I had the pleasure of interviewing Rabbi Jacob Rupp, who is the CEO of Lift Your Legacy, an online community and coaching practice committed to helping people live more genuine, productive, and spiritual lives. After receiving two BA’s and his rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem, Rabbi Rupp has spent over a decade in outreach and Jewish education, helping people recognize the relevance and importance of spiritual living and mystical principles in the modern era. Recognizing the need to not just be a rabbi but to be a coach and influencer as well, Jacob built a thriving online community and private practice, and a podcast focusing on helping more people achieve their potential.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get to be where you are right now?
Great question! Thanks to Ryan Holiday, the now famous stoic quote “The Obstacle is the Way” is certainly a theme in my life. I grew up spiritually educated, overweight, and without proper guidance from my father. These three themes, and taking ownership over them really helped focus my mission in life. I strive to be the father, mentor, and teacher that I feel like I didn’t have, both for my children and my students. I became a health enthusiast, working out a lot, and currently really into BJJ and muy thai. One theme that has pushed me is how I can take more control of my life and create the life that I want instead of living in a state of reaction. That theme worked on a spiritual plane as well. I wanted to figure out my spiritual truth and live it to the fullest. As such I’ve spent over a decade immersing myself in Jewish mystical and legal text. I was shocked to find a great convergence and very modern and inspirational ideas within, and sought to share it with as wide an audience as I could.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How did this quality help you overcome obstacles on the path of becoming an influential and inspiring leader?
The simple answer is I am an extrovert. I thrive off of the interaction with and the energy of other people. That being said, as I get older, I tend to find myself needing time to renew my strength, pull into myself, and replenish my resources. I do this by reading a ton, listening to a ton of podcasts, and spending a lot of time walking, at the gym, or focusing on my inner world. That being said, because I love interacting with people, I found myself drawn to work that impacts others and makes them feel clear on their own path and life goals.
Building your own organization and platform isn’t easy. I blame the ADD more than my extroverted nature but the biggest challenges to my work have been delegating and creating clear paths to growth. I drink from the firehose and get upset when things don’t materialize as fast as I want. That being said, again, the obstacle is the way. The older I get the more I realize that loving and accepting yourself and your progress is as important as the end goal, whatever that may be.
What does it mean to be mentally-strong in the hyper-competitive world of running a business or an organization?
Mentally strong doesn’t mean pushing yourself to the level of exhaustion. Borrowing from the world of jiu jitsu and body-building, learning to conserve your energy and being strategic about how you deploy your resources. In this regard, strong is a misnomer because we think of strength as raw ability to get things done. Strength needs to be more self-reflective; what can you do and what can’t you do. What can you get help with and what can you learn for yourself? What can you outsource and what can you do later? Being everything for everyone is an ingredient for failure. A strong person can overcome “hyper-competition” and reach that state of zen where they are functioning at their full capacity and not beyond.
A lot of people in the business world feel as if talking about mental health makes them appear weak. How do you feel about showing mental strength and setting an example of what it takes to have the strong mental stamina to succeed?
Immediately I am thinking about a small dog that barks loudly. A lot of people who feel that its weak to speak about mental health don’t realize how weak they appear. Everyone struggles and suffers from one thing or another, and acknowledging that is the foundation of the power to take action and get better. A fundamental teaching of Judaism is that a strong person is he who overcomes his negative inclination. If you know what you are personally working to overcome, and are addressing it in a way that is self-loving and patient, you have all the strength in the world. If you are ignoring you have self-work to do, you’ve pretty much lost before you begin.
Is there a particular person, a book, or place of wisdom that has inspired you to become a successful and mentally-strong leader?
As a person that has read thousands of books and listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts, I am confident in the quote that you can learn from everyone. Everyone is a leader in one particular area if you can take the time to look closely and get to know them. But the foundation of this all for me is the Torah; the concept that God created Man in His image, which means that each person has within them the latent potential to create greatness in their lives. From there, everything else is the “how” to do it.
Can you give us 5 tips on maintaining strong mental health stamina to succeed in the modern business world? Tell us a little about why each point matters.
If the readers of this interview series would like to read more about you, how they can reach out?