It’s All In Your Head by Russ [Book Summary]


From a very tender age, Russ was sure that he would become a well-known musician. But, the majority of the people that surround him didn’t believe that he would even make it at all. Before he started producing hits in 2015, he’d already been in the music industry for six years working there and produces 80 songs. At that time, he was fortunate if he made $200 per month and had to depend on his parents for support. 

What made Russ different from all other guys producing music in his basement was that he continued going. He possessed a deep internal determination and self-confidence, which sustained him through the leanest period. He continued making new music, improving his skills, and studying the music business with exciting intensity. His determination was worth it eventually, and presently he is an extremely successful musician. He’s made millions of dollars for his music, which have been watched on YouTube hundreds of millions of times.  

This book chapter shows the tactics Russ created to become resilient during the times of failure and reveal how he chased his dreams –regardless of what difficulties he faced along the line. 


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Chapter 1 – Possessing unshakeable self-confidence was significant to Russ being able to accomplish his goals.


Russ didn’t have any proof to show that he would be successful; still, he had unshakeable confidence in himself. This confidence was what made him scale through during difficult times when he was working diligently on his music in his parents’ basement, and nobody else looked to like his music.

Russ knew the influence of a positive mantra. In 2011 when he just 19years, he as well as his best friend named Bugus visited Los Angeles. They had constantly imagined that a day would come where one of their music videos would show on MTV. Therefore, while they were driving around, they continued repeating the mantra: “We’re going to appear on MTV.” 

Definitely, they also needed to do something to accomplish the dream. They arranged an active campaign “harassing” an MTV executive on Twitter and pleaded with him to just look at their music. Ultimately, he accepted. He eventually ended up loving them a lot and he put them on MTV! Russ and Bugus had to strive to acquire what they needed; however, everything began with them having a direct vision and trusting that they could accomplish it.



As this illustration indicates, it’s essential to share your goals with the world – and to exploit the power of social media.

On Twitter Russ frequently broadcast his dreams there as if they were real. One time, he tweeted that he was producing a “million dollars a beat,” although he was completely broke and barely getting anything at that stage. He didn’t mention: “One day I’ll make a huge amount of money.” He asserted that he was already making what he wished to be earning because in his mind it was a sealed deal; he was only waiting for reality to catch up.

If you, just like Russ, have a wild dream that you wish to chase, then follow his step– dream of the reality you want to live in. 

Let’s assume you want to purchase a new house. Attempt to visualize how you’ll feel walking through the front door with the keys right in your hand. Visualize the crystal blue of your pool and how it will feel to absorb the sun from the luxury of your new sun lounger. Even if you don’t have money and don’t know how to pay your rent –do not mind a house – you can still dream. And ensure to share your dreams with the world in order for other people to understand what you’re targeting. Ambition is not a thing to be embarrassed about!


Chapter 2 – Ignore external measures of success. Russ’s journey reveals that it’s significant to concentrate on doing something you love.


Russ played a show in Tampa, Florida in the year 2015. There were just 40 people present, and he had to lodge in a shabby hotel by himself since he didn’t have money to bring anybody along to cheer him.

This might seem like a really discouraging experience for a person who sees himself to be a star; however, Russ didn’t experience it that manner. Instead, he was excited only to be doing what he loved: playing music. He wasn’t bothered if there were 40 or 40,000 people in the audience. Russ gave it his all. According to him, the experience really motivating that it even inspired him to write another song.

Every one of us can get a clue from Russ on how to chase what we love doing. A lot of us have never actually really thought about what our real passions might be. We’re very accustomed to reasoning in terms of limitations and fearing what could possibly go wrong. We are not living in a society where wild dreams are supported. Oftentimes, our wishes are rejected by “realistic” family and friends declaring objections. For you to chase what we love, we’ll need to silence those critical voices and substitute them with unabashed self-belief. 



If we try to take the plunge, then we’ll get the huge satisfaction of doing what we love. Just like Russ, we’ll be playing the game rather than only viewing from the sidelines and contemplating what could have been. 

Russ had to wait for six years to attain the musical credit he wanted. At that point, he continued producing music and releasing singles. Now we understand that success was awaiting him on the other side. What if it hadn’t been? Russ would still be committing himself to his skill – even if that entailed singing to a half-empty room in a Florida bar. 


Chapter 3 – Getting support from the people around him assisted Russ to endure through the hard period.


As we’ve understood, firm self-belief is the way to accomplishing your visions. But, we need to also endeavor to surround ourselves with people who encourage and support us, rather than those who ridicule us.

Russ’s passion for music was usually motivated by his family. They gave the basis for his gifts to thrive. His parents played music in the house all the time, and his father would frequently sing in the car, gently hitting the steering wheel just like an imaginary drum set. 

When Russ was a still a child, he visited his grandfather Pop-Pop in Florida, Pop-Pop taught Russ how to play his first chords on the guitar. Afterward, Pop-Pop bought Russ his own guitar when he was 14 years, hence motivating him to begin his music career.

When Russ had an unusual instant of self-doubt, his brother was the person who advised him to stop feeling like that. Russ had begun producing music; however, he wished to rap himself. But, he believed his voice wasn’t that good and that he’d sound silly. His brother advised him to try it out

Russ did just that and began recording his first rap songs. Initially, they did sound very terrible; however, Russ had at least gotten the confidence to make an effort. He got better gradually.



We can’t decide our parents and siblings; Russ was fortunate to have a supportive family. But, we can pick our friends. Russ ensured that he surrounds himself with people who pushed him forward, rather than refraining him. 

Bugus, who is Russ’s best friend, has been one of his biggest supporters and motivations. When Russ initially began producing beats in high school, Bugus help him and attempted his own hand at making music. Russ was really motivated by Bugus’s autonomy in doing his own rapping, that he ultimately began rapping himself.

 Bugus and Russ were reliable collaborators who never stopped inspiring one other to attain greater heights.  

Check the people that surround you. Do they sincerely support your ambitions? Or do they attempt to restrict you? Working toward achieving your ambitions is a long haul journey. The journey will be very sweeter if you possess some motivating travel buddies.


Chapter 4 – Russ incorporated positive thinking with hard work to realize his musical goals. 


If you see professional athletes slam dunking on the basketball court, or easily making a hole-in-one, you’ll see that they’re really confident that they nearly make it seem simple. 

But, this seeming ease contradicts hours and hours of work – hours of early practice in the morning, days of annoyance as shots are not hit. Although self-belief is the seed we have to plant our dreams, hard work is just that thing that will enable them to grow. 

Nobody understands this better than Russ. Between the years 2011 and 2016, he produced over 80 songs on eleven albums! During that entire time he got really small recognition; however, he continued working. Though he made several errors, he continued improving his art and, ultimately, he got better.

Also, both Russ and Bugus made it their aim to learn about the business aspect of the music industry. They studied the discographies of successful rappers. They studied how well-known musicians produced their music and how their careers were handled. They searched for hints that could show what made fans go wild for specific music, and not others.



Russ studied the bestseller records and found out that the most famous music is regularly the first music on an album. He chose that he needed to make the most of this fact by producing “one-song albums” and progressed to record six months’ worth of songs. Then, he began releasing one song on the online music platform called TuneCore each week. The tactic was effective. In June of 2015, Russ made only $620 on the platform. But, in the next year, that amount had increased to $102,000. 

Presently, seeing Russ perform with a confident swagger to stadiums of fans, you might reason that everything came easy. However, similar to the basketball player dedicating hours of practice to master a slam dunk, Russ worked really hard at mastering his skill. He supported his dreams with hours of hard work and tactical research. 


Chapter 5 – Russ’s strategy for achievement was being self-sufficient and getting new skills.


Say you’re a young musician beginning in the music industry. You’ve been working diligently at your skill, and then you get a breakthrough song. All of a sudden, there’s an entirely new world to navigate – one of publicity and royalties and deals. You’re totally overwhelmed. 

In this type of circumstance, you might be really tempted to admit a suggestion from a manager or record company to manage your finances and business discussions. Although, this might lessen the pressure and doubt; it can as well deny you of something significant: charge over your own career. 

In 2014, Russ rejected two proposals from record companies, although he was just making $200 every month and badly required the money. He understood that if he managed himself, he would have a lot of self-sufficiency. This tactic has signified that Russ is one of the few successful artists who still possess the rights to the majority of his own music. If he’d been less certain of himself and signed a deal to a label before when he didn’t have much bargaining power, he would have gotten a much less pleasing contract.

Russ’s persistence of autonomy isn’t restricted to the business aspect of things. Since he began producing music at the age of 14, he was committed to being able to make and record it on his own. He made a temporary recording studio in his parents’ basement to avoid the financial strain of having to rent one. Also, this signified that he didn’t have to stick to anyone’s hours except his own; he could make songs day or night.



Practicing how to record and mix his own song provided Russ lots of creative autonomy. In 2010, both he and Bugus used their savings to employ MixedByAli a professional, to mix the songs on Bugus’s first album (that Russ was producing). Though he was really gifted, MixedByAli couldn’t get the actual sound they wanted. Russ chose to teach himself how to do the mixing. It took a little time to understand the technology; however, as soon as he did, he was able to mix the songs precisely the manner he’d thought of them.

Russ’s career displays how much can be acquired by learning the understanding and skills you require yourself, rather than giving the job to professionals. Nowadays, all the teachers you require can be seen online – frequently for free. The only thing you require is a lot of determination and the readiness to learn on your feet.


Chapter 6 – Having a breakdown assisted Russ to concentrate on what was actually important.


Though Russ had been preparing for success his entire life, it was still a vast amendment to become well-known. At a time, he was accountable to only himself, he was now strongly in the public eye.

His bluntness on social media and ardent self-confidence annoyed some people the wrong way and brought about controversy. For instance, in 2017 when Russ shared his vision for the following year’s Grammys, tweeting that he would win 10. However, he didn’t get any Grammys in 2018, his tweet became a thing of mockery.

It is painful to have his dreams ridiculed. Worse, he saw lies being disseminated about him online. Russ was depressed as he attempted in vain to combat his virtual critics.

He understood that he had lost concentrating on what he truly loved best: producing music. For him to reset, he took a leave from social media, stopped going on tours, and declined every interview request. Rather, he relaxed and spent time with family and friends who adored and supported him. 

By getting a break from the public eye, Russ was able to reconnect with himself and his exceptional self-confidence. He understood that being susceptible and disclosing his soul wasn’t a bad thing and that if he owned his obvious weaknesses they could turn into power. Also, he understood that he had no power over what people spread about him. What was more important was what he was saying about himself – and that was something he had power over.



When people were mocking him about his Grammy tweet, Russ had been really embarrassed that he had to delete the tweet. However, after he reconnected with his confidence, he allowed everyone to understand that he stood by the tweet. What if people mocked him? What was more significant was that he trusted in himself, that he had the courage of his beliefs. 

Taking a leave from the public eye instantly was worth it in musical dividends. Day two of his break, he was already producing new songs. The energy he had used writing annoyed Facebook posts was put to better use writing musical notes.

Russ understood that although having a breakdown felt terrible, it had also been a beneficial experience as well. It provided him the chance to reaffirm what he believed in and get back up with renewed concentration and passion. 


It’s All In Your Head by Russ Book Review


The story of Russ indicates that there are usually steps you can take to chase your dreams, even with really limited resources. By working tirelessly and learning the tools he would require to succeed, Russ was able to form a growing music career on his own terms, free from the meddling of record labels and managers. The strategy for his success was his positive state of mind and a certain belief in his own skills.  


Take creative risks, and don’t be scared to attempt new things.

 It is not a shameful thing to being a beginner. As a matter of fact, it can bring about creative innovations. For instance, when one of Russ’s fans offered him a ukulele, he did two new songs including the instrument –although he’d never played it before. This enabled him to find a totally new sound. Think of how you can stir your own creative practice by attempting new things. You might discover an unanticipated creative way to explore. At the very least, you’ll have an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and have fun. 


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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