From unemployed and broke with no options….to corporate VP with stock options, Rome Madison knows the importance and reward of rebranding your self-image. After 17yrs as a superstar sales pro & executive leader in the medical industry, he teaches and coach clients how to better their best to achieve SUPERSTAR SUCCESS. His key note speeches, book, blogs, and training sessions will instill the habits, insight and skills of Superstar performers to elevate your performance and multiply your results.
Charles Clark: First of all, thank you. I appreciate you taking out the time to talk with me today.
Rome Madison: It’s an honor. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. And to be featured with some of the authors and personalities that I’ve read about in BrothaOnline. It really is flattering, so thank you.
CC: Thank you, man. This has become my signature question: Who is Rome Madison?
RM: Rome Madison is a spirit who is purposed to bring out something in people that they hope that’s there, that they know that’s there. And what I do is – essentially – plant seeds to manifest that purpose, that power that’s within them to create what they want in life by using what they already have. This was revealed to me, in my life’s journey, meeting a bunch of mentors and having a bunch of experiences that answered a lot of questions that I had growing up as a son of a single mother; growing up in poverty. And I know that some of the guys that I grew up with had those same questions form adults that maybe didn’t grow up in those same circumstances and didn’t those questions about their potential and what their purpose is in life.
CC: What made you look at yourself and say I am not reaching my full potential?
RM: You know, one of the things that I write about in my book is the influences of three people: my mother, my grandfather – who was the father-figure in my life – and my best friend, James White. Essentially, he was the first everyday superstar. And what I mean by that is, when I grew up, I was an athlete, I was a good-looking kid, I made good grades when I wanted to… But, by comparison, I was pretty shy. I was successful at things I really wanted to be successful at, but I really wouldn’t take a risk. But James White… He was overweight, but he had a personality that lit up the room and it seemed that he seemed to bring out something in other people that made them more of what they wanted to become. We saw him as a person who could do no wrong. We saw him literally as a superstar. Well, he passed away at age 29… He was my best friend growing up. He passed away in the midst of the hardships that I was having with my sick mother being homeless. He would always speak power into my spirit. I always had a sense that I could be doing more and that I wanted to do more in life, in general… [Dealing] with my mother struggling, he was the person who would speak life into me. He said, “You can do anything you set your mind to… you’ve been successful not because of the jobs you’ve had… You’re successful because you’re Rome Madison.” He spoke that power into myself to help me have a larger vision of myself and what was possible for me. And when he passed away, I dedicated my life to really tapping into all of the gifts that God has given me and to create more for my life… And that was at a time when I was unemployed… I was running out of money… I didn’t have a job prospect and my mother was homeless. It took that time, feeding my mind, taking those nuggets that he planted in me to manifest the life that I live now and I want to share that message with as many people as possible that the potential is within them.
CC: You’re running out of money… You don’t have a job… Your mom is homeless… A lot of people would have sunk into the depths of despair. What was is that made you say, this is not the place for me because a lot of people would not get out of that? What made you say, this is my situation but this won’t always be my situation?
RM: You know, even though I was raised in the church, and I had a relationship with Christ, you will reach a moment in life where you have a choice to make. Our lives are all about choices, which is the beauty of a God that we serve. He does not force us to know Him. He does not force us to take advantage of His power and His privilege. But there comes a time in life when we have to make a choice to really know God for ourselves; to really trust God’s word. Now, maybe it’s been spoon-fed to us all our lives because we tend to inherit our religious beliefs, but there comes that time when God has to be real for you and you have to put His word to the test. And that is simply a choice that we make. And I chose to do that… I think I do understand how someone can be at their wits’ end because my mother was homeless and I would go to sleep at night – not knowing where she was, if she was dead or alive, if she was sick, cold, hungry… any of those things. This plays torture on your soul; this plays torture on your mind. And in that instance, I had to choose whether I was going to give in and crack and think that I was gonna have a mental breakdown… or trust the word of God, who tells me, I will never leave you and I will never forsake you. I had to meditate upon those words and those words became more real to me than they ever had at any other point in my life. But, Charles, that was a choice that I made and God gives us all that same privilege to choose to trust Him. That was simply the choice that I made.
CC: Wow. In your book, Claim Your Star Power: Start Where You Are and Achieve Superstar Success in Four Simple Steps, you write on page 85, “Past experiences can help you shine in your vision.” That particular passage got me because we – particularly church people – always say, “leave the past in the past,” as if you can’t learn something from the past. It’s always the past as a negative. How can we use our past and our past experience as a positive, even if stuff in your past is really bad and it’s stuff we might be ashamed of? How do we use those experiences to actually guide us into our next level of superstardom?
RM: I believe that God wastes nothing in our lives and that our path is laid before us. The road that He takes us through in life is so that we can always learn. But what it comes down to is, even with those negative things that happen – and this is what people that I coach have trouble with… What happens [in life] happens to everybody: we all have struggles; we all have trials and tribulations; we all have different tragedies in our lives… But what this manifests in our lives and how we use it is the meaning we assign to it. We can have tragic things happen to us… but it really comes down to framing them in the right way and assigning them the meaning that is more empowering to you and your life. We all have a tendency to think negatively about negative things that happen to us but there is a way that we can use those things to advance ourselves in life.
CC: In your coaching sessions, how do you get people to see that where they are is not their destiny?
RM: Acceptance. You know, a lot of people – where they are – they’re in a place of bitterness… They are in a place of self-doubt. Where it starts is really just accepting where you are. A lot of people beat themselves up about where they are and once you accept where you are and the past and that you made the decisions that you made, you don’t allow them to prevent you from believing that you can do more, have more and will be more in life. Once you stop listening to the voices of people who have known you for awhile… That’s a big thing – what you allow into your head. A lot of people have bad seeds planted in their heads. A lot of people have bad seeds planted in their spirits and don’t really realize it. You’ve got to cut people off who are not giving you positive seeds that will manifest those positive visions about yourself and what is possible for your life. That can even sometimes be family. That’s hard for some people to do… So, the first thing you must do to start where you are, who you are, and accept it. There’s a section in my book where I talk about when you progress in life, you meet three types of people: haters, perpetrators and participators. So, sometimes, those haters are so close to us, we don’t recognize they’re haters, but the message that they plant in us is bad and they don’t allow us to see ourselves in the most positive and powerful light! And that includes, sometimes, your family members. Now, unfortunately, you can’t choose your family but you can take a season of separation from people like that who choose to create a negative image yourself and limit your vision of what’s possible for you in your life. But you have to start with taking an evaluation of who’s in your life and limiting those negative voices and replacing them with positive ones.
CC: In Claim Your Star Power, one of my favorite parts made me re-evaluate myself. It’s Chapter 6: Focus on What You Want. When you have been given a task by God, sometimes in the midst of that task, you lose focus and sometimes almost forget why you started, what you’re doing and you have to start back and say what do I really want; what is the purpose of all of this? That particular chapter helped me do that. So, thank you for that… Well, thank you for the book, but that chapter in particular.
RM: Right. Absolutely…
CC: How do you get someone to know what they really want because, in talking to different people, I realize that sometimes it’s not about what you really want but what other people want you to do for them…? Or, it’s what other people feel you should be doing…
RM: Absolutely! Wow… I don’t even know where to start with this one… You know, sometimes, people think they want more money because they think that money is going to give them a better quality of life. But, essentially, what they want is the better quality of life which they could possibly have if they learned how to spend and use their money more effectively. At the end of the day, the vast majority of people spend all their money and by the end of the month, they have no idea where their money has gone. If they would just be more aware of how they are using their resources, with what they have, they can accomplish what they really want. So, when it comes to what you want, you really have to do some soul searching about what is fulfilling in life. And that’s what I believe most people really do want – fulfillment. We want joy. To your point, society tells us that we need all of these other things, we need to be all of these other things, and social media and [other] media tends to begin to shape what we want in life, at times. So what I try to do in getting people to figure out what they want – because I can’t answer that for them – is to really try to get down to that heart and soul level… What’s gonna make you happy? You know, that thing that even if you didn’t get paid for it, you’re going to feel like you’ve accomplished something of real meaning and significance in life. Life is not about success, necessarily; it’s about significance.
CC: This kind of goes along with what you call the ‘Gift Inventory Exercise”. “Who am I? What can I do? Where am I going?” Don’t those questions help figure out what your next level of superstardom is?
RM: Oh my goodness, I’m so glad you brought that up! That sets the stage for everything that comes in the book. Those questions are so powerful. It’s that Tony Robbins quote that says the quality of the answers that we get in life are determined by the quality of the questions that we ask. And a lot of times, we don’t do that soul-searching; we don’t do that inner soul work to really dig out what God has put within us. I get people to do more diving, rather than surfing. You know, in life, many people surf: we have surface relationships; we have surface level achievements that we like more for people to know that we did it versus what it did for us. But, we need more people diving in life; you don’t surf on God’s word – just come in on Sunday morning saying hallelujah. You dive into the word – that’s when it becomes real and living for us. And, it’s the same thing when we question things for ourselves. That first question – who am I? I realize that I am a spirit. I’m not just a Black man. I’m not just a son, just a father… You know, we’re not the flesh and blood that will go back to being dust; we are greater than that. We are connected to the ultimate Creator, which makes us creators. So, when I’m asked, who am I, that’s a very important question. Someone has the answer for themselves, and that answer may evolve over time, but for me, the most powerful part of my being that spirit that has been placed in me. That is who I am and… everything I do resonates from the core of that inner being.