Steve Jobs: Mastermind
As Steve Jobs, another mastermind said, “Good artists copy ideas, but great artists steal ideas.” To prepare for success, I copied ideas from the most successful masterminds I could find, whether they lived thousands of years ago or whether they served time alongside me in federal prison.
Regardless of where you are today, you have masterminds around you. Question yourself on how your actions and choices influence they way those masterminds perceive you. If they perceive you as being worthy of their time, you will find that they will want to invest in you. I cannot recall how many people invested time, energy, and resources in my success, even though I did not know them prior to my imprisonment. They saw me as being authentic and they wanted to help.
I found that I could “will” avatars into my life who would invest in my future. And if I could do that while serving 26 years as a prisoner, then just think what you can do!
Some of the people who invested in me along the way include the following:
- Prison staff members who allowed me to maneuver my way into the right type of job—a job that would allow me to make progress toward the independent goals that I set.
- Lawyers who came into my life and volunteered their time in an effort to advance my release date—although I served every day of my sentence, I appreciated their efforts.
- Mentors and educators who would visit me at their own expense, regardless of where I was held.
- Publishers who opened a platform for me to bring books to market.
- Other people in prison who became friends throughout the journey.
- Investors who provided financial resources that would allow me to advance my goals.
- Business owners who agreed to open introductions for me upon release.
- The woman who became my wife and life partner.
Regardless of whether I served time in a jail, a high-security penitentiary, a medium-security prison, a low-security prison, or a minimum-security camp, I always found masterminds—people who showed an interest and wanted to help. If this strategy only succeeded for me in a single minimum-security camp, then people could say I was lucky. But I served 26 years, in prisons of every security level. Whether I served time in a high-security penitentiary, a medium-security or low-security correctional institution, my earlier books showed that other people—masterminds—always came into my life and helped to advance prospects for my success.
Any prisoner could will the same types of support into his or her life. First, the prisoners must begin by asking the types of Socratic questions that allowed me to find mentors. Then, they needed to create a plan. Finally, they needed to execute the plan as the days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months, the months turned into years, and for some, as the years turned into decades.
The job I had with Lee’s company satisfied Charles, my case manager. Since I had a place to work, he authorized me to leave the halfway house each morning at 6:00 am. I didn’t return to the halfway house until around 8:00 in the evening. On payday, I provided Charles with a copy of my check stub and a money order for 25% of my gross wages. So long as I complied with his terms, he lived up to his word and allowed me all of the liberty I needed to begin building my career.