Ryan Leslie is a rapper, a music producer and an entrepreneur. He is possibly one of the most underrated rappers turned entrepreneurs in recent history that are making millions on the quiet.
The artiste has mixed his music career with entrepreneurship. A careful analysis of the net worth of American music stars shows that they made a significant majority of their wealth through other ventures aside from music. For instance, Rihanna made $1.2 billion of her $1.7 net worth through her Fenty Beauty venture with the remaining $5 million coming from music and other related sources. Jay-Z’s investment in technology and exclusive wines propelled him to his billionaire status.
In 2009, Leslie took a savvy investment decision to invest in Apple stocks. This was before the tech giant became the first trillion-dollar company in 2018. He made an initial deposit of $100,000 and saw it ballooned to $350,000.
Leslie was ready to cash out. It was a worthy investment and the return was pretty decent. However, he was stopped by his mentor. In an episode on “Earn Your Leisure,” he revealed that he wanted to cash the money to get something nice for his mother.
However, his mentor advised him to figure out another way of getting something nice for his mother while holding onto his stock investment in Apple. He listened to his mentor and they agreed to not cash out. Every year, Leslie would monitor his investment grow and when he checked this year, his $100,000 investment was just under $16 million.
“I remember a conversation I had with my mentor. I said, ‘Hey look, man. I took your advice and man, $100K [turned into] $350K. I’mma cash out and get something nice for my mom,” Ryan told the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast show, according to Complex.
“And he gave me an ultimatum at that time—he said, ‘Ryan, listen. You can go ahead and cash out, give something nice to your mom. We’ll shake hands and I’ll never teach you anything again. Or, you figure out a different way to give something nice to your mom and hold onto that investment, and we’ll check in every single year around tax time and we’ll see what it grows to.’ And when we checked in this year, that $100K…was just under $16 million,” he added.
On the show, Ryan revealed how significant mentorship helped him stay focus.
“If it was up to me, I’m looking in the mirror and thinking, ‘Man I’m smart. I made a great investment.’ It’s given me a great return.’ [But] sometimes, the lens of expertise and the lens of experience can actually provide you wings that allow you to fly further than you can fly on your own,” he said.
Leslie, who has worked with a number of prominent artistes including Beyonce, Kanye West, Britney Spears and P. Diddy, recently created SuperPhone, a CRM platform that helps artistes build one-to-one relationships with their fan base.