Russ Vitale is an Atlanta-born rapper who has in recent years amassed both a large following and attained great feats of success within the music industry. I was at his first London tour in 2017 entitled ‘The Real Fans Tour’ which took place right before he announced his new album ‘There’s Really a Wolf’.
That album went on to go platinum, with zero features and it was, like all of Russ’s other albums, mixed, mastered and engineered solely by the man himself.
The self-made star has, without a major record label signing surpassed 20 billion streams on Spotify/Apple Music and also ranked on Forbes’ 2019 ‘30 Under 30 Cash Kings’.
In his interview with Forbes, when asked about who he is and his success, he chuckles and says:
I make music and live my truth, that’s my elevator pitch ahahah.
This ‘living my truth’ line isn’t new to me. I’ve been following Russ for a while now and I know he is highly spiritual. He intrigues me as a person and so this weekend, I sit down with his debut book ‘It’s All in Your Head’ which he published around this time last year.
In it, he speaks on manifestation and gives us an insight into his unshakeable belief in himself, his outlook on the world and his journey to the top.
These are my key takeaways from ‘It’s All in Your Head’ by Russ.
In essence, ‘It’s All in Your Head’ is a self-improvement book that gives us Russ’s recipe to success. The secret to his success lies in his mindset. It’s impenetrable.
My first take away from Russ’s book is:
1. On Doubters
From a young age, Russ has had an unshakeable belief in himself. This is in spite of having doubters around him. Part of life, he explains, is having doubters and people who place limitations and boundaries on your potential.
These are people who may tell you that there aren’t enough jobs in the market or that there isn’t a lot of money in pursuing your dreams. And the reason these people are placing limitations and boundaries on YOUR dreams is because they are non-believers, quitters and bitter people who didn’t have the balls to go after their own dreams.
You heard it from Russ first. And I’m echoing his sentiments: “Fuck those people. Get out of your own way”.
The secret to success is finding your passion and protecting it. To drown out the sound of useless people at the bottom, understand “that passion requires an insane level of self-confidence and a thick skin because in order to succeed you have to believe in yourself more than the average person”.
The second take away from Russ’s book is:
2. On Your Success Being Directly Linked To Your Self-Belief
There are studies that prove this. This is also why there’s a market for self-improvement books.
People are cottoning on to the fact that their minds are singlehandedly the most powerful thing that they possess and they understand self-improvement books are a means to re-discovering self-belief and tapping into their true potential.
I’ve used the word ‘manifestation’ and the skeptics amongst my readers will be raising their eyebrows right about…nowww!
“Not this hippie bs, Fahmida!”.
It isn’t bs though.
Russ used the word manifestation but really that’s just another word for conditioning the human mind.
And this is how you condition your mind:
You think a thought.
Believe in the thought.
Believe in the thought some more, with oomph and also every fibre of your being (there is no doubt in the belief).
Say that belief out loud.
Now repeat again.
And repeat some more.
Because if you think you’re invincible, before you know it, you will be invincible.
Descartes said it centuries ago:
Cogito, ergo sum
which is latin for “I think, therefore I am”.
Russ has been thinking. At 14, he stepped into his vision. While on the surface, he was but a teenage boy producing beats in his Mother’s basement, in his mind he was a worldwide superstar.
He thought it all the time and he put the work in (because manifestation doesn’t work if you don’t come through on your end with hard work).
And success followed, ten years later.
My last take away from Russ’s book, is:
3. On Timing:
You can’t put a deadline on success. It’s imperative that you detach from the when.
“You may think you need a new job within the next three months, or that you need to launch your non-profit by end of the year, or that your greatest desire must be fulfilled now”.
Maybe things aren’t happening now because you aren’t prepared. Or “maybe being delayed will mean that the market is more open or the economics will have shifted in your favour”.
You’re not in charge of the when. Let go of that.
I want to end on this quote from Russ:
“There are always going to be people who do what they are told, who play it safe, who follow the rules, and who criticise anyone who doesn’t. There will also always be people who question, who take risks, who embrace uncertainty, and who are open to discovery. Which kind of person do you want to be?”.