Journal of today’s activities:
I woke at 4:00 am and walked down to the hotel gym of the Embassy Suites in San Francisco. I was surprised to see a woman on the treadmill at that early hour. I got onto one of the other machines and enjoyed my morning run. When I’m on a treadmill I run much faster than when I run outside. I like the cushioned landing of each step. Following my run and showered, then packed my belongings. The hotel served a complimentary breakfast. I walked past the pastry bar, avoided the tempting waffles, and filled a bowl with oatmeal and fruit. I drank several glasses of orange juice, had some coffee, and then I boarded a shuttle to the airport. I arrived at my gate early enough to sit down and complete some work on my laptop.
As I type this portion of the entry, I’m one of only nine passengers flying to Aspen. My purpose of this trip is to meet with Tom Cappa, a friend of mine who owns a business with operations in New York and Florida. Tom’s business is a representative of First Data, a financial services firm that provides merchants with point-of-sale transaction machines. Tom and will discuss possibilities of opening a branch of his business in the San Francisco Bay area. Basically, it would be a sales organization that signs merchants up onto the First Data program. I’m intrigued with the idea because Tom told me that I could use his system to provide a mechanism for the formerly incarcerated to build their own businesses.
I’ve never been to Aspen before. I used to hear about the city’s beauty from my sister, Julie. Before having children, Julie and Tim would frequently celebrate Christmas seasons there and I’d receive photos from the trip. I won’t take time to ski on this trip. I’m traveling alone, strictly for business purposes.
I consider it necessary to explore all business opportunities. More than seven months have passed since I completed my obligation to the Bureau of Prisons. Although the organization that my partner Justin and I are creating has had some success in finding initial clients, I’m not yet clear on whether we can build a sustainable business strictly around providing products and services to the industry of corrections. Our costs for each sale can be expensive, as there is a long turnaround time between an initial sales call and a purchase order. We need to make numerous sales calls in order to generate a purchase order. Then, we need to wait lengthy periods of time before we receive a revenue stream. Despite those delays, we have ongoing expenses.
With those realities in mind, I’m looking for new income streams. We’re now focusing more energy to develop the staffing component of our organization. A few interns from San Francisco State University are now working with us, and we’ve opened a relationship with another colleague, Caryn, who embraces our vision of transforming America’s criminal justice system. She is now working aggressively to help us execute our three-pronged strategy that includes:
- Providing programs and services that teach people how to reject criminal lifestyles and develop critical thinking skills.
- Building bridges that lead the formerly incarcerated into employment possibilities.
- Spreading more awareness about why we must resolve the great social injustice known as mass incarceration.
I’m looking forward to making more progress as we advance further into 2014.
- Days since my release from 26 years in federal prison: 204
- Miles run today: 7
- Miles run this week: 26
- Miles run this month: 39.3
- Miles run in 2014: 512.63
- Miles I need to run to reach my 2,400-mile running goal for 2014:
- Number of miles I’m ahead of schedule or behind schedule: 98.72
- Today’s Weight: 165