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Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings give Jalen Rose keys to financial freedom

Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings bring a wealth of knowledge to the world of personal finance.

They are the bright minds behind Earn Your Leisure — a revolutionary media platform that approaches financial literacy in a way that can be grasped by all. Their down-to-earth style often showcases celebrity interviews with huge names such as Steve Harvey getting candid about their own high-profile economics.

Last year, I was proud to be a guest on their powerhouse podcast of the same name, which we recorded inside a classroom of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, Michigan. Now, it’s time to have these financial gurus on “Renaissance Man.”

We went full Jim Cramer on the show this week, talking about how athletes and celebrities can lose their big bucks — and who should actually be taking the blame for. But the duo also explained the importance of understanding the responsibility everyone has when it comes to their money. 

It doesn’t matter how little or much they may have.

Rashad and Troy broke down some of the biggest money myths that can trap someone into losing control of their fiscal situation. We’re all fortunate to be beneficiaries of this advice. Here’s the biggest falsehoods holding people back from economic independence.

“One of them is definitely ‘The harder you work, the more money you’re going to make’ — that’s not necessarily true,” Rashad told me, calling the thought process a “middle-class mindset.” 

“Just working as much as possible, night shift, day shift, two, three jobs, that’s not a recipe for financial freedom … You’re [only] making enough money to pay your bills, you’re never going to be able to be financially free.”

What it really takes to shift out of that cycle is some breathing room and a break from the work beat. It’s crucial to use that time to analyze what the most financially viable move would be for a person’s long-term future.

“The slower you move, you actually add a better advantage,” Rashad concluded.

Both Rashad and Troy also stressed the importance that investing is not just a practice for the hyperwealthy.


Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings spoke to Jalen Rose about the keys to financial success.
Millings (left) and Bilal spoke to Jalen Rose about the keys to financial success.
Getty Images for Revolt Summit x AT&T

“I had this conversation with a 26-year-old the other day. I was like, ‘Are you investing in the stock market?’ [They said,] ‘I don’t have any money,’” Troy recalled. “That’s usually the answer … There is money somewhere that you are spending that could be invested. I don’t care if you have $100, if you have $500, $2,000. That’s enough for you to create a brokerage account and invest in a company.” 

You won’t become a millionaire overnight, but you are looking at a real legitimate difference over time.

“Will you make $1 million in the stock market? No, but if you make $10,000, $5,000, that’s more than you had the year prior,” he added.

On this topic, the Earn Your Leisure squad puts their money where their mouths are.

They are running InvestFest — one of the world’s largest conferences on personal finance and how to navigate the stock market — in Atlanta, Georgia, on Aug. 25 to 27.

It’s events like this that exemplify the endgame Rashad and Troy are advocating. 

The conversation around money needs must be had differently, especially in communities and economic situations where both investing and saving aren’t something easily spoken about.

“We have to change the narrative and that’s one of the powerful things with media,” Rashad said. “For so long, the narrative was being shaped for us, but now we get to reshape things and paint a different picture than the one that has been provided for us.”

Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the college hoops world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA before transitioning into a media personality. Rose executive-produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the author of the best-selling book “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a fashion tastemaker and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.

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