In the spirit of being honest, I feel that in life, it is important to be true to who you are, and not pretend to be something you’re not. Oddly enough, this little epiphany comes straight from the mouth of a con man. But I digress.

With that in mind, one of the key things I’ve learned over the course of a career inspired by having to uphold a certain image, is to always play to your strengths. So, in the spirit of knowing where our strength lies, it would be safe to assume that the people who’ve been in contact with the criminal justice system tend to lean in the direction of street smarts.

Although I might not be a ringing endorsement for it, I’m a big advocate of street smarts. I feel that that is what can take you further in life, as it’s all very instinctual. And let’s face it, we have to use everything we got in order to make it. The only problem is that there could be repercussions with street smarts when there’s no harmony.

You see, it requires a bit of discipline in order to balance out those street smarts. Much like a cooking recipe, your portions have to be ever so right, cause if something is off by even just a little, the whole thing could be compromised. Don’t kid yourself, being street smart requires balls. Big ones. And to quote a passage in a classic movie (The Color of Money)

You gotta have two things in this world if you wanna make it. You gotta have balls, and you gotta have brains. And you got too much of one and not enough of the other.

Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) has a talk with Vincent the Kid (Tom Cruise) in the backroom before altering the course of his life.

It’s survival of the fittest out here, so obviously one has to equip themselves. That’s why you must prepare. Preparation is key to self-preservation.

You should learn to understand these six items to pair alongside those street smarts, seeing as how they can help ease the frustration you are surely to encounter in your life’s journey as you jump through legal hoops. Make no mistake, all these things can be taught and acquired through self education. Nothing fancy needed, nor necessary.

No gimmicky course that I’m trying to sell you. Just a no bullshit approach that can take you a lot further when you have a monkey gorilla (felony) like this one on your back. So, take heed with getting familiar in knowing these things (better).


Nothing overly exciting going on here. Just the usual bland and boring where the hell you at / get your ass over here / don’t be late type shit. This really is the basic of the basic. Be where you say you’ll be, when you say you’ll be there. Simple, right?

Well, for some idiots out there it’s like asking them to donate one of their kidneys. I know this may be asking a lot, but it’s time to grow up and get your shit together. Being late, or excuse my French, tardy shows complete lack of respect for both the other party, as well as yourself. Furthermore, it’s interpreted as an I don’t give a shit attitude. Not a winning combination when you pair that up with a level one felony.

What’s this you say, you enjoy being a free spirit and going with the flow. Then by all means go buy a time machine and travel back to a time before you were a felon in order to intervene with the chain of events that caused you to become one. Yup, I hate to be an a-hole about it, but there’s really no excuse around this.

Regardless if you’re on on house arrest, probation, going to court, or even meeting with your lawyer, being late is a major no no. Doesn’t matter what you gotta do to be on time, just be there damn it. Nor am I a big fan of rescheduling either. If it is to happen, let the other party be the one doing it.

Unfortunately this is a killer for a lot of people that screws them before they even walk through the door. Your reputation will precede you, so don’t be that person, as it can and will be held against you.


I’ve always said educate yourself on your situation, cause nobody will do it for you because it’s absolutely true. When I got charged I felt confused, terrified, and all alone. I had so wished that someone could’ve magically appeared and made everything all better for me, thus putting my mind at ease. But they wouldn’t, cause they couldn’t.

No lawyer, my mommy and daddy, or even Jesus Christ himself could offer any consolation. So I figured it was all up to me. With that, I would read and try to understand everything I could get my hands on. And what I found out is that with the more knowledge and information I acquired, I was then gradually able to find some form of relief, and oddly enough a great sense of empowerment.

This is your life we’re talking about, and only you know what your troubles are, the stress you’re under, and the impact it carries throughout your lifetime. So it’s also your responsibility to be keenly aware of what you’re up against, and know your case inside and out. Yes, I understand you didn’t sign up to be a lawyer, nor are you very interested in learning about the law and how it works, but you should be.

There are so many gross injustices and unfair outcomes that occur every single day in this world due to someone not understanding their rights, or worse yet, not giving a shit. Many figure the lawyer can do it since that’s what they get paid for, but that’s just foolish.

With all due respect to lawyers, none of them can take your case as serious as you should. This is YOUR freedom at stake. Not theirs. And ultimately only you are the one to figure out the solutions in order to climb out of the abyss you find yourself in. On that note, some people really feel that this may seem like a lot of work. Well, that’s because it is. Then again it shouldn’t matter, as you should also feel that you’re life’s worth it.


A skill most often used in creating a shared meaning and common purpose between two or more parties. There are certain mannerisms used in how you come across that factor into how you’re to be treated, as well as the attention (both positive and negative) you may receive in an effort to get the results you’re seeking. Put another way, the way you walk, talk, carry, and conduct yourself all have meaning and impact how you and your message is perceived.

But understand the main objective of good communication is the ability to transfer ideas and information in an efficient manner from your head into someone else’s.

Some call it charm. Some say it’s having the gift of gab. Neither is really correct as it’s so much more than that. What can be agreed on is that the individual who possesses this quality has the opportunity to do anything their little heart desires.

The greatest speakers, politicians, salesmen, and yes, criminals have this quality about them.


Long ago, there was a period where humans were the endangered species, and some mythical creatures ruled the land. Unfortunately for the dinosaurs, they did a terrible job at keeping up with the times and are now dead as disco. Oh well, if only they understood how to adapt. Adaptation is evolutionary, and is defined as the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions.


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Darwin explains…. It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

In other words, the faster you can adjust to the problems, the easier things will seem to get. Sure there’s gonna be a rough transition period where you’re still trying wrap your brain around the way things are, but you need to sober up to the dawn of a new reality. And rather fast. Or as the saying goes, you’ll be gone the way of the dodo bird.

The power of adaptation is a most useful survival skill to be applied by anyone, including animals. And for the legally troubled individual, it gives a renewed sense of purpose to get through a particular situation.

How do you adapt?

  1. Take a moment to step back and observe everything.
  2. See where everything’s going and what direction it’s all trending in.
  3. Make the necessary changes in order to make a seamless transition.
  4. Step back (again) and notice what’s working and what isn’t.
  5. (Once again) Make the necessary changes in order to make the seamless transition.

Wash, rinse, repeat…. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s all quite simple. You adapt. Or die.


Although I applaud your good great taste by reading this site, this is but one of many informational tools available. I still feel it’s the best though. Just sayin. And if I could hand out a single piece of advice condensed into one small word that could be life changing, it would be all of this:


We’ve become lazy. You used to have to drag your ass to the library in order to get to the bottom of a particular issue or to find solutions for everyday problems. Now with the push of a button, you have it all available to you while you sit there in your underwear. Not only that, but you have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of the greatest minds that have come before you.

Imagine having the opportunity to apply what one person has gone through and experienced to your own challenges you’ve encountered and the obstacles you’re facing (while sitting in your underwear). Aside from just reading, you must inform yourself of what’s all available around you that may aid you in your travels.

There are so many grants, courses, and programs that offer assistance to individuals in all aspects of life. Whether it be counseling, employment, schooling, or housing. But you won’t know about it unless you become aware. So with that, don’t be afraid to explore a little. Nor be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.

DID YOU KNOW The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors a Federal Bonding Program which allows ex-offenders the opportunity to secure a job by way of an insurance policy. This “bond” is given to an employer as an incentive to hire a job applicant who would be deemed high risk and offer them (employer) a means of protection against any loss of money or property due to theft or embezzlement.

And if I can give you a second piece of advice condensed into one small word that could be life changing, it would be to: Ask. Talk to others and ask questions. Make the effort to see what’s applicable to you, then ask for it. By all means, take full advantage of all the resources out there and available to be used, including this one. And once again to be noted, you have great taste by reading this site.


The above black and white photo reflects just how far we’ve come in regards to the technology used in our quest for drilling oil. Yet even with the lack of adequate tools, the will and desire has always been there. And it still got it done.

There’s something unbelievably special that happens when certain individuals are put under extreme circumstances in lieu of outside help and overly abundant resources. They overcome.

They’re also able to produce some extraordinary results, despite being at a disadvantage. But why? Here lies the complex challenge that tends to exist when one is spoiled with all the modern day luxuries:

The more resources we have, the less resourceful we tend to be.

In other words, we become really lazy when we’re not at a disadvantage. The best way I know how to describe the way you have to approach life when you have a felony conviction would be that you have to do more with less. Some of the greatest inventions of all time have been a byproduct of necessity, due to lack of something readily available to help out the situation.

Obviously, it would be great to have all the tools and weapons at your disposal in order to accomplish things, but sometimes most of the time you’re not allowed that convenience. Does that mean you should not pursue what it is you desire. Please. Get real. And grow some balls.

I loved when Tony Robbins once famously said that the reason we didn’t accomplish our goal was due to lack of resources so much, but that maybe we weren’t as resourceful. Think about that.

In Conclusion

Although I’m the eternal optimist, life can be a particularly cruel one for someone having to overcome the stigma of a felony conviction. Your plagued by feelings of fear, disappointment, and massive frustration as you journey through this cold, hard world.

To bury your head in the sand and pretend that pain doesn’t exist (denial) is foolish. Same applies in not preparing yourself for it. But you can do yourself a favor by reducing it considerably if you keep up with what’s going on and stay disciplined.

Once again, these six items are very basic things that every felon ought to know, however that shouldn’t undermine its importance. As always, educate yourself on your situation, because nobody will do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.

The Educated Felon