TGM Classic | John Jackson | From Solitary Confinement to Freedom

In this episode, you will learn how John was subjected to crimes at an early age, how he became a gang member in prison, and how the “worst of the worst” found a second chance in life. 

In this episode, John and I talked about:

  • Experiences that led John to prison at a very young age
  • Structure of prison gangs and how he became a member of one
  • The turning point that made him want to turn his back on his gang and change his life
  • The challenges and discriminations John had to face after he was paroled from Pelican Bay
  • How he stumbled upon Hustle 2.0
  • And other topics…

Meet John:

John Jackson, once known as Tex, is a Texan native with a knack for both dancing and self-reinvention. Despite spending 18 years behind bars, including four in solitary, he emerged with a GED, a Baylor University certificate, and a reputation for hosting networking events with top executives.

A former junior high trumpet player specializing in humorous sounds, he proudly claims mastery of The Sound of Music’s lyrics, sparing others from verifying this talent. Post-release in 2019 from Pelican Bay, John joined Hustle 2.0, embracing a career in writing, particularly focused on fart jokes. His version of extreme skiing, or what he calls skiing, involves cartwheeling down bunny slopes.

Currently engaged in the altMBA, John Jackson embodies resilience, humor, and continual growth in both his personal and professional pursuits.

Meet Darius: 

Darius is your host of The Greatness Machine. Darius is a mad scientist, high-growth CEO, serial entrepreneur, author, conscious capitalist, speaker, and entertainer. Darius is on a quest to create 1,000,000 Core Value Driven Organization by 2030. He is calling this “The Core Value Revolution.” Darius is an alumni of the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurial Program at MIT and Stagen Integral Leadership Program. Darius’s accolades include being ranked #9 Top Rated CEO in America on Glassdoor, has won numerous Stevie Awards, and has founded and grown organizations that have been ranked #40 in the Inc. 500 and were ranked #3 Best Places to Work By the San Francisco Business Time. He is all about the P’s: Passion, Pizza, Puzzles, and, especially, Pink Unicorns. His book, The Core Value Equation, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller and is available at

The Greatness Machine shares lessons on how to framework your drive for results, create limitless space, and win the war on talent.

My team and I are on a mission to help YOU create a cultural revolution. I want to teach you how to build a core value driven organization. 


Make Greatness Happen!



Facebook: @therealdariusm 

Instagram: @whoompdarius

Twitter: @kingdarius

LinkedIn: @dariusmirshahzadeh


Don’t let your Core Values become a company artifact!  Learn how to make Core Values the language of your organization.  Pre-order my book The Core Value Equation found at the link below 

The Core Value Equation




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