These are the life coach emails that I send to my clients.

Email #1: The Arrest is an Opportunity

Hello _____!

This email is the first in a fifteen-part series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

"The things that seem to oppose our goals are often the raw material for achieving them."

I love this quote because it is true and it certainly applies now.

I believe that a pending criminal case is the perfect opportunity to make positive life changes, to discover new skills, and to reach a better place when the case is over.

During my eighteen years of experience in criminal defense, I’ve watched many clients make significant and lasting changes prompted by the stress of being arrested. Often the benefits happen fast enough to make a positive impact on the case as well.

To encourage and guide my clients I've developed a multi-stage strategy of practical and actionable advice for finding opportunity in the current situation.

Stage 1: Listen to smart, wise, and experienced people talk about life, relationships, and success.

How do you do that? Podcasts.

Podcasts are an incredible resource of inspiring conversations with extraordinary people. While they’ve been available for many years, it always surprises me how few people listen to them.

Here are three great podcasts that have inspired me:

1. The Tony Robbins Podcast: Why We Do What We Do

2. Unmistakable Creative: Why Your Only Move That Matters is Next

3. Entrepreneur on Fire: Your Starting Point for Long Term Success with Andy Andrews

I am confident that you will recognize something in these podcasts that inspires you as well.

Listening is free and easy through your smart-phone. Just download the Stitcher App, listen through iTunes, or play it on a web browser.

Extra Challenge: Listen to these podcasts while walking around the neighborhood, a park, or running on a treadmill. The combination of smart ideas and physical movement is a powerful motivator.

Extra Challenge #2: Share your thoughts about the podcasts.

Click here to leave your feedback.

I hope this will be valuable for you. As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #2: A Goal Properly Set

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

One of the only positive things about getting arrested is that it can encourage you to take a closer look at your life goals. Have you done that yet? You've probably already heard me say this, but now is not the time to stop or delay your plans, it is time to accelerate them! And an important part of making goals is writing them down.

By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands... your own. - Mark Victor Hansen

Here is a simple questionnaire about your plans and the steps you are about to take. I'd like to know what you are working towards! Click here to let me know. Use the phrase "I will..." when describing the goal. Think big! Then think about the next small steps.

The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short term. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow, and who make an impact... those people have goals - Seth Godin

Is this mandatory? Do you have to write these down? Of course not. But, it is my legal advice that you do it. :-) It is always possible that the goals you set and accomplish will help on the case (because I will share your successes with the prosecutor). Here is a video about our philosophy on what you should do while your case is pending.

I'm going to ask you to fill out this questionnaire again in a couple of months. I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress!

As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #3: Mind Mapping

Hello _____!

This is the third email in a series on dealing with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

In the last emails, I suggested that you utilize podcasts to listen to smart, wise, and experienced people talk about life, relationships, and success. And to write down your goals. Today I'd like to introduce the concept of mind mapping.

Whether you are a software developer, server, teacher, or construction worker, success depends on the ability to organize your thoughts. Mind mapping is a useful technique to arrange all the thoughts and ideas bouncing around your brain into a visual diagram. Mind mapping is different from writing a to-do list or an outline because the creative process is free form. The creation of a mind map does not force you to think in a specific order (such as a checklist). It prioritizes brainstorming and flexible organization.

There are many websites (and apps) that allow you to create mind maps. The best free cloud-based website is Mindmeister. Personally, I use the paid version of iThoughts (for Mac).

Here are some examples of mind maps.

How should you start your mind map? The central topic should be "My Life" with branches out to work, family, finances, and other interests. As you add more details you should include more abstract concepts such as:

  • Things that are important to you
  • Problems you are having
  • Tasks that you would like to complete
  • Things you would like to improve
  • Networking goals

It is surprisingly joyful to create a diagram of the thoughts in your head! Of course, a mind map can also be used for a specific project. For example, here is a mind map outlining the concepts of Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Another tool that you should have on your smart phone is a "To Do" app. Check out the Any.do system. Instead of browsing Facebook when you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you can make plans, goals, and steps towards taking better control of your life.

Challenge: Send me a mind map that you have created. I will reply with comments and suggestions.

Bonus: Check out this podcast with Krista Tippett, a National Humanities Medal winner.

I hope you find this useful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #4: Offer to Buy an Audiobook

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

I want to buy you a great audiobook! This one is called Sober Curious. The author is Ruby Warrington, a young lady in her 30s, who decided that alcohol wasn't improving her life. She didn't have a "problem", she just looked at the pros and cons and realized that alcohol was detrimental to her goals. She makes a strong point that social events are BETTER without alcohol.

For many of us, getting Sober Curious begins with a simple question: Would my life be better without alcohol? - Ruby Warrington

I also stopped drinking alcohol myself a few years ago for the same reason: I was not getting anything helpful from drinking and the brief pleasure was not worth feeling lousy in the morning. I decided that I wanted to focus on family, creativity, and building the law practice. It has been a highly productive time!

If you would like to hear what Ruby has to say, just reply "Yes, please!" to this email. We will send you the audiobook for FREE. When you receive the email, you will need to download the Audiobooknow.com App and create an account, but you will NOT need to put in credit card info or anything like that. This book is my gift to you. If you already have an Audible (Amazon) account, let me know, we can gift it through them too.

I hope this will be valuable for you. As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #5: New Physical Activity

Hello _____!

This is the fifth email in an fifteen-part series on dealing with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

Five years ago, at age 44, I started running on a treadmill in my garage for fifteen minutes every morning. The total distance? One mile. And I walk some of that! Even that short distance/time has improved my life dramatically. I am in a better mood throughout the day and have more energy. During the run, I'll listen to a podcast and come up with ideas to improve work and life in general. Running has become a daily routine.

Running allows the body to produce a marijuana-like substance that improves your mood.

And the Marijuana-like substance is not a violation of your bond conditions or probation!

Are you ready to start? Here's a great article on How to Start Running. There is also a highly rated app, Couch Potato to 5k, that helps beginners.

But wait, there's more! What if I told you that it will also benefit your case?

If we can prove to the prosecutor that you started a new physical activity (with a certificate of completion or letter from a trainer) I promise to get you credit on the ultimate outcome of the case. It could be less fines, less community service, less probation, or hopefully, something more significant. In other words, I will make certain that your hard work pays off.

The only trick is that we need to prove that you did the new activity. We can't just tell the prosecutor that you did it and expect them to believe us. We need documentation. Luckily, there are many types of activities that provide a certificate or similar verification. Or, we can get a letter from your trainer/coach.

Ideally, the physical activity would be based on a program/season that has a beginning and an ending. A bootcamp would be fantastic!

Joining a league or group that has scheduled meetings or games is a great way to start a routine. I recently joined an Austin run group, Rogue Running. However, the activity can be anything: kickball, yoga, spin, volleyball, softball, pilates, etc.

Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.

Bonus: This is a great podcast about mastering productivity, discipline, and focus.

Challenge: Send us a picture of you starting a new physical activity!

Challenge #2: No sodas or sweetened drinks for 30 days. Only drink water or (lightly flavored) sparkling water. Ok, Ok... Coffee (with no sugar) is acceptable.

I hope you find this useful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #6: Non-Alcoholic beers/wine

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

One of the distressing parts of being arrested for an alcohol-related offense is that the judge expects you to stop drinking alcohol while the case is pending and for the term of probation (if that is the result). This can mean you aren't legally allowed to drink for years!

Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into. - Don Marquis, American Poet

It can feel like the judge has prohibited you from having fun with your friends and family! No glasses of wine at dinner! No meeting your best friend at the bar to discuss the week's drama!

Is there a way to enjoy these social situations without alcohol? Yes! Order a non-alcoholic beer!

I know, I know. You are thinking, "No way! Why would I do that?"

I've discovered that drinking non-alcoholic (NA) beer provides the same amount of satisfaction in social situations as drinking regular beer. The taste has come a long way too. It is not just O'Douls anymore! There are high-quality options like Kaliber, Clausthaler, St. Pauli, Becks, and my personal favorite, Erdinger.

What about wine? There is non-alcoholic wine too! They carry it at HEB.

You do not have to avoid social events because they will be serving alcohol. Bring your own non-alcoholic beer. If you don't want to answer questions from anyone, bring a coozie. No one will ever know. If people mention it, they are usually impressed. Deep down they know that in the near future, when they are hungover, you're going to feel great.

Another advantage of drinking non-alcoholic beers is that you won't regret anything you say or do! Rarely do you accidentally insult someone if you're sober.

I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains. - Shakespeare

Challenge: Send me a selfie of you drinking a non-alcoholic beer!

Bonus: Check out this podcast on being a 10% entrepreneur.

I hope this is helpful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #7: Recovery by Russell Brand

Hello _____!

This email is not specifically related to your case. I have something I want to share with you.

"If you want to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh. Otherwise, they'll kill you." - George Bernard Shaw

I want to tell you about an amazing new book: Recovery, Freedom from Our Addictions, by Russell Brand.

This book is powerful, sincere, and frequently very funny. I listened to all eight hours of the audiobook in three days.

Before you say "I don't have an addiction!" please consider that this book also applies to relationships, work, food, and life in general. I guarantee that you will discover something useful in this book. You probably know someone else that could use some guidance as well. So, if you're not listening for you, listen with the plan to share it with someone else.

You can buy this book on Amazon, but... I'm willing to buy you the audiobook. Just reply "Yes Please!" to this email and you'll receive an email from Audiobooksnow.com (or through Audible if you already have an Audible account - let me know). Russell Brand's English accent is reason enough to prefer the audiobook over the physical book. A warning: This book has strong language.

You will have to download the App from Audiobooksnow.com and create an account. However, you will NOT need to enter a credit card or anything like that. The book is my gift to you.

After you listen to it, please write me a short email about your reaction. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I am frequently asked by clients, "What can I do to help my case?" Well, listening to this book may help. Maybe it won't. My advice is to give it a shot. Russell Brand has a lot of wisdom to share.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #8: Progress Report

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

Did you write down your goals a few months ago? Did you make some progress? If so, click here to let me know how you are doing. If not, click here to tell me what your plans are!

You can, you should, and if you're brave enough, you will. - Stephen King

Remember, the steps you take can be small. Just continue to make them.

As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #9: Online Financial Resources

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

The previous emails suggested listening to inspirational people discuss life and success on podcasts, organizing your thoughts with mind maps, and exercise. Now I want to focus on finances.

The SECRET to financial security is not to have more money, but having MORE CONTROL over the money we presently have.

You've already discovered that it is very expensive to be arrested. Fines, court costs, surcharges, classes, and attorney's fees (!) add up to a small fortune. What if you use this moment to optimize your personal finances?

Have you heard the best strategy to become a millionaire? Every time you put cash in your wallet, make sure the presidents are all facing the same direction. This old strategy seems silly because who uses cash anymore? However, the principal is still valid. You must pay attention to each and every dollar, because if you can’t track it, you can’t improve how it is spent.

My suggestion is to consider managing your personal finances with the newest online finance software. There are two FREE websites that get rave reviews: Mint.com and YNAB.com (You Need A Budget).

Just setting up an account and linking it to your financial transactions will provide valuable perspective. Goals and plans will develop naturally. Perhaps a little more of the “silver lining” from the arrest will come into view!

Bonus: This is a great podcast! Nine Environments that make up your life.

I hope you find this useful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #10: Declutter and Organize

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

In the previous emails, we've discussed podcasts, mind maps, starting a new exercise program, and new online tools for finances. Now I want to propose a change that will have an immediate impact on your life: Declutter and Organize Your Home.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

How does this help us with the current situation? Figuring out what to keep and what to throw away is a powerful form of self-reflection. By evaluating objects which were important to us in the past, we figure out who we want to be in the future.

The ritual is important! Hold the item, look into your heart and figure out if it still brings you joy. Does it play a role in your future? If not, thank the item (this is my favorite part!) for its service, then discard it.

Remember, this is about choosing what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of.

“The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

I hope you'll give this a try! I'm confident that the process will provide wonderful unexpected benefits.

Bonus: Check out this short and powerful podcast from Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #11: Massive Online Open Courses

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

The previous emails discussed podcasts, mind maps, online financial systems, exercise, and organizing your home. Now I'd like to discuss MOOCs. What is that? Massive Online Open Courses. These are FREE online courses(covering about every imaginable subject). Click here to see what I'm talking about.

High quality education provided by M.O.O.C.s can be a significant factor in opening the doors of opportunity - Daphne Koller (Professor, Author, Founder of Coursera)

There are courses from hundreds of universities, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Boston University, and the University of Texas! They have courses in every imaginable subject. Here are a few examples:

1. Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel (Rice University)

2. Introduction to Health and Wellness (Arizona State University)

3. An Introduction to Classical Music (Yale University)

4. Accounting in 60 Minutes (Udemy)

5. SEO for Wordpress (Udemy)

Why are universities offering free courses? Because it is good publicity and the schools want to be on the cutting-edge of education.

Why haven't you heard about these courses? Why isn't everybody taking them? Well, it requires a lot of self-discipline to complete the courses. In fact, only 7% of people who start a course finish it.

If you do complete it, you can get a certificate of completion at the end. Imagine if your resume included a certificate from a Harvard course! That would be impressive. It would also look good to a prosecutor!

Change is the end result of all true learning. - Leo Buscaglia (author)

As always, our goal is to use the arrest as a springboard to do something that you wouldn't have done otherwise. Competing a MOOC course would be perfect.

Challenge: Let me know when you sign up for a course! And definitely send the certificate when you're done.

I hope you find this useful. Let me know!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #12: Audiobooks.

Hello _____!

This email is part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway

As we grow older and our lives get more hectic, it can get harder to find time to sit down and read a book. This is distressing because new ideas are vital to our growth as human beings. Over the last few years I've discovered how easy it is to listen to audiobooks while working on other projects, such as yard work, washing the dishes, driving around town, or exercising.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” - Groucho Marx

I recently learned that you can borrow audiobooks from the library! The app is called OverDrive. All you need is a library card (and password).

You can also buy audiobooks at Audible.com (which belongs to Amazon) or audiobooks.com.

Personally, I alternate between books about business, personal growth, and rock and roll biographies. Here are my favorites:

Recovery, Freedom from Our Addictions, by Russell Brand

Mentors: How to help and be helped, by Russell Brand

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed

The Icarus Deception, by Seth Godin

Life, by Keith Richards

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

I hope you give it a try! These books can provide 8 to 25 hours of entertainment for less than $20. It is an incredible value.

How about this? Respond to this email with "yes, pls" and let me know which of those audiobooks you would like, and I'll buy it for you.

As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #13: Meetup.com

Hello _____!

This is part of a series on dealing with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

Have you ever imagined living in one of those legendary boomtowns: San Francisco during the gold rush? Detroit during the automobile peak? Or Deadwood, South Dakota (with Wild Bill Hickok)?!? That would have been exciting, right?

Well, you are living in one right now! Austin is a BOOMTOWN. We are living during an extraordinary time in this city.

How do we take advantage of this energy and excitement? How about meeting new groups of people and trying new things?

One of my favorite internet sites is meetup.com. This is not a dating site :-) This is a site that lists hundreds of free group meetups for all types of interests: art, business, sports, crafts, outdoors, adventures, etc. It is a great resource to shake up your routine. Do something you wouldn't normally try. Meet new people.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. - Walt Disney

Here are three meetups that look interesting to me:

1. Austin Improv Connection Meetup

2. Austin Hiking for Tacos

3. Here's a whole bunch of book clubs!

You should look at all the different types of meetups Austin has. It is amazing. It's like we're living in a boomtown. :-)

I hope you find this useful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #14: Sleep

Hello _____!

This is part of a series on dealing with the stress of being arrested. It is not specifically related to your case.

This may not be the most exciting topic, but we should talk about sleep. How are you sleeping? Do you get enough (7-9 hours). It is obvious that sleep is essential to better health. But, it also leads to better decision making and greater focus.

For example, do you have a good mattress? Maybe now is a great time to invest in a new mattress? The prices have dropped over the years. Now you can get a new one delivered to your door from Caspar (for $800). Personally, I bought one online from Tuft and Needle. It is excellent.

Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health. When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health. - Matthew Walker, PhD, author of Why We Sleep

I bought an interesting sleep aid that I now use. It is a sleep headband with bluetooth speakers that you can listen to while you go to sleep. It allows me to listen to an audiobook (with a 30 minute sleep timer) in bed. I love to listen to biographies or a history books. I go to sleep within 10 minutes, every time. Also, if I wake up too early (4am) I just put the headband back on, start the book again, and I'm asleep again.

Or, maybe now is the time to invest in new bed sheets and pillows?

The bottom line is that getting better sleep will always improve your life. 100% of the time. If you try something and it makes a big difference, let me know!

I hope you find this useful. As always, call us if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Charlie

Email #15: Forgiveness

Hello _____!

This email part of a series of practical advice on how to deal with the stress of being arrested. This is not specifically related to your case.

"The first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It is a gift you give yourself." - TD Jakes

I want to talk about forgiveness because the experience of dealing with a criminal case is a great time to re-evaluate our feelings towards others. Do you have any "enemies"? Or people that you feel ill-will towards? Maybe it is time to forgive them? Because here is the secret...

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B Smedes

And please to forgive the prisoner metaphor. :-) But anger really is a hot coal that you hold in our hand with the plan to throw it at someone else. It hurts you much more than them.

Check out this wonderful podcast about forgiveness by Tony Robbins.

PODCAST: How to Free Yourself From Hurt, Anger, and Expectations.

You should always be looking for something good that comes from this arrest. Couldn't forgiving someone be that thing? And how will you know if it is working?

"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well." - Lewis B Smedes

I hope this will be valuable for you. As always, if you have any questions about your case, please call or email us!

Cheers,

Charlie