A felon convicted of a white-collar crime makes an impassioned case for lawbreakers to use their skills for legitimate gain.
Real estate broker Pelshaw (Raising Up the Champion Within You, 2000) misused Small Business Administration loan proceeds during the 2008 recession, was charged with a felony, and ended up in a federal prison. His experience there led him to recognize that felons could just as easily engage in legal rather than illegal activities if they had the opportunity to make money legitimately. Pelshaw writes with an empathy imbued by his own incarceration. Acknowledging that many felons may be unemployable, he encourages the reader to start a small business. The author proceeds to describe the typical qualities of the small-business owner, directly relating these to characteristics the felon may have. He covers the inspirational (“finding your strengths” and “finding your passion”) as well as the practical aspects of starting a business. The author offers very specific advice about starting, operating, and running a business and provides an extensive checklist to lead the reader through the successful creation of a business plan. Included is a compiled list of businesses that can be started for less than $1,000, from $1,000 to $10,000, from $10,000 to $20,000, from $20,000 to $100,000, and from $100,000 on up. The most helpful and compelling section of the book is likely to be the numerous “success snapshots” included in Part 2. Here, Pelshaw describes more than 20 small businesses in detail, with particulars about income projections, training, skills, any licenses required, and startup costs. In addition, he interviews the business owners themselves. These stories add a very personal dimension to the work; many of the owners faced difficult challenges but still started successful businesses, and they share their perspectives and insights. Pelshaw closes the volume with an extremely valuable section on resources, including a sample business plan, sample business forms, a list of “books to prisoners” programs, and the author’s 39 “principles of profitable business” and eight “investing principles.”
A superb, all-in-one business startup manual with the proper dose of motivational wisdom; uniquely targets an audience for whom options in life may often appear to be limited.