1: Tell Everyone: Share your story with everyone in your network to control the narrative and avoid misconceptions about the plea agreement or Department of Justice press releases.

2: No Shortcuts: I thirsted for magical shortcuts and easy-to-follow formulas. They do not exist! Commit to hard work and sustained effort, as there are no easy solutions to succeed after prison.

3: Learn from the Past: Reflect on past mistakes to ensure they don’t recur, but don’t dwell on them excessively.

4: Embrace Tendencies: Recognize and address personal behaviors and tendencies that contributed to your federal prison sentence.

5: Get in Front of People: Engage directly with people to build relationships and networks; don’t rely on passive approaches. The worst they can do is ignore or reject you, and even then, you win because you have the experience to learn from and the dignity that follows effort.

6: Reverse Engineer: Set long-term goals and work backward to determine what to do next, like right now!

7: Maintain Dignity: Not all losses are losses. Accept that some relationships will end and focus on building new, supportive ones.

8: Embrace Ridicule: Accept criticism and embarrassment as part of rebuilding. If you don’t start, you will never know when to pivot and go in another direction.

9: Embrace Reality: Acknowledge your situation honestly and avoid blaming others or making excuses.

10: Over Deliver: Put yourself in others’ shoes and exceed their expectations, often starting by offering value without immediate compensation. For example, I gave at least 100 lectures before I was paid. The value was the experience and learning to speak to large groups.

Thank you,
Justin Paperny

P.S. Questions? Schedule your call here.