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.”
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.