10 GREAT THINGS ABOUT BEING A FELON
Congratulations on screwing up your life and becoming a Convicted Felon! Your parents should be so proud. And as if life was not already difficult and filled with its share of bullshit, it’ll be increasingly more so now. You are now operating at a major disadvantage, with your back against the wall. What is this you say – that you are up to the challenge and laugh at pressure. Well my friend, if you weren’t getting those job offers before, just you wait.
Bored with everything – Need a little bit more excitement in your life – Does the girlfriend think you’re a little bitch – well then kids, become a felon.
Sarcasm aside, over the course of my post-conviction life, I have had the dubious honor to ponder the good, bad, and downright terrible aspects of this whole shit show.
Being the eternal optimist I am, I decided why not put a little perfume on the pig, and make the most of a bad situation. With that, I present you with…
10 GREAT THINGS ABOUT BEING A FELON
10. No more pesky jury duty to deal with
I mean who wants to deal with that shit anyways. I got better things to do with my time, like be unemployed from all the jobs I cannot get. Plus, it avoids having to be trapped in a room with that self-righteous asshole who always thinks he’s doing his important civic duty by serving on the jury pool. Bite me dude.
9. Instant clout and street cred
Welcome to the lucrative field of the music industry friends. You do not even have to be talented – just look menacing. Better yet, if you can get locked up before your album drops, you got pure gold son.
8. Since travel is restricted, you now do not have to worry about airlines losing your bags anymore
7. You get in kick-ass shape
You do realize prison is an intense version of LA Fitness, but without the condescending douchebag trainers trying to upsell you on packages as he’s posting a selfie, all while you’re just trying to get in and out without being embarrassed that your membership account is past due with all those late fees. Damn.
6. Women tend to love the bad boy
Yup, always have – always will. Just let it be known that you’re on a different level than all those bitch-ass misdemeanor guys. Just saying.
5. Weaseling out of family functions and obligations
Sorry, I cannot leave tonight. My probation officer is supposed to be stopping by. Maybe next time.
4. You meet some very interesting people
Everybody messes up at some point in time. Ironically, there are places where certain people come into your life as a result of their misdeeds. Rather than harp on that, focus on the relationships you come away with, in turn, the experiences you’re able to get through affecting your life as a result of that encounter.
3. You get to live a clean and healthy(ier) lifestyle
I mean, how many times can you wake up in your own vomit before that starts to get repetitive? Hey kids, you like the drugs? Party over. Now fill the cup.
2. You develop a sense of humility
Mind you, this may be unwillingly. But I guess it is necessary in order to develop character and all that shit.
1. You can become a great entrepreneur
Okay, let us now cut the shit and get serious for a moment. This is huge – and Yes – I am being a bit humorous and sarcastic about the whole list, but really though, this is the one thing that should you choose to focus on, can be absolutely life changing.
In the same respect that life will never be the same again as your old one once convicted, this has a way of forcing you out of your comfort zone to see the better light. All leading to the eventuality that you just may end up doing something way more productive with your life in the long run.
An example of this would be kind of like when someone throws you into a pool when you do not know how to swim. There is a strong possibility you may drown. Now this seems to be the natural way of thinking when panic sets in, and is completely normal. But what if you did not perish?
The flip side of the coin is that you may become a really good swimmer, super fast, because you have to – due to mitigating circumstances (felony). Yup, you adapt.
Now although that’s not the method I would personally employ to teach someone how to swim, I’ve known many people who were taught this way. And yes, it does seem a bit brutal and traumatizing for my taste, however, what if you had no other choice.
You have to think that the mindset of the person overcoming the challenge of drowning to be very strong when forced under certain extreme circumstances (felony). So strong that it can be developed further to do something productive and useful with it. Let me expand on this for a moment, as this was the basis for the article.
When you are a felon, things get taken from you. Time, opportunities, chances, hopes, dreams, and so much more. And when that happens (and it will happen), something happens to you. You are not going to be the same person you were before it happened. Maybe in a good way / Maybe in a bad way.
If you’re not careful, your spirit could definitely get broken with this. You could drown. Or possibly not. At some point you look to your life for more, and to do something positive with it. Something useful.
One of the biggest barriers to a felony conviction is gaining access to employment, let alone one that would give you the ability to support a family. Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of faith out there in the community when it comes to job opportunities for someone with a felony.
Once my previous career path had ended, I really had no clue how difficult it would be to find a job with a felony conviction lurking in my background. I mean, I thought it was going to be a little harder, but that I could easily make up for it since I was so smart and had the gift of gab. But I could not bullshit myself when I saw how difficult things could and would be.
The pain and agony of enduring countless rejections took a toll. I would interview so well too. My confidence and self esteem eroded, and I questioned my manhood. I mean, if I can’t support my household, let alone contribute to it, what the hell good am I.
As a man and as a father, I felt like a failure. Never mind that I made things ultra complicated not being accepted into certain housing communities. I was actually told that the dog is welcome, you are not. Ain’t that a bitch.
It was a tough pill to swallow. The pride I let stand in the way to pursue jobs that I felt were beneath me at the time. Am I really a useless sack of shit… or is all the bullshit starting to get to me I would ask myself. I tried ignoring it, but I was at a breaking point. I had no plan, no prospects, shit credit, and a family. I felt I had no control over my life, or even my livelihood.
You can read more about how bad it was with the article called How to Hit Rock Bottom
Even in my past, whenever I had relationship problems or faced some inner turmoil, I could always dive into my work. It was my escape. My oasis in the desert day. You see, many people hate work. They cannot stand the thought of it. They begrudgingly go to it, yet they’d rather do something they enjoy. Not I… I’ve always wanted to work, and enjoyed it immensely. It’s just that I didn’t like having a regular job.
Does that make sense?
Background Checks and Bullshit
It seems that my enjoyment to work stopped the moment I was convicted and had to go out and get a regular job. Now the problem I was facing was directly related to the thing I would use to feel better about my life. It prevented me from happiness. Even worse, it derailed any true chance I had at achieving it.
What was I to do. Work some shit low wage dead end job that’s beneath me? Allow myself to be disrespected and demeaned. I’m much more talented than that. Why would I waste my time – the hell with that.
More rejection was to follow, and shit got old real fast. The only jobs that were making themselves available were those exact shit low wage jobs. I tried keeping positive and kept thinking it’ll all work out. Meanwhile, I was bobsledding my family further into poverty and things weren’t exactly rosy at home. I was feeling the pressure, and also going insane.
For some this point comes sooner than later, but it’s about this time when things get truly scary for an individual, as they’re at a breaking point prone to doing something incredibly stupid. Something that jeopardizes all that they have fought to keep. Bank robbery anyone? Desperate times.
Until what I was looking for started to dawn on me. I had put such an emphasis in life on my work, that it naturally got to me when I endured lots of obstacles and rejection to enjoy it. Much of that, due in part to being at the mercy of others and circumstances.
I will admit, I had a wee bit of resentment based on the
opinion fact that I could do the job better than others, yet nobody wanted to give me a shot. Background checks, awkward interviews, bullshit emails stating they moved on with other candidates all took a toll on me. Yep.
Some may feel differently, but I happen to come from a philosophy where you take pride in your work. That it’s an extension of you, and in so many words, your dick and manhood. If I failed at the notion that I couldn’t even attain a job that I felt was beneath me, than I failed. I wanted to feel the opposite of what I was feeling though.
What I felt was insecure. And powerless. I felt ashamed of myself and how I was hurting my family being stuck in this way of life, and what I’ve subjected them to. That I was at the mercy of all my mitigating circumstances, and because I’m a felon, I’m no longer able to have a meaningful work that I enjoy and get the satisfaction of taking care of my family. That I should just be happy to not be in prison, content with getting by in life.
A poisoned way of thinking as I live out the rest of my life, buried in a sad form of survival mode. Now let’s stop for a moment in this story and allow me to ask you a few questions to see if these hits close to home:
Are you experiencing the bitter taste of rejection from not getting job opportunities that you so desperately want and need to help transform your life?
Do you feel passed over, or that an employer does not want to take a chance on you because you’re a felon?
Do you feel like if you got this job opportunity, you could do something with it and you’d be grateful?
Do you think you would bust your ass for this opportunity, and that you’d be proud that they believe in you by hiring you?
Do you want to create a better quality of life for yourself, your family, and others? Are you frustrated and tired? Are you proud?
Finally, do you think you can do it better than others, and are angry that nobody wants to give you an opportunity to prove it?
If you answered YES to any of these, all of these, or even none, I still believe it is the same positive outcome. All roads lead down the same path, which is…
One should strongly consider going into business for themselves, at some point in time, as this will provide the means to a better quality of life. A life with options. Especially if one is overcoming the challenges, stigma, and bullshit of a felony conviction.
You’ve heard it time and again in life, and business. People don’t get wealthy through working a regular job. They do through finding a way to work for themselves, whether it be through a product, offering a service, or by building something. You create value to and for the world.
Now that philosophy already applies for the regular Joe/Jane out there, however, I think it is more ideal for the person contending with these legal challenges hanging over them. You create your job.
This is an opportunity to consider, when people don’t want to give you an opportunity to consider.
Now just speaking for myself here, but if you can get a decent job, make a good income to support your family, feeling secure about everything and be happy – Kick ass. Great for you as you’re winning. I had so wished that would’ve happened for me. But it didn’t.
So, it caused me reevaluate and look beyond the jobs I was attaining for something more. Even at a later time when I did start to attract better job opportunities, I continued to pursue becoming a self-employed person, rather than being content working for others. I felt that was the ticket. And it wasn’t about money either. There was more to it.
You see, I personally was sick and tired of getting my ass handed to me on a daily basis. Sick of the rejection, yes, but more tired of the insecure feeling that I didn’t control my own fate when it came to work and jobs. I wanted to create my own opportunities since no one really wanted to give me one.
I was at the mercy of everyone’s decision making. I couldn’t stand having to sit there (and what I felt) begging them for a shot. I felt them judging me, without even knowing my work ethic. It was infuriating and humiliating. Was my pride a little hurt? Of course. But hey, you have to adapt…. or drown.
I wasn’t lying when I mentioned that you develop a sense of humility (earlier on that list). Cleaning toilets and taking out trash will do that for you. Whereas before I was a bit arrogant and cocky, this whole experience humbled me a bit. It had too, as I guess life has a way of putting you in check in order to respect it. With that, I wanted to prove something. To others yes, but mostly to myself.
In some weird meta karmic way, all the ass beatings and humiliation gave me some type of push and drive that I hadn’t seen at any other period in my life, even before coming in contact with the justice system. Go figure.
I realized I wanted to control my destiny. To not leave it up to some asshole judging me, or a company who doesn’t want to take a chance on me cause I’m a felon. I wanted to dictate my life narrative if you will. Thinking like this made me feel empowered. Quite the opposite of what I had previously been feeling.
I had the chip on my shoulder mentality. Me vs. The World type shit. Always having something to prove. Always having to outwork and out hustle everyone else. Yet it’s served me, as this change of attitude is what was necessary to get started. Yup, I had to go get one of those bullshit ass jobs I so hated and dreaded.
Actually, multiple different ones. But who’s counting, right? Things tend to take a little longer when they are legal. But I digress.
You know what though, it’s taught me a lot. It may sound like a bit of cliche, however, I’m better off going through this as it made me go out of my comfort zone, and build a mental muscle. I didn’t drown. So as a result, I became a better swimmer.
In my pre-conviction life, I spent a decade where I was self employed. I enjoyed working, and although there was pressures and stress, I didn’t realize what I had, and what to do with it. I didn’t recognize the value. The freedom and independence of it all. The self-power I had.
Fast forward to post-conviction living, where I have spent a better part of a decade in work survival mode, toiling around in a wide range of jobs, from management all the way down to cleaning toilets, to selling mattresses, and on, and on. And on.
Laugh if you will, but all the years of working shit jobs (some I couldn’t stand, with people I despised) has built a foundation to be used for what’s to come. I can’t help but think, the allure of a legal way I could support my family, all while gaining some control, freedom, and power in my life appealed greatly.
Okay, Now What?
So now is when you say… The hell do you or I know about running a business? We are Felons.
Well, it’s about handling pressure. Calculating risks. It’s about overcoming setbacks, obstacles, and challenges, all while organizing your resources. You would have to agree, as a felon, one must be familiar with what it’s like to live life with tremendous pressure and stress on you, under constant threat, with restrictions imposed at all times. Sounds a lot like business. Just saying.
As a felon, you must know and have experienced the struggle. The hardships of life. You understand about not letting the bullshit bring you down, and the hurdles you must jump over to keep moving forward.
Also check out – The One Thing All Felons Need to Handle All Their Problems –
You must also know that you have to work that much harder than others, being that you have to overcome legal setbacks. A large challenge indeed. Tough, but by no means impossible.
Though there must be a tremendous motivation to want to do this, (very much like not wanting to drown and perish if thrown in water when not knowing how to swim) the rewards are great.
To have the opportunity to take advantage of being able to do what you want, and not what you have to. We already know what it’s like to do what we have to do. What’s necessary. Imagine to do it when you want, and with whom you choose. That sounds a lot like freedom. Something a Felon, more than the others, can really appreciate.
You are, in essence your own boss, with the liberty to work at your discretion. Not having to contend with background checks or application explanations no longer. You can relax and be yourself, not having to stress about someone “finding out about you”. Not only that, but you get the satisfaction of giving back to the community and others, by way of maybe giving someone else an opportunity. You get to pay it forward.
Bear in mind, you do not have to be thinking in terms of some major company to be built. It could be a small, yet profitable self employed business that gives you joy to do what you like and choose.
Thinking along legitimate legal lines, what do you have a talent in and what are you good at? What is it you’d enjoy to be involved in? Bear in mind, you don’t have to love it, but more thoroughly enjoy it. That you could see yourself doing it happily long term.
Now think along the lines as to how you can transfer your skill set into what you want to do. Could it be profitable? Is there anybody you know that could help you find a way to get started? That’s the beginning to it all. Brainstorming.
In closing, everybody has a grandiose vision of being their own boss, and what it would be like. The allure of lots of money, not taking shit, and working far and few is a fairy tale. You work for yourself to yield options. Something that seems to be scarce when you’re a felon, as you feel like you always have to take what you can get.
Remember, from the bottom up is where you may start. This is a new chapter in life, so put the bullshit to the side. The focus now is on putting yourself in the position to succeed. With that in mind, take action, and go find yourself an income stream (bullshit job) related to what you want. Read THIS to help.
Think of it as a means to an end, to get you to the place where you want faster. You just may end up being introduced to the person/thing that helps you get there. Learn to connect everything (like a puzzle) together for the future. Now isn’t that amazing to even think about – the future.
There was a time where I cringed and feared what the future held for me. As if it was some punishment. I was scared and depressed as to what to make of my miserable life going forward. After all, I was a felon and I’m screwed.
I had thought that my life was over. Not realizing that you have to prepare a new one. That just may mean from the ground up. There was no thought process that better days were ahead, due to getting caught up in the initial panic that sets in when you start to drown. Which is completely normal.
But once you gather your bearings, are thinking clearly, realizing you may not drown, I urge you to give the possibility of working for yourself some thought and consideration. It could change the outcome and story of your life greatly. Educate yourself on your situation, because nobody will do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.
–The Educated Felon