Everybody has an idea of what success is, what it means, and how it all looks to them. What really is success though? Is it not just a feeling anyways?

Is it the feeling of accomplishment, and the ability to conquer something that was once previously difficult. A worthy challenge that proves to be no match for your will. Maybe it’s learning a new skill, or the feeling that you have unlimited options. So much that you could even be picky with your choices.

How about something you desired for so, so, long, and then finally realizing you are well on your way to achieving it. Whatever feelings and emotions you equate with success, one thing generally not heard nor associated with it, is someone who is a Felon. I mean, it’s not like you heard this growing up:

Get the f*** outta bed!!! Whaddya gonna do with your life?Why can’t you grow up to be a successful Felon just like your brother?

Wouldn’t that be nice. However, for the majority out there with Felony convictions under their belt, you feel like your options are limited. Very limited. So limited in fact that you always have to take what you can get. And you are forced to like it.

You feel helpless and at the mercy of everyone and everything. You seldom, if ever, feel in control of your life. Instead of moving in the right direction, you feel stuck. Basically, a convicted felon generally feels like the opposite of success. With that, your view of the world is bleak and distorted. You feel like the opportunities and resources that you so desperately want and need, will never make themselves available to you.

From there, an individual comes to the realization that they will never be able to achieve success and feel good about their life. They accept this self-defeating, self-fulfilling poison pill, justifying it as punishment for their “sins of the past”.

I know I did. That due to this past, this is to be their life now, and will forever be their future. A better quality of life will evade them as they feel unworthy and undeserving of it.

Sadly, it is at this time where all this despair morphs into bitter anger and frustration towards life (maybe even God), until finally this individual comes to a very pivotal crossroads, making some very emotional, and irrational decisions. Decisions that carry heavy consequences and alter someone’s path in life forever.

Drugs and alcohol prove to not extinguish anxieties, only to magnify and intensify the pain that is felt. Life is out of control, and in so many words, they are screwed, and sadly, they do not even know it yet.


95% of the decisions you make are based on how you are feeling at that given moment.

With that said, imagine somebody feeling despondent, and is ill prepared in overcoming the pain and rejection of what’s to come with life challenges. What kind of decisions do you think they stand to make?

The path to achieve success for someone with a criminal background is truly one filled with mental roadblocks and emotional landmines. Rejection is surely guaranteed. For the strong-minded individual that commits him/herself to enduring through this pain period, success will be realized.

You may want to check out My Three Simple Rules for Being a Convicted Felon

I knew I had to make some changes in my life and improve. I looked like shit, felt like shit, and as a result, wasn’t amounting to shit.

Anonymous Felon

You may never really stop calculating the possible losses incurred by the acts committed in your past, but it does someone no good to stay stuck there. It does you, and more importantly, those around you (including those you’ve harmed) no benefit to not succeed. Success gives one the opportunity to atone for what’s been done in life. You have the ability to pay it forward and give back.

What if you were told that you could achieve great success in life based on the condition that you had to make a few changes to yourself. To feel that you’re finally on the way, even though you believe your options may be limited, due to being a felon.

If you want to keep getting what you’re getting, keep doing what you’re doing.

Les Brown

Obviously, for the individual with a conviction, you have your work cut out for you. We all know shit is not easy. You’re going to have to work harder, smarter, and be stronger than your average joe, as you have more of a challenge to overcome (felony).

In so many words, you have to give more of yourself to the process. The process of betterment, as you develop standards and rules you and only you hold yourself to. These are adopted and practiced each and every day.

7 THINGS A FELON CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO SUCCEED (and change their life)



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So this is really the holy grail: By choosing what you want to focus on -in essence – you choose the quality of your life. For it to work though, it requires that you change your view. For many, including myself, this was the most difficult to do. But once you do understand and master this technique, your life changes super fast. All of a sudden, life does not seem so terrible anymore. Opportunities start to present themselves (mysteriously). The resources and tools you need, seem to show up also weirdly enough.

Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.

Henry Ford

But for all this to happen, you have to change the way you look at things. Be mindful, that friends, family, and those around you can definitely give you shit, and try and despiritualize you. They will say your positive outlook won’t last long. That you’re delusional. That you are not being “realistic”. As painful as it is to hear it said from that person, you need to tune it out and pay them no mind. Be strong, focus, and change your attitude. Because you can then change your life.


To be taken seriously and respected, one should not only carry and conduct themselves to a higher standard but look the part. Take pride in your appearance and do not be sloppy. Sloppiness is for children. Dress professionally and for the occasion, as you need to ALWAYS be prepared for opportunity. If you’ve conditioned your mind for success, you should dress for it. To take it a step further on a note of vanity, we’re species guided by our visual. Our perception becomes reality. Beauty has, and always will be perceived as higher value and put on a pedestal. That said, something pleasing to the eye will always have a special advantage. Just saying.


Way back when, you had to go to libraries, read books, and study. I know, tedious, right? Mind you, you can still do that, however, things have evolved in a much faster delivery rate of information. Now, you may become an expert on virtually anything you can think of from the comfort of your home. Research and learn about a person or company before you go on an interview. Learn what things they look for. See the hiring practices of such companies. Are they Felon friendly? Have your shit together and get yourself some skills by taking full advantage of the technology and times we live in.


Now why would I put this simple, some would say insignificant and stupid thing on the list to practice?

I’ll tell you why, because you are a Felon. That, coupled with tattoos and a scowl will work well in a prison yard, but not so much in the corporate world. The vibe you give off is what you’ll get back. Nobody wants to be around someone who looks pissed off or intimidating. Put people at ease, disarming them with your charm and smile. It can go a long way, and work well for you. So, soften your face.


Your resume is a body of work. A history of your accomplishments that apply to the endeavor you are pursuing. Plenty of formats to choose, and although we’ll get into it in a future post, of more importance would be the all-powerful reference letter. For someone with a Felony background that’s contending with trust issues, this carries tremendous weight. Who vouches for you, and what positive things they say of you. Sometimes, it is not what you know, but who you know.

I’ve always said for the Felon, Good reference letters are like cheerleaders and supporters for you. They speak loudly in a silent way. You may want to check this out.


How you carry and conduct yourself – in other words, your physical and verbal mannerisms. You are to project confidence at all times. Sit up straight and work on your posture. Practice tone of voice. Your mannerisms are very telling for the person sitting across from you, whether they are a probation officer, someone offering you employment, or even a date. You need to believe in yourself. Just because someone believes you are a loser due to being a Felon, does not make it so.

You need to believe in yourself. You need to believe in yourself. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF……. because if you do not, no one else will. And in order for that to happen, you need to display it in the right manner.


Maybe you don’t practice this, but you do develop this within yourself. This is also called tenacity. Not letting fear enter your mind and create doubt in your abilities. Being able to move forward despite challenges and setbacks. This could be a branch of number one, but with a twist. And if you had to pick one key trait of all that could impact your chances for success, this would be it. Say what you want about the businessman/showman turned President, whether he’s groping someone, or cursing someone out on Twitter rants, but one thing to be truly respected is his ability to not give up.

There’s an old story where Donald Trump was walking past a homeless man and pointed to him, and said to his daughter see that guy, he’s worth more than I am.

Now at the time, Trump was in financial ruin, drowning in over $900,000,000 of debt. Even if it looks like it’s all over, finished, and he cannot succeed, he finds the way. Why? How?

Many long time friends and associates had deserted him and written him off. He was the butt of jokes, mocked, and ridiculed. Many a person would have been broken. It was all over, yet he would not stop or quit. He overcame the challenges so much so, that… well, you know the rest.

There you have it. Success just doesn’t come from or is based on one good decision. It is a pattern of consistent good decisions, actions, and behaviors that are practiced each and every day.

There’s a saying that You don’t have to arrive at your destination in order to feel like a success. You just have to know that you’re on the right path to get there. 

Make no mistake, success is not a destination, it’s a process. A feeling you get that things are finally happening for you, and not to you. It grows within you when you’re productive with your life and are happy with the person you see in the mirror (even if you are a felon). Decide to become successful… even if you are a convicted felon. Educate yourself on your situation, because nobody will do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.

The Educated Felon