The time has come for us to pivot markets with regard to our sales strategy for the Straight-A Guide Program. The investment we’ve made in developing our program requires us to think about the best possible markets. Initially we wanted to focus on the prison system because we’re passionate about teaching the strategies that empowered me through 26 years of imprisonment to others who have had struggles with the criminal justice system. Yet the message should have a much further reach, and I am determined to find new markets.
Schools represent another option beside the prison system. We’ve succeeded in opening relationships with several schools based in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and also in Santa Clara County. Those schools have federal funding available to purchase innovative programs. Administrators who work with young people who are vulnerable to suspensions or troubles with the criminal justice system may find value in our Straight-A Guide Cognitive Skills Development Program. We’re exploring those options now. In May I will keynote a conference that will allow me to speak with a room packed with administrators from across the state of California. Perhaps we’ll walk away with many new purchase orders from school administrators.
But I’m convinced that we should tap into additional markets that may be even more receptive to our message. Those markets should include the multi-billion dollar corporate training market and also the personal development market.
Our story about the Straight-A Guide is not exclusive to prisons and schools. We present a human story. All people face struggle at some point during the journey of life. My struggle happens to have been severe consequences that followed bad decisions I made during a reckless youth. I sold cocaine. As a consequence I served 26 years in prison. Yet others can learn from the deliberate, values-based, goal-oriented strategies that empowered me through each of the 9,500 days that I lived as federal prisoner #16377-004.
I am working hard to convey this vision to Justin. If I succeed in getting him to embrace the vision, he’ll join me in building a sales team. That team should lead to the development of a national brand that we’ll build around the Straight-A Guide. We can create new products that we’ll sell to professional organizations that invest in staff leadership development or sales training. In addition, we can create products and services for end users. Creating those products and services will take a considerable amount of my time. Before I make that investment, I need to convince Justin and others that we can build a sustainable organization around this effort. Then we need to build a sales team. That sales team must work to market our products in all markets. Then we must work to execute the plan, with each member of the team doing his or her part.
Vision. Plan. Execute. That transparent strategy guided me through 26 years of imprisonment. I document everything along the way. Consequently, we can teach others how to use this same strategy to reach a higher potential in their personal life and in their career. Expect to see more as I advance through 2014.