The Money Tree Online Business Formula – Who Says Money Can’t Grow on Trees?

February 22, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

tree moneyYou’ve heard the saying that money doesn’t grow on trees. But what if it did? What would you say if I told you that you could raise a tree that grew cash money instead of leaves? Of course I don’t mean this in the literal sense, but growing a tree is a lot like starting a successful Internet business that when done right can create a huge flow of cash. What do I mean?

Believe it or not, the biggest of trees, up to fifty feet tall, start off as tiny seeds. With proper care and the right conditions, the seeds develop into enormous plants with deep roots and unshakable foundations. The trees generate countless leaves and fruit season after season. In the same way, every online business starts off with a single idea and an entrepreneur with a drive to succeed. The going may be tough in the beginning, but with the right conditions, luck, and motivation, the idea turns into a solid business that consistently generates revenue. See the parallels? Cultivating a successful online business isn’t easy, but money may grow on “trees” after all.

In the following sections, I’ll further develop the tree/business analogy and show you what it takes to develop your online business – from seed to behemoth.

Plant the seed – take action with your business ideas

tree seedsEvery seed has the potential to become a gigantic tree. However, unless it’s actually planted in good soil, it will always just be a seed. Similarly, you may have a ton of ideas for starting a business online. You might want to start a membership site, develop an information product, write a blog, or sell products through an e-commerce site. Whatever your idea may be, it’s useless if you don’t take action. Every idea has the potential to make you money but unless you take action, an idea will continue to be “just another idea”.

Protect the sprout – carefully plan your new start up

tree sproutOnce a seed is planted in soil and watered for a few weeks, a tiny plant will sprout up. This is a critical stage because the plant is extremely vulnerable to small threats and outside circumstances like humans, lawn mowers, and dry weather. The sprout can easily be killed off if it doesn’t receive the proper care and attention it needs. Likewise, a startup business is extremely unstable and insecure. You need to meticulously plan every small detail and spend every penny wisely. Just because Internet businesses require little startup costs doesn’t mean you should take them lightly. The initial launch phase is very important and will decide whether or not your online business makes money and survives for the next stages.

Guide the trunk & roots – perfect your business model & selling points

tree supportOnce a tree survives the sprout stage and becomes more solid and secure, its trunk and roots need to be guided to grow straight and thick. You’ll often see gardeners use splints to guide trees in the developmental process. In the same way, if you’re starting an online business and have had success with the initial launch and startup phase, you need to focus on the values and goals of your business (the tree trunk and roots). What are your core competencies and unique selling propositions? Why should people use your site and products instead of the competition? What will set you apart and make you money? Instead of trying a bunch of different things, focus on what you do best and spend all of your energy and time developing your business foundation. Once you have this down you’ll be able to branch out and diversify in later stages.

Grow, grow, grow

tree growth modelEven with good care and conditions, it still takes years for a tree to develop and grow to massive proportions. The same applies to business. Time is a key ingredient to achieving success. Be patient and stay consistent with your efforts. In other words, don’t give up. As long as you persevere and keep striving for aggressive growth, you’ll increase your chances of seeing success. It’s just a matter of time.

Branch out – diversify your business

tree branchesAfter a tree solidifies its trunk and digs down deep with its roots, it’s pretty much stable and secure. It doesn’t have much upward growth left and it would take a lot to bring the tree down. So what’s the next step? The tree extends itself by growing branches sideways and outward. In the same way, a mature online business earns good money and has its core competencies figured out. Although it can still grow, the biggest opportunities lie in branching out, diversifying with additional business models and experimenting with new income streams. For example, a successful site selling SEO information products might add software and tools, a forum community, and consulting services. Diversification is a great way to increase revenue for established businesses, but is detrimental for businesses just getting started.

Rake it in

tree rake moneyTrees grow leaves on its branches, sometimes even fruit and nuts depending on the type of tree. Once the fall season rolls around, the leaves fall and people “rake it in”. Similarly, if you own a business that you’ve established and grown over the years, you’re sure to rake in the money and the fruits of your labor. There are always ways to grow and get bigger, but sometimes it’s helpful to step back and look at all of your accomplishments. Plant a “tree” (business) and help it grow. Who says money can’t grow on trees? As I’ve outlined in this post, the growth model of a tree is a lot like that of a business. Go for it and keep at it.

What do you think about the tree / business analogy? How does it apply to your entrepreneurial efforts? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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31 Responses to “The Money Tree Online Business Formula – Who Says Money Can’t Grow on Trees?”

Dev on February 22nd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

yeah your right..Money Can Grow on Trees if you want to..

Stuart Conover on February 22nd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Actually I think your tree analogy is perfect for growing and developing a business. One of the major goals of starting any business SHOULD be to see it ‘grow’ regardless if it’s in orders, size, profits, etc.

This is actually an analogy I can completely agree with and get behind.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Haha, thanks for the support Stuart. I love analogies and I thought relating online business with money trees was a good one. πŸ™‚

Tom - Stay At Home Business on February 22nd, 2009

Good information.Many people try to jump straight to “rake it in” from the “plant the seed” phase without letting the business grow.Obviously, this doesnΒ΄t work.(I stumbled this post.)

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Thanks Tom. Yep, for some reason people think that growing a business online is easy, just because it uses the Internet. Like any real business, it takes a lot of time and effort to grow and develop.

Gennaro on February 22nd, 2009

Poetic and unique approach. It’s an excellent metaphor. It show the possibility of profit, but also recognizes the steps and hard work to get there. I find that the earliest stages are most important. The foundation.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Thanks Gennaro. I’ve never been referred to as a poet before.. πŸ˜›

I agree that the early stages are crucial. Unless you have your roots firmly in place, everything else will suffer and eventually collapse. Be sure to plan properly and have your foundation in place.

Cheap Phone Calls on February 23rd, 2009

Growing AND developing. Much like a tree. Great post that’s easy to relate to. It’s good that you outline the steps in the journey of growth.

Entreprenuer on February 23rd, 2009

This is really great information and a good analogy. Thanks!

budi@surabaya property on February 23rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

That’s exactly I am experiencing now. As a new comer in online field I feel the such a hard and critical circumstances here. Recently, I have been extraordinarily busy to try to redeem my site position. Your post seems an advice from a saint, really strengthen my spirit. Thank you for the encouragement.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

A saint! Wow, I think you’re going a little too far there, bud. Haha. I’m glad I can help. Welcome to the online business world.. it may be tough goings in the beginning but keep at it and you should see some results. This is definitely the industry to be in right now.

Paul Morales on February 23rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I’m working on making my money tree online πŸ˜‰ It’s a work in progress. It’s got to grow slowly but surely πŸ˜‰

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

It looks like you got the right attitude to succeed.. positive and willing to put in the time and effort. Good luck, Paul!

Erica on February 24th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Great analogy; most people never take the time to remember that all trees and businesses start from a small seed or idea. It’s nice to take a step back and realize the an idea can explode.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

A lot of people seem to think that they can never build big businesses.. but what’s inspiring is that everyone starts from the same place. It’s just a matter of how far you’re willing to push yourself to grow and build your business.

steam on February 24th, 2009

Can’t we just fast-forward to the raking stage? πŸ™‚

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Haha, if only it were that easy…

Make Money Online on March 1st, 2009

Lol money tree. I would love to grow one myself but it probably take years to see the result right?


Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Yeah, it would take years.. but anything worthwhile takes time and effort – don’t you think?

smashill on March 1st, 2009

The best thing about a tree is that once it’s big you can rake it for years to come. So remember to treat it well and protect it against people who want to cut it down to get firewood. You really like alliterations don’t you? πŸ˜‰

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Haha, someone called me a poet in a comment above.. I guess you could say I like alliterations. Thanks for continuing the analogy for me. πŸ™‚

Ann Arbor Web Design on March 1st, 2009

Lovely post; just the sort of thing to give you a much needed boost in these time of global depression. Keep it up!

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Sure, there’s a global depression out there, but the awesome thing is that you can still build a solid online business for yourself with very little startup costs. I see too many people using the economy as an excuse to hold them back.


A very organic way to describe an organic process! Now only if one could get the exact fertiliser and care programme to extract maximum yields from the money tree! Adhering to certain core principles is a must, just as in conventional horticulture, however pests, disease and natural disasters might prove difficult to manage, just like with conventional growing!

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

Ok, you lost me at horticulture.. haha, but yes I did see a lot of parallels so I think all of the different growing techniques apply to both.

Discount Coach Bags on March 9th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I always look to find great motivational articles for days when I’m feeling good and days continue to feel good and this article is aweseome. I have some trees up right now and branching out to multiple streams if income. I believe in affiliate marketing and I will succeed.

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

I’m glad you found inspiration in the article – that’s what it’s all about. Good luck growing your trees and be sure to check back often.

Cheap Dooney Bourke on March 10th, 2009

Your article is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Just the thing to keep me pumped up for the day. Thanks

Gyutae Park on March 13th, 2009

No problem. πŸ™‚ Glad I can help. Stay pumped and keep working. You’ll reap the benefits soon enough.

Steve Austin on January 13th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Yes tree also helps us to earn money.. Now-a-days, we are in global warming.. We must plant trees to avoid pollutions..
This article boost to plant trees..
Very informative and nice..

Steve Austin on January 20th, 2010

Very motivational article.. The article boost to make the online business. Like trees the business will also grow up very slowly but we keep on trying surely one day it giver higher results..

Very fantastic post!!!

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