Opening the Doors to Your Past and Reliving Buried Emotions

Lamont Robinson on Finding His Voice and Staying True to Himself While Writing About His Past Trauma

Invisible Stories Season 2 Episode 6 with Lamont Robinson

In today’s podcast I speak with the incredible Lamont Robinson, supplier diversity professional, entrepreneur, founder of Robinson LaRueCo Consulting (RLC), and author of his biography, TransformNational: Journey of a Bastard, which details his personal experiences in overcoming challenges on Chicago’s violent West Side to achieve success.

In this podcast, Lamont offers insight and wisdom to those authors working to craft their own memoirs. Lamont discusses:

  • How he was able to work through the trauma of his past and stay true to himself and the stories of his family.
  • How he was able to channel his experiences and utilize how others perceive him to create a brand for both himself and his work.
  • His own methods for immersing himself in his past and overcoming others’ judgement to stay true to his memoir.

TransformNational by Lamont Robinson

TransformNational: Journey of a Bastard by Lamont Robinson is an inspiring story of how one man overcame the trials of his past from Chicago’s violent West Side to develop a path to personal success, despite countless obstacles that sought to derail him. Life can be difficult, but we are all given the ability to fight for survival. We are all equipped with an inner desire and outward ability to change our future paths. This book details Robinson’s own personal transformation, sharing his amazing journey as he has mastered the art of using life’s challenges as motivation to succeed rather than as license to fail. TransformNation, Robinson’s inspirational movement which he believes can transform nations one soul at a time, is the cornerstone of this book that he dedicates to his mother and also to the single parents and children in poor and violent areas who seek a safer, more stable life. Pick up your copy of TransformNational today and you might just begin to see life

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Key Takeaways

  • [00:00:21] Lamont: Well, anybody that knows, I know that, uh, diversity is something that is a passion of mine and is my profession. So what I do is I own a company called Robinson, the Ruco consulting, and what we do is we build to programs. So I’ve been doing that as a profession for about 15. The teen years and decided to branch out and, and, and build my own company.
  • [00:00:45] Lamont: So very excited, but I’m on this call as an author. So, uh, you know, again, just the, the two worlds parallel. And so me being a diversity professional actually has a lot to do with my upbringing as well, which I talk about in the book.
  • [00:02:06] Lamont: It’s funny because none of us, uh, that are authors, this especially ones that have written our own stories. Initially, I don’t think you think that your story has enough interest in it for people to want to read until you start talking to somebody else. [00:02:21] And so before I get into my background, in terms of where I came from, I was having a conversation in 2013, I believe at an event, a diversity conference for women owned businesses and the, the woman owned, uh, business, uh, was hosting an event. And the owner of that, of that company. She’s she sat down to ask me questions about, uh, you know, my job. [00:02:44] And then she started asking me personal questions as far as my background. Well, so the more I started talking about my personal story, the more she was interested. And then, you know, and again, this was that her event. So she supposed to be going around and talking to other people, but she was at my table for about 30 [00:03:00] minutes, just, I mean, every time she would ask a question and I would say the answer, she gets more fascinated and she keeps asking. [00:03:06] So finally somebody from her team came and tapped her on the shoulder and they just said, listen, you’ve got other people that you need to talk to. So before she got up, she looked at me, right. And she said, when are you going to write your book? And it wasn’t, it was the way that she said it. It was almost like as if, um, I had to write it as if it was a challenge and I had never thought of writing a book up until that point. [00:03:28] So when she said that I was ready, I’m excited. I went home and I got the work. Right. And I just thought, you know what? I want to put my life in my legacy, you know, on paper so that my kids could see it as well.
  •  [00:05:02] Lamont: Yeah, when I was flying, cause usually I don’t sleep on planes, so just the turbulence, uh, and just the whole experience. [00:05:09] I don’t really sleep well on planes. And so for me it would have been wasted time if I didn’t. Right. So bringing out the laptop actually made my trips shorter. And so until your point, I started getting into a flow and what’s weird about it is that. Before I started recommending a book. Uh, the most I had ever written in terms of a paper was probably about 15 pages in college. [00:05:30] And so when I was writing it, and all of a sudden you get into this, this, uh, again, a zone where all of a sudden, you’re looking at 10 pages, 15 pages, 50 pages, a hundred pages, and you just keep going. And it just is flowing out of you almost like an out of body experience. You know, there, there were moments where. [00:05:47] I would write and I would come back and just, I didn’t remember writing that particular section. So it was, it was very therapeutic also.
  • [00:06:07] Lamont: That’s how I felt, you know, honestly, I mean, it was, um, there were some pages that I go back and read and some, some chapters that I go back and read and I’m telling myself, you know, what, that, that wasn’t me, you know, it was, it was somebody that, um, it was a spirit that was able to, uh, allow me to remember, uh, various stories that happened in my life and put that on paper. [00:06:28] So, uh, so no, I definitely felt uplifted.
  • [00:06:59] Lamont: Yeah. I’m glad you [00:07:00] asked that question. Um, I think the book would have taken me about a year to write if I did not have those experiences that you, you just mentioned. Um, There were some moments that, uh, you know, and I think any author that’s writing an autobiography would, would go through this. [00:07:13] There were some moments that I came across a, uh, an experience, a childhood experience that I thought the door was closed. Um, but I realized that it really wasn’t. I just, I was just suppressing. And so when I was writing, I was able to go back to that particular moment. And again, not as an adult looking at that child, but as that particular child going through those moments and those experiences. [00:07:37] And so actually there were probably about two situations where I actually stopped writing because I had opened up a door that I was not ready to tackle yet. And so it was too powerful for me to be able to continue because it was too  emotional.
  • [00:08:41] Lamont: You know, I think what you have to do is to separate yourself. I mean, I know this sounds weird, but, um, I had to, uh, on one end operationally and logistically I was authored, you know, I was getting this story out. But in order for that story to be believable and for that reader to really see that you see your life [00:09:00] and your perspective from your shoes, you have to be able to get them in your shoes. [00:09:04] And in order to do that, you have to go back to those, those horrible experiences and relive those and almost as if you’re dictating versus writing. And so that’s what I would do is to look at myself as author. In terms of sitting down operationally, you know, these are the steps that I’m going to go through. [00:09:21] This is the chronological order that I’m going to talk about. But then as, um, as, as the person that was living that moment as subject, if you will, I had to go through that. And so being able to do that, allow me to be able to get that story out and also allow that reader to be able to really smell and taste and hear everything I was going through at that particular moment.
  • [00:11:24] Lamont: You know, I think the first thing is you, you, you’ve got to get a friend that is a, is very honest with you because what you want is, you know, before you put that work out there, you want someone to read it and to, to in a sense, get that feel that you want that reader to get a feel for. And so I think that’s the first thing is get that friend. So when whatever you write, you give it to them so that they could. Uh, give you some honest feedback. And I had that. I was fortunate to have three of them, but for me also, if you don’t have, I have that background that I had in terms of, uh, rap or, um, you know, like, um, any other experience, you know, number one, just be yourself because you [00:12:00] want that reader to hear it from your words. And so if it’s not coming across the right way, that reader is going to fill it, you know, there’s going to be some kind of disconnect between the words that they see and what they feel when they read it. And so for me, it’s just, you know, speak in your voice, you know, but the first understand what that voice is. [00:12:17] So who are you as a person? I always talk about brand. So when you talk to a friend and asked them, you know, what is my brand? So when I walk in the door, What are the words that they automatically, uh, or the words that automatically come to mind when they see me. And so sometimes when you get a feel for what that brand is, it allows you to be able to get into a nice flow, being able to write something that’s, uh, you know, parallel to within brand is.
  • [00:14:54] Lamont: And I saw that. Uh, when you write an autobiography, a lot of folks, they get frustrated because they sit down [00:15:00] and they write from, or they plan on writing from the beginning to the end in terms of chronologically. But what it said was write down things that happened chronologically. Put the events down, but then don’t certainly tight chronologically. [00:15:13] What you do is you go and you, and you get inspired. I may get it aspire to write about when I was 15. You know, that era when I was 15 years old or I mean right about when I, right after I graduated from college, but that I think the key of it was, and this helped me a lot. Music is everything to me. It’s always been, it’s always been, you know, a panacea for me. [00:15:32] And so what they, what they encourage me to do is listen to music from that era. Uh, that you’re writing about. So as a 15 year old kid, I put together a playlist that pertain to songs that, um, were being played around that time. So when I was listening to it, what it did was it brought back some memories that I forgot about. [00:15:50] So it brought back people, it brought back, you know, situations that happened. It brought back more importantly how I was feeling at that time. Cause we all evolve obviously throughout life and [00:16:00] it’s based a lot on our experiences in the environment.
  • [00:20:35] Lamont: You know, to me, I would say, you know, it’s, it really comes down to, did you want to write a book or do you want to just, uh, journalize things, uh, for folks in a family to read, if you want to write a book, then you’ve got to make yourself naked.
  • [00:20:51] Lamont: You, you, you have to just realize that look, People will judge you anyway. It doesn’t matter if you wrote a book or not. Um, they’re going to see you and then, [00:21:00] and, uh, it could be, be the way that you look the way you dress. It doesn’t matter. Folks will judge you anyway. And so it’s up to you to really kind of control that. [00:21:07] So there were some things that I wrote in there that allowed me to really control, um, some of the misperceptions that folks had about me. And so from that perspective alone, I thought that it would be encouraging, which it was. And so that’s what I would encourage folks to do is just, you know, look, you have an opportunity to, to, uh, to, to determine how others should view you. [00:21:27] Now. They can still make their own decision after that, but at least give them the facts and the details behind who you are as a person.
  • [00:28:12] Lamont: You know, I think the main thing for me is just, um, Be willing to be yourself. And I know I mentioned that earlier, but I didn’t get that until probably the middle of the book. And because of that, I had to go back and reword some things. So, you know, it was, I was tentative, you know, and I was, I was worried. [00:28:30] Um, but then once I got into that flow and once I gave myself permission to be me, um, I think that’s the advice right there. Give yourself permission to be you because only you can tell you only you. Could, uh, could create, um, who this person is in terms of perception. You have you. So that’s the main thing that I would say is just allow yourself to be you.

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