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监狱里的商业课程

Jeff Smith: Lessons in business ... from prison

翻译人员: Yi Shao 校对人员: Simon Chen
Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast
和许多囚犯一样,
B.J. was one of many fellow inmates
B.J.有着宏大的未来计划。
who had big plans for the future.
他的愿望是,出狱之后
He had a vision. When he got out,
不再贩毒,坦荡做人
he was going to leave the dope game for good and fly straight,
他正在努力将他的两项爱好融合成一项事业。
and he was actually working on merging his two passions into one vision.
他花了一万美元
He’d spent 10,000 dollars
购买了一个网站
to buy a website that exclusively featured women
网站的主要内容是美女在奢侈跑车的上面或者里面做爱。(笑声)
having sex on top of or inside of luxury sports cars. (Laughter)
那时我进联邦监狱刚刚一周,
It was my first week in federal prison,
但我很快就发现那里的情形和电视上很不一样。
and I was learning quickly that it wasn’t what you see on TV.
事实上,监狱充满了聪明、野心勃勃的人
In fact, it was teeming with smart, ambitious men
六个月之前
whose business instincts were in many cases
作为密苏里州参议院”冉冉升起的新星“
as sharp as those of the CEOs
我和CEO们一起吃饭
who had wined and dined me six months earlier
进监狱之后,我感觉囚犯们的商业直觉和高管们一样敏锐。
when I was a rising star in the Missouri Senate.
我的狱友中95%
Now, 95 percent of the guys that I was locked up with
都是因为贩毒被捕的,
had been drug dealers on the outside,
他们说起自己的过去时
but when they talked about what they did,
会用到独特的行话
they talked about it in a different jargon,
但他们谈到的经商理念
but the business concepts that they talked about
和沃顿商学院工商管理硕士的一年级课程颇为相似:
weren’t unlike those that you’d learn in a first year MBA class at Wharton:
促销激励,新顾客可以免费试用
promotional incentives, you never charge a first-time user,
针对某一顾客群体的新产品发布,
focus-grouping new product launches,
市场拓展。
territorial expansion.
他们并没有整天沉浸在对过去光辉岁月的追忆之中。
But they didn’t spend a lot of time reliving the glory days.
大多数情况下,他们不过是为了生存而已。
For the most part, everyone was just trying to survive.
这可能比你想象的要困难很多。
It’s a lot harder than you might think.
和大部分人所想的不同
Contrary to what most people think,
人民,纳税人是不支付
people don’t pay, taxpayers don’t pay, for your life
囚犯在监狱的生活费用的。你必须自己养活自己。
when you’re in prison. You’ve got to pay for your own life.
你必须付钱购买肥皂、除臭剂、
You’ve got to pay for your soap, your deodorant,
牙刷、牙膏等等(一切的生活必需品)。
toothbrush, toothpaste, all of it.
有几个原因导致在监狱中生存颇为困难。
And it’s hard for a couple of reasons.
首先,所有东西的价格都比
First, everything’s marked up 30 to 50 percent
市场价高出30%到50%,
from what you’d pay on the street,
第二,你挣得钱不多。
and second, you don’t make a lot of money.
我为卡车卸货。这是一份全职工作,
I unloaded trucks. That was my full-time job,
在一个食品仓库给卡车卸货
unloading trucks at a food warehouse,
一个月,不是一个小时,赚5.25美元。
for $5.25, not an hour, but per month.
怎样才能生存呢?
So how do you survive?
我们必须做买卖,各种各样的买卖。
Well, you learn to hustle, all kinds of hustles.
有合法的买卖。
There’s legal hustles.
以邮票为货币买东西。
You pay everything in stamps. Those are the currency.
有偿为狱友打扫牢房。
You charge another inmate to clean his cell.
也有轻微违规的买卖,比如在你的牢房里开个理发店。
There’s sort of illegal hustles, like you run a barbershop out of your cell.
违规情节稍微严重一点的是:在牢房里开纹身店。
There’s pretty illegal hustles: You run a tattoo parlor out of your own cell.
也有违规情节非常严重的买卖:从外面偷运
And there’s very illegal hustles, which you smuggle in,
或者请人偷运毒品、色情制品、
you get smuggled in, drugs, pornography,
手机,和监狱外的商业世界一样
cell phones, and just as in the outer world,
监狱里存在着风险收益的平衡,所以一项生意风险越大
there’s a risk-reward tradeoff, so the riskier the enterprise,
它所能带来的利润可能也越高。
the more profitable it can potentially be.
在监狱想买一根香烟?3到5美元。
You want a cigarette in prison? Three to five dollars.
想要翻盖的、
You want an old-fashioned cell phone that you flip open
和人脑袋差不多大的手机?300美元。
and is about as big as your head? Three hundred bucks.
想要色情杂志?
You want a dirty magazine?
那可能要花1000美元。
Well, it can be as much as 1,000 dollars.
你可能也发现了,灵活的头脑
So as you can probably tell, one of the defining aspects
在监狱生活中非常重要。
of prison life is ingenuity.
无论是用从仓库偷来的废料
Whether it was concocting delicious meals
烹制美味的食物
from stolen scraps from the warehouse,
还是用指甲钳为人做发型
sculpting people’s hair with toenail clippers,
抑或是用挂在树上装满岩石的洗衣袋健身
or constructing weights from boulders in laundry bags
囚犯们知道如何在物质条件贫乏的条件下生存
tied on to tree limbs, prisoners learn how to make do with less,
很多人也希望能利用自己
and many of them want to take this ingenuity
在监狱中培养锻炼出的灵活头脑
that they’ve learned to the outside
在出狱之后开餐厅、理发店
and start restaurants, barber shops,
或者搞个人健身辅导。
personal training businesses.
然而监狱中没有意在帮助囚犯重返社会自力更生的课程
But there’s no training, nothing to prepare them for that,
囚犯在监狱中并没有得到真正的改造。
no rehabilitation at all in prison,
没有人帮助囚犯撰写商业计划,
no one to help them write a business plan,
帮助他们找到把来自直觉的商业理念
figure out a way to translate the business concepts
转化为合法生意的方法,
they intuitively grasp into legal enterprises,
囚犯们甚至不能上网。
no access to the Internet, even.
随后,出狱之后,很多州
And then, when they come out, most states
没有禁止
don’t even have a law prohibiting employers
雇主歧视有前科的求职者的法律。
from discriminating against people with a background.
所以在三分之二的囚犯出狱后
So none of us should be surprised
五年之后还会再犯的事实面前
that two out of three ex-offenders re-offend
我们根本无需惊讶。
within five years.
我对联邦政府撒谎,因此在联邦监狱服刑一年。
Look, I lied to the Feds. I lost a year of my life from it.
不过,出狱之后,我发誓
But when I came out, I vowed that I was going to do
尽全力帮助那些
whatever I could to make sure
和我的狱友们有相似经历的人们
that guys like the ones I was locked up with
让他们不要再继续浪费生命。
didn’t have to waste any more of their life than they already had.
因此,我希望你们能够考虑伸出援手。
So I hope that you’ll think about helping in some way.
我们的最佳选择是
The best thing we can do is figure out ways
想办法扶持监狱中的创业精神
to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit
发掘囚犯身上隐藏的巨大潜力
and the tremendous untapped potential in our prisons,
因为如果我们不这么做的话,囚犯们就无法学到
because if we don’t, they’re not going to learn any new skills
能够帮助他们谋生的新技能,他们还会回到监狱当中。
that’s going to help them, and they’ll be right back.
而他们在监狱里所能学到的不过是新的骗术而已。
All they’ll learn on the inside is new hustles.
谢谢。(掌声)
Thank you. (Applause)

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