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The Money Tree

By Garrett Gunderson

Two gardeners planted fruit trees in their gardens.

The first gardener took care to select the best seeds. Furthermore, he carefully prepared the soil, picking the ideal location that would receive adequate water and sunlight, tilling it well and providing fertilizer.

From those seeds sprung forth healthy, strong and deep roots that gave the trees life and good health.

The tree trunks grew straight and strong, and gave them the ability to withstand the strongest of winds. Healthy branches grew from the trees, profuse and strong enough to hold plentiful fruit.

After a time, the trees produced the best, biggest and most delicious fruit that the farmer had ever seen and tasted. It was the best harvest he had, and many came from miles around to buy his fruit and enjoy his harvest.

The second gardener was careless about his selection of both his seeds and his soil.

The soil he planted in was rocky and hard, had few nutrients and was a poor location for water and sunlight. Most of his seeds never germinated and took root. The few that did had shallow, unhealthy roots.

From those roots grew narrow, twisted, and flimsy trunks that were nonresistant to the elements. The branches were few and weak, and the trees produced wormy, small and bitter fruit that nobody wanted.

Each of the images portrayed represent ingredients in the process of either a life of poverty or a life of prosperity.

The symbol of the gardener is you, or what I call your human life value. Human life value is everything you are when all of your material resources are stripped away.

It is your knowledge, your character and integrity, your ability to think creatively and uniquely, your relationships, your faith, your virtue — or the lack of each of these things.

It is your knowledge and ability to shape materials and information in new ways that are valued and utilized by others and yourself.

What do you bring to the world? What is your unique combination of talents, abilities, education and perspective? This is your human life value. You become productive and access your potential by utilizing your human life value in the service of others.

The seeds, soil, water, and sunlight represent your paradigm or the way that you view the world that determines how you interact with the world and other people.

Specifically, there are two determinant paradigms that people have to choose from: scarcity and abundance.

From the seeds of scarcity come roots of fear, doubt, and worry. From the seeds of abundance come roots of faith, hope, and love.

The tree trunks represent principles: the timeless, unchanging, universal natural laws of the universe that, when applied appropriately, provide stability, strength and direction in a person’s life.

The tree branches represent strategies, techniques, tools, and resources. The strategies we use and how we use them are determined by our human life value, our paradigm, and our understanding and application of principles.

And finally, the fruits of the trees represent the results we experience from the combination of our human life value, our paradigm, principles, and strategies.

The starting place to grow your money trees is with your soil and your seeds.

Seeds are the principles that you’re aligned with and the soil is who you currently are.

If you attempt to plant a seed of abundance in scarce soil, the result will be no growth and death of the seed. Why? Because when you’re in scarcity you will reject seeds of abundance, they cannot take root because you are not the kind of soil conducive to prosperous growth.

Similarly, if you have abundant soil, or in other words, if you are full of hope, faith, love, and abundance, but you then plant a seed of scarcity, whether through friends, family, the media, or society, your soil will reject that seed and it cannot grow.

The ideal is where our soil is abundant, and the seeds (or principles) planted within that soil are abundant. In that case, we will experience favorable conditions for productive growth and the seed will grow.

You have the power to control and change your soil, and to nurture and cultivate it.


Garrett Gunderson is an entrepreneur, financial coach, the founder of Freedom FastTrack, and the primary author of the New York Times bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity.

Garrett loves inspiring others to turn their potential into production. He has dedicated his life to living and teaching a unique concept known as Soul Purpose that reveals how anyone can live a more prosperous and rewarding life.

As a finance and business productivity coach, Garrett instructs both large and small groups of business owners and financial service professionals nationwide.

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