If Money Grew On Trees, Would John Chow Be In Business?

This post was guest blogged by Alex Shalman, who put together the Happiness Project with 34 A-list bloggers, and writes about practical personal development, communication, and relationships.

If you consider the root of making money online (and I’m not talking about the ‘evil’ John Chow) you will realize one fundamental principle. In our society money is merely a vehicle with which we transfer value from one entity to another.

Instead of racking our brains with the question of “how can I make more money online”, we can choose to think “Who do I have to be, and what do I have to do, in order to bring the maximum value to the maximum amount of people?” That’s right, I’m asking you to take money out of the equation, and I’ll tell you why.

‘What if’ Money Was Not An Issue

The amazing thing about bringing value to society is that it gives you a higher level of pleasure and fulfillment than the physical world can provide for you. You will always feel better if you can donate a hot meal to a needy family than if you use that money to upgrade your watch from $3000 to $4000.

Let’s take John as an example for a moment. We all know that John makes a hell of a lot of money online, right? We also know about some of the things he spends his money on, since John is not shy about sharing that with us. John spends money on expensive toys, and $30,000 hamburgers, but we also see that he donates to feed the hungry, and most importantly takes care of his family by building up his baby girl’s trust fund.

Do you think John would care if he never ate another $400 cheese cake if he knew his family was going to be happy, healthy and well taken care of? I don’t think it would bother him too much at all. The point is that when you stop focusing too much on the money itself, and on the physical pleasures that it can bring you, you begin to resonate at a higher level.

The Genesis of a New Realm of Possibilities

By thinking from this place of value creation, instead of money acquisition, we become more in tune with contributing to society. Our society has a great way of giving back to those that contribute, and with today’s viral nature of the internet a really good idea, product, or service can travel far and wide.

So here’s some food for thought. Who would you be, what would you do, if you to had the goal of leaving this world a better place than you entered it? Remember, it only takes One Decision To Change Your Life, and this one could be it for you.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” ~Maya Angelou


47 thoughts on “If Money Grew On Trees, Would John Chow Be In Business?”

  1. Alex Shalman says:

    Thank you for getting this up John! 😈

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      Good article buddy :mrgreen:

      1. DeboHobo says:

        Great article “give and it shall be given to you in good measure”…

    2. Nice article. So many more people would be successful if they’d focus on something other than the money.

    3. Syed Balkhi says:

      the quote used is an awesome one.

  2. Robert says:

    Alex, have you taken over John Chow Dot Com?!?! You’re a serial guest poster here! But good for you. You deserve it. The content on your blog is great. This post, in particular, is very good. It weaves in nicely with the mantra that you should be passionate about whatever venture you pick as your own. If you blog, you should love what you write about. The money will come later. But the passion itself will breed success and accomplishment, and it will benefit many more people than if it just were for money.

    1. But what if you love money? Then what?

      Some people just love watching their bank accounts grow. *Cough*me*cough*

      1. Robert says:

        Haha, good point. In that case, you can focus on money. Works the same way. I love the concept of money, too, including how people think about it, why they spend so much of it, and how best to invest it. So that’s what I write about. It may be focused on money, but it’s what I’m passionate about.

  3. I like what I once heard George Steinbrenner say about about this. “Take care of the details and the big things will take care of themselves”. I write about building character all the time at my website thelittleleaguecoach.com. Check it out!

  4. Great post. For some, it’s hard to realize the point especially if your bills come pretty close to your income. It was for me. I go from do all of this for the love of this for days at a time to “Oh, damn, I need to get some work done so we can pay the bills next month.” It gets better. The two are converging slowly. It’s a long process, especially if you came from working hourly jobs.

  5. Robert says:

    That’s true. It’s tough to dive into what you love while maintaining an hourly job and making sure to pay your bills. But little by little, it’s possible. And every little bit that you put in creates value and widens the gap between your income and your expenses.

  6. Manly King says:

    I do recall reading in a lot of books focused on personal wealth and self-improvement that, if you can spare it, 10% of your income should go toward charity. This practice increases the value of your money and time not only in the monetary sense, but also in the humanitarian sense.

    The hardest part of all this is getting to the point where you can spare money to help others while still providing everything you and your family needs. That is the focus of my work everyday, but donating money to charity is always a goal I have for the future. I still donate during the year, especially around Christmas for children, but am not at that point yet when I can make it a regular charity.

    Great post. And yes, I think Alex is taking over John’s blog 😛

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      You’re right Manly. I recently heard the CEO of a very wealthy firm in NYC talk about how donating was mandatory at their workplace. They happened to do exceptionally well. I think I’ll write more about this. 😉

    2. Terry Tay says:

      10% is a general number put out there and some who can afford to donate that do, plus more, and others can donate less. Some workplaces make it easier to donate to charities by automatically deducting from some people’s paychecks.

      Even better than donating money, or if you can’t afford to donate money, volunteering at different places that need help like a homeless shelter is a great way to donate your time.
      ~Terry

  7. RacerX says:

    Alex…I have to give you big credit for posting a Maya Angelou quote to a blog that is frequented by Type-A Carnivores! Nice post.

  8. Rahman Alwi says:

    Bravo…. written very nicely. Great post and I think John too is very pleased with the post. Great work Alex.

  9. Jcyreus says:

    Great post Alex. Quality and value are the cornerstones of any successful business…treating a blog as a business in that respect is the only way one will realize their true potential. CONTENT IS KING.

  10. Hannah says:

    Great post Alex. The other thing to consider in terms of giving back, if you can’t afford the money, is time. I used to do a lot of volunteering when I didn’t have a job. It was a way to give back to society, albeit not in a monetary form.

  11. Robert Wyatt says:

    To everyone who says this is a great post – do you people read other blogs? This is fairly generic advice found on every ‘make money’ or ‘self improvement’ blog. The reason I read John Chow is because his advice is his own, not generic, usually insightful. This guest blogger nonsense is really growing tiresome. I want to read John’s thoughts – not this guy.

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      That’s not how a hostile takeover works. I have John tied up in the basement, and I’m here to write write write! 😈

  12. I’m all choked up.

    No, but seriously — good point. It’s not about the money as a number but what it gives you the freedom and security to do.

  13. Robert says:

    Good point. The value that money actually has is in what it allows you to do, buy, etc. Money itself has no intrinsic value, when you think of it. It only has value because the Federal Reserve says it does. (Kind of scary, don’t you think?) Its real value is in how it allows you to do and enjoy certain things, and how the lack of it prevents other people from doing and enjoying the same things.

  14. natespost says:

    Excellent point. That’s why so many fail….the ones who succeed are the ones that would love doing what they are doing regardless of the money. That’s why they keep going when others quit.

  15. Reginald says:

    I wonder, if money were not an issue, how many bloggers would there be online?

    I believe it will be a significantly smaller number.

    It is usually obvious to me who blogs for the joy of it and who blogs for the money factor only.

    Great post.

    1. ismabera says:

      I am not blogger yet as some of you here. But,I can tell you I even didn’t know that i can earn with blog, when I started to write my blogs. Somewhere I was reading definition of blog – blog should be our diary. But, as we can see, the most of blogs are promoting bussiness.

  16. Alex Shalman says:

    Thanks for all the positive feedback guys. I look forward to putting up a few posts. John doesn’t allow me to post back to back, he says he needs some of his stuff in there too, so that’s why I’m only partially taking over his blog hehe.

    As long as you guys keep getting from my posts I’ll keep on writing 😛

  17. Robert says:

    Good point, Reginald. A lot of bloggers wouldn’t blog for free. They think it’s a quick buck, and it’s not. The top blogs have been around for years. It took hard work to get there, and that hard work was the result of passion for the subject being blogged about.

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      I agree with you about the hard work. If this was a year ago, I don’t think you guys would be taking my advice as seriously. However, you see that I have a successful blog, which clearly gives me more credibility. My blog is built on hard work alone. It’s a very GetRichSlowly type of story, and I’m still on the Get__Slowly part :mrgreen:

      1. Seopher says:

        I don’t know Alex, I tend to listen to anyone on the Internet provided they make their point well. I think there’s a certain mentality around that makes your opinion invalid if you have less than [x] subscribers…

        Yet one of the nicest things about the Internet is the ability to get your opinion out there, yet sometimes it’s really hard to get people to listen.

        Just a thought. Congrats on another guest post.

        1. Hannah says:

          Well that mentality is visible everywhere in society, justified or not: top Real Estate agents get their clients just because they’ve sold a lot of houses, not necessarily because they’re great at getting you the best price. Most people would rather speak to a financial planner with 1000 clients instead of 10.

          It just shows that marketing ability, not necessarily skill, is the key to success.

  18. Amen! Money is not evil, as you said it is a vehicle, you can choose get in and go for a ride, or just walk.

  19. watercarving says:

    Money isn’t evil but the love of it sure has negative consequences.

  20. Robert says:

    If love of money becomes an obsession, then it creates negative consequences. But if the love of money leads to a healthy and passionate hobby (like writing, investing, etc.), then it’s not so negative.

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      I think that everything in life, including life, is temporary, so having huge attachments, especially to things like money, is not healthy and leads to disappointment. It also takes AWAY from fulfillment, because that isn’t where the highest levels of pleasure are anyway.

  21. watercarving says:

    I guess I’m to simple to disagree with the Good Book. Love of money has never brought anything good that I’ve seen.

  22. If good people have the money, it can do a lot to eradicate lots of hurt in the world. Go out and make more so you can spread it around.

  23. Jacqueline says:

    I love that quote by Maya Angelou! I did not realize John was so successful. I’m going to be visiting this blog more often! Enjoyed the post!

  24. I do have to ask, when did John spend $30,000 on a hamburger?

  25. Simon Lau says:

    great post here, and its true. If you’re happy, money won’t be the most important thing (as long as you make ends meet). Money goes give you some nice toys like 30000 slices of cheese cake!

  26. Joseph says:

    I know money doesn’t bring happiness but it sure makes you unhappy when you don’t have enough of it and unfortunately in this society most people suffer from that problem.

  27. ismabera says:

    Realy great article. Unfortunatly we need for a lot of thing, we should like to do, MONEY. There were times (years ago) i thought that money is ‘king of this world’. Now I know that we need money, but money is not everything in this world. I know rich people , but they are not happy. I know also people, who could be very happy just to have enough money to live normal life. They are separated, as husband is working in other country, wife with children at home. They are tigether only few weeks / year. But, when we shall be together, we shall be the happiest in this world. But, to be with our dearest, we need money – for airplain ticket, for buy presents, to pay bills (of cause!) ….

  28. Mike Huang says:

    This is possibly the best post I’ve read today. Keep up the good work and don’t let us down 😛

    -Mike

    1. Alex Shalman says:

      Oh I won’t let you down, more posts on the way here and on my site 😈

  29. Chip says:

    If money grew on trees, John Chow would have invented something else, just as valuable as money, to blog about. 😈

  30. “If money grew on trees would John Chow be in business”. No, of course not. He would be busy plucking them and keeping them neatly stacked in his safe and would always be grabbed by fear of losing them. 😛

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