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The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard Hardcover – April 7, 2020
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--Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want
"Chris Guillebeau has always been one of our most inspired business minds — teaching us about everything from traveling the world to building a side hustle. Now, with The Money Tree, he shows he’s also a terrific storyteller. If you’re hoping to make a living and make a life, this book is an essential read.
--Daniel H. Pink, author of When and To Sell Is Human
"Ever wondered why some people seem stuck, stalled, or unable to launch—while others have identified the unique gift they can share with the world? This book holds the answer."
--Marie Forleo, author of Everything is Figureoutable
"A powerful and uplifting story about how a little hustle can go a long way."
--Daymond John, Shark Tank star and author of Rise and Grind
“The brilliant Chris Guillebeau has written multiple bestsellers about how we can re-imagine work to create more freedom, opportunity, and security in our lives. Here, however, he comes at this subject in a different way—through story. By harnessing the irresistible power of story-telling, he makes s different approach to work seem exciting and possible in an entirely new way.”
--Gretchen Rubin, author of Outer Order, Inner Calm
"Feeling stuck? Broke? Chris's charming story will show you that there is a way to take control of your life and your future. You don't need lots of time and money. With Chris's smart strategies, and inspiration from his memorable characters, you can start right now."
--Laura Vanderkam, author of Juliet's School of Possibilities
"No matter your circumstances, the path to financial health is open to you. In The Money Tree, Chris Guillebeau points the way through a compelling story with delightful characters. Need financial help? Here it is.”
--Michael Hyatt, author of Free to Focus
“With lively, relatable characters and a story that will keep you captivated to the end, this book relates a powerful message: money-making opportunities are everywhere. We just have to learn to see them.”
--Grant Sabatier, author of Financial Freedom
About the Author
- Publisher : Portfolio (April 7, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593188713
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593188712
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 1.13 x 8.54 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #536,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This is not literature, nor is this a how to manual, nor is it an actual case study. This is purely and simply propaganda to get people fired up and interested in starting a side hustle, which, coincidentally, is the author’s brand, with the very unsubtle goal to funnel people into buying his other books and adding podcast subscribers.
Synopsis: a slacker, possibly depressed, definitely well off and privileged, finds himself at rock bottom, about to lose his girlfriend, his job, and his apartment, all while being overwhelmed by his 50k in student loans “he didn’t realize he’d have to pay,” all because he was a slacker. That’s the extent of his personality and character development. He has a killer job at a marketing firm that’s about to be cannibalized by a gargantuan IBM-esque company, yet somehow he is struggling in every aspect financially. His life suddenly changes when he encounters a business mastery group and a kind guru.
And what would be so bad about motivating people anyway? First, the “actionable” advice, is the same tripe you can get from any other motivational Gary Vee (et al) speaker, usually for free: Step 1: “Buy things for cheap and resell them on ebay for a higher price.” (Sure, Jan). Step 2: “Start a service online business, because PASSIVE INCOME BRO.” Step 3: “Go to Africa and have your mind blown and perspective changed because this ‘third way’ is how the rest of the world gets by!” The main character does the same infuriating thing that so many wannabe ‘entrepreneurs’ are doing these days—selling a service that he has no good experience in, and then when that fails, starts a second service that could be done by anyone with 2 licks of common sense. And that’s the frustrating thing—sell coaching services if you have good experience that actually brings value to people. But the reality is the market is flooded by thousands of people selling services that they are not experts in and it is completely unsustainable. (Speaking of unsustainability, don’t get me started on the retail arbitrage this book uncritically advocates.)
Outside the initial stakes the main character finds himself in, the plot has little tension and no narrative payoff. Just as Ayn Rand forms a conclusion for her last two novels and then fills them with cardboard, hollow characters that “prove her point,” this book has its conclusion from the get go and the cast is rounded out by bloodless plot advancers with no shred of complexity. (Only this book doesn’t have any of Rand’s crazy SciFi or bizarre S&M scenes).
The good: I chuckled at the implementation of Chekhov’s gun in the form of a donut. Also, there is a cute, trite B story about an egotistical Silicon Valley tech CEO imploding himself and his company—that’s never not amusing, and that also got some chuckles out of me. Lastly, if it inspires anyone to know themselves better and take responsibility for their lives, all the best, but there are certainly better sources.
The worst: the biggest challenge the protagonist encounters that isn’t his own fault is learning that credit card chargebacks are a thing.
Read instead: “Set for Life” for actionable information on taking control of your finances, “The Alchemist” for inspiration in doing so, and any other book to get the taste of this one out of your mouth.
What I love about The Money Tree is that the whole thing centers around an engaging and inspiring story, then gently draws insights and practical action-steps out of that tale. It leaves you with great ideas and steps to take, while also delivering you into an engaging, entertaining and inspiring read along the way. A breath of fresh air.
The book opens with Jake Aarons in a worst-case scenario which isn't too much worse than many people's reality. His job is in jeopardy because of a "merger" (hostile takeover), his student loans are due, his rented condo is being sold out from under him, and he's so preoccupied with all of the above that he neglects the best girl he's ever met. His brother is also in trouble. Zack has left his job on the maximum-security campus of IT firm "Titan" for a start-up data-mining service disguised as social media, or vice versa, "Buzzard" (whose self-designated "Founder & CEO & COO" doesn't know his birds from his bees). (You know the real-world names of these companies, of course.) The sagas of Titan and Buzzard aren't just comic relief. They're pictures of the "two ways" most people are trapped into making a living: slave-laboring for conventional, top-down megacorps or investing time and money in overextended and unmanageable start-ups.
Thanks to a friend, Jake finds "The Third Way," a group of people who need more money than their paychecks provide, and who also want work that makes a difference in the world. Through the tantalizing hints of the leader and the tough but supportive critiques of the other members, Jake begins to learn how to solve his problems on his own, step by step, using the methods Guillebeau teaches in his nonfiction. If you want more details, or just more evidence that you can do this thing, consult Guillebeau's other books, especially THE $100 STARTUP (true success stories from 2009, the last big crash before the present meltdown) and SIDE HUSTLE (the 27-days-to-business-launch plan), but THE MONEY TREE is a stand-alone resource that you can use immediately to teach yourself how to make life-changing amounts of money.
Top reviews from other countries
"Du bekommst mehr hin als du glaubst" - das ist nun das vierte Buch von Chris Guillebeau, was ich gelesen habe und die Story hat mir einige tolle Impulse gegeben, Ideen für ein zweites Standbein zu finden. Schon während des Lesens habe ich mir einige Notizen gemacht und habe das Buch erst zur Seite gelegt, nachdem ich die letzte Seite "verschlungen" hatte. Wer sich ein Zweiteinkommen verschaffen möchte, bekommt hier viele Anregungen, die Mut machen, es einmal selber auszuprobieren. Vielen Dank dafür Chris!