Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings have found a unique way to educate a generation on the importance of financial literacy. With the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, Bilal and Millings provide insight on business, real estate, and investing in a way that incorporates hip-hop culture.
The duo has presented ground-breaking interviews with prominent figures such as Steve Harvey, Rick Ross, Jemele Hill, and Nick Cannon, to name a few.
Bilal and Millings recently shared their story of providing financial education through “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, and teaming up with Harvey and Tyler Perry for Invest Fest Atlanta.
“Earn Your Leisure” allows you to give the world knowledge when it comes to financial literacy. How did that come about?
Troy Millings: It started about 10 years ago. I was teaching and figured out quickly that the curriculum wasn’t going to be conducive to the students’ future learning and the things that they could do in the future. I thought to myself, ‘If I’m not proud of the solution, and I’m part of the problem.’ So I had an opportunity to create a summer program in my community where we taught financial literacy. At the same time, Rashad was starting his financial advising career, so I asked him to come teach financial literacy. We collaborated at that moment. I would help him write lesson plans, and he’d come in and be the face of it. Then he had the great idea to use social media and started to record. And so those those tapings actually went to social media and it started a buzz about education and financial literacy. We started “Earn Your Leisure” podcast three years ago and the rest is history.
How has social media played a role in expanding the “Earn Your Leisure” brand?
Rashad Bilal: We started as a podcast and now we view it as a media company. It’s like reading the newspaper or watching CNBC or CNN. So now the new way that we’re digesting information is through social media. So that gives us tremendous opportunity because you don’t have to have the same infrastructure as a newspaper company or television company to actually produce content to reach the same amount or more people. That’s how we always looked at it. It’s not just a podcast that comes out once a week, but a full-fledged new media outlet and as a media outlet. You have to put out content all the time because you know, stories break and you know, people kind of tend to rely on you for information, so they’re not going to get it if you’re just putting stuff out once a week. So [posting] every single day, multiple times during the day, that’s the model that we kind of built.
Both Steve Harvey and Tyler Perry will be present at Invest Fest Atlanta. How did you connect with Harvey and Perry?
Millings: Connecting with Steve Harvey was interesting. That call happened in July 2021. We originally was supposed to go meet him for his golf tournament. But we had just come back from Africa and flew 13 hours…So we decided to do it in the first quarter of the next year… And that started the relationship. We had an amazing conversation. Everybody saw that episode, but we had a two hour conversation prior to the episode and probably another two hour conversation after. He was just kind of taken aback about a vision on how we wanted to grow our platform and said, “Look, whatever you guys are in the business of, I’d like to help you.” And so that’s how that relationship started. And he’s been a man of his word ever since.
Bilal: The connection with Tyler Perry came through Steve Harvey. He reached out to him and asked him to come to Invest Fest. They reached out to us and said, “Before you interview him, it would be a good idea if you toured the property.” We went to Egypt last year and I’ve always heard about the pyramids and the Sphinx. But you can’t really fully understand it until you actually see it. That’s the same thing with Tyler Perry studios. If you take all of the Hollywood studios, it can fit on his property. So it’s just huge. And it’s just amazing that he was sleeping in his car and started doing plays, self-funded throughout the whole situation, and what he’s achieved is unprecedented. I don’t think anyone has ever done what he’s done…Visiting his studio was extremely inspiring.
What can attendees expect from Invest Fest Atlanta?
Bilal: They should be expecting all things that “Earn Your Leisure” represents, so real estate, crypto, stocks, budgeting, and entrepreneurship. But then we got to add the entertainment aspect of it. We have musical performances. We have food experiences. We’re going to have a vendor marketplace where you can shop and support small businesses. And then of course, you can hear from legendary people like Tyler Perry and Steve Harvey. Learning is something that’s definitely important, but we tried to curate a situation where it’s going to be every single emotion that you can think of such as being excited, having fun eating, shopping, and networking. All wrapped together, in one weekend in Atlanta.