Success

Rapper and Netflix star Killer Mike: How a Warren Buffett mindset has been key to my success

Michael Render, known by many as Killer Mike, is a Grammy-winning rapper, activist and entrepreneur.

His outspoken opinions on cultural norms and social issues landed him his new Netflix series "Trigger Warning," where he examines the social and economic problems facing black Americans.

As an entrepreneur, he owns The SWAG Shop barbershop in Atlanta with his wife, where they have two locations and plans for further expansion.

His projects have earned him millions throughout his career and while he's still not a billionaire, he says he has a billionaire's mindset, thanks to his careful study of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Like Buffett, Render tells CNBC Make It he prides himself on spending his money wisely and investing in his community to create long-term wealth.

Killer Mike of Run The Jewels performs live on stage at Finsbury Park on June 30, 2018 in London, England.
Jim Dyson | Getty Images
Killer Mike of Run The Jewels performs live on stage at Finsbury Park on June 30, 2018 in London, England.

Render emphasizes that Buffett lives in the same house he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 and that he has a pattern of driving old cars, despite having the money to buy a new one.

"My thing is, if you live below your means, if you're conservative financially, if you take care of you and your family first, and then the greater community, that truly is a billionaire's mindset to me," he says.

"Having money to floss and gold chains and stuff, that's cool because you're a rapper, you're young, you're flashy and it attracts people to look at you. But, at the end of the day, my net worth is worth a lot more than what my neck is worth."

Growing up in Atlanta, Render says he learned a lot about business because his grandparents "were very frugal with money." Now, as a successful adult, he says he still carries those same practices with him.

"I live like a successful working class guy," he explains. "I have a home that is a very nice home. It's big and beautiful, but it's well below what I could afford. I drive an American muscle car. I drive a Hellcat. My wife drives a Mercedes. But, you know, I'm just a regular guy."

Render admits that his lifestyle today is far different from his humble upbringing in a two bedroom home where he slept on the floor. But, even with the fame and fortune that he's earned, he says one of his biggest fears is blowing it all in an irresponsible way.

"I'm not going to overspend," he says. "My greatest fear is becoming someone who wasted an opportunity to change in terms of generational wealth. You know, I don't want to cripple my family financially and I don't want to embarrass black people. Those are my two mantras daily — do right by my family and not embarrass my people."

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