Atlanta, GA (PressExposure) July 28, 2006 -- Atlanta, GA- Looking at him now, it's hard to imagine the checkered past of now decorated Devin "Dutchie" Robinson's early life contained. But the successful entrepreneur, motivational speaker, columnist and author rose out of circumstance to beat the odds. The skills he learned to turn his path around and create personal wealth are shared in his new book,
"Breaking the cycle: Getting to Second Generational Prosperity."
The 185-pager was released in March by Books Just Books Publishing Company. It is a follower-up to his first book, "180 Day Theory: Change Through Empowerment."
Robinson was born and raised in St. Thomas. He graduated from Kean High School in 1992. He was the naturally gifted student who could spend the night running the street, show up for class every once in a while and still get straight A's.
But by his senior year, he had six arrests and was facing a series of criminal charges, from aggravated assault to an attempted murder he said was a case of mistaken identity. At one point, Robinson said he was chased and bitten by police dogs, caught riding in a stolen vehicle, beaten and left bleeding in a cold cell.
" One of the really defining moments was that I was really facing jail time," Robinson said. " I was on the verge of heading down the wrong road to prison or to the cemetery."
Around him, friends were constantly dying and being locked up.
"It was happening all the time. These things just kept eating at me," Robinson said. " There were too many negative actions, living from hustle to hustle, robbery to robbery. I asked 'how can I reach greatness without having to look over my shoulder?"
Because of a high school teacher who believed in him and a judge who gave Robinson the option of going to the military, he was given a second chance.
He joined the Army and went into the Internet technology field. From there he went on to earn an associate's and bachelor's degrees in business management, to invest in real estate and to start four companies in the retail and service industries.
Robinson writes a motivational column titled "180 Degrees" for the Daily News.
"The demand got so high, the e-mails so great, I realized I needed to write a book," Robinson said.
His first book was instructional, guiding readers through a daily six-month journey to empowerment by looking at social, cultural and economic aspects.
" If you want to change from were you're at, you need to go in the other direction and turn one degree a day, thus 180 degrees," Robinson said. "It doesn't work unless you want it. You are getting yourself in position to make big things happen."
Robinson has dedicated his latest book to the memory of his friend Elvan "Chungi" Webbe Jr., who was killed in 1997, an event that still bothers him nine years later.
Webbe's murder was "the cornerstone of helping me to realize that cycles must be broken," Robinson wrote. "Your homicide was not in vain. Rest in peace."
Once a person identifies that there is a problem, they can stop looking to others and can look within for solutions, Robinson said.
"Take what's on the inside, and you'll find people that are driven the same way. Think for the long term and stop living like you have 500 years to live," he said.
In 11 chapters, Robinson talks about ways of challenging fear, conquering failure, inventing a new cycle and employing it.
"Let your persistence overcome your resistance, "he said. "Treat negative criticism like potholes, Try to avoid them, but if you take the hit, keep moving."
Robinson is planning to launch a magazine in the summer and is writing a book of daily inspirational messages, his autobiography and a decision-making guide for high school students.