Born Erik Smalls in 1967 in Brooklyn, New York, Erik idealized the street thugs in his neighborhood because they seemed to be the only people making enough money to survive. By the age of 17, Erik followed their lead and turned to the streets for money. For 20 long years, Erik broke the law to survive. He was arrested regularly during his criminal career. In 1990, Erik was stabbed in the lung by a local drug dealer. Erik survived the incident unfazed and continued to add to his rap sheet.
By the year 2000, Erik was emotionally exhausted and ready to leave the life of crime. He was ready to live a responsible productive lifestyle. However, Erik ran up against a huge obstacle: how to get out of a life of crime without starving. Unfortunately there weren’t any employers that were willing to hire a convicted felon. It took Erik 10 more years to find a way out of the life of the streets.
Desperate to turn his life around, Erik took a suggestion from his brother and moved to Delaware. In Delaware, Erik took odd low paying jobs. But watching the fridge grow emptier and his family sitting in a dark, cold apartment with no heat or electricity took its toll. Erik made one of the most difficult choices of his life: he turned to welfare.
Knowing that this was not the way he wanted to rewrite his story, he took action. His first step was finding one of the few computer training programs in the country that accepted ex-cons. The school certified him in computer repair and network administration.
Since no one would hire him (even though he had paid his debt to society and learned a marketable skill), Erik decided to spin the same entrepreneurial skills that helped him run an illegal "company" for 20 years into forming a legal company of his own.
He started his own computer repair business and hired a team of technicians (even giving a break to a few ex-cons who were certified in his training program.) Determined to stay on the straight and narrow and support his family, Erik began taking contracts in the mid-atlantic region, sending his team out and building relationships with companies and securing long-term contracts.
His first year in business, he grossed $100,000. He is still in business today, seven years later.
When Erik’s past haunted him, his aunt suggested that he write every bad thing that happened to him as a form of therapy. Erik took her advice and a brilliant crime fiction novelist was born. Erik is the author of three novels, “Never Give Up,” “Eye for an Eye,” and “Cold blooded” all available on Amazon.