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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|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
“The clock was ticking. With coffee, an idea, and that unmovable deadline, he got to work.
He liked his idea of helping graduates pay off their student loans, as well as advising young students about how to keep any borrowing to a minimum. It felt strong. But he wanted to make sure he thought it through before diving in this time.
Looking back at the manifesto Clarence had sent, he went through the five points in order. The first point, to use the skills you already have, seemed simple enough. In addition to his actual experience with learning to buy and resell items, this new service seemed to play to his other strengths as well. Learning to write term papers on extremely short notice, thinking differently . . . these were traits he’d acquired that he could lean on.
It was the second point, to go from an idea to an offer, that puzzled him at first. What’s an offer? He’d asked Preena about it, and she explained that when a lot of people get their first business idea, they don’t really think of how it appears to the person they ultimately hope to sell to. Instead of being an afterthought, the Third Way model suggested that you begin with it.
A good offer is always designed to appeal to its ideal customer. For example, if you were selling educational toys, kids would be the ones using them—but they weren’t the customers. Parents were the customers. Therefore, when you described the offer, you should think about what kind of messaging would most appeal to parents.
Jake thought about his ideal customer: someone a few years out of school, like him, who had an average salary but was faced with repaying a large amount of money. His idea was to help that person . . . but how, exactly, would he do that?
He pulled out his notebook and began writing down potential approaches, starting with the benefit to the customer. The benefit was that if he could show people how to repay even a small portion of their loans, it would make a meaningful difference to them.
Not only that, he realized, but when a person is in debt, they often feel anxious and powerless. It’s one thing to owe a lot of money, but it’s another to have no idea how you’re going to pay it back. If he could relieve some of that anxiety for his future clients, he knew it would be valuable.
He already had an idea in mind for a name: Student Loan Champion.”