New research finds that a staggering 64% of earners are living paycheck to paycheck, spending everything they earn, and leaving nothing for savings or emergencies.
This is a worrying trend, as it means that many people are one unexpected bill away from financial ruin.
If you are in that category, you ought to find a way to get out of it.
Well, that’s exactly what I’m about to show you today—a proven technique that you can use to build wealth and gain financial freedom.
And I should warn you:
This is NOT your typical “live below your means” advice. It is a simple but very practical formula for creating wealth, taking charge of your finances, and living in abundance.
What is the Money Tree Technique to Financial Freedom?
I’m sure that as you were growing up, you were told that money does not grow on trees.
Your parents likely toiled diligently to earn the funds needed to support the family, sometimes making personal sacrifices along the way to ensure your well-being. So, it is no surprise that you were taught that money doesn’t grow on trees.
But what if I told you there are people who have found a way to get money to grow on trees?
Well, if you want to build wealth and start enjoying financial freedom, you would have to rewire your mind to start thinking that money does grow on trees.
What is this all about?
The typical way people earn money is to trade their time for money their entire life. They are either at one job or another, grinding it out from nine to 5 every other workday.
Others who are self-employed tend to work at their small business all the time, too. If they’re not available to work, business stalls.
If you want to create sustainable wealth and reach desirable financial freedom, you shouldn’t be trading your time for money.
What you ought to do instead is plant “trees” that can keep generating money even when you are not actively working on them.
And the process of planting a tree normally would require some initial inputs:
- You need a good seed.
- You need to plant the seed in the right soil.
- You need to water and nurture it.
And some trees may take a longer time to grow than others. But once they grow up, they will keep producing fruits with zero or little human input.
The same goes for assets.
If you take your time to build up a network of money-generating assets, they’ll keep producing income even when you aren’t actively involved.
The Money Tree Technique envisions a scenario where you possess an inexhaustible and effortlessly flowing stream of income that demands minimal or no direct involvement on your part. For this to happen, you must first establish the capability to originate, manage, and retain ownership of such a revenue stream. Typically, this journey commences with planting the right seed, in the form of a sound and viable business or investment idea.
Within a seed lies the potential for the development of roots, a sturdy stem, numerous branches, an abundance of leaves, a harvest of fruits, and the creation of many more similar seeds. All that’s needed is to place this seed in the appropriate environment and provide it with the nurturing care it deserves.
You may still retain your employee position if you’re working, but on the side, as a way of protecting your long-term financial future, you need to create additional streams of income by becoming a business person or an investor.
That’s the way to achieve financial freedom.
Extreme Frugality Vs. Increasing Your Income
The jerky, outmoded advice spread by so-called financial “experts” is to live below your means, save every penny, set budgets just to survive, and practice extreme frugality.
On the surface, this seems to make sense until you’re told to stop spending money on things that make your life easier:
Things like getting a gym membership, eating well, and even buying a $5 latte:
Cutting out joyful experiences is never sustainable; it is not a healthy way to live.
I found that nobody really enjoys living poorly. And honestly, most people don’t have the habit of sticking strictly to a budget. The only thing is that in most cases, people feel guilty for exceeding their budget, every time.
Contrarily, the Money Tree Technique to Financial Freedom focuses on ramping up your income so you can live beautifully, give abundantly, help people accordingly, and still have plenty of money to save for milestone projects and your kids. It focuses on making more money (which is what SHiFTCADEMY is about) versus caressing the limited one you’ve been getting.
This is why I don’t subscribe to the “live below your means” mindset. It is a permanently poor mindset. But even more damaging than the poor mindset is that this advice kills the spirit. It contracts you and makes you small. It makes a person less of who they are, not more. It sentences a person to a life of mediocrity.
Don’t get the wrong idea here:
I’m not saying you should live an extravagant lifestyle and spend money carelessly.
Instead, I’m making it clear to you that the solution to your financial problems is not to cut out necessary expenses and live a limited life. If you do, you’re still going to run out of money eventually.
The solution is to intentionally increase your incoming financial flows so that you have more than enough to make the most of your life.
This is how to establish control.
In a moment, I’ll show you the best kind of Money Trees to plant and how to make them generate income automatically. But before then, it’s important to first understand the types of income.
Typically, incomes are grouped into three general categories — active income, portfolio income, and passive income.
Income type #1: Active Income
Have you ever worked a job where you got paid a regular paycheck? If so, then you earned active income.
Active income is time-based or performance-based income. This means you get paid only once for your effort, typically when you’ve performed the service.
You’re constantly going after the money.
If you don’t actively put in the work, you can forget about the paycheck.
Some examples include salaries, wages, tips, commissions, active profits, and linear earnings.
And those who earn this type of income are employees, professionals like doctors/accountants/lawyers, freelancers, and businesses in which there’s material participation from the owner.
This is basically where most people start, and that is perfectly okay as long as you’re able to take care of yourself and your family. What is dangerous is if you continue to stay in this income category.
Why? Because there are lots of limitations associated with this type of income. You can’t keep trading your time for money and expect to be rich.
You have just 24 hours in a day, so the amount of money you can earn is capped no matter how hard or long you work. Plus, you certainly don’t want to get stuck on somebody else’s treadmill, do you?
I usually would advise that, while you are earning active income, make efforts to push yourself towards the other alternative income types.
Income Type #2: Portfolio Income
Portfolio income is income from investments, including dividends, interests, and capital gains. It is a subset of passive income but may not be recurring in nature.
Let me give you an example:
Say you bought a property such as a piece of land. You let it sit there while appreciating. Next, you sell it at a higher price. Capital gain made!
You didn’t have to do anything. Just put in the money, wait for some time, and then get it back bigger.
Here’s another example:
You lent money to borrowers, maybe through a P2P cryptocurrency lending club. After the agreed term, you get your money back with high interest. That’s portfolio income for you.
Income Type #3: Passive Income
Passive income is recurring income that requires little or zero participation to be generated or maintained. You can even be earning passive income while sleeping!
This is by far my favorite type of income.
Passive income is usually “residual” in nature. Residual income is a fancy term for a recurring income stream that continues to flow whether you’re there or not.
But don’t miss this:
Although passive income is described as money earned while sitting on a beach sipping pina colada, it usually requires a lot of work in the beginning.
You work hard once at the initial stage (by putting in the time and/or money), and then you get paid over and over again for the same effort for months or even years.
Want examples? Think rentals, royalties, profits from automated ventures, affiliate income, fees from automated online courses, ad money, and franchise income.
The Best Money Trees to Plant for Financial Freedom
Here’s the thing:
The more Money Trees you grow, the greater financial inflows you’ll enjoy.
This is why I recommend growing multiple Money Trees (multiple streams of income).
But as you’ve seen from the income types above, all income streams are not equal.
The best types of Money Trees you should grow are the ones that incorporate the “Concept of Replenishment.” In other words, Money Trees that bring you flows and flows of passive, recurring income time after time.
Why passive and recurring? Because (as opposed to working for money forever) you need to free up your time for other meaningful things in life like spending time with your family, working on dear-dear projects, and fulfilling your purpose.
I don’t have anything against working hard. Time freedom is simply a basic requirement for living a triumphant, purpose-filled life.
You can’t be working in another man’s business all your life, get the same limited salary only 12 times out of 365 days every other year, and expect to be wealthy. You’re going to struggle to pay the bills.
And as a matter of fact, why should you work for money when authorities are literally printing it faster than you work? Time’s everything!
You need to grow Money Trees, even if you want to keep your 9-5 job.
Here are the best kinds of Money Trees to grow:
Investment is about putting money into something with the hope that it grows and gives you a greater return.
When you invest, you cover a lot of financial ground in the shortest possible time while buying back your time.
This could be stocks, bonds, money market instruments, foreign exchange markets, other people’s private businesses, crypto markets, etc.
Personally, I particularly like real estate investment because of the potential it packs.
While some investments yield portfolio incomes, others are usually passive or semi-passive.
Investment Ideas for Starters (Financial Freedom Supported)
“What if I don’t have a lot of money to invest?”
There are investment opportunities that do not require a lot of money. Here are some of them.
i. Group buying real estate platforms
There’s a new trend in real estate investment in which people can collectively invest in properties based on what they can afford. Each member of the group is considered a joint owner. The real estate company anchoring the investment will do all the work while you keep receiving yearly returns.
You’ll be able to choose an investment property that best suits your risk tolerance and financial goals.
One way to invest in real estate this way is through real estate crowdfunding, which is the use of online real estate platforms to connect investors to property investments.
Another way is to join real estate investment groups (REIGs), which allow you to own residential and commercial properties without the hassles of running them.
ii. Shortlet home rentals
Another real estate investment option is shortletting.
Shortletting allows you to start building an investment portfolio and earn rental income even if you don’t own a house yet (although it is better if you own the property).
How can you do it? Simply rent a good studio apartment, penthouse, one-bedroom, or any such, furnish it, and start short letting it on platforms like Airbnb.
You can hire a facility manager so you don’t have to get involved in the day-to-day operations.
iii. Business partnerships
There’s nothing wrong with partnering up with a few trusted folks within your circle, putting money together, and investing it in a side business — possibly while you are working a day job.
You don’t need to participate in the day-to-day operation of the joint venture as there’s the option to hire staff members.
Instead of bearing the entire brunt of the business yourself, you can now share both the risks and rewards with others.
Of course, your potential upside is also limited as you’ll need to share profits. Nonetheless, it is still a valid business strategy that can work well if you don’t have the time or resources to do it alone.
iv. Investable digital assets
The emergence of novel technologies such as blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse has created loads of new investment opportunities for those who want to build wealth.
As an example, you can join in by investing in virtual real estate (i.e. buying “digital lands” in Decentraland, Sandbox, etc). You can do virtually anything with this land including developing your own digital property, renting it out, or just about any economic activity that’s usually associated with real-world lands.
There’s also the option of investing in digital currencies used in the metaverse as well as investing in the stocks of metaverse-focused companies.
v. Mutual funds
A mutual fund is an arrangement that pools small funds from multiple investors and combines the same to invest in securities like stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other assets. The investors then earn based on how much they contribute to the investment.
There are several reputable mutual fund companies you’ll find in your country if you look around.
Robo-advisors are web-based platforms that provide automated financial planning services and investment management with zero or minimal human intervention. Many robo-advisors offer low-cost, socially responsible investment portfolios, access to human financial advisors, and comprehensive digital financial planning tools.
If you look online, you’ll find a number of reliable robo-advisors and automated portfolio builders such as Betterment, Wealthfront, and Ellevest who have built some level of reputation.
Cryptocurrency is a popular investment option that doesn’t require a large initial investment.
Popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Solana, and Cardano are all viable investments and can be purchased through a cryptocurrency exchange.
Cryptocurrencies can offer significant potential for growth, but they also come with high volatility, so it’s essential to do thorough research and consider your risk tolerance before investing.
viii. Stock markets
Investing in the stock market is another way to start building wealth with a relatively small investment. You can buy shares of publicly traded companies through brokerage accounts.
Consider investing in individual stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that provide diversified exposure to various stocks. Over time, your investments can potentially grow as the stock market appreciates.
ix. Forex Trading:
Forex (foreign exchange) trading involves the exchange of currencies in the global marketplace. While it can be a high-risk investment, it’s possible to start with a small amount of capital and gradually learn how to trade currencies.
Keep in mind that forex trading requires a good understanding of market dynamics, technical and fundamental analysis, and risk management strategies.
But you don’t have to trade by yourself. You can take the help of a trusted professional trader who will manage your trades on your behalf, allowing you to focus on other things in life.
2. Intellectual properties
Another one of my recommended Money Trees is intellectual property. Can you invent something salable or create a commercializable work of art?
If so, then you could be towing in regular residual passive income. This is where you do the work once and get paid over and over for your idea.
I understand that everyone wasn’t born to be a patented inventor, a bestselling author, or a million-dollar music artist.
But listen here: the Internet has made it super easy for anyone to create useful intellectual properties that can keep generating cash inflow again and again.
It doesn’t have to be another first-of-its-kind invention like light bulbs. But simple things like useful apps, educational materials, or a great design.
To give you an idea:
If you have valuable information you think people will benefit from, then you’re sitting on a goldmine. All you have to do is package it in the form of writing, blogging, online courses, videos, or even public speaking.
Of course, each of these has some technicalities behind it but they all work the same way — you’ll keep [automatically] sharing the same information with different people who’ll keep paying.
Do you have an idea of how much royalties authors keep getting for their books throughout their lifetime?
What about eBooks and online courses? These can keep selling for years after publishing.
3. Automated businesses
When starting a “Money Tree” kind of business, there are two things to keep in mind:
- Choose a business that has the potential to expand without requiring additional efforts from you (after the initial input).
- Choose a business that has the potential to keep generating income even when you’re not actively working on it.
And given the times we’re in — the Internet age — it is extremely easy to start such a business.
In short, we’ve never had it this easy; there’s never been a time in human history when it is so ridiculously effortless to become a millionaire.
It is just like the whole celebrity thing.
Back in the day, you needed to be some big rockstar to be a celeb. These days, ordinary people are getting millions of fans and followers on TikTok and Instagram with silly selfies.
It’s the same with business. Anyone with an idea and Internet access can start a profitable venture.
But here’s something:
It is not just about starting a business.
The trick is to start and build automated businesses — that is, businesses that can keep generating money for you from different sources on autopilot without necessarily requiring your time.
How exactly can you do this? Let’s discuss that next!
How to Automate Your Money Tree
FYI, you ought to automate not just your business but all of your Money Trees — investments and intellectual properties included. And there are three things you can do to achieve this:
1. Build systems
The first step is to smoothen things up by building systems around your Money Tree.
A system is a set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines created to carry out a specific activity, complete a process, or solve a problem.
Creating business systems allows your Money Tree to run as streamlined and efficiently as possible, setting it up for automation.
2. Automate processes
The next step is to use technology to automate (mostly) the repetitive processes and tasks within your business. For instance, be clear on your customer journey (sales funnels) and use a tool like ClickFunnels to optimize and automate the entire journey.
Another tool that can help you with automation is ActiveCampaign, the industry-leading email and marketing automation software with added sales CRM functionality. With ActiveCampaign, you can create automated marketing and sales processes.
Surfer has a bunch of automated SEO tools for the entire SEO workflow. They can help automate SEO tasks from keyword ideation and topic research to content generation and optimization.
3. Dedicate duties
For processes that cannot be automated with online tools, you can get people to handle them. This is where building a team or hiring virtual assistants comes in handy.
But hey, don’t mix things up right now:
Automation does not mean that you won’t be working on the business. It only means that after the initial effort of starting it, you can let people and robots run the show for you while you only put in minimal effort.
“I thought robots were supposed to be stealing our jobs?”
Well, you’re right. But to get closer to financial freedom, you have to turn that trend on its head and make it work to your advantage. Instead of fighting it, get the robots to do the job for you while you travel the world.
Simply automate your Money Tree and once it is on autopilot, move on to create another one.
The mentality behind the Money Tree Technique to Financial Freedom is simple:
- Instead of working for money all your lifetime, develop income-producing assets such as investments, businesses, and even intellectual properties to support your financial freedom journey.
- Put in the initial work and really grind now so you can shine later.
- Automate the processes and operations to free up your time (your most precious asset) for more meaningful activities.
- Rinse and repeat until you have a forest of Money Trees that bring financial freedom.
It’s time to get planting!