use a safety pin

Think Outside The Box: Use a Safety Pin

MY favorite rapper, E-40, while sitting on a mattress full of dried up pee stain chopping up his candy cane advises: Loose your razor blade use a safety pin. I know, I know, he is giving out advice about cutting up crack cocaine while sitting in a drug house. However, I see much more than that. To me he is telling us to improvise, think outside of the box, and informing us about re-purposing. In the event E-40 was to lose his razor blade, his preferred tool for cutting up crack, he would use a safety pin to reach the desired outcome.think outside the box

How often have we lost our razor blades? In other words, how many times have you lost access to an avenue of income, or had a particular skill set become antiquated, or had a rule, ordinance or law render, what once was, an asset obsolete? I hope that the loss of your particular razor blade didn’t keep you from being able to chop up your candy cane. If it doesn’t happen often I am sure it has happened at least once in your life. I am also sure you figured out another way to put food on the table.

Prior to going to prison all of my sources of income came from crime. I sold, weed, water, crack and hit licks. Post prison those sources of income were taken off the table. I lost my razor blade. I had to find a safety pin, fortunately I got a job, go figure. In addition, I am laying the ground work for a business centered on intellectual property. I am attempting to think outside of my box and monetize my checkered past as opposed to allowing my background to hold me down.

Recap: If you lose your razor blade, that is, if you lose your primary source of income or the tool you use to make money at that point you need to use a safety pin. A safety pin in this instance is another means to eat or another tool used to put food in your mouth. lose your razor bladeDespite what transpires we have to keep it moving and utilize our tools to make it happen.

One last note, in the song E-40 goes on to say: “I probably wouldn’t quit if they raided my sh#%, as soon as I get out I am right back in it!”

You might interpret this as this rapper being hard headed and returning to his crack house after being arrested in a raid. However, I hear someone encouraging his listeners to keep pushing to reach their goals despite any failures or setbacks.

What I want you to learn from the con:

  1. Think outside the box
  2. Utilize your tools
  3. Stay striving to reach your goals even if you didn’t succeed the first time.

I know this may get posted on Facebook so I need my readers to know that the pictures I used are of macadamia nut and not crack.

a spade is a spade

A Spade is a Spade

A spade is a spade, in other words, it is what it is:  a spade is spade only if it is played right. If you play spades you know what I am talking about. If you don’t play follow along; in the game of spades the suit comprised of spades is the trump, or most powerful, suit. Spades have the power to trump any other suit, if played right. If a spade is played incorrectly it can cause you to get bucked, set, or knocked back in points in the amount of the books you estimated getting at the beginning of your hand. For example, if you play a spade and cut a book despite having a card of the suit you cut in your hand your team will get set.

If you don’t play the hand you were dealt correctly, in the game of spades and in the game of life, you will get bucked. On the other hand if you play it correctly your heart, your club, or your diamond can trump a spade in the end. If you are a spade player you know about a run down. A rundown is when all the trumps are gone and your opponent plays his hand wrong and hits that diamond back to you. He doesn’t realize you have all the boss diamonds. Guess what,  diamonds have become the new trump and you are able to run those diamonds down and win every book, even with the lowest diamond in the deck making it walk across the board like an ace of spade.

To make a long story short, a spade is  a spade but it may hurt you if not played right. Play the cards you are dealt correctly. Despite what you have or what you don’t have if you are smart, patient, and actively pursuing your goals you will get a rundown; those hearts you were dealt will trump the spades you weren’t, if nothing else you won’t get bucked.

who are you

Who are You?

By Edward Ball


From the outside looking in Smurf, one of my roommates in a maximum security prison, was crazy as hell. However, after watching and listening to Smurf I came to realize he was the sanest person I had ever met.

In order to realize that Smurf was extremely sane I had to look past several things. First, I had to look past the fact that he spent many years in solitary confinement. Second, I had to look past him breaking beds welded and bolted to walls and using the bed as a battle ram to knock down cell doors. Third, I had to look past the fact the he would frequently call correctional officers “di#% suckers” to their faces. I also had to look past the fact that he kept our cell so clean and neat I believed he had OCD and a serial killer living inside him. Finally, I had to look past the fact that he used the lid of a peanut butter jar to keep from shaving a circular patch of hair on the back of his head that he braided. He almost looked like a character from a Jean Claude Van Damme kick boxing movie. After looking past all of that I realized he was so sane he seemed crazy.

Smurf did what he wanted, said what he wanted, and do go for the non-sense. While many of us so called convicts, killers, and ballers locked away in a maximum security were in compliance with prison rules and orders being barked disrespectfully Smurf refused. While we accepted being treated less than he would give them hell until they treated him more than. Yeah, he might be taken to the hole and roughed up and starved by they would think twice about talking to and treating him any kind of way.

I realized that Smurf knew himself, he knew his value. As a result he demanded, risking his life and safety, to be treated at par with who he was and his value.

If you don’t know who you are you won’t know your value.


Maximize Some Commas

“Throw the money in the air watch it fall to the floor.”

Future, a rapper, suggests that we f&*#@ up some commas, throw our money in the air and let it fall to the floor and do things like spend 80 thousand on a watch. Instead of f&*#@ing up some commas or wasting our money I have another suggestion: maximize some commas.

I see so many people who adhere to these messages of conspicuous consumptions. However, they barely have the resources to consume what they need. For example, I notice so many people waiting on the bus and walking in some exclusive Jordans, Lebrons and some commasFoamposites. They obviously f&*#@ed up their commas. I also see people with thousands of dollars’ worth of synthetic hair living in section 8 housing, talking about f&*#@ing up some commas.

One way to maximize some commas is to live like reality dictates until it’s time to live like you want. In other words live within you resources and use the excess to fund your future. An example of doing this would be paying your rent and other bills while using whats left over, whether it’s time or money to go to school, invest, etc. When the time comes you will be in a position to move from low paying job to high paying career or to use your investments to capitalize on wealth generating opportunities. Oh, not using your extra resources to buy Jordan’s and go to the club or sit in a chair for hours getting fake hair sewed in your head.

The fact is you are trying to make it in this world, the struggle is real. You aren’t where you want to be, so there is no reason acting like you are. While you are fronting, making it rain, rocking the exclusive kicks, with your hair flowing you are wasting your resources. You are wasting the resources needed to reach a point where you can turn a “hundred thousand into five hundred thousand” in my Future voice! Wasting your resources is the equivalent to funding your

perpetual state of fake balling and actual poverty.

Maximize your commas, don‘t f
&*#@ them up. Utilize your time and money to create a future that is full of commas.

Keeping it real

May a double edge sword be in your hands

By: Edward Ball

You must have a desire to oppose, avoid, shun, evade and elude that is as equally strong as your desire to have, possess, own, and hold. You have to fight for what you want and fight against what you don’t.

A double edge sword allows you to fight for what you want and combat all things that keep you from reaching your goals. My double edge sword consists of self-efficacy on one side and self-advocacy on the other. In my new book, Keeping it Real: A Six-principle Approach to Something different, I talk about the value of these two Swordprinciples when it comes to being successful during a process of transition and being successful in life.

Self-efficacy is:

Believing in yourself as well as believing in your ability helps you fight for your goals and reach them. The sharper your edge of self-efficacy the greater your chance of having what you want in life and reaching your goals.

Self-advocacy is:

Speaking up for yourself and against things not in line with reaching your goal will be hard. However, the sharper  your sword’s edge the easier self-advocacy will become. I admit, my sword isn’t that sharp, however, it is effective: I am hitting goals and I believe in my ability to be successful despite my background.  In addition, I have been able to stand up to and fight off things that could and would land me back in prison.

Keep your double edge sword in your hand at all times. If you begin to doubt yourself cut doubt down with your sword. Likewise, if something gets in your way and attempts to block your path to success or your road to your goal cut it down (figuratively of course)


child development

Seconds & Thirds of Child Development

By: Edward Ball

As parents you are in charge of your Children’s development, but don’t worry. If you don’t get it right or close to right as you possibly can you will have a second and third chance at the Child development process.

If your child development process creates an adult that is dependent on you for most aspect of life you will have to raise them again. Your adult child will be a “can’t get right” adult. That is, they won’t be able to do a thing right; can’t keep a job, can’t keep a place to stay, can’t keep a car, can’t keep a healthy relationship etc., etc.

This is where you get your second chance. The first step is to move them back home. Next, let them use your second car. Then, give them an allowance and finally, give them advice about relationships and life. Before you know it they will be up and running. New job, a car of their own, a small apartment, and a baby on the way.

Please WAIT Before you get too excited and proud and telling all the people you have been complaining to about your child crashing and burning your empty nest because……

The next thing you know it all comes crumbling down.  Your grown ass offspring, living in his/her second childhood does the following:

  • Gets fired
  • Gets his car towed and can’t afford to get it out
  • Doesn’t pay his rent
  • Pisses off his crazy baby momma/daddy to be

You being at your wits end realizing what everyone already knows: your adult child can’t get right, you refuse to move him back home and help him out.

However, your third chance at child development presents itself. Your child can’t get right which means he/she can’t take care of his/herself. As a result you have to step in and start raising your grand baby.

Effective development is important at all stages of life. If you don’t develop your child properly you will be stuck raising kids all your life. Perpetual child rearing and child development will cut into your personal development time. Get it close to right the first time and you will have time to do all the developmental things you want to do in your life.

back end

A Back End Lesson From An Internet Marketer and a True Believer

By Edward Ball

What do people who believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, etc. and internet marketers have in common? They both think about the backend. Huh? They think about the future and believe it will be brighter and more prosperous than the present.

Let me explain. Internet marketers will give you all sorts of free offers, coupons, eBooks, exclusive content, videos etc. Why do they give away all of this value for free. The same reason true believers refrain from involvement in many things of the “world.” They both want something better on the back end.

Internet marketers want your information and to turn you into a stream of income. They realize they can make more money on the back end by building a relationship with you. Believers believe they can have riches and eternal life if they build a relationship with their God. Imagine an internet marketer asking you to buy one of his products on the first date. You’re going to say HELL NO! Or imagine a believer being steeped in sin expecting to get seventy virgins in heaven, I don’t think so.

The funny thing is we often go through life asking people to buy what we are selling without building a relationship with them. In addition, we sin and sin but expect to enter Heaven’s gates. Why do we do this? I have some ideas but that’s a different story.

There are a few readers who are saying “I am not selling or sinning.” The truth is you are always doing both. Anytime you are trying to get a loan or a job you are selling. You are selling your credibility and you are selling yourself.  If you don’t have a relationship with the credit market you won’t get a loan, despite believing you should. Likewise, we all expect to get a job with a company we have not taken the time to build a relationship with. Then have the nerve to be upset when they give it to their acquaintance.

Here are a couple of tips from the internet marketer and the believer about the backend.

1). Build relationships get to know people and let them get to know you. Build relationships before you need them and before they need you. It will pay off for the both of you when you least expect it.

2). Giveth and thou shalt receiveth. Don’t ask anyone for anything unless you have given them some value. It could be loyalty, praise, a PDF download or some other content found in a blog. Once you have given them something they can use then you will receive heaven or the sell. Zig Ziglar said: “when you do more than what you’re paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”

Think about the back end!


The Piper Has to be Paid!

By: Edward Ball

I was about seven or eight years old running errands with my Momma. We were in a store and I did something I had no business doing, like most kids. A few hours had passed before we made it home. The ride home was normal, outside of me making small talk in an attempt to make her forget my transgression inside the store.

Once home I thought all was forgotten and forgiven. We unloaded the goods we picked up from our errand runs. I winded down by getting my school clothes together and taking a shower. I got snug in my warm bed and here comes the piper. I had to pay for what I did file000934804069earlier in the store. I paid with my behind by getting one of those beatings that would get a parent today sent to jail. At that moment I learned that the piper always has to be paid.

We never completely get away with things. Somewhere down the road we have to hand over payment for our actions. We live for fifty or sixty years eating deep fried foods then out of the blue we have a heart issue. We claimed someone else’s kids on our taxes eight years ago and now our pay checks are being garnished and our refunds confiscated.

Don’t take shortcuts, don’t think you are slick and do not assume you have gotten away with something. Instead pay your dues, put in work and one day you will be the piper getting paid!



By: Edward Ball

Knowing that you have properly focused on what you have, your tools,  makes you confident that you will be able to get the things you currently are without. The need to worry about what you don’t have becomes non-existent because you know your tools are sharp enough to eventually get it. -39 Things About Life I Learned in Prison: Turn My Mistake into Your Success-

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