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The Money Tree: A Story about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard

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From bestselling author of The $100 Startup and Side Hustle comes Chris Guillebeau's engaging story about the power you have to create your own financial destiny. Like financial classics The Latte Factor and The Richest Man in Babylon, The Money Tree uses a compelling story with captivating characters to share its core insight: you are never at the mercy o From bestselling author of The $100 Startup and Side Hustle comes Chris Guillebeau's engaging story about the power you have to create your own financial destiny. Like financial classics The Latte Factor and The Richest Man in Babylon, The Money Tree uses a compelling story with captivating characters to share its core insight: you are never at the mercy of fortune as long as you have an appetite for hard work and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. Jake Aarons is in trouble. He's being evicted from his apartment in less than 30 days, the bill for his $50,000 in overdue student loans is almost due, and the digital marketing agency he works at just implemented a new military-style grading system that might cost him his job. To top it off, Jake's new relationship with Maya was going so well... but with everything else falling down around him, he might lose her, too. In search of answers, Jake reluctantly attends a weekly group meeting at the invitation of a coworker. Everyone in the group is trying to create a lucrative side hustle with one key requirement: they can only spend up to $500 before earning a profit. Over the course of several weeks, Jake undertakes a series of challenges, first learning how to make $1,000 in a single weekend, and ultimately how to discover the untapped skills he needs to take control of his finances--and his life.


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From bestselling author of The $100 Startup and Side Hustle comes Chris Guillebeau's engaging story about the power you have to create your own financial destiny. Like financial classics The Latte Factor and The Richest Man in Babylon, The Money Tree uses a compelling story with captivating characters to share its core insight: you are never at the mercy o From bestselling author of The $100 Startup and Side Hustle comes Chris Guillebeau's engaging story about the power you have to create your own financial destiny. Like financial classics The Latte Factor and The Richest Man in Babylon, The Money Tree uses a compelling story with captivating characters to share its core insight: you are never at the mercy of fortune as long as you have an appetite for hard work and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. Jake Aarons is in trouble. He's being evicted from his apartment in less than 30 days, the bill for his $50,000 in overdue student loans is almost due, and the digital marketing agency he works at just implemented a new military-style grading system that might cost him his job. To top it off, Jake's new relationship with Maya was going so well... but with everything else falling down around him, he might lose her, too. In search of answers, Jake reluctantly attends a weekly group meeting at the invitation of a coworker. Everyone in the group is trying to create a lucrative side hustle with one key requirement: they can only spend up to $500 before earning a profit. Over the course of several weeks, Jake undertakes a series of challenges, first learning how to make $1,000 in a single weekend, and ultimately how to discover the untapped skills he needs to take control of his finances--and his life.

30 review for The Money Tree: A Story about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Kurin

    As a big fan of this author's non-fiction work, I loved getting to read The Money Tree! It has many of the same takeaways as some of his other books but was wonderful to see these concepts played out in narrative form. If you're interested in living an unconventional lifestyle that doesn't involve school-work-career progression, or just want some insight into a new way to look at money, I definitely recommend this book! As a big fan of this author's non-fiction work, I loved getting to read The Money Tree! It has many of the same takeaways as some of his other books but was wonderful to see these concepts played out in narrative form. If you're interested in living an unconventional lifestyle that doesn't involve school-work-career progression, or just want some insight into a new way to look at money, I definitely recommend this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Kusi

    I was hooked from the first page and loved reading Jake’s story. His side hustle journey was inspiring, realistic, and relatable. I learned a lot of business ideas, life skills and lessons from reading this novel by Chris Guillebeau. And even though I rarely read fiction, I will be keeping this one on my bookshelf. Plus, I will be recommending it to all my friends. Anyone who wants to start a side hustle, is an entrepreneur, or just wants a great book to read should definitely get The Money Tree I was hooked from the first page and loved reading Jake’s story. His side hustle journey was inspiring, realistic, and relatable. I learned a lot of business ideas, life skills and lessons from reading this novel by Chris Guillebeau. And even though I rarely read fiction, I will be keeping this one on my bookshelf. Plus, I will be recommending it to all my friends. Anyone who wants to start a side hustle, is an entrepreneur, or just wants a great book to read should definitely get The Money Tree. It's also a great educational resource for kids of all ages too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pradeep Mohandas

    I first read about Chris Guillebeau when I read his first book - The Art of Non-Conformity and read the blog of the same name. Then, I was bitten by the travel bug and had dreamed of travelling far and wide. I did not want to go to all the countries in the world as Chris had but wanted to learn about what that life would be like. Having a steady government job then meant that I did not read his follow-up books about The $100 Startup and Side Hustle School. When I moved back to a private firm, I I first read about Chris Guillebeau when I read his first book - The Art of Non-Conformity and read the blog of the same name. Then, I was bitten by the travel bug and had dreamed of travelling far and wide. I did not want to go to all the countries in the world as Chris had but wanted to learn about what that life would be like. Having a steady government job then meant that I did not read his follow-up books about The $100 Startup and Side Hustle School. When I moved back to a private firm, I dusted out my old links and newsletter subscriptions and re-discovered Chris. I bought his new book, The Money Tree knowing that relying on one stream of income is not a sustainable way to make a living nor does it give enough savings to save for the future. I purchased it on Audible and finished listening to it in a day. The book is written in the form of a story. The thesis of the book is that having a source of income other than the job you have at hand is not a bad thing. He says that working on your own, doing something you enjoy gives you a high. It gives you confidence and impacts other areas of your life. The book gives ideas, builds a first person experience of going through the journey that you as a reader might have. The protagonist, Jake, goes on this journey from being in debt, relationships in ruins and perennially forgetting the important things in life to a place where he has confidence, has more courage in his personal and work relationships and has things in perspective. He does this with a help of a support group that meets to discuss these ideas under the able guidance of a guy, Clarence. Chris wrote this book before the COVID-19 pandemic. But, given the lock down and expected downturn in the economic conditions, I think this book deserves your time. His insights attempt to take you through a space between a full time corporate job and the gig economy. I already see many people offering their services online and some even earning for these services. Think of something you're good at, help people and earn money.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ZZ Capito

    The perspective from an ordinary person as he's faced with hardship and goes through his own journey to come out the other side is extremely inspiring and connects the reader to the lessons laced throughout the story in an entirely different way. One in which they come out the other side having internalized those lessons and feel like they just went through the same process alongside the character. This book is helpful and contains a myriad of different tips for anyone looking to start their own The perspective from an ordinary person as he's faced with hardship and goes through his own journey to come out the other side is extremely inspiring and connects the reader to the lessons laced throughout the story in an entirely different way. One in which they come out the other side having internalized those lessons and feel like they just went through the same process alongside the character. This book is helpful and contains a myriad of different tips for anyone looking to start their own hustle and makes some money on the side. It's also very inspiring and leaves the reader feeling ready to go out and accomplish their dreams; feeling like anything is possible.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I wanted to love it. Lately, I had really enjoyed both The Wealthy Barber and The Celestine Prophecy so I had been thinking about how great it would be if more books were written in this edu-tainment fictional/non-fictional hybrid style. Teaching through story seems to allow the reader to ‘experience’ the concepts in a much different way. Then I heard about Chris Guillebeau’s new title and when I realized it was a fictional story to teach entrepreneurship I bought the audiobook and finished it o I wanted to love it. Lately, I had really enjoyed both The Wealthy Barber and The Celestine Prophecy so I had been thinking about how great it would be if more books were written in this edu-tainment fictional/non-fictional hybrid style. Teaching through story seems to allow the reader to ‘experience’ the concepts in a much different way. Then I heard about Chris Guillebeau’s new title and when I realized it was a fictional story to teach entrepreneurship I bought the audiobook and finished it off over a couple days. The story was decent. I personally would have found it more realistic if there was a bit more struggle emotionally and more failure to overcome from a business perspective - and the portrayal of the full time job was fairly funny compared to my own experience. Maybe a lot of people have full time jobs they are basically phoning in, but most people I know are exhausted (mentally, emotionally and physically) from a 40+ hour workweek. I have years of experience with side hustling, and my thought is just maybe this author isn’t the right person to be portraying what life looks like while trying to juggle both? Especially when you have to balance personal relationships and responsibilities during the process, which the author was able to pretty much avoid. I also work in marketing and started my first side business out of college to pay the bills when a full-time job wasn’t enough so I would have expected to relate more to the protagonist. I‘m also in a very different stage of life now and know my own experience is going to be different than others. All this to say - the story didn’t resonate with me in that ‘I’ll carry this character with me for life’ kind of way. From the entrepreneurship side, I read a lot of business and personal development books so I’m not sure I’m the target reader. I liked that the philosophies were taught in a step-by-step process and that it encouraged experimentation and action, but there wasn’t much for me to take away personally. I had also read The Art of Non-Conformity and Side Hustle (years ago), so there wasn’t much new value for me hidden in the pages. Overall, it was a decent book! Probably more of a 3.5 stars from me. Maybe earlier in my life and career, if the concept of bootstrapping a business were new to me, this book would have been life changing. And maybe I’ll recommend it to people just getting interested in doing something for themselves, but not so much for people with more experience in the world of entrepreneurship. Bottom line? I wanted to love it, but will settle for liking it for what it is just fine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    G!

    I was already acquinted with other material of the author, being the $100 start up and his daily podcast ‘side hussle’. The money tree outlines how you can shift your mindset and actually start a side hussle next to your day job. On the ride you will develop yourself as a person and probably meet up interesting people along the way. This fictional story which has stories of actual existing side hussles in it (I’m pretty sure George that buys and sells laundry machines was featured on the side huss I was already acquinted with other material of the author, being the $100 start up and his daily podcast ‘side hussle’. The money tree outlines how you can shift your mindset and actually start a side hussle next to your day job. On the ride you will develop yourself as a person and probably meet up interesting people along the way. This fictional story which has stories of actual existing side hussles in it (I’m pretty sure George that buys and sells laundry machines was featured on the side hussle podcast) is a new approach for the author to show people the way. In my view it’s a great succes to have this ‘fictional’ journey of Jake the main character learning you the first lessons you need to start your own side hussle. For me personally it was an enjoyable journey since I read the book in one weekend. Buy the book, preferably on kindle, or when you buy it hard copy you will have a book to resell after you’re done... ;) ... and start your side hussle! “You can do more than you think!” Thanks Chris for writing this awesome book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Harpham

    What do you really need to start a small business (or a "side hustle")? That's one of the questions you'll explore in this business focused novel. I've read and enjoyed the author's previous books. If you've read "The $100 Startup" or his side hustles book, the ideas will not be new. Do not expect a lot of how-to style detail about starting a business here since you are reading a novel. If you are looking for inspiration on how and why to start a business, this is the novel for you. If you are l What do you really need to start a small business (or a "side hustle")? That's one of the questions you'll explore in this business focused novel. I've read and enjoyed the author's previous books. If you've read "The $100 Startup" or his side hustles book, the ideas will not be new. Do not expect a lot of how-to style detail about starting a business here since you are reading a novel. If you are looking for inspiration on how and why to start a business, this is the novel for you. If you are looking for encouragement and creative ways to find business ideas, this is the novel for you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Teri Temme

    Perfection! A moving and fast-paced story that teaches the exciting world of business! I will definitely buy more copies to share with others. Bummed I missed Chris on his book tour but THRILLED I bought the book and read the story of Jake. Very much needed in this world, especially now! Thank you Chris!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Conner

    The Money Tree is a perfect book to read during this time of economic uncertainty. Through the transformation of quarter life crisis Jake Aarons, the reader is encouraged to not depend on a single employer, passing the grandparent test, when you help others achieve their goals, you will organically achieve yours and most important you can do more than you think. Chris Guillebeau brillantly translated his side hustle concepts into a novel that encourages readers to take inspired action.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I love Chris Guilebeau! His podcast really picked me up when I felt stuck in 2017. Sometimes you really have to go for things, and a little bit of success in something you started on your own can go a long way. That being said, I could not get into this book. I liked the general story and message well enough, but nothing really stood out to me or grabbed my interest. I could relate to some of the struggles of the main character but that's about the extent of my connection to the story. I do feel I love Chris Guilebeau! His podcast really picked me up when I felt stuck in 2017. Sometimes you really have to go for things, and a little bit of success in something you started on your own can go a long way. That being said, I could not get into this book. I liked the general story and message well enough, but nothing really stood out to me or grabbed my interest. I could relate to some of the struggles of the main character but that's about the extent of my connection to the story. I do feel like this book will hit others differently than it hit me, and the other reviews obviously indicate such. I'd love to give 5 stars for the sake of Chris, but I have to be honest with my reaction to the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I'm a big fan of Chris Guillebeau. In this book, he uses a fiction format to tell the story of a young guy, Jake, with student loan debt and job uncertainty, who suddenly finds himself without a place to live. The book outlines Jake's meeting with a group of budding entrepreneurs called the Third Way where he goes on to learn and develop sources of additional income for himself. What is meant by the Third Way is starting small businesses or creating gigs that don't require a lot of money and tak I'm a big fan of Chris Guillebeau. In this book, he uses a fiction format to tell the story of a young guy, Jake, with student loan debt and job uncertainty, who suddenly finds himself without a place to live. The book outlines Jake's meeting with a group of budding entrepreneurs called the Third Way where he goes on to learn and develop sources of additional income for himself. What is meant by the Third Way is starting small businesses or creating gigs that don't require a lot of money and taking out loans, e.g., to rent a store or raising capital like a start-up (how many traditional businesses are funded - First and Second Ways). Guillebeau also hosts a podcast called "Side Hustle School" where he shares case studies of people running small businesses similar to the Third Way approach, and he is also the author the book The $100 Startup, so these are familiar themes. The book is a pretty quick read. I think I would prefer straight nonfiction on this topic, but the author was trying to reach a broader audience by writing in this format. Guillebeau is very knowledgeable about nontraditional ways to earn money, especially virtually. His philosophy is that many people can benefit by having some type of side income as security from job loss, and right now during the coronavirus pandemic, this is an idea that may appeal to many.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirill Sofronov

    A decent book and easy read about the struggles of day to day life when life is beating us down. I especially enjoyed parts of the "start-up" life and hilarious messages & emails from the CEO. However, this is probably a 3.5* as the book seems to strike a balance between telling a story and making a point/learning, neither of which it does exceptionally. I would still recommend it as its an easy and fast read. A decent book and easy read about the struggles of day to day life when life is beating us down. I especially enjoyed parts of the "start-up" life and hilarious messages & emails from the CEO. However, this is probably a 3.5* as the book seems to strike a balance between telling a story and making a point/learning, neither of which it does exceptionally. I would still recommend it as its an easy and fast read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Del Younglas

    A well done business fiction book that will motivate many to start a "side hustle" to help make some extra money on the side. Whether you need funds to make ends meet or you want some extra money to travel or upgrade your house or computer or vehicle, this book should inspire you to find a way to generate some extra income with little or no investment up front. This is an easy read with an good story behind it. A well done business fiction book that will motivate many to start a "side hustle" to help make some extra money on the side. Whether you need funds to make ends meet or you want some extra money to travel or upgrade your house or computer or vehicle, this book should inspire you to find a way to generate some extra income with little or no investment up front. This is an easy read with an good story behind it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Chris Guillebeau has created a story that beautifully illustrates all the concepts from his previous business self help books. It is a very quick and engaging read (I started it last night and finished it this morning) with realistic characters and situations that really drive home the idea that anyone can can take charge of their financial life with some creative thinking and hard work. I found it extremely inspiring and I can’t wait to get to work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    One Thrifty Reader

    This book is a winner! The principles discussed in the author's previous bestselling book, The $100 Startup (a really great book if you haven't read it yet), are brought to life in this book of narrative non-fiction that reads like a novel. This book reminds me of The Wealthy Barber, one of my favorite personal finance books of all time. This book is a winner! The principles discussed in the author's previous bestselling book, The $100 Startup (a really great book if you haven't read it yet), are brought to life in this book of narrative non-fiction that reads like a novel. This book reminds me of The Wealthy Barber, one of my favorite personal finance books of all time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Iturra

    Excellent and inspiring story. For those who dislike too much theory, here the author puts it in a way that is practical and engaging at the same time. You empathize with the characters and the story is as moving as it's thoughtful. You'll find practical ideas to create your own money tree. Excellent and inspiring story. For those who dislike too much theory, here the author puts it in a way that is practical and engaging at the same time. You empathize with the characters and the story is as moving as it's thoughtful. You'll find practical ideas to create your own money tree.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that even though this is a non-fiction book, the author wrote it in story form. Right from the beginning, I was invested in the story and wondered how things would turn out for Jake, the main character. Putting this in story form increases the believability of the content and makes it feel more relatable. Many of the concepts in the book are ideas that match up with how I think it is best to start a new business. Bootstrapping and only getting One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that even though this is a non-fiction book, the author wrote it in story form. Right from the beginning, I was invested in the story and wondered how things would turn out for Jake, the main character. Putting this in story form increases the believability of the content and makes it feel more relatable. Many of the concepts in the book are ideas that match up with how I think it is best to start a new business. Bootstrapping and only getting as big as you need to get instead of going after investment capital, being indebted to those who invest in your company, and growing fast just for the sake of growing. Some of the excerpts I highlighted in the book include: * …learn how to make money while also helping people in a meaningful way. * Focus on the ultimate promise [you want to make with your offer] * A good offer is always designed to appeal to its ideal customer. * The hardest part is starting. The main mantra in the book is: You can do more than you think! So, if you want to read an interesting story and also learn about how you can make money or start a business, The Money Tree is a solid choice.

  18. 5 out of 5

    A. K.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I only read 3/4 of the book, it was just too meh to really care about the end. I normally love these kinds of books, but one thing that really bugged me was the oozing white male privilege of the main character. The “failing up” - missing meetings, being late, bombing presentations - then instead of being fired, was begged to stay with the company and the person actually doing HER job properly was let go. Even the little things like eating co-worker’s snacks without permission and feeling like h I only read 3/4 of the book, it was just too meh to really care about the end. I normally love these kinds of books, but one thing that really bugged me was the oozing white male privilege of the main character. The “failing up” - missing meetings, being late, bombing presentations - then instead of being fired, was begged to stay with the company and the person actually doing HER job properly was let go. Even the little things like eating co-worker’s snacks without permission and feeling like he was due vacation days after being with the company for a whole 6 months and “barely taking any time off.” The book was rampant with while male privilege.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a book about Jake who owes $52K in student loans, loses the lease on his cheap apartment and it worried about losing his job. A coworker invites him to Third Way and he learns how to make some extra money on the side. His learning is accelerated when he takes a trip to Ethiopia with Clarence (Third Way founder) and sees the people there putting the Third Way principles into action. He starts by selling his old textbooks, then he buys used textbooks and resells them, next he offers himsel This is a book about Jake who owes $52K in student loans, loses the lease on his cheap apartment and it worried about losing his job. A coworker invites him to Third Way and he learns how to make some extra money on the side. His learning is accelerated when he takes a trip to Ethiopia with Clarence (Third Way founder) and sees the people there putting the Third Way principles into action. He starts by selling his old textbooks, then he buys used textbooks and resells them, next he offers himself as a negotiator, and lastly he helps people pay off student loans. As he learns...we learn: The Third Way Manifesto No one should depend on a single paycheck for their entire income. Whether you call it a side hustle, a small buiness or just something you do for extrs amoney you can use this model to create more freedom for yourself. 1. Everyone is an expert at something: One way or another, your have acquired a lot of valuable knowledge throughout your life. Something you already know about can be turned into cash - you just need to figure out how to do it. Don't invest tens of thousands of dollars in business school. Start by taking an inventory of your skills, including everything that you're good at and any topics that people frequently ask you about. 2. Go from idea to product or service: When you're thinking of ideas to make money, always think of them in specific, concrete terms. One of the people in our group is selling dollouse furniture. If you go to her website, you can see exactly what she's selling, how much it costs, and how to place an order. Don't be vague-tell people exactly what you're offering, why it will help them, and how they can buy it. 3. Spend as little money as possible: STuring frugally is a beeit, not a limitation. The time to invest in your business is when you know you have a proven idea. Otherwise, spend more time working on the idea. The vast majority of Third Way projects can be started for less than $500, and sometimes without spending any money at all. 4. Launch before you are ready: You won't get the feedback you really need until you have something to show. As a general rule, you can have a workable version of most income-generating projects up and running within thirty days. Following this principle also helps you slect the most basic iteration of your idea. You can improve it or ramp up later - first, see if it has real potential. 5. Improve as you go: based on what you learn, make changes. Don't be afraid to completely restructure - giving up on one project and starting another is A-OK. And when something's working, couble down and figur eout how to make it work more. In short, keep your risk low, act quickly, and adjust as you go along. Last but not least...you can do more than you think!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Colvin

    I approached this book with a "You'll have to convince me" attitude - I am not a huge fan of the gig economy because it can be so exploitative. Ask any Tupperware rep or Rich Dad Poor Dad victim or Uber Eats driver for that matter. (To be fair, the book mentions Rich Dad Poor Dad in an oblique manner, and the author is not a fan either). Still with all my hackles raised I wasn't immune to the charm of this simple story of a guy who digs himself out of a financial hole, wins back the girl and eve I approached this book with a "You'll have to convince me" attitude - I am not a huge fan of the gig economy because it can be so exploitative. Ask any Tupperware rep or Rich Dad Poor Dad victim or Uber Eats driver for that matter. (To be fair, the book mentions Rich Dad Poor Dad in an oblique manner, and the author is not a fan either). Still with all my hackles raised I wasn't immune to the charm of this simple story of a guy who digs himself out of a financial hole, wins back the girl and even finds the humanity in the office nemesis. I am still not buying the idea that anyone can use the principles in the book to find financial freedom. Some can - if you're single, your job isn't too demanding, and you have some education or skill or specialized knowledge. If you spend your evenings watching Netflix, sure, why not channel that time more productively. But what was charming about the book was its sense of ethics. Our main character bought a bunch of cameras in a garage sale to re-sell on ebay, but he "paid a fair price." He was never out to exploit. And, throughout the book there's a sense that merely being a middle man, or just trying to get ahead because you love money, isn't the goal. The idea is you create a business that answers people's needs AND serves humanity AND makes money, in that order of importance. I am still not convinced about the premise - I've seen too many people try and fail, and of course Guillebeau fans will say it's because they didn't do it right. One thing is for sure, if you fail your story won't end up in a self help side-hustle book as the inspirational anecdote for the chapter. But in the end we are not the level playing field meritocracy that this book would have us believe. But if you read this pleasant fiction, you can almost convince yourself that life is that fair and good intentions will always triumph.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I would prefer to give this 4.5 stars, as it is well done balancing the line between fictuon and nonfiction. It has that "Who Moved My Cheese" feel to it. This is the story of a struggle between Jake's real life and his real dreams. I couldn't fall over onto the emotional side of the fence I would have liked to for a full five stars. I will admit there is one section that did make me slip into the emotional mud. You'll know it when you arrive. The book is a gentle nudge as to what one needs to do I would prefer to give this 4.5 stars, as it is well done balancing the line between fictuon and nonfiction. It has that "Who Moved My Cheese" feel to it. This is the story of a struggle between Jake's real life and his real dreams. I couldn't fall over onto the emotional side of the fence I would have liked to for a full five stars. I will admit there is one section that did make me slip into the emotional mud. You'll know it when you arrive. The book is a gentle nudge as to what one needs to do to become motivated to make changes in your financial life. The author describes three ways for one to make money. You can imagine and understand the first one, get a J~O~B: work for someone and pray for a paycheck after showing up each day. The second way is riskier and the payout is not guaranteed. It may never pay out or it may pay off for a while. Then there is the third way, which is the real meat of the novel. This book "launched" during dark times in world economy. The author was limited in his options for getting the word out yet he did a phenomenal job of reaching his target audience. He built a loyal audience and continues to build relationships with them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Louisa Freedom

    I was not sure what I was going to find in the book, but the title "The Money Tree" told me maybe I could find a way to earn more money. I was not sure; actually I didn't know. But as soon as I started, it was difficult for me to stop reading. Goodness! It was exactly what I was looking for. I read it in 3 days, going backward to check something, and thinking about the clear ideas are asserted in the book. "That is the future!" -I thought. I am a solopreneur in a Teaching business, but with the I was not sure what I was going to find in the book, but the title "The Money Tree" told me maybe I could find a way to earn more money. I was not sure; actually I didn't know. But as soon as I started, it was difficult for me to stop reading. Goodness! It was exactly what I was looking for. I read it in 3 days, going backward to check something, and thinking about the clear ideas are asserted in the book. "That is the future!" -I thought. I am a solopreneur in a Teaching business, but with the pandemic situation, I decided to diversify my income. Perfect!, . . . but how can I start? Is it possible to have two (2) businesses without getting exhausted? Reading the book, I found all my questions answered. Nothing is by chance; the Universe was helping me through this book. I am reading now another of Chris Guillebeau's books, trying to set up a new small business. If somebody is in the same condition I am, where there are dreams and creativity ready to take out and be expressed in the world, please read the book. Your horizons will be broadened and you will find your way to freedom.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I wasn't really a fan of this one, it didn't really work as a piece of fiction. Copying some agreeable statements from other reviewers: "one thing that really bugged me was the oozing white male privilege of the main character. The “failing up” - missing meetings, being late, bombing presentations - then instead of being fired, was begged to stay with the company and the person actually doing HER job properly was let go. Even the little things like eating co-worker’s snacks without permission and I wasn't really a fan of this one, it didn't really work as a piece of fiction. Copying some agreeable statements from other reviewers: "one thing that really bugged me was the oozing white male privilege of the main character. The “failing up” - missing meetings, being late, bombing presentations - then instead of being fired, was begged to stay with the company and the person actually doing HER job properly was let go. Even the little things like eating co-worker’s snacks without permission and feeling like he was due vacation days after being with the company for a whole 6 months and “barely taking any time off.” The book was rampant with while male privilege." A.K. "There are good messages and ideas in here, but the fictional telling of the story, while lighter than a straight forward strategy guide, is on the simplistic and tropish side." Mike "First 70% of the book was interesting. Last 30% felt rushed - almost as if Chris just wanted to get the book over and done with." -Adoptry "I found the writing to be pretty cheesy. I felt like I was reading a 6th grade level novel at times." - Scott Herb

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    There are good messages and ideas in here, but the fictional telling of the story, while lighter than a straight forward strategy guide, is on the simplistic and tropish side. Keeping in mind that the author is using the story as an alternative delivery device for the Money Tree Strategy, I'm not going to be very critical of the story itself. It gets the points across clearly enough. I think the book could some back matter, supplemental material after the story; printed iterations of the key poin There are good messages and ideas in here, but the fictional telling of the story, while lighter than a straight forward strategy guide, is on the simplistic and tropish side. Keeping in mind that the author is using the story as an alternative delivery device for the Money Tree Strategy, I'm not going to be very critical of the story itself. It gets the points across clearly enough. I think the book could some back matter, supplemental material after the story; printed iterations of the key points in the story. There is a website with some of that information, the site being the same name as the book, but for the price of the book, I'd want that IN the book. And maybe some thought provoking questions, or worksheets of some kind. Overall, what the book sets out to communicate, it does, and it's a good message. I just feel like it's lacking in its execution of a teaching tool. Like a college class that's all lecture and no application or testing. A good informational book, but lacking a solid punch to drive it home, and to more than 3 star rating from me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel

    For those people who find business/leadership books difficult to read, this book is definitely for you. It’s written in story time in a captive way through and through. It covers almost all themes - love, leadership, personal development, and being a well-rounded person in general. It is definitely a light read and there are a lot of great applicable principles. It follows the protagonist who is imperfect, and your average type of employee who is on auto-pilot - not just at work, but in life too For those people who find business/leadership books difficult to read, this book is definitely for you. It’s written in story time in a captive way through and through. It covers almost all themes - love, leadership, personal development, and being a well-rounded person in general. It is definitely a light read and there are a lot of great applicable principles. It follows the protagonist who is imperfect, and your average type of employee who is on auto-pilot - not just at work, but in life too. There are some turning points which allow him to reevaluate his life and go on a path that changes his life forever. For those of you who are in leadership positions, this book is definitely for you. I love how the characters represent different types of employees, co-workers and leaders/managers. Regardless of your background, this is definitely a must read and would recommend everyone to read this book. Nothing earth-shattering, but shows how sometimes the simple principles create life-changing experiences.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Saikat Basu

    This is a light read with a heftier takeaway. If you have followed Chris Guillebeau's blog, podcast, or earlier books so far you will slip right into the credo of starting something of your own. Maybe, the storytelling will help you poke inertia in its belly and get moving. Or, maybe it will at least prompt you to start thinking about creative ideas on how you can monetize your skills and interests. The tale of Jake and his journey from the backseat of a Mazda to something more hopeful isn't tha This is a light read with a heftier takeaway. If you have followed Chris Guillebeau's blog, podcast, or earlier books so far you will slip right into the credo of starting something of your own. Maybe, the storytelling will help you poke inertia in its belly and get moving. Or, maybe it will at least prompt you to start thinking about creative ideas on how you can monetize your skills and interests. The tale of Jake and his journey from the backseat of a Mazda to something more hopeful isn't that mystical to be impossible. Some parts of it I guess are from the author's own experiences or from other side hustle success stories. It's definitely not an "I started it from a garage and became a billionaire" pie in the sky story. It's more commonplace and thus more achievable. Maybe, it will be a good precursor to books on self-employment, though the book in no way is about that way. It is about "The Third Way". Pick it up on a weekend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Inspiring and practical Guillebeau tells a story to get across his side hustle philosophy and how to get started. It really resonated with me. It looks to me that done right, having a money making side project will be a cornerstone to a successful, satisfying life--financially, emotionally and creatively. For me, the biggest plus is the sense of security it provides. Selling is always a reliable way to pay bills and get rid of debt. It also gives me a reassuring sense of power. I hate feeling powe Inspiring and practical Guillebeau tells a story to get across his side hustle philosophy and how to get started. It really resonated with me. It looks to me that done right, having a money making side project will be a cornerstone to a successful, satisfying life--financially, emotionally and creatively. For me, the biggest plus is the sense of security it provides. Selling is always a reliable way to pay bills and get rid of debt. It also gives me a reassuring sense of power. I hate feeling powerless and paralyzed in the face of unexpected money woes. Using the general guidelines repeatedly mentioned in the book, I can set up a side hustle to give me a way to take small, actionable to increase my income. The book also emphasizes the importance of giving back and connecting with other people interested in side projects. I loved the book. I highly recommend it to anyone on the fence about a side hustle, fearful or just confused about how to do it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    A fictional narrative about starting a side hustle—written by a guy who definitely knows what he’s talking about. Chris Guillebeau produces the well-known podcast Side Hustle School, which profiles entrepreneurs who start ventures in their spare time and with minimal capital. He’s also written a couple non-fiction books about this world; I suspect that a narrative setting for his insights will connect with a different set of would-be side hustlers, especially those who struggle to generate and i A fictional narrative about starting a side hustle—written by a guy who definitely knows what he’s talking about. Chris Guillebeau produces the well-known podcast Side Hustle School, which profiles entrepreneurs who start ventures in their spare time and with minimal capital. He’s also written a couple non-fiction books about this world; I suspect that a narrative setting for his insights will connect with a different set of would-be side hustlers, especially those who struggle to generate and implement practical ideas, and need more personalization to help jumpstart their dreams. The story and characters are a bit wooden, but this book isn’t aspiring for the Pulitzer, and it deftly accomplishes what it’s aiming for.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Evans

    I wasn't quite sure what this book was about, but have followed the author on his podcast SideHustle School and knew he was generous in sharing knowledge and nuggets to solopreneuers and anyone who wanted to turn a hobby into a money making vehicle. Protagonist, Jake had a rough start, which laid the foundation of his journey to many levels of self awareness for his life. I learned from this book that even though you have problems (which we all do) to focus on what's in front of you, be open to I wasn't quite sure what this book was about, but have followed the author on his podcast SideHustle School and knew he was generous in sharing knowledge and nuggets to solopreneuers and anyone who wanted to turn a hobby into a money making vehicle. Protagonist, Jake had a rough start, which laid the foundation of his journey to many levels of self awareness for his life. I learned from this book that even though you have problems (which we all do) to focus on what's in front of you, be open to wise counsel, reflect on what God has given you in the form of talent or gifts and be willing to work hard. It was like a case study, but inspirational and gave enough back story to get from the beginning to the end. Lastly, you can do more than you think. Thanks Chris! Homerun!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    3.5 stars "You can do more than you think." There are so many quotable sentences in this book. I was curious to see how Chris Guillebeau would write fiction as I greatly enjoy his non-fiction books. While the concepts here are fantastic, I'm not sure writing entrepreneurial ideas spoken through his characters really worked. I could suspend disbelief sometimes, but the rate at which his lead character Jake Owens was able to pull his life together from living out of his car to making money off the i 3.5 stars "You can do more than you think." There are so many quotable sentences in this book. I was curious to see how Chris Guillebeau would write fiction as I greatly enjoy his non-fiction books. While the concepts here are fantastic, I'm not sure writing entrepreneurial ideas spoken through his characters really worked. I could suspend disbelief sometimes, but the rate at which his lead character Jake Owens was able to pull his life together from living out of his car to making money off the internet seemed too good to be true. Having said that, I enjoyed the character of Clarence as a mentor and the juxtaposition of his inspirational ideas and the fake social media platform called Buzzard. Those sections were pretty humorous.

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