The story of this particular ex-con is one of amazing financial success against all odds. At 18-years-old, a man named Mike Pisciotta ended up in a Florida prison after overdosing on Xanax. When he awoke in his prison cell, he had no recollection of what had happened two days ago when he was high. Apparently, however, he robbed two stores during that period of time, resulting in a ten-year prison sentence.
Now, most people might never be able to handle being labeled an ex-con for the rest of their life. They might even feel like ten years in prison had ended every one of their hopes and dreams for any kind of a better future. Some are never able to find work or have any kind of a normal life because they’ll always be labeled as an ex-con.
But, not Mike because he never let those ten long years in prison steal his ambition. In spite of the fact that prison had stolen ten years of freedom and the majority of his twenties, instead of letting it get him down, he used that time for bettering himself and gaining the knowledge that would later help him to have the ability of starting up a consulting business that would bring in some seven-figure income.
You see, Mike knew that he absolutely had to figure out a viable way to be his own boss due to the fact that he instinctively knew that he had developed an aversion to authority. That meant using his time in prison to his advantage by spending hours and hours in the prison library. Why? Well, he was studying entrepreneurship, marketing, and management. He also got in the habit of reading the Bible on a regular basis and immersing himself in the Word.
He also became intent upon working hard to learn as many new languages as he possibly could. He soon became fluent in Spanish with the help of one of his fellow inmates and then he taught it to other inmates in prison, who paid him by using tuna and Ramen noodle packets because, in prison, there was no money allowed. And, to this day, Mike can speak fluent Italian and Spanish. In addition, he has mastered conversational Greek and French. Not bad for a guy who went to prison at such a young age and didn't get out for ten long years.
During his prison time, Mike learned a sobering fact and that was that, unless he learned some new and valuable skills, he’d never have even half a chance to make a living when he got out, so he worked hard learning everything he could for when the time came that would start his own business. But, it wasn’t easy nor was it without its challenges. Other inmates made a habit of poking fun at him because he simply wanted to improve himself more than anything else in the world.
Also during the same period time, Mike found love when he met a church youth leader who appeared regularly on a popular local radio show. Her name is Robin and he loved listening to her show. In fact, he felt quite drawn to her and asked his mom to call the radio station for him, which lead to writing letters to her. In turn, she later visited the prison for the purpose of meeting him thanks to those letters. They discovered that they were both devoted to the Bible and they bonded over that lifelong commitment. Seven years after their first meeting in that Florida prison, Mike and Robin tied the knot in October of 2009.
Mike was well aware of the fact that life could be very hard after his release from prison. It was difficult to get anyone to accept him because to everybody he was just an ex-con. He took jobs in carpet cleaning, tutoring, food service, retail, and even telemarketing. None of them lasted very long, however, because of his past. He had half expected this reception but never thought that his past would also affect his wife’s employment. Her bosses fired her as soon as they found out that Mike was an ex-con. On top of all that, Robin found out that she was pregnant and their firstborn was a boy.
So, it was at that point that Robin and Mike realized that their only viable option was entrepreneurship. It was time for Mike to start applying all of that knowledge that he had garnered while studying so hard in prison. He started his own business and, since he had gained a unique perspective regarding technology during his ten years in prison, he and Robin decided on building an online business.
They started by building their own website. Then they would go out dumpster-diving on the night before trash pickup. They’d find old things like appliances, TVs, and printers, then sell them on Craigslist. This made them just enough money for squeaking by. But then they came to the realization that they could help other individuals with starting up their own online businesses and make better money that way.
They built websites, mapped online marketing plans, platforms, and sales channels for their clients. They became so proficient at it that their clients were becoming millionaires. There was even an extensive waiting list of people who wanted the opportunity for working with them.
However, this business venture left them with no time for being with their young son. They found themselves working every day for 12 or more hours. That’s when they decided to fire every one of their clients and launch a consulting and coaching business. They built several automated e-commerce sites for saving them time so that they could spend it with their son. After a little more than 18 months, they had earned a million+ dollars.
And, even more important to Robin and Mike than their seven-figure income was being able to have a work schedule that was fitting in with the lifestyle of their little family. They now have two kids and are very active in their local church. Besides all of that, Mike also found the time to write a book entitled “From Prison to Prosperity”. It chronicles his experiences in prison and how they were responsible for his success as a husband, father, and businessman.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker