:              That’s why, you know, we’re like-minded, you and I because this is what I’m thinking. This is what I want to do, but most people look at me go, “How can you be smiling and so happy when you’re about to go to prison?”

Eric Lundgren:              My thought is, well, there’s gonna be something great that I can do in there that’s gonna bring me joy, and give me a way that I can help others; and I’m gonna figure out a way to turn these lemons into lemonade and make the best of my time.

Eric Lundgren:              When you were in, did you find … Let me ask it this way … How did you help others, or become a positive impact within your society? Because that’s what I love to do out here. How can I do that in there without getting taken advantage of?

Eric Lundgren: Is there a way? You understand? I’m told don’t put myself out there. Don’t offer unsolicited advice at Sheridan Federal Prison Camp. At the same time, I want to make sure that I am being … I want to affect that place, wherever I go, in a positive way. So how can I affect it in a positive way without being taken advantage of in return? How can I?

Michael:                       First of all, you’re going to a minimum security camp, and it’s important to put that into context. Okay? You’ve been in office parks that are more dangerous that where you’re going, so you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of. That’s the first thing.

Michael:                       Second thing is, it’s stilling going to be uncomfortable, but you’re going to be in a population of about 500 people; and within your first six hours there, you’re gonna find five guys who really welcome you into their community. They welcome you into their community because, immediately they’re going to see that the way that you carry yourself, you’re somebody that’s a real asset to us.

Michael:                       I can tell you that when I was in prison, whenever I found somebody coming in that was normal and productive and positive, I liked that a lot, because you want to be around those people, right, particularly in that environment.

Michael:                       When you ask about how you can help and this concept of don’t venture unsolicited advice, you have to qualify that. I mean, you should recognize that you’re a visitor there, and you’re not a permanent resident. There are going to be some people there who’s identify is going to be defined by their status in there, whether it is their ability to turn the television channel or sit in a certain place, or have a certain job, or whatever that case it.

Michael:                       That’s the type of advice that you want to not throw out there, that that’s not fair, and things of that sort. You don’t want to make those kinds of judgment calls, but when it comes to venturing advice on how to be a successful entrepreneur, you’re gonna find a wide group of people who will hang on your every word, okay, and would love to hear how does a guy go about negotiating a deal with Delta or whoever it was, these big organizations. How do you do it?

Michael:                       I have no doubt that you will have invaluable insight that people couldn’t get at a community college or perhaps even in a university, because you’re a guy who’s done it. There’s a big difference from somebody who’s done it versus somebody who talks about it, and you’re still doing it. You told us earlier you were at Tesla today, talking with leaders about becoming a vendor to that organization. That’s valuable valuable insight anywhere.

Michael:                       You’re going to find a lot of people that will be very grateful to have your wisdom in their community; and I would encourage you to disseminate that information. Whether it is informally while you’re walking around the track and talking with people about what they can do best with the time that they have, whether it’s you choose to teach a class, whether it’s being a guest lecturer in somebody else’s class, you will find opportunities to make yourself useful in there. I encourage you to do so.

Michael:                       Don’t be traumatized by these words of, don’t venture unsolicited advice. That would be more characteristic of telling somebody else how to do time, or judging somebody else on why he is there, or telling something to an officer that perhaps isn’t appropriate for one inmate to be talking to an officer about. Those are the types of times that you want to keep your mouth a silence.

Eric Lundgren: While I am Sheridan Federal Prison Camp, if somebody asks me for advice about being an entrepreneur or about environmental issues, it’s not a bad thing to converse?

Michael:                       It’s a great thing, and somebody asking you that kind of advice is a pretty good sign that this guy has a good head on his shoulder, and he’s somebody that wants to learn. It gives you an opportunity to truly make somebody better, and make the world better just by sharing your story about how you are … how your company has been so instrumental in reducing e-waste in landfills and so one, which is a big problem.

Eric Lundgren:              Am I allowed to teach a class inside, and would you recommend doing so if I can because if we’re [crosstalk 00:22:47].

Michael:                       It’d take me a much longer conversation with you before I told you about recommending you to do so, and here’s why. Okay. You only have 15 months, Eric, and I know that’s very difficult for you to comprehend; but the Bureau of Prisons works a much slower pace than you’re used to working for, okay.

Michael:                       To teach class is gonna take you several months in writing a curriculum, getting it submitted, having a person review it, getting approval, all that kind of stuff. That waiting period, I would say that the worst part of your time has been these past four or five years that you’ve been waiting for some type of resolution.

Michael:                       Prison time’s going to go fast, except when you put yourself in a position of waiting for somebody else to make a decision for you. Okay. So the short answer … IF you say, “It’s really important for me to be able to share as much knowledge as I can with these people who are deprived of education information, and I really want to do that,” Okay, well then, go for it.

Michael:                       But, my advice would be, I think you’re a guy who thinks it’s scale. You don’t think it’s solving a little problem. You think about solving big problems, and this is an opportunity for you to solve some big problems that you will never have that opportunity again. You’re never again in your life going to have 12 months, or 11 months, of uninterrupted time to do nothing but think, and write, and plan, and draw out plans that you can later execute when you come home.

Michael:          Perhaps that investment of time will be far more valuable than teaching 25 people about PNLs and how to get a bigger sales call. Valuable information, but at scale, I’d be saying, “Change the world. Make the world a better place. Use that brilliance that you’ve developed over the past 15 years, to come home with a very solid work plan, a very solid blueprint that you can act upon. Okay?

Eric Lundgren:              Okay. If I were trying to build an electric airplane out of recycled materials, with Burt Rutan right now, and I’m trying to figure out, is it possible for me to bring blueprints in and out of prison if I need to review blueprints, and I need to be able to draw, and then get these things out, how can I … I mean, I know there’s no scanners and there’s no … I can’t send emails with pictures, but how can I get blueprints in and out of prison so that I can help build this?

Michael:                       How big are the blueprints?

Eric Lundgren:              They’re probably about four feet by three feet.

Michael:                       The standard size of blueprints.

Eric Lundgren:              Yes. Exactly.

Michael:                       Okay. That’s another question that is going to require you to define success, that that’s a possible outcome for yourself. Is it possible to get those blueprints in there? The answer … Yes.

Michael:                       Could it cause you some additional headaches? Again the answer is … Yes.

Eric Lundgren:              How so?

Michael:                       Because you’re … Has Justin used the analogy of the submarine with you?

Eric Lundgren:              No. No he hasn’t.

Michael:                       Okay. It’s something I used to talk about with Justin, when he was in federal prison at Taft Federal Prison Camp.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay.

Michael:                       The best way for a guy like you to go through prison is to be a submarine. What’s a submarine? It moves along underwater. Nobody knows where it is or what it’s doing. It’s got its periscope up, so it knows everything going on around him, but nobody knows what he’s doing. Right. It just gets through the and gets to the other side. Okay.

Michael:                       I’d like to see you, Eric, come back on the other side of this journey unscathed. Unscathed by time in segregated housing, being frustrated by a bureaucracy that makes absolutely no sense frequently, and come back with a body of work that you can turn into a revenue stream, or perhaps something that really benefits society.

Michael:                       So, if you start having blueprints come in, you immediately are going to abandon any thoughts about being a submarine. Why? Because you’re with 500 guys, and those 500 guys are not getting blueprints in the mail. As soon as they get a blueprint in the mail, somebody’s going to open that mail before you, and they’re going to see it, and they’re going to be ambitious because he’s a prison guard and perhaps he wants to rise up to become a lieutenant.

Michael:                       Maybe he looks at this and sees some types of elaborate escape mechanism, or something along those lines. Then he’ll show it to the captain [inaudible 00:27:12] discussion, and then you know, it’s the types of complications that it’s probably wise to avoid.

Michael:                       Now, I can tell you in my case, I did not ever get cowered by that kind of thing because I was doing 26 years. It didn’t matter what they did to me, I was determined to publish books, and to become successful, and to not allow this prison experience to define who I was, so I made decisions in that way; but my time was different from Justin’s time, for example.

Michael:                       Justin had a 15 month sentence or year sentence, or something like that, and it was very important for him to focus on what he focused on. Get in shape. Start thinking about a career. Come back and make it happen.

Michael:                       That was, perhaps, better for him than if he were to take the approach of being spotlighted. Keep the spotlight off you, Eric.

Eric Lundgren:              Got it, Michael. Two more questions. Do I have time?

Michael:                       Yeah. Absolutely.

Eric Lundgren:              Media. I’ve had a lot of media attention, so when I go into prison, even if I’m very quiet, and I take off the hat, and people can’t tell who I am for a while, I hear that they Google … You know like their girlfriends and wives will Google who you are and share-

Michael:                       Sure.

Eric Lundgren:              How do I deal with that aspect of this, and how might that affect me in a positive or negative way inside?

Michael:                       Well, again I don’t know anything about the media. The media attention from what I heard from Episode #1 is that you were a real honorable guy, and you went into the system, and they even asked you if you wanted to point your finger at somebody else and instead you said, “No. I’m just a businessman.”

Eric Lundgren:              It’s all good. It’s all media, lots and lots of good media, but my question is, can any-

Michael:                       It’s not going to affect you. The type of media that affects people in there is media that they perhaps violated a child, or did some type of violence to a woman, or … Those are the types … or they testified against many people, despite their being … whatever. There are personal circumstances that do not apply in your case, so I would not worry about that media.

Michael:                       In fact, I would encourage you to continue nurturing those relationships with the media if you have them, because they can be beneficial. What I really urge you to do though, is be very judicious in what you reveal to the media while you’re in prison.

Eric Lundgren:              Understood.

Michael:                       Don’t give anything about the prison system while you’re there. Don’t ever speak about another inmate while you’re there, or any policies or things like that while you’re there. If the media wants to talk to you, you have a right to talk with them. Make sure that you follow the appropriate protocol for doing so, and I will send you some information on how to understand that.

Eric Lundgren:              That would be great. So, Michael, if I wanted media … If media wants to come speak with me while I’m in prison, or specifically Adam Carolla wanted me to call in from prison, I’m not sure how any of that works. Is it possible to make a phone call from prison to an individual like Adam Carolla, and then have him pick up and have a conversation that might go on the radio? Would I get in trouble if that happened on his podcast or something? How does that work from in prison?

Michael:                You could definitely get in trouble for that. Is it just? No. Just like it’s not just for you going into the prison system. Again, we’re violating that whole principal of the submarine.

Eric Lundgren:              Yeah. Yeah I know. It’s hard for me to be the submarine.

Michael:                       I get it. You’re a successful guy. I don’t really ever make a judgment call. I was very active with the media during my journey in prison, but I was willing to pay the price. I don’t think you need to be paying that price, and-

Eric Lundgren:              Explain to me what that means. You were willing to pay the price. It means?

Michael:                       I was transferred 19 times across state lines. I was married in prison. My wife had to move from prison to prison town to prison town to be next to me.

Eric Lundgren:              Wow.

Michael:                       It was very expensive for me to do that. I spent a lot of time in segregated housing, which is the hole. I’m sure you’ve heard about that.

Eric Lundgren:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Michael:                       It was okay for me. I believed in what I did, and I believed that it had value in society, and I was willing to pay the price. I don’t think somebody who goes in there with a year, or 15 months, should be thinking in those terms.

Michael:                       You should be thinking in terms of saying … My objective is much more clearly defined, given the circumstances of my situation, which is, I’m here for a little while. I’ve got a good business to run. I’ve got resources so I can build new businesses. I can use this time in a manner that benefits a much bigger population than if I think about getting on the radio while I’m in jail, which is really not going to benefit anybody.

Eric Lundgren:              No, no. I didn’t know that there was a negative aspect to it. So thanks for’

Michael:                       Huge negative, because you’re gonna get envy from staff.

Eric Lundgren:              Got it. Okay.

Michael:                       They’re going to hear it, and there are going to be … They’re very hypersensitive to the media, first of all.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay.

Michael:                       And you can get the media in there because of the First Amendment, but that doesn’t mean they like it. If they don’t like it, they’ve got a bludgeon that they can use very easily, by silencing you, putting you in the hole, blocking you from visits, stopping your phone calls, stopping your mail, stopping email.

Michael:                       So it’s really important to start this whole process with defining success, just like you do with the business. Right? What’s the best possible outcome? Where am I today, and I can see the best possible outcome? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to go? What’s my plan look like? What are the priorities I have to put in place every day? What are the milestones of achievement that I’m going to his, that it’s gonna make me feel as though I am the captain of this ship, not a system that has the potential to derail me.

Michael:                       If you look at it that way, you are a CEO. You’re a CEO of your life.

Eric Lundgren:              Yeah. Yeah. Were you always this optimistic, or-

Michael:                       Always. I went to prison when I was 23, and was blessed. You asked me about some of the books, influential books. I was blessed to have read Socrates at the very start of my journey, and that changed my life. It got me to think, instead of my own problems that I had created … I didn’t go in there for trying to save the planet. I went in there for selling cocaine. So I reconciled that I made some bad decisions as a kid, and all I wanted to do was reconcile with society and become better.

Michael:                       To do that, I had to change the way I thought. I had to think about the people that I would meet in the future. The people like Eric, law abiding contributing citizens, and thinking about what can I do while I am here to make things better.

Michael:                       That’s what put me on this path. So it was a very influential book to me to read Plato’s Republic, which really teaches the art, of course of some private questioning, and beginning to think in terms of, how am I going to get the outcome that I want.

Michael:                       I think as you have learned, or Zig Ziglar spoke about, if we help more people get what they want, we can get everything we want. So for me, it was all about, okay I need to focus on educating myself, contributing to society, and building a strong support network. I attribute the literature that I read to helping me with that. It helped me as those days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, months turned into years, and years turned into decades.

Michael:                       It was all part of that journey, and because of it, I was optimistic every day that I was in there.

Eric Lundgren:              Well, I think that’s awesome. I hope that I can be like you, in there. That’s my goal.

Michael:                       I’m so glad that you had an opportunity to work with Justin. He is the body of all the work that I did during 25 years, Justin Paperny is executing it and sharing it with others, and that’s why I’m so honored that we’re partners, and grateful that he has an opportunity to share it with people like you. He does an awesome job. I know he gives a lot of comfort to people when they’re in the most difficult times of their lives.

Eric Lundgren:              He does. He does, and I’m lucky to have met him.

Michael:                       Yeah.

Eric Lundgren:              I could have gone south and just thought I’d deal with it all myself, but meeting him, seeing him on YouTube and then contacting him, he really is … He’s genuine, and he has information that I need.

Michael:                       He’s the real deal, and he’ll stick with you throughout the journey, so you will have access to that Quasi email system.

Michael:                       See my lights are flickering off right now.

Michael:                       But you will see that he’s extraordinarily helpful, and I’m gonna follow up by recommending some great books for you in an email, but I would … Off the top of my head, Socrates is one of them, if you could read the Republic.

Michael:                       What is your educational background? I know you’ve got a lot of experiential education, but-

Eric Lundgren:              I challenged high school, got out when I was 16, challenged college and got an honorary I never spent at any college.

Michael:                       So perfect situation. You’re probably the guy who hasn’t spent a lot of time reading-

Eric Lundgren:              No. Not at all. [crosstalk 00:36:34]. Read about reading.

Michael:                       That’s something that you can be doing while you’re in prison, and you will do, number one. One of the tasks that really worked for me is, every time I read a book, I followed a very deliberate plan. The first is, every time I read a book, I would write a book report.

Michael:                       The book report would follow really three steps. Number one, I would define, why did I read … Let’s just say it was Steve Jobs. I read a Steve Jobs book … Why did I read Steve Jobs Biography … and I would define there, and that might be a one paragraph response. It might be a two page response. You know? I could sit here and dictate it, but that’s what my book report would start with.

Michael:                       The second bullet point in my book report, or headline, would be what did I learn from reading the Autobiography of Steve Jobs? Then I’d write several paragraphs about what I learned.

Michael:                       Then finally, the last question or bullet point that I would answer would be, how is having read the Autobiography of Steve Jobs going to contribute to my success upon release? Then I would write about that.

Michael:                       What that would give me was a very solid blueprint. I encapsulated this body of work, and I read more than a thousand books while I was in there, and had all these book reports. They really made me feel stronger, and has certainly made a big difference in my career in less than five years since I’ve been home.

Michael:                       So read, but read deliberately. Don’t read the westerns.

Eric Lundgren:              No.

Eric Lundgren:              I only want to read things that will sharpen me.

Michael:                       Stick to business and philosophy.

Eric Lundgren:              Business and philosophy. Sure. Michael, you talked about the shoe, and I wanna try to understand what the percentage chances of somebody like me in a camp is going to end up experiencing the shoe. Did you see a lot of people in the camp get thrown in the shoe?

Michael:                       Without a doubt, and sometimes it’s for no reason of their own, right. You’re in prison, and it’s okay. Wherever they send you, strong mind. Discipline. Deliberate. It’s not the end of the world. You know you’re coming home.

Michael:                       The better question is, what can I do to minimize the chances of going to the shoe?

Eric Lundgren:              Yes.

Michael:                       Be a submarine. Okay.

Eric Lundgren:              Be the submarine.

Michael:                       Don’t go in there for investigation because they’ve got a lot of power, and they can put you in there for an investigation and keep you there for several months. So, you’re objective is to say, “Eh. Do I really need to talk to the media right now while I’m here?”

Michael:                       You need to push the envelope. How is it going to help me?

Eric Lundgren:              Yep. So, what other things should I not do to make sure that I don’t-

Michael:                       Don’t go to the shoe? Read a lot. Exercise a lot. Write a lot.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay.

Michael:                       Find a good mentor or coach that you’re gonna work with while you’re in there. Stay close to that coach and be productive, every week, with milestones, and stay on it. Every week, make yourself a task. I’m gonna accomplish this. I’m gonna accomplish this. I’m gonna accomplish this.

Michael:                       Break it out. You got a 12 month window here. Set it into four, three month goals, and tell us what you’re going to do in those three months. Document it, and do it. This becomes your new PNL.

Eric Lundgren:              Yes. Exactly. I just need those milestones that I can get inside.

Michael:                       Well you got a couple of days. If you need some help, I’m sure that Justin can put them together for you.

Eric Lundgren:              Yep. I’m on a call with him tomorrow.

Michael:                       Awesome. Let’s wrap this one up because I actually have to go pick up my wife at the hospital. She’s a nurse, and will do that, but I also wanna try this.

Michael:                       Right now, I just wanna thank Eric Lundgren for spending this time with us. I know how valuable his time is right now. It’s the final hours before he surrenders. He’s gotten help from my good friend and partner Justin Paperny, and I’m gonna leave the last word with you, Eric, if there’s something you’d like to share with our audience, some of whom are just going into the system. Let them know why you think they should call Justin.

Eric Lundgren:              Well I think I’m into turning lemons into lemonade, and I think he is too. I think that Justin is just like me, and we both truly do want to be optimistic and believe in the future, and believe in how positive the world is and can be. It’s what you make it. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to react.”

Michael:                       What a great quote, and there’s another Chinese one that I like to say, and that is, “If you wanna know the road ahead, ask somebody who has walked back.”

Eric Lundgren:              Yes. Yep. I’ve heard that one.

Michael:                       Thank you very much for spending this time with us. I’ll stay in touch. Stay on the air for a second just as I close off this video here. I wanna talk to you a little bit off the camera.

Eric Lundgren:              Okay.

Michael:                       Thanks from Prison Professors. Really encourage you to reach out to my partner Justin Paperny. You can find his contact information just on the banner. I don’t know if I’m gonna put it below or above, but you can reach him. Justin Paperny at 818-424- 2220.

Michael:                       Thank you.

Eric Lundgren:              Oh. One more thing. One more thing.

Michael:                       Give us one more thing, Eric.

Eric Lundgren:     if you wanna hear more about my case, go to

Michael:                       We will plug that into the video so they will be able to see it right there all throughout. We’ll have this on YouTube by tomorrow.

Eric Lundgren:              Awesome.

Michael:           Thanks

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