Zachary Babcock is a perfect example of turning a rough start into an admirable life and career. After serving a five-year sentence in prison, Babcock is now rubbing elbows with multimillionaires on a daily basis, giving him a broad perspective on two different sides of life that he is able to share with others.
Speaking to Steve Sims on The Art of Making Things Happen podcast, Babcock explains how he went through a large part of his life “going through the motions,” “throwing [his] life away,” and “strung out on drugs.” Prison was the wakeup call he needed. Explains Babcock, “There was one [thing] that happened the first time that I went in [to prison] for four years that really, I guess, changed my paradigm and perception on a lot of things.” It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
When he was 26 years old, says Babcock, “I went back to prison and it was just twenty days before my twin sons were born… I grew up just wanting to be the father that I never had growing up and that was so painful. That was enough to get me to finally get my crap together… I made that decision right there when I woke up and realized I was missing out.”
Although he was committed to change after his release, it wasn’t easy. “When I came home… I couldn’t get a job anywhere. Nobody gave me the time of day. Nobody believed in me… I was just that ex-convict-turned-entrepreneur afterthought that nobody gave the time of day to. And I was pissed. I was livid… And it was out of that frustration, out of that pain, the reason why I launched my podcast Underdog Empowerment Podcast.”
Underdog Empowerment Podcast’s goal is to help “underdog entrepreneurs to level up in their business and life.” And it has seen a lot of success, having been rated as one of the top podcasts available in just over a year.
Though he is now open about his challenges and story, originally Babcock was scared to admit to his past, admitting that “I used to be scared to share that I went to prison.” That was the understandable result of having been fired from a sales job he was excelling at because of his ex-convict status and nothing else. The experience was so demoralizing, explains Babock, that it “led to becoming an alcoholic and going back to prison.”
Fortunately, however, it also led to the realization that his story was one of his greatest assets. Says Babcock, “It became a source of power rather than a place of weakness.”
Now, Babcock is actively working toward what he calls his life purpose, creating Conscious Freedom Initiative, “a program that gives resources that aren’t currently available to people coming out of prison.” His goal is to target “guys that are ready to change, the guys that were like me, they’re ready to change but they just don’t know how, they don’t have the resources yet.” He’ll give these men a job at his agency as well as entrepreneurship and online marketing training, helping them to overcome the fact that “it’s just so tough to actually get a real job when you come out [of prison.]”
Babcock’s ultimate goal with his Conscious Freedom Initiative is “to create a nine percent recidivism rate or lower nationwide in the U.S.” The rate is currently over fifty percent. Babcock himself admits himself that it’s a “steep, lofty, huge, big hairy audacious goal,” but it’s what drives him and what he is committed to. Seeing his success so far, it’s possible to believe that he’ll be able to make it happen.
To learn more about Zachary Babcock:
Website: Underdog Empowerment
Listen to the Podcast: The Art of Making Things Happen
Subscribe to: The Art of Making Things Happen with Steve Sims