He went to prison at age 18, sentenced to 10 years for two counts of armed robbery.
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Steve: We do have – well, we just got a new system set up here in the studio at WS Radio and we’re trying to get this all set up. So, for all of those who are on BLAB and can see the side of my face, thank you for that. And for those who are on – we’re not periscoping today, right, Rich?
Mary: It’s too much.
Steve: It’s too much technology in one place. So, we’ll keep it there and we’re going have some fun here. So, again, thanks for those who have been listening and subscribing and rating and reviewing, really do appreciate all of that. And, again, if you have any feedback on all of the past shows and you want to talk to us about a question or you want to comment or whatever, the number would be 1-844-MRBOLD1 – 844-M-R-B-O-L-D-1. So, you could leave us a message there and we will get to your questions, get to your comments and very much looking forward to have you being a part of the conversation. So, lots of interesting things going on and not the least of which is – have you been following… Let me ask you this, first of all, did you see Straight Outta Compton.
Steve: Oh, God, do know what the movie is?
Steve: Jesus. Rich?
Rich: I know what the movie is but I haven’t seen it yet. I haven’t. I look so forward to seeing that movie though.
Mary: What is it about? Gang members?
Steve: Well, so to speak, but gang members who made good I guess if you’re going to look at it that way.
Mary: Like the guy in Bankers Hill yesterday?
Steve: What happened in Bankers Hill yesterday?
Mary: So, a friend of mine came into town and the airport was shut down because some guy was shooting at the police from his apartment.
Rich: Right across the street from my friend, by the way.
Steve: Shooting at the police from his apartment.
Mary: I almost called you about that yesterday.
Rich: Right across, literally. She just had a newborn. Because of the proximity to the airport, though, they had to shut down incoming flights.
Steve: Wait. Were they shooting at the planes?
Rich: No. It was just proximity. You could see it in the background, so like a stray bullet could have hit a plane.
Steve: Holy moly.
Mary: You could see on the news the guy shooting through his curtains out the window.
Steve: Oh, God. Who was he trying to shoot? The Police? Was he on kind – what’s that called, like a hostage situation, or no?
Mary: No. I think he was accused of domestic abuse and then when they approached him he kind of unloaded.
Steve: So, he basically validated their concerns. [Laugh]
Rich: Exactly, right.
Mary: Right. She may have something there.
Steve: So, we have suspicion of domestic abuse going on at this household and now that you’re shooting at us, we’re pretty sure that she was right. Yeah, exactly. No. Straight Outta Compton…
Mary: That’s what I thought you were talking about.
Steve: No, it’s a story… Well, sort of. They did a lot of shooting and all sorts of interesting things, but that’s the story of NWA. No, nothing, we’ve got nothing?
Mary: I got nothing. I’m a girl.
Steve: It doesn’t matter. There’s lots of girls. But it was sort of like… It was kind of the birth of gangster rap if you will. So, that was way back – when I say way back, it really wasn’t that long ago that that genre kind of came into play here, but when you look at the timeframe it’s about 30 years ago. And actual, damn, Rich, it’s 30 years ago.
Rich: I know. I feel old.
Steve: Holy mother of God. Oh, Jesus.
Mary: You just did the math.
Steve: I didn’t even realize it’s 30 years ago. Wow! So, it’s been around for a long time, so nix that. But, the story of these four kids basically who came up from the streets of Compton which of those of you who aren’t familiar…
Steve: Exactly, the streets of LA. And really interesting story. They made millions of dollars by being really true and honest about who they are, what they stand for, what they believe in, what they’re fighting against, what they face on a day-by-day basis. And I was listening to NPR. Do you guys listen to NPR at all?
Mary: I can’t stand the sound.
Steve: Those are some mother-f*ckers. I mean, Jesus f*cking Christ. I cannot… They have go to – like, the NPR people just go to a school…
Mary: They do. They have to.
Steve: They have to go to a school where they basically… What I picture is like a conveyor belt and like they sit you on the front of the conveyor belt and as you kind of run through the conveyor belt, it like molds your personality.
Mary: And it strips any inflection out of your voice.
Steve: Exactly. It molds like your intonation.
Mary: It makes me want to bang my head on my steering wheel when I – I never listen to that.
Steve: All of them sound the exact same.
Mary: I know.
Steve: And so there were four of them, and they were sitting around at this – it’s a podcast called Pop Culture, so it’s NPR’s pop culture. It’s pretty interesting. Occasionally, they’ve got some interesting stuff going on. But this – what they had going on was that they were talking about NWA, and so – gangster rap…
Rich: Tell her what it stands for.
Mary: What does NWA stand for? It’s not MMA…
Steve: It’s not Mixed Marshall Arts, no. It’s not. Well, like the hair thing, that’s kind of cool, you do the thing – now we’re live so you’re doing all the hair stuff. Can anybody see Mary?
Mary: Nobody can see me.
Steve: Hold on, we’ve got to get Mary in the picture there. Oh, there you are – oh, that’s Rich.
Mary: I’m way over here.
Steve: We don’t need me. We need Mary. Mary’s like the pretty one here. Here we go. Now we’ve got Mary. That’s much better. Yeah, now Mary’s in the shot. Much better.
Mary: So, NWA…
Steve: NWA – let’s get it on the table, it’s Niggers With Attitudes. Totally.
Rich: It’s actually Niggas With Attitudes.
Steve: So, the white translation is Niggers With Attitudes, but the actual is Niggas With Attitudes.
Mary: Did they say this on NPR?
Steve: You know what? They said a lot of things on NPR but not… My God, when you look at what these kids had to face… And by the way this was like a black weekend for me. So, the wife and I had a – look at you looking at me.
Mary: You’re just so colorful today.
Steve: And I am colorful. By the way, that would be great. That would actually – should have been the follow-up. We should have watched – because we watched the NWA movie, which was great, Straight Outta Compton, I loved it. We watched Boys In The Hood, and literally…
Mary: You know how to show your wife a good time.
Steve: [Laugh] And, so, if we had Colors, Rich, that would be like the Trifecta of blackness for that weekend and that would have been awesome. I don’t know why I didn’t watch Colors. But, no. Literally, I took my wife to like the Four Seasons…
Steve: The Four Seasons – the Biltmore in Santa Barbara.
Mary: For… That’s really nice.
Steve: Right? I mean, we looked on that – you know how they have those little plaque thingys on the wall in the hotel and it tells you what the nightly rate is or what it’s supposed to be, $1700 a night for that little suite.
Mary: Did you get a Groupon?
Steve: Right. We needed a Groupon. Fortunately they had buy two, get one free, but it was like $400 a night.
Mary: Did you take the kids?
Steve: We did not take the kids. This was a romantic getaway with the wife, which was nice. Now, I will tell you that 70% of the time was spent in that room doing nothing but watching movies, eating junk food, we had pizza… So, it was funny. We ordered pizza to our room, right? Now, you would think you go to most hotels, no big deal, the pizza guy knocks on the door, hey, here’s your pizza kind of thing. Here, there were two guards escorting the pizza guy to our room. Like, they couldn’t even carry the pizza. Like, you would think at some point they would be just like, hey, I’m the driver, check it out. I need to be escorted, here’s the pizza, just go and do the delivery for me. Two guys – and I kid you not, two guys walked with the pizza guy.
Mary: This poor pimply teenage kid.
Steve: The poor kid. And he’s like where in the hell did I end up? Because it was scary Mary, because like…
Mary: Scary Mary?
Steve: I mean – there’s Rich Otey. I know got to tell you my kids walk around saying Scary Larry all the time, but now that you’re here, it’s Scary Mary, right.
Mary: Yeah. Scary Mary. There you go.
Steve: Scary Mary, and that’s what it was. This kid was – I mean literally you could just see him and he was just scared out of his mind. I think here’s what he was thinking. He was like, when I open the door to this suite NWA is going to be on the other side. I think that’s what they were thinking right there. He was fully expecting like Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, and the whole squad there. By the way, they’re like – their most famous song, the song that really put them on the map that scared a lot of people was called F*ck the Police.
Mary: Oh, they’re still saying that today.
Steve: Well, they say that and rightly so, but when you think about it it was so troubling to see… First of all if you just watched Straight Outta Compton and you watched Boys in the Hood, you’re going to hate police officers. Like, there’s no way on God’s green earth you’re going to come out of those two movies thinking I really like the police. You’re going to be singing f*ck the police or I said it with authority, because the nigger on the street is the majority, the gang…
Steve: But that’s like – we…
Mary: This is our first segment.
Steve: I know. Our next guest Mike… We’d like to welcome our sponsors to the show. We actually have a sponsor…
Steve: Now she’s like I don’t know if I ever want to sponsor this show again. But seriously when you watch those movies, you get angry.
Mary: Well, that’s not a way to spend a romantic weekend.
Steve: We got angry at each other.
Steve: We were watching this… First we were angry at the cops, then we were angry at the movie, then we were angry at each other. It was just like, wait a minute we’re going to put something nice on. So, we watched The Notebook 28 times after that and that really like…
Mary: Just trying to decompress you.
Steve: That really made up for it. But just – I mean, God darn. When you listen to these NPR folks… First of all, I thought it was a really good movie. I mean, look, you’re talking about for kids…
Mary: Oh, we’re back to NPR. What’s the connection between… Seriously that…
Steve: NWA and NPR, I’m trying to get it all tied in here. When you go and listen, when you watch the movie, it’s a good movie. You should watch it, really, because it’s educational. You’ll learn a lot about the black culture. Now, I grew up in an environment that was about half black, half white, so I grew up on that stuff and NWA for me, I heard it when it first came out, I DJ’ed for a long time, and when you would (drop 10:08) police in the club, people would lose their damn minds.
Steve: I mean, literally, just jumping up and down screaming and if you were a security guard at that point, that’s pretty much when you went to like on your break because that’s when people just got absolutely nuts.
Steve: But those smug people from NPR, they sat around, the criticized this movie for like an hour – like they had nothing good to say about it, and it absolutely made me – I got so mad. Because of the four people you could tell there was one black guy. There was one black guy on the panel. They were just ripping this thing apart. And he sounded as white as the rest… You just didn’t listen, like you wouldn’t know…
Mary: They’re homogenized.
Steve: I know, just totally homogenized. I’m hereby… I’m not officially boycotting NPR but I’m suggesting that they bring in someone who has a different flavor, who doesn’t have that same inflection, who has a different frame of mind…
Mary: No, they’re done!
Steve: I don’t get it. And they have the most popular podcast like of all. If you go into iTunes you will see that almost all of the most popular podcasts are NPR broadcasts.
Mary: What does that say about our society?
Steve: That’s the question right now. And we’re going to actually talk about all of that and quite a bit more here because we’ve got a really interesting guest on. I don’t know if you were able to do a little research on this, but we’ve got Mike Pisciotta coming on. He’s going to butcher me on the name. I’m going to kill it. But he actually served 10 years for Armed Robbery, so we’re going to talk about his story….
Mary: Oh my Gosh! Okay.
Steve: …right after this on Reinvention Radio.
Steve: Welcome back to Reinvention Radio as we try to figure out all this fun stuff around technology here. We’re going to get the second mic going and I’m just going to look like I’m a…
Mary: Total rock star.
Steve: [Laugh] I got two mics in my mouth now and that’s like my wife’s worse nightmare right there. Let’s bring Mike on while I’m trying to figure out how to plug in a cord, and Mike should be on line one I believe. Mike, what’s going on, brother, are you there?
Mike: What’s up, Steve, what’s up, Man?
Steve: What’s up, baby, baby. How you doing, Man?
Mike: [Laugh] What’s happening. I see we have some BLAB issues, is that’s what’s up?
Mary: Yeah, but we’re on the cutting edge, so we’re going to work this out for everybody else.
Steve: Yeah. We’re working it out right now.
Mary: For radio shows.
Steve: So, for all the BLAB folks, hopefully now you can hear us a little bit better, but let’s see. Now might be overkill. Now, it might be coming in twice. So, Mike, for those of you who can’t pronounce your name, which is like basically me, how do you say your last name so I can stop butchering it?
Steve: That was close.
Mary: See, that should be my daughter’s last name because her name is Portia Pisciotta. That would be cool.
Steve: That would be awesome. And Mike, I believe, has a brother who is looking for somebody and your daughter is 13 now, right?
Steve: So, that’s perfect. [Laugh] So, Mike, let’s bring people up to speed on your story because you actually served 10 years for Armed Robbery. Now, you were 18 when this happened. Take us back to what was going on at that point in time and what drove you to commit this crime.
Mike: Cool, Man. So, like you said I’m 18, right? I grow up in a completely dysfunctional home, drugs in the house, just no respect for authority or anything, and I find myself at 18 addicted to Xanax and I had taken a very large number of them, probably enough that should have killed me and I woke up in a jail cell, no idea what I had done, dude. And I had this affidavit in the cell with me, and I pick it up and I’m still kind of droggy from the drugs and I look at it and it says I’m charged with two counts of Armed Robbery. Like, I had no idea what I did. And there was two other dudes that were with me and we go outside and they weren’t nearly as plastered as I was, so they’re explaining to me what I did and what happened, and I’m totally freaking out and I’m crying as you can imagine, I’m like suicidal, I’m going through just all these different thoughts and emotions processing what the hell I did to myself and what the situation is, and where I found myself, man. And I’m 18 and that’s kind of how I had gotten there, man. I just like up until the point of 18 was just completely negative. I really had never been exposed to anything good or anything positive, or anything of where I am now, you know?
Steve: Take us back through what was it like? You grew up… Where did you grow up, in Florida?
Mike: I was born in New York. I came to Florida at about like 12-13 and then spent a few years here mainly just getting in trouble.
Steve: And so did your folks divorce and that’s why you ended up moving from New York? Did they move together? How did that sort of go down? Because 12-13, man, that’s a really fragile age, especially as a young man. You’ve got to have the Dad around to kind of keep you straight, that sort of thing. So, did you end up moving to Florida without your Dad or how did that – what did that look like?
Mike: Actually, it’s interesting because my parents are still together. They’ve never been divorced. They’re just miserable together, that’s how they are, they’re just living life and they’re inseparable. But really what it was is that I grew up, and I’m Italian, so you know the Italian and the Italian guy with his Mom. I was a Momma’s boy growing up and my Mom was one of those Moms that constantly ran to my… If I got in trouble it was always the other kid’s fault, the Principal’s fault, the police’s fault… So, what had happened, Man, is it created in me this disrespect for authority and it also created in me a very unrealistic expectation of consequences. So, all the time I’m constantly getting bailed out. I’d get in trouble and it would always be someone else’s fault. So, I never had to face consequences, Man, for any of the bad decisions and choices that I made. Until one day there was no getting me out of it. There was no “Mom’s going to save me” or “someone else’s fault” or... None of this. And I was forced to have to face those consequences. When you’re faced with two counts of Armed Robbery, there is no amount of “Hey, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again” or any of these things. That’s it. They don’t want to hear that.
Steve: Just out of curiosity, what – God that’s just so… I mean, look, there’s a lot of people out there who are going, I’m not sure I buy the story, right? In terms of not remembering anything.
Steve: I mean, I’ve drunk my fair share of Everclear and blacked out and that sort of thing, but I’ve never actually done… When I do things and then black out, I don’t do anything after that. I just lay down and I’m like toast…
Steve: And then I don’t remember.
Steve: That must have been a hell of a cocktail. By the way, just so I’m clear, and for those of you at home who might also want to know what that cocktail actually was, what on earth was that? It was Xanax and what else?
Mike: It was 11 Xanax bars and a 6-pack of Heineken.
Mike: Here’s what makes it so crazy, dude, right? Everybody that I knew, Steve – everybody that I knew could take Xanax and they would be like a drooling puddle of sleep somewhere in the corner. But because I have ADHD and my brain is chemically wired a little bit different where downers become uppers for me, uppers become downers. So, Xanax is a downer. So, what would happen is I would take Xanax and instead of it putting me to sleep it would give me like this crazy amount of energy but with no cognizance, no real like coherence of what I’m really doing and the consequences and the ramifications. It was crazy. So, that was what it was. I really shouldn’t have woke up – 11 Xanax bars? The next day when I kind of woke up and was sober they said that I probably shouldn’t have survived that.
Steve: That’s crazy.
Mary: So, then you went off to prison for 10 years?
Mike: 10 years. Now, 10 years day-for-day. No good time, none of that. In the State of Florida because it was a crime committed with a gun they have a law called 10/20 life which is if you use a gun in a commission of a crime, automatic 10 years, no questions asked, mandatory no good time, you’ll do all of it, and I did. They gave me 10 years. And you could imagine being 18, right? When they first kind of presented the sentence – here’s your deal. You can either take this 10 years and accept it as a plea deal or you can go to trial and we’ll throw a lottery number at you.
Steve: Wow, that’s frightening.
Mike: So, be it 18, I’m really mad; I’m really angry because 10 years was more than half of my life. Like, I’m in that spot and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel, no way that – this is it, my life’s over, I’m done, that’s it, you might as well just throw away the key now.
Steve: And I don’t want to keep harping on this because I know we obviously want to move forward from what happened, but do you remember? What were you told? I mean, did you go in with a shotgun, was it a pistol? Where did you go into? What were you robbing?
Mike: Yeah, it was two stores. It was a Walgreens and a small gas station. And yeah there was a pistol that didn’t even work. They said I went in and kind of said, hey put the till on the counter and walked out with I think the total number was like $119 total between both places.
Mary: Oh, my gosh!
Steve: And, Jesus…
Mike: I spent more than…
Steve: Here’s what I don’t understand. The punishment should be reflective of the crime. I mean, first of all, you went in with a gun that didn’t work, second of all you came out of both places with…
Mary: A hundred bucks, right?
Steve: …a hundred and whatever in change, and so – and you’re a kid, Man. Let’s be real. At 18 – every f*cking 18-year-old is just stupid as hell. I mean, you do things because you’re just learning about life. You’re pushing boundaries and you’re doing dumb things and like you said other folks just get bailed out and kind of get a reprieve of – he was just young, dumb and stupid, but at the same token it’s like why do they come down on certain people so much harder than others. On the break, I’m not sure if you were able to hear it or not but we were talking about NWA. We were talking about Straight Outta Compton, the movie, and seeing how all that came about in the late ‘80’s, and everything that was going on with the police at that point, and 30 years later it’s really no different, Black Lives Matter and the whole thing, it’s still going on.
Steve: So, frightening that 30 years later we really haven’t made any progress at all. But what I’m saying is like when you think about the way that our youth are treated. In some cases they get the green light no matter what they do. They can do anything on the planet and they get a free pass. It’s a Get Out of Jail Free card, right? But then you take certain people of our society and it’s like we run them up the maximum flag pole. And, so, why do you think they were so hard on you?
Mike: I think there’s a couple of reasons why. I think the #1 reason was that law that I talked to you guys about was like six weeks old. Like, if I had literally committed the crime like six weeks and two days earlier the maximum they could have given me was like four years total. So, one of the main reasons was they wanted to make an example out of me. They used my situation to make an example. And I think the other side was the number of times that I had been in trouble – fights and beating kids up when I was young, and getting arrested for stuff like that, and juvenile detention. And another thing that was not in my favor was having both parents. They felt like well, Man, you’ve got both parents, you should know better. You should be able to know right from wrong, and you should have good examples. But they didn’t realize that the home example wasn’t good. Just because there were two parents there didn’t make it any better. So, I think it was a combination of all of those things.
Mary: Okay. So, when you were in prison and you had a chip on your shoulder when you first got there, how did that 10 years evolve for you to come out and do all the wonderful things you’re doing now.
Steve: Yeah, let’s do this, because that’s definitely something we’re going to have to get into here. I know it’s a cliffhanger with – again, Mike Pisciotta, I think I’ve got it now finally after all these years.
Mike: You’ve got it.
Steve: And super excited actually because we will come back to that after the break here. But super excited here, Mary, because we have something we’ve never had before.
Steve: We have a sponsor.
Steve: Like, a legitimate sponsor, like someone who actually paid like real money. So, here’s the sponsor, super cool. So, for the coaches and the transformational leaders out there, stop wishing for wealth. It’s time to align your vibration and come in passion with the VIP Money Mastery Program. Peaceful prosperity for passion driven entrepreneurs. More information at VIPMoneyMastery.com. How cool is that?
Mary: That is the best.
Steve: We actually have a sponsor. VIPMoneyMastery.com. More with Mike Pisciotta and his story about Reinvention after the break.
Steve: Welcome back to Reinvention Radio with your host Steve Olsher along with the lovely Mary Goulet. I didn’t even introduce you in the first segment. What the hell is wrong with me. I’m like the worst host ever, and Richard Otey is in the house.
Mary: You are.
Steve: And Richard Otey is in the house as well, holding it down.
Mary: That’s because were so on the Compton thing.
Steve: I’m Straight Outta Compton, actually. Actually, you know what’s so funny. When you go online you’ll see it. They have like this very sort of cool, black and white ass logo with these big words, you know, Straight Outta Compton. So, all of the cities I’ve visited are jumping on that. So, there’s downtown Straight Outta Carlsbad.
Mary: No way.
Steve: Yeah, totally. [Laugh] Let us bring Mike back on, because you had a question for Mike after the break and I smoke so much weed that I have no idea what that question was. What was the question for Mike?
Mary: I’m just curious, what was the transformation over those 10 years and bring us to the present?
Mike: Cool. So, here’s what happens, right? You could imagine 18, going to prison, typical scared to death. So, I get to the very first institution they send me to and I’m up in my cell and I’m doing pushups and kind of I’m praying and just kind of having an internal conversation all at the same time. During this time I realized that you know what? I’ve given them 10 years of my freedom. That was me, my choice, my mistakes in life had done that. And I had made a commitment that although they had 10 years of my freedom, I was not going to give them 10 years of life. And, so, that commitment up in that cell completely shifted my entire perspective and how I would utilize the 10 years of my time. Well, all the other guys are gambling and selling drugs and getting involved in gangs and violence and all this other stuff, I used every waking moment that I had during that time to immerse myself in all things self-help, all things biblical, business, Internet marketing… I actually learned how to read, write, and speak four foreign languages during that time. I was a machine from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed just completely immersing myself in learning every single thing that I could with the mindset. Because I knew that over the 10-year span… Like, one thing to really realize that puts this in perspective for people is when I went to prison, Google didn’t exist, Facebook didn’t exist, cellphones didn’t exist, flat screen TVs didn’t even exist. So, I came home to this world that is so different. And I watched this world change while I was in prison, you know, reading the newspaper. And I realized that of all the things that I could learn and try to prepare, I would never really be able to solidly prepare myself for whatever it would be, but I knew that I had to make myself ready for whatever opportunity would present itself. And so I just studied as many things as I could and immersed myself in so many different things to just prepare and make myself as much of an asset to society as I could upon that day of walking out.
Steve: It’s a hell of a story, but it also is a really testament to what sort of person you were going in. Because when you think about it, if you are not in that mindset in some way, shape or form, if you don’t have that mental capacity to even think about how am I going to use those 10 years productively, you’re going to be a whole different person. So, going into prison you’re just a kid that made a mistake. I mean, you were a sharp kid, obviously you knew there were things that you should or shouldn’t do, you knew right from wrong, but you made a mistake. But you were obviously of full capable intellect, you knew that there was an opportunity there for you to take those 10 years and do something productive with it, whereas most people who don’t have that sort of intellect will go into prison and just think about how am I going to survive, how am I going to protect my ass from getting raped, all of these fun things…
Steve: Let’s be real hear. Ow or yay depending on which side of the fence you’re on, there…
Steve: But a lot of people going in are just thing – I’m just going to do my time, I don’t give a shit, and they have this whole attitude, which… Here’s kind of what I’m thinking is – and Mike you could attest to this, but how people are on the inside of the prison or penitentiary or whatever you want to call it there, those people are probably going to be very, very similar on the outside, no?
Mike: 100%. Here’s the funny thing. I’m so glad that you said that because I had so many guys that I used to talk to, these guys would see me doing my time a certain way and all of these things, and they would be just kind of curious. They would come talk to me and this and that. And most of the guys that were in there doing the negative things… They all know they don’t want to come back to prison and they don’t want to get out and bail, but they’re still doing all of the same thing sin prison that they were doing when they were free. But somewhere along the lines they can convince themselves – oh, I’m only doing this here just to pass time and make things go by and whatnot and it never comes to the realization, Dude, that what you’re doing now is exactly what you’re going to be doing as soon as you walk out of them gates.
Mary: So, how are you not a target? Because I don’t think they’d want the crowd to get out of the bucket, and you got out of the bucket.
Mike: That is exactly the words that I use to describe it. I was a target, right? Here’s an exact example of a situation that happened to me. I was really big into working out. I used to lift weights pretty heavily when I was in prison, so I was pretty active in it. And there was this one institution that I was at where you had to line up at the gate right when the coach got there to be the first guy in there and get the weights and sign them out if you wanted to not wait 2 ½ hours to work out. So, after doing this so long and the guys seeing me, they think I’m Mr. Positive, and oh I think I’m better than them, and all of this bullcrap that I hear all the time and stuff. So, these dudes would literally like get like a whole group of their friends to line up, guys that didn’t even work out, to beat me to the gate, sign out the weights, just so that I couldn’t use them and I would have to wait. And, obviously, coming from my background my first kind of feeling inside me is to fight one of these guys and get mad and just go there. But, internally, I’d step back and I began a process and I said, you know, if I can overcome these things and if I can respond to these challenges here in an environment where I’m supposed to fight, I’m supposed to probably break somebody’s jaw, like that’s what I’m supposed to do. If I can handle these in a different way, then when I walk out of prison I’m going to be equipped to face the challenges that I will face on the other side of the gate.
Mary: For being 18 and up to 28 that was a remarkable insight that you had to do it differently.
Steve: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Mary: That’s really an attestment to who you are.
Steve: Thank you.
Mary: So, when you came out, I mean, you had to find a place to live, you had to get a job, or did you just go and try and find someone to loan you a computer?
Steve: Well, here’s where it gets really interesting. So, Mike, share the story of what happened in while you were in prison as far as Robin goes.
Mike: So, we’re on a radio show right now, right? So, my very first opportunity on the radio was live inside of prison. I actually called in to a radio show and was live on the air while I was still an inmate. So, here’s what happened. I’m a young man, the very first prison that I get to I get there and I’m listening to the radio one night and this young lady pops on, just bubbly and just full of joy and I was kind of digging it. I was digging her show, she was a really good radio personality. And, so, one day I had my Mom call into the show asking this chick to give us shout outs. So, the chick is blown away because her perspective of prison is like we’re in a cell, we drink water, and eat bread all day. That’s what she thinks, right? So, she’s blown away that her show is reaching into the prison. So, she comes on the air, she gives us shout outs, long story short that’s my wife now.
Mary: Oh, wow! That’s cool.
Mike: Yes. So we meet in prison after…
Mary: That’s a way to take a girl on a date.
Mike: I’m telling you, right? It was very romantic. Definitely very romantic in the visiting area and stuff.
Steve: I have to ask. Did you get conjugal visits? Was that allowed for you? No, yes, yes, no.
Steve: Oh, man!
Mike: Of all people, I knew you would ask me that, Steve.
Mary: Next time I’ll take his mic down.
Steve: You talk about foreplay, holy f*ck. I mean, Jesus, you guys are like going years… Man… Dude, obviously you’re a smart… You couldn’t even bribe one of the guards to give you like – well, if it’s me like two minutes somewhere.
Mary: Oh, brother.
Steve: All I need is two minutes. Two minutes would have sufficed.
Mary: So, which year was this from 1 to 10 that you met her?
Mike: This was – I was about 2 ½ years in when her and I met. And here’s the caveat to the story, like all the while – all the guys in prison, the #1 thing that they would love to have is some chick on the outside to talk to, right? Like that makes your time easy. That was the exact opposite of what I wanted. I did not want that. I didn’t want to just bring some girl into my world and make her have to wait. And so I was totally anti that. And I even like tried to repel her at times, but it just became very clear to us we just kind of wrote as friends back and forth and then she came to see me one time. We just hit it off and then we started entertaining like hey, there’s obviously something here. Let’s just see what this is all about and 7 ½ years she completely road out with me, and I walked out of prison and we got married five weeks later. We just celebrated 6 years about a month and a half ago, and we have two beautiful kids.
Steve: Just an amazing story.
Mary: It’s kind of like a God thing. This whole do the crime you didn’t know you did, serve your time and be – make the best out of the situation that I just – so hard. And then meet your wife. It’s crazy!
Mike: [Laugh] It is. It’s almost like it’s made for TV, right? You know how many people are wanting me to like, dude you have to take this like Hollywood, I’m working on a book right now, book’s ready to come out soon, all that cool stuff.
Steve: Yeah. It’s a hell of a story.
Mary: That’s cool.
Steve: Yeah, it is. And what I want to do after the break is we spent two full segments of the show talking about prison. Because, I don’t know, for me it’s like I got obsessed with Orange Is the New Black. I hated the show at first but the wife got me watching it, and now I’m thinking Mike must have had like 28 crazy eyes types of people looking at him, eyeballing him, and pissing on his floor, and claiming him and that sort of thing, and Mike…
Steve: …was like, “No, I ain’t having it.” But it’s just a really interesting part of the story here to focus on what happened in prison and how he got in prison, but I definitely want to make sure that after the break we talk about what you have been doing…
Mary: Marketing, yeah.
Steve: …since then because what you guys are doing with the whole online world and marketing your purpose and everything else, it’s a hell of a great thing you and Robin have going on. So, I want to make sure that we talk about your new endeavors and how you are changing the world as a Reinvented man here on Reinvention Radio, right after this.
Steve: Back to the show. Welcome back to Reinvention Radio. Hey, Rich, will you come over here and take a look at what’s going on on the screen. I had the wrong thing playing – technology, we’re going to get it. So, we’re trying to come out of the board directly to the computer to this whole BLAB thing, broadcast live. And Mike Pisciotta is joining us here and we’re having a lot of fun talking about how you went from inmate to entrepreneur, which by the way I think is going to be the name of your book, correct?
Mike: Actually that was going to be it. I just recently, like a week ago, made a strong pivot, just in line with some things some folks had shared with me and some mentors that were like, Dude the story is way bigger than just you went from an inmate to an entrepreneur. There’s so much more to it and you want to appeal to the bigger masses, so it’s actually going to be From Prison to Prosperity, and that’s the .com. FromPrisontoProsperty.com.
Mary: Wow! I like that. Literation.
Steve: Yeah. Really, really nice. So, take us through when you were in prison you started studying, you read every book you could find, you got into self-help, etc. Now, when you came out from prison, did you automatically – did you immediately start gravitating towards Internet marketing, or…? What happened after you were released?
Mike: Cool. So, here’s what happened, right? So, I walk out of prison, I start getting on the laptop because I realized that there’s a lot to learn. I have a huge learning curve. So, I just started… You just trying to understand what I missed for 10 years, what’s Google, what’s Facebook, Twitter, all of this stuff because they were just kind of emerging pretty popularly about that time. And I tried to get a job because I had to. I had come home and Robin and I were getting ready to get married. She was working for a client that she had, because she had actually started a business while I was in prison, and then when the economy tanked right before I came home her brick ‘n mortar prison just kind of went to just nothing. So, she took a job, she was working, the plan was for me to kind of step into that business and take it over but the economy was so bad locally it didn’t work. So, within about two months of us being married, she gets fired because she’s married to an ex-con, so I can’t get a job, nobody will hire me…
Mary: That’s not fair.
Steve: Not fair at all.
Mike: …as soon as they find out I’ve got a criminal record right? I know, right? Not only that but it’s so hard that I got friends who come home from prison that really want to do the right thing. They’ve worked with me and followed my example and they really want to work. They can’t even find places to live because as soon as they put in an application the people say well we don’t let criminals or ex-cons rent apartments here or rent houses. And it’s like, how do you expect people to come home that want to do well and you won’t even give them a place to live if they’re willing to pay you? Like, it’s really bad, Man. So, that was the situation, Dude. Like, nobody would hire me. We had a hard time like finding places to stay, but we didn’t let it beat us up. One of the things that 10 years of prison worked in me the strongest was, I always have a choice. Life always is going to give me a choice. I can let challenges, haters, failures, struggles break me or I could let them make me. And I always chose to let them make me. And the same thing on the other side of the gate, Dude. Outside of prison was not much different than the inside of prison, except that I did have real conjugal visits and I did have better food, right?
Steve: And it’s interesting, too, because like when you look at – and I have to go back to Orange Is the New Black because Orange Is the New Black is as close to prison as I’m ever going to get I think, I hope. And so, there’s this character in the show…
Mike: I don’t know. I know you pretty well, Steve.
Steve: I know. Give it time, anything can happen. But when you look at the show there there’s a character named Tasty and she’s just really like funny, vivacious, big, black girl, and she had been in prison for a long time and had made really great friends and just really got comfortable in that life. When she was released everything was just like – it was so uncomfortable for her and she was so miserable that she basically did what she could to get back into prison to get back into the only life that she really knew.
Steve: Scary. So, I think Mike to your point what you’re saying is a lot of these folks that want to right and want to do something that is productive for society, they’re not given the opportunity to do so and so they revert back to putting… Hell, you’ve got to put food on the table, you’ve got to pay some bills, you’ve got to find a place to live, if you’ve got to make money and you can’t do it the right way, you’re going to do it the wrong way.
Mike: Certainly. And that is. And that’s sad, Dude, it really is sad. And that’s really one of my passions and missions and why I share the story so much so that other guys that have been to prison… Or even – people go to prison all the time that aren’t physical prisons. They’re imprisoned by the cubicle or by their job or by bad relationships, or whatever. So, my goal in sharing this story is for people to see that you can be free from that. You can despite circumstances, you can make things. Yeah, it’s going to be challenging; yeah, it’s hard; yeah, people shut doors in my face; yeah, we couldn’t get a job, this and that… And so what Robin and I did literally we funded a business by selling trash on Craig’s list.
Mike: We would literally go out… Hands down, we would go out at night – her and I were young. It was actually fun. You’ve got to remember, I’m just a couple of months out of prison, so the freedom is just – I don’t care, going to Walmart was fun for me back then. So, we would go out and we would find like on the side of the road vacuum cleaners and printers and flat screen monitors, put it up on Craig’s list and we used every dime. Like, we paid our bills second, funded our business first. We used every dime to get our first website, to get active in a local Chamber of Commerce, to start learning about how to use social media for business. And that was kind of how the Internet marketing thing for us got started. We always had a passion for marketing. We applied it even to the way we wrote Craig’s list ads, right? Our copy was so good for Craig’s list ads, and people would buy our stuff, we’d sell it super quick and that’s kind of how the business got funded, and we started doing like Done for You marketing stuff for clients. That’s how we met you, Steve – like building websites, doing landing pages. Like, we started just doing that stuff and after a couple of years of doing that we kind of had another kind of reawakening, like wow we’re trading hours for dollars and we can’t really scale and we don’t really like this whole Done for You as much as we used to, and we just shifted business models to a more consulting, information-based kind of business, which is what we’re doing now.
Steve: Yeah. And I don’t know if it’s out there yet but I certainly can see it on the horizon for you guys, but some sort of info product about how to sell shit on Craig’s list. Like, that would be a great info product.
Steve: I mean, they have all that crap about eBay and all that other stuff. I mean, you might as well make a living off Craig’s list. That would be a great info product.
Mary: Yeah, the copyrighting.
Steve: Right. Because it’s all in the copy. It’s all in the presentation. It’s all in finding the right stuff. There you go. There’s an 8-module program right there you can sell for $697.
Mike: Hot damn!
Mary: Did you go to his website, MarketingYourPurpose.com?
Steve: I know Mike and Robin very well and they do amazing work.
Mary: They do. I looked at all your products. They’re awesome!
Steve: Yeah, they do amazing work. Hold on, we’ve got a feedback loop going on, so let me hit the mute on this. I had to hit the mute on that because we’re trying to figure out all this fun technology thing. That’s the beauty of doing this all on the fly here on Reinvention Radio. But while we still have an opportunity to do so, tell us about Marketing Your Purpose. MarketingYourPurpose.com is the site. But give us the overview of all the fun stuff that you guys are doing there and what you could do for our audience.
Mike: Yeah, cool. So, really, at the end of the day, Steve, we are we call ourselves funnel fanatics. We are immersed in and help clients all things funnel-based. And basically it comes down to two simple things. If you have a business online or offline, you need two things; you need people and you need to convert those people, and that’s what we help clients with, using online systems, things like Facebook ads, landing pages, lead magnets, and create systematic optimized funnels.
Steve: Awesome. Well, Mike Pisciotta, it has been really, really great having you on. We really do appreciate your sharing your story. And, look Man, in the scheme of things as you said everything is a choice and things could have gone really, really bad for you and I’m glad you came out on the other side, looking as shiny as a brand new car when you come right down to it – a brand new man, a brand new person coming out on the other side. They’re pretty amazing, huh Mary?
Mary: It’s remarkable.
Steve: It is remarkable.
Mary: I mean, seriously at 18 to have that awareness that I have a choice to build my life or break it further down. Oh, my gosh!
Steve: Yeah, I mean at 18 you’re in such a – Oh, God, you’re just so like angry and trying to figure things out and find your place. It’s like these ups and these downs and these rollercoasters… It’s just such a difficult time and can you imagine everything being stripped – all of your freedom is being stripped away, thrown in a cell…
Mary: And you don’t even remember why.
Steve: And you don’t even remember why. I know.
Mary: And the self-loathing that could have gone along with that.
Steve: Yuk, God.
Mary: Next time we have to have Robin on.
Steve: I know. Next time we will have Robin on, and she is a hoot. So, wow! Awesome show today and again we’d like to thank our sponsor, our very first sponsor VIPMoneyMastery.com – it’s time to align your vibration, income and passion with the VIP Money Mastery Program. Peaceful prosperity for passion-driven entrepreneurs, visit VIPMoneyMastery.com.
Mary: Perfect! Nice!
Steve: Also on the show here on Reinvention Radio we will talk to you guys really soon.