Secrets Your Mom NEVER Told You About Love, Marriage, & Money

By Evelyn Cole

1. The honeymoon was over before it began. Cousin Joe came to your parents’ wedding reception drunk, made a speech about the bride and her old boyfriend, infuriating your father. His father kicked Joe in the shins. Joe howled with rage. The best man dragged him outside and your mother spilled red wine on her $1000.00 wedding gown.

2. The reception cost $10,000.00. Your mother’s parents put up $2,000. That’s all they could afford. Your Dad’s parents didn’t put up any money but they gave them $500 for the honeymoon.

3. The honeymoon cost $6,000.00 and it rained the whole week.

4. Your parents spent the first ten years of their marriage paying off their wedding. That’s why they waited so long to have you. Those years weren’t a whole lot of fun.

That’s one story. There are too many like it.

The point: our culture builds fantastic illusions about weddings. We spend far too much on them and often suffer great disappointment.

I want to spare you that disappointment.

I want you to experience the joy of everyday love and laughter from an inexpensive wedding, with friends you don’t need to impress, in a marriage that lasts because it’s based on reality, not illusion and hype.

I write from bitter experience. I married twice for the wrong reasons. When I finally learned to live alone, support myself, find my own strength, my own values, I married again for the right reasons. What a relief. What a joy.

So be careful when you read those bridal magazines and honeymoon ads. Broken illusions are not only painful, they’re expensive!

And besides, after the honeymoon you have to know how to keep love alive.

Remember when you first fell in love? Glorious, wasn’t it.

I’m sure you know why the phrase is “fall in love” not “step in love” or “crawl in love”. You fall, “head over heels”.

There is nothing rational about sexual love. It’s called “blind love” because the frontal lobes of the brain are not involved at all.

But where does that great love go? And it does go.

The romantic phase of a relationship is blind. When the blinders wear off you begin to see each others as individuals. You begin to compete, like siblings. If you grew up with a brother or sister close to your age, you know how to fight and get over it. But, If you didn’t have a close sibling, you don’t know how–and your spouse does!

Then, when the fighting starts the love dies hard, unless . . .

you both decide to keep it alive,

not the crazy “in love”

but a conscious, willing exploration of your own subconscious mind, and an open sharing of your discoveries.

For example, one man told me that he doesn’t like to French kiss. He said it gave him “the willies”. His wife was terribly hurt. She felt rejected by him. He loved her every other way, but his tongue embarrassed him.

In writing about his tongue he uncovered the source of his embarrassment and spit it out for good.

Another way to keep love alive involves recognizing the role of projection in everyday life. Everyone projects his feelings about himself onto others at some time. If I think I am clumsy today, I notice how clumsy everyone is. If I feel fat, I notice everyone else’s fat. If I feel good, I notice how pleasant everyone is today.

We tend to project our self-criticism onto the ones we love, killing love. Recognizing self-criticism will keep love alive.

Recognizing the source of your attitudes toward and habits with money will save many a fight.

Since love is more important than vitamins for good health, make sure you keep it alive.

As long as you keep uncovering your whole mind and sharing it with your lover, you will keep love alive and live long and wealthily.

Besides, the hidden advantage of using your whole mind with your lover is laughter, and that really keeps love alive.

 Evelyn Cole, MA, MFA, The Whole-mind Writer:  Cole’s chief aim in life is to convince everyone to understand the power of the subconscious mind and synchronize it with goals of the conscious mind. Along with “Mind Nudges” and “Brainsweep”, she has published three novels and several poems that dramatize subconscious power.

Marriage & Money 101: Stop Trippin & Let The Best Money Manager Manage The Money!

By Aiyana Ma’at

I think it’s so interesting how easily we can get caught up in how we think things are “supposed to be” in our marriages. I can’t tell you how many times Ayize and I have talked this “money issue” over with couples.

We hear from so many men that say they want to handle the money….they should be handling the financial issues of the family, etc. but….it’s the wife that’s doing the handling. My husband often asks quite casually “So, you wanna handle the money, huh?” The guy is like “Yeah” Ayize then says something incredibly deep like…”Why?” And then there’s silence…….

Or there’s the wife whose sick and tired of handling all of the money and bills herself and she’s complaining and complaining and I ever so casually 🙂 say “So, you’re tired of handling the money huh?” The wife is like “Yes!” And then I say something amazingly deep like “You know you can stop right?”  Lol!

Look, we do things and don’t do things in our marriages for all sorts of reasons. We’re naturally good at some things and suck at others in our marriages. Some of us spenders. Some of us are savers. Some of us are excellent dreamers and others of us live straight up in the “Let’s keep it 100% REAL” world.

My point? Don’t make shit harder than it has to be! If you’e good at something then you handle it. One person might be a ridiculously excellent budgeter. Another might be good at keeping up with bills and due dates and the such. Sit down and figure out what works for you and your marriage!

Check out Jan & Jerry’s story below and then decide to work smarter and not harder so that your money can work for you in your relationship!

(Adapted from

The Geigers

Letting the best money manager manage the money: Before Jan Dahlin Geiger and her husband, Jerry, of Atlanta got married 15 years ago — each for the second time — they were financial opposites. Jan Dahlin, 58, a financial planner, was debt averse. “I was saving 10 percent for retirement and my kids’ college fund and did not have a cent of debt, other than a $50,000 mortgage,” she says. By his own admission, Jerry, 66, a sales executive, earned a lot and spent a lot. With his shiny cars, a divorce that cost him six figures, and more than $10,000 in credit card and other debt, he was deep in the red. “It was an addiction,” he says. “I got into the habit of spending whatever I had. I had to borrow money, because I was spending in anticipation of making it.” Jan Dahlin sums it up: “He spent money like a wild man.”

And she was horrified. Through her work, Jan Dahlin had seen many people’s lives ruined by financial recklessness. “My first response was, ‘I can’t marry him,’” she says. “I told him if he wanted to marry me, we needed to make hard choices.”

Realizing he had to either change or remain single, Jerry sat down and discussed finances with Jan Dahlin. Then he agreed to a comprehensive money overhaul, including:

Paying down his debts: Some $110,000 in loans and credit card interest was erased in two years.
Not keeping up with the Joneses: The Geigers agreed to buy a $200,000 home rather than the half-million-dollar one Jerry craved.
Other trade-downs: Gone are the BMWs and Cadillacs. Now he tools around in a used Dodge minivan.
Monthly reviews: To track their financial progress.
Jerry concedes that changing his ways wasn’t easy: “It was like shock treatment. I remember how I struggled to come to terms with the less expensive house.” But when he retires at 67, “we’ll be able to take an awesome vacation every month if we want to,” says Jan Dahlin. “I can honestly say we have had few fights over money. And our net worth today is about 1,000 percent of what it was 15 years ago.”

BLAM Family……How do you manage the money in your house?

Is Money More Important Than Sex In A Relationship?

Scott and Bethany Palmer

In a recent survey, 1,000 single adults ranked financial responsibility higher than physical attractiveness when considering a mate. In fact, women ranked financial responsibility in a long-term partner to be equally essential as sexual compatibility.
So how do you find a financially responsible companion?

1. Look For A Willingness To Discuss Money Matters. If the cat’s got his tongue every time you try to talk about money, he may be a dog. Look for someone not afraid to discuss the reality of finances. We use money every single day so it makes sense you would like to know their thoughts on the subject. You don’t need to grill them about their credit score, but if they are willing to talk about dollars and cents, try a few open-ended questions, like:

What kind of vacations have you taken recently?
What stresses you out when it comes to money?
If you’ve been together a bit longer, you might like to know:
Do you consistently track your savings and spending?
How do you feel about debt?
Do you invest? Would you describe yourself as conservative or aggressive?
A willingness to talk about money is a great quality in a potential mate. Open communication now means less misunderstanding and potential conflict down the road.

2. Watch For Warning Signs.

If it seems like your potential mate has an extreme approach toward spending or saving you may want to reconsider a long-term union. If he spends money without considering future consequences or avoids participation in anything requiring a financial commitment, you may be dating a personality type we call a “flyer.” They are not likely to care about consequences to their money decisions, because they believe relationships and memories trump financial responsibility. Of course, that is not all bad. But extreme spending or saving without any regard for the future may signal financial immaturity, not responsibility.
CLICK HERE to read more.

This Family Got A New Home For Christmas! Hard Work Pays Off.

By Courtland Milloy

It was the day before Christmas, and all through the Johnson family’s new house, everybody was stirring.


Except a mouse — which did not come with the house, thankfully.


“We are so excited,” said Keianna Johnson, 33, a hairstylist.


She and husband Bryan, 34, a cable technician for Comcast, had been saving up for two years to buy a house. Last month, the couple and their five children moved out of a cramped three-bedroom, one-bath rental in Hyattsville and into a spacious four-bedroom, two-bath split level in Waldorf.


What a holiday gift to themselves. A commitment to hard work and financial discipline rewarded; a conviction that together they could accomplish what neither parent could do alone affirmed.


In this era of economic stagnation, when upward mobility cannot be assured no matter how hard you try, the Johnsons had clung to a belief in the American dream — and made a big piece of it come true. Buying a house was laying down roots.


“We’re making great memories for our children — the first Christmas in our new home,” Keianna said.


“I feel so proud,” Bryan said. “After work, it feels like I’m really coming home. To our home.”


The house has a large family room where the Johnsons will gather to watch their favorite holiday features, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “The Polar Express.”


The room even has a gas log fireplace. So, of course, stockings were hung by the chimney with care: for Raequan, 12; the twins, Aaron and Adrian, 9; Brooke, 5; and Brielle, 1.


Not huge stockings, though.


“We’ve already told the kids not to expect a lot of stuff,” Bryan said. “We’ve changed the way we manage our finances.”


That doesn’t mean the youngsters shouldn’t have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.


“They’ll get some gifts,” Keianna said. “They like coloring books. They can use some new hats and gloves, too. I guess we could fit an MP3 player inside a stocking.”


The house — that’s the real gift.


Brooke had already turned the family room into something of a concert hall, a place to showcase her talents on a toy xylophone. For Brielle, the room was perfect for hide-and-seek, with new nooks and crannies to explore on hands and knees.


Aaron and Adrian prefer running up and down the stairs.


Dad, on the other hand, says enough already with the commotion. But he’s not in the mood to play Grinch just yet. Maybe it’s because his wife so enjoys the sounds of all the kids’ laughter.


“When we were in the apartment, the children couldn’t make any noise — no loud laughter or running,” Keianna said. “We lived on top of another unit, and the people below could hear everything. The children couldn’t even be children.”


In the apartment, Raequan had to share a room with his younger brothers. He had longed for a room of his own. Now he has it.


“He really likes being able to say, ‘Get out of my room,’ ” Keianna said.


The new home has a yard where the kids can play. There is also a driveway and parking space on the street. (At their apartment complex, parking was so restrictive that it was a hassle for friends to visit them.)


The Johnsons got a good deal on the house — in no small part due to the bad deal that so many homeowners got when the housing market crashed. Home values plummeted. Suddenly, homeownership was in reach of many who had never even dreamed of buying a place of their own.


The Johnsons ended up paying half of what the house had sold for in 2007.


“We did not get the most expensive house that we could afford,” Bryan said. “We wanted a house that would give us more room but allow us to live comfortably whether the housing market went up or down.”


Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter. It was the moving van. But it might as well have been Santa.

Originally printed on 


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Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at Talk About “Woman Breadwinners” On The Jennifer Keitt Show Tonight At 7pm EST

What’s up BLAM Fam,

Check us out Tonight at 7pm EST on The Jennifer Keitt Show KISS 104, Atlanta


Alpha WOMEN and Beta MEN?!  How does a woman being primary breadwinner or sole breadwinner affect her relationship with her man??

CLICK HERE to listen live.

How To Climb The Money Mountain When You’re Married

By Deborah Fowles

Psychologists say that many people will talk about anything, even sex, before they’ll talk about their finances. Why is it so difficult for us to talk about money? Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people: power, control, security, or love, for instance.It’s been estimated that money issues are the driving force in 90% of divorces, but you CAN live happily ever after, financially speaking, if you work at not letting financial issues come between you and your partner.In her book “Talking Money,” Jean Chatzky, columnist for Money magazine and regular contributor to theToday show, offers practical advice for talking to your spouse or life partner about this emotionally charged issue, including these tips for twosomes:Find a Neutral TimeDon’t wait until your spouse has charged up a storm on the credit card or another hot financial issue arises to broach the subject. The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no particular money issue at hand.Give a Little to Get a Little

Volunteer your own feelings about a financial issue and it may encourage your partner to do the same. If your relationship is the first priority, you’ll both have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money. Discuss how your parents dealt with money, what it meant to you when you were growing up, and how you dealt with it in past relationships.

Know Where You Stand

Be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you’ve always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be “taken care of” financially. If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if his or her spending habits are not good. You have to be honest with yourself about these feelings in order to be honest with your partner.

Bring in a Third Party

If you can’t seem to talk about finances, seek out a counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. This could be a financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor.

Do’s and Don’ts for Couples

Chatzky also offers these do’s and don’ts for merging your finances:


  • Track Your SpendingKnowing where your money is going is the first key to financial security, and keeping a budget, which includes tracking your spending, is the only way to really know where your money is going. For more information on budgets that work, see Budgeting 101.
  • Agree to DisagreeCome up with spending and savings goals and guidelines, then let your partner manage his or her own spending money. For more information on setting spending and savings goals, see The Secret to Saving Money, and Financial Goals.CLICK HERE to read more.

How Will You Be Handling Money In Your Marriage In 2013? Plan! Plan! Plan!

By Barbara Calvi

Money is a loaded subject for many couples. It is often why marriages end in divorce. It can be a “hot topic” even when couples are doing well in their personal finances. So, how much more difficult might it be for couples to address money issues when the economy is still recovering and no one knows when we’ll be out of this mess? Those relationship issues may become magnified and may be taking a real toll on your marriage now.

Even if you were one of the lucky couples who didn’t fight over money, you may find that money is currently affecting your relationship or partnership.

Read on and discover some tips to help your marriage or partnership survive and even strengthen in 2013.


Even if your style is to keep problems and concerns to yourself rather than talking with your partner, now is the time to challenge yourself and make some changes. Consider your partner your teammate. That sense of, “we are in this together,” can create an incredible bond. It is like a glue that can keep you feeling close when there is a lot of angst in the air. Being transparent and sharing your worries not only helps you feel closer but will also relieve some of the stress you are feeling. In addition, your partner may actually be able to make you feel better.


When you’re talking to your partner go out of your way to really listen to what he or she has to say. Ignore the temptation to interrupt and add your own two cents. Ignore the temptation to come up with solutions (unless asked for one). Just listen. Make good eye contact. Nod and make acknowledging sounds. Even reflect back some of what you think your partner may be feeling based on what they’ve said. Your partner will probably feel so supported by you when they feel you are taking the time to just listen and be there for them. This is a great technique to strengthen your relationship.


You may have to make some temporary changes in your schedules, roles and lives for the time being. Perhaps one of you is working more hours than usual. Be flexible and help by picking up the slack with the kids, driving or housecleaning. You may need to let go for the time being of what your standards for a clean house are. You may need change the way you and your family enjoy your time together. Know that doing so in a cooperative way will foster good will between the two of you. Supporting each other in this way can also strengthen your commitment to each other and your relationship.


Proper breathing is a well documented strategy for dealing with anxiety and stress. It has been known in other cultures for centuries to be a way to feeling more calm and more at peace. Recent medical research supports this ancient wisdom and now western mainstream health professionals espouse this advice often. Take a few minutes each day (several times a day of possible) to sit quietly and take full and deep belly breaths. (Feel your belly expand and contract as you breath in and out.) Also just stop during the day occasionally and remind yourself to take a few deep and full breaths in the midst of what you are doing.


Even though it’s a stressful time and finances may be tight, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of fun. In fact, it is essential you find ways to have fun to reduce stress and help you feel more hopeful. Scheduling fun with your partner can help you feel closer and can help inoculate your relationship against the impact financial stress may be having on the two of you. Take a walk on the beach, ride bikes around in the park, go on a picnic, rent funny and romantic comedies like The Philadelphia Story or Bringing up Baby. If that isn’t your style rent Monty Python. Be creative and come up with something inexpensive you both enjoy.


Sit down with your spouse or partner and take a realistic look at your finances. If it all seems too overwhelming or you don’t seem to get anywhere sit down together with a financial advisor. See what spending and living changes you can make if necessary. Brainstorm solutions to immediate concerns. Think about altering some plans for the near future. You may think that it is too stressful to try and figure out a plan b and so avoid it altogether. Yet, if you are like most people, once you do develop a backup plan you will likely feel a little liberated and more relaxed knowing you have some options to rely on if you need to.

As stressful as times may be for you right now you can choose to what degree it is going to have on your relationship. You, too, can be one of the couples who makes it through hard times stronger, closer and better. I invite you to follow these tips on how to help your marriage survive the economy now.

Barbara Calvi, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Calabasas California. She specializes in marriage and relationship counseling and helping individuals and couples create better, stronger and more fulfilling relationships. Visit her at

To Him…Money Equals Love

By Skye Thomas

When we think of prosperity and of creating abundance, it’s easy enough to see how working at a job that we love helps us to earn more money then if we worked at a job we hated. We can also see that if we add plenty of love and warm-fuzzies towards how we treat our coworkers, bosses, employees, and customers, then it makes sense that people will like doing business with us and we’ll again earn more money. We can understand how putting our love into the product or service that we sell makes for a superior product or service and therefore raises the perceived value of that product or service. Here’s the hard part… it holds true in our personal relationships too.

How many women complain that their husbands don’t spend enough time with them? The wife complains that her husband doesn’t appear to really care about her. She thinks there is a lack of deep emotional connection between the two of them. “You don’t say that you love me! Therefore you must not love me!” He quickly points out that her argument that his lack of flowers and romantic words doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love her. After all, he works hard to earn enough money so that she can live in the house they share and so that she can choose to work or shop or raise kids or whatever it is she does with her time. She says that she appreciates the money, but it’s not the same as love. It all can be condensed down to this… she doesn’t see money as a symbol of love the way that he does. So many men feel that all of their long hours working to support their families is disregarded and they’re bitched at for not spending enough quality time with her and the kids.

Time is money. That makes sense. Bosses hire employees for their time on the job. Most people get paid by the hour or a monthly salary. How much they get paid is determined by their expertise and the quality of work they perform, but ultimately the boss is paying you to do what he does not have the time to do himself.

Love is time. When you love someone, you naturally want to spend quality time with them. You miss them when they’re gone too long. Go to any retirement home or a home for abused children. The most important thing to these people is the personal time that you give them. Studies have shown that teenagers who spend a lot of quality time with their families are far less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. When you volunteer your time to a charity, a school, or a political campaign, it’s because you love what it stands for.

Time is a non-renewable resource. We have a set number of hours each day that we can experience life. We can fritter it away laying out in the yard on a sunny day doing nothing much or we can organize the heck out of it making sure we live every single moment to the fullest. Sometimes we find out in advanced that we’re sick and have x number of days, weeks, months left to live. Usually, we have no idea how many days we have left.

So, when we give the boss our time in order to earn money for those that we love, then we are in a way giving the loved one our time. The husband could decide that he’d rather sit around watching TV all day or he’d rather go fishing, but instead he goes to work everyday so that his wife can have a nice house and nice things to put in it. He has given her his fishing time and his TV watching time. Yeah, he still needs to spend some time talking and connecting on an emotional level because all money and no romance is very lonely. However, she needs to see that he has in a round-about way given her his time and energy. He really is trying to give her a gift of his heart.

To illustrate the point even further, we love professional athletes, musicians, actors, and other entertainers so much that we’ll pay a fortune to see them perform. Those highly paid athletes are making that kind of money because we love them! If we didn’t love them, then they wouldn’t get the ticket sales. It wouldn’t matter how well they threw the ball if nobody wanted to watch them do it. Famous celebrities are rich because they have a lot of people who love their work.

This is not to say that it’s okay to give money in lieu of love, but rather that for many men, this is their greatest symbolic gesture. Remember too, they are hunters at heart. The caveman had to bring in the dinner or his loved ones would perish. They give money like women give hugs and kisses to babies. Look at the single mom who cannot spend time with her children because she’s always working to financially support them. It’s not because she doesn’t love them. Men need to remember too, that ONLY giving money as a symbol of their love is like a woman ONLY cooking and cleaning as a symbol of her love. Both are huge gifts of the heart, but they are certainly not the only gifts that are needed for a strong bond.

Money does equal love, but there are many additional forms of love to share. Women hate to feel like they’re just a paid housekeeper, cook, and chauffeur in a relationship. Men hate to feel like they’re just a life support system for a wallet. Money can’t buy love and love alone won’t create money, but the two are able to be converted back and forth into each other. The one can equate to the other. Love can make you prosperous, and sometimes money means ‘I love you.’

Skye Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow’s Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps of faith. As an entrepreneur, she understands just how difficult it can be to continue chasing a dream when everyone else is telling you to give up and quit. Her books, articles, and astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. Webmasters interested in generating more repeat traffic to their websites are invited to check out the secret of Skye’s success at To read more of her articles, free previews of her books, and her astrology forecasts, go to To read more about Skye and to sign up to receive her free weekly newsletter, go to

[Ask The Ma’at’s] My Wife Is Financially Irresponsible And It’s Destroying Our Marriage

Viewer Question: Can you help! I am in a marriage that is un-conventional by today’s standards. I’m 41, but my wife is 47. I have no children, but my wife has 1 teenage son (and pays child-support to her sons father). I have never been married, but my wife’s marriage to me is her 2nd. I have a stable job and earn an higher income then my wife. My wife is a temp and earns less money than me. I manage all of the finances except the money that my wife earns. When my wife and I were dating she was evicted from her home for making late payments on her mortgage (although she was employed consistently at the time this happened). She was very irresponsible with finances when we were dating and has been since we have been married. In addition, she has “given” her money away to family members and friends in the past despite being late with child support payments, cell-phone bills, student loan payments and IRS payments. We have been married for 4 years now and at first I was upset with the fact that my wife was and irresponsible person with finances. Since then I have realized that if I manage the finances, we should be alright. Now comes the hard part! Not only does she not manage her own money well, but refuses to allow me to manage it. I have to ask her to give me $500 a month cash towards the household bills to keep us afloat in our apartment (since we are no where near ready to purchase a home). She does not even do that consistently. This is a person who is college educated with a minor in finance! I have to tell the inner voice in my head that she is not a crazy, but it’s hard sometime.

What do you suggest???

Want To Be An Entrepreneur? Learn Lesson #1: Money Grows On Trees

I have this odd but simple philosophy. It is that money really does grow on trees. Now I know that many of you are saying, you got to be out of your mind. Either that, your breathlessly waiting to here where you can find your trees. But, in this case, the tree is a metaphor for something much bigger.

Let’s think about something real first. The apple tree is a fruit-bearing tree. How many of you think that you can eat apples without the apple tree? Nobody because without the apple tree, there is no apple. Why is the case and how does it relate to money.

If you wanted an apple today, you could go to the grocery store and get as many as apples as you want. But what if apples weren’t in any grocery stores but you still want an apple. You could pick the apple off of a tree. If the apple tree belongs to someone else, you are picking someone else’s apples. If you don’t have permission to pick the apple off the tree, you are stealing. If you have permission, the apple is a gift. If you provide a service, it is compensation.

This is how it is in the business world. If you take money, its stealing, If it is given, it is a gift, and if you provide a product or service in exchange for money, it is compensation.

Going back to the apple tree analogy, wouldn’t it be better to own your own apple tree that bears fruit and provides you and you whole family with more apples then you can eat? You bet!

I know, I know. You don’t want any stinking apples, you want money and as far as most of us know, we’ve never seen or heard of any money-bearing trees. I am going to tell you however that they do exist.

To be the owner of your very own apple tree, you know exactly what you would have to do, even if you’ve never grown a thing in your life. You know that you need seeds, good soil, water, fertilizer and patience to grow a tree that produces a ripe apple. The same things that you would do to grow an apple tree are the same things you can do today to create your very own money tree. Here are the ingredients to creating your very own money tree.

* Seeds – These are comprised of specialized knowledge, ideas, products, Services along with some start up capital. These are the basic requirements to get started growing money.

* Good Soil – This is your market. Market research will tell you if there is an anxious market for you product or service. If there is no market what you have to offer, you need to work on acquiring seeds that will grow. If the market is in another location or needs to be tapped in some unique way, you have found the good soil for you seeds to grow. Go to where your market is located. This is common sense but can be tricky and many people get

tripped up here. Always do a reality check and don’t try to force a “square peg into a round hole.” It never works so if something needsto change, always be willing to adapt and don’t let ego get in your way of making money.

* Water – Water is an essential ingredient for life to exist. A business exists when it sells. If you don’t like selling, your business will never grow. If you don’t like to mix it up with people, to convince people to buy your product or service and to communicate your passion with others, you won’t make it in business for yourself. You may as go sit behind some desk and eat the apples that fall from someone else’s apple tree.

* Fertilizer – Fertilizer stinks but trees and plants grow better with it then without it. Financial management is the fertilizer. I know I don’t enjoy the financial management of a business as much as the business itself but without it, my business would quickly fail. Not knowing your cash balance, return on assets, return on investments, and assets vs liabilities, how do know if you’re winning in business. These and other financials are the score cards by which every business is judged. It stinks but it helps you to get the results you’re trying to get.

* Patience – It takes time. You’ll be hungry waiting for an apple tree to grow if you don’t have another way to feed yourself. The same is true with money trees. If you may have to take all of the steps above and work at a job full time to support and feed yourself until your tree is mature enough to bear its fruit. There is no way around this step. There are very few, statistically speaking, overnight successes.

The overnight successes are the only ones you typically read about in the news but they are really anomalies compared to the many, many successful businesses built on years of hard work in obscurity and seclusion. This is a part of the truth that shocks many would-be entrepreneurs.

The loneliness that one can encounter can be enough to drive one back to picking the fruit off other people’s trees. That is because that is where the crowd is found. Only 5% of people in the US are fully self-employed entrepreneurs. Only 5% of people in the world have their very own money trees bearing them enough fruit to live off of comfortably. It can get lonely being part of the 5% in this country but it has its advantages. As Earl Nightingale said it, “in the top 5%, the air is fresher and the better the view.”

God bless.

Bret Searles is a freelance writer on Black personal finance and business issues, author of ebook “The 7 Simple Secrets to Building Wealth: An African American Guide” and publisher of the ezine Black Wealth Now.