The other day I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with two former drug kingpins. I know that sounds strange to say “I was blessed,” but hearing their respective stories and not judging them really opens up doors for communication.
So the first person I to spoke to was “W”. He was a big distributor of meth. He managed several teams of people. He has no college degree, but was instrumental in running a successful operation. Just the product was obviously illegal. He shared with me how he was concerned with what he will do when gets out. He likes to repair things on houses and such. I praised him on his business skills and said “your ability to manage so many people was amazing. How about you get different crews to repair places and use your great management skills in a positive way.”
His eyes lit up like turning a lemon into lemonade.
A very similar story is with “M”. He was the biggest drug kingpin in the southern part of the nation. He managed over 50 different teams and sold literally tons of drugs. Crazy I know. He never did the drugs, just knew how to run the operation. Like “W”, he was also concerned with what he would do after his sentence. He knows he has skills to run a big operation, but wanted to avoid using the same people and of course the same product.
I also praised him on his tremendous skills. No need to judge him. After all, we are all in prison. He explained to me that he could manage lawn care businesses or something along those lines if he knew the right contacts.
I explained to him that he is only 6 people away from knowing anyone. I asked him if knew anyone that could remotely introduce him to the industry of lawn care businesses. He thought about it and said his brother has a friend that works for TruGreen who could possibly help him. Then he started thinking that even if that person could not help, he could just start his own business and build it up with managing different crews.
Again turning a lemon into lemonade is more of a positive way of looking at things rather than sulking about how bad your life is in prison and dwelling on the situation. I can personally tell you that dwelling on the negative clouds your mind from thinking clearly. These 2 guys have a great skill, they just needed some encouragement to get over the hump of thinking they have only skills to sell drugs.
Do you have a skill you are really good at, but failed at some endeavor you tried? Perhaps cross over those skills to a different line of business. Turn that lemon into a lemonade.