Tracey D. Syphax, who is also known as the 2011 Princeton Chamber of Commerce ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, the first African American to receive the honor, was once incarcerated. In his youth Tracey spent some time in the NJ Correctional System being identified by his inmate #. Today he is a well-known, award-winning businessman and respected resource in his Trenton, New Jersey community. In his autobiography From the Block to the Boardroom, Syphax shares some impactful life lessons that he learned from reading good books, attending the Million Man March, being married for over 25 years, networking and starting multiple business. Tracey believes in second chances, 3rd and 4th if needed.
The road to successful re-entry into your community after incarceration can be done. It has been done. Tracey Syphax provides tips for inmates and their family and friends on how to reduce recidivism. Get out and stay out of prison.
1) Change your attitude & thinking. Success starts in the mind. Be optimistic as you plan your future. Begin to look at business opportunities that create residual income, ideas that don’t involve much overhead expenses. Be determined to stay on the right side of the law no matter what obstacles you may encounter. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you.
2) Change friends & the places you hang out. In order for your life to change your environment must change and sometimes the people do too. Networking is key to making this happen. Find those in your community who are making great things happen. Volunteering and attending community events are good places to start. Hanging out with the old crowd is no good. Spend more time in the library than the bars. New opportunities await you. You just have to be in the right place to meet the right people.
3) Ignore peer pressure. Don’t let the voices of yesterday determine the road you travel today. Many people including celebrities have been told at some point by folks who knew them when, “you’ve changed.” Ignore those voices. You are changing for the better.
4) Clean up your appearance. Being well groomed and under accessorized can visually attract the right people to you. It’s nothing wrong with jewelry and the latest fashions, but you want to do so in moderation. Present yourself in a humble manner, a person eager to serve, learn and build. Men opt for button down shirts. Ladies opt for light makeup and clothing that leaves something to the imagination.
5) Be Honest. Successful re-entry has its challenges. Be straight forward and honest about your situation and what you are genuinely looking to accomplish in your new life.
As told by Tracey D. Syphax
Facebook: Tracey Syphax Twitter: @TraceySyphax
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