On November 9th, 2005 I was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to 87 months in Federal Prison. After serving over 6 years in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I was released on March 2nd, 2012.
Why did I plead guilty to mail fraud? Because in the process of building an agency selling life insurance and annuities I wrote promissory notes and was unable to keep up with the payments resulting in me having to borrow more money from other people to pay the pre-existing promissory notes.
The lesson; NEVER borrow more money to pay pre-existing debt.
My case was extreme, but at the time I believed my business would succeed, I was recruiting nationally and personally earning a substantial six figure income. Failure was not an option for me as the notes were written through family and friends of mine. I was buying time. The price paid was the money that would not have been borrowed had the people known it was to pay other debt as well as six years of a wife with no husband and four children without a father.
While in prison I realized that I would leave prison with court ordered restitution. Simply put, the more income I earn after prison, the more restitution that I am able to pay the people that I am indebted to, the people that at one time put their faith and belief in me.
I could go home and find work and support my family but the debt would never be repaid or I could use the time in prison to prepare myself for a career where I at least had the potential to earn a six figure income as I did before or even potentially a seven figure income and who knows at least have the possibility to repay the restitution in full. This time could be used to create a platform for a book that I spent years working on that was ultimately my greatest gift. Motivating and inspiring others always came naturally to me.
While in prison, I was inspired by authors Timothy Ferriss, Dean Karnazes, Harvey Mackay and Terry Hitchcock to name few, and realized that I could use the time in prison to do what most people did not have the time to do. I worked seven days a week, studying, reading, editing, strength training and running. From Jan 1st, 2010 until the fall of 2011 I logged over 5,000 miles running. Then on home confinement in January and February of 2012 I logged another 1,000 miles on a treadmill to stay conditioned.
Beginning Thursday, March 15th, of 2012 I will put all of the 1,000’s of hours and miles to use and attempt to become the first American to ever run 365 marathons in 365 days. In doing so, hundreds, then thousands and maybe even millions will hear my story. Some will think twice before making the same mistakes that I made, some will be inspired by a person who did not just give up, and some will get the book and benefit from the motivation and inspiration that it contains. But, most importantly, in the end, millions will know who I am, a living example that one day at a time we can do just about anything, we really have no idea what we are capable of, life IS what we make it, and most importantly, no matter how many mistakes we make in life, or how many times we fall down, what matters most is how many times we get back up.