The Third Way

A few days back I had written a book review of The Money Tree by Chris Guillebeau. Guillebeau has been posting a video a day on his YouTube channel in lieu of a book tour that got cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video I am referring to clarifies some of the concepts in the book about the Third Way that I seem to have misunderstood. More, in the text below or better still watch the video in full, of about 34 minutes.

All the ways that he talks about earning money are things one can do independently. So, a corporate job does not come as one of the ways. The first way is therefore starting one’s own retail business. The second way is founding a startup. He says that in both these ways, one requires capital, has to take risk and there is a long time frame. It is also something that is dependent on other people and hence, is something that is beyond your control.

So, in the Third Way, he suggests:

  1. Start quickly
  2. Without spending money
  3. Using your existing skills/knowledge

The Money Tree – Chris Guillebeau (2020)

I first read about Chris Guillebeau when I read his first book – The Art of Non-Conformity and read the blog of the same name. Then, I was bitten by the travel bug and had dreamed of travelling far and wide. I did not want to go to all the countries in the world as Chris had but wanted to learn about what that life would be like.

The Money Tree, 2020. Image Credit: Chris Guillebeau

Having a steady government job then meant that I did not read his follow-up books about The $100 Startup and Side Hustle School. When I moved back to a private firm, I dusted out my old links and newsletter subscriptions and re-discovered Chris.

I bought his new book, The Money Tree (Amazon Affiliate Link to buy the book) knowing that relying on one stream of income is not a sustainable way to make a living nor does it give enough savings to save for the future. I purchased it on Audible and finished listening to it in a day.

The book is written in the form of a story. The thesis of the book is that having a source of income other than the job you have at hand is not a bad thing. He says that working on your own, doing something you enjoy gives you a high. It gives you confidence and impacts other areas of your life.

The book gives ideas, builds a first person experience of going through the journey that you as a reader might have. The protagonist, Jake, goes on this journey from being in debt, relationships in ruins and perennially forgetting the important things in life to a place where he has confidence, has more courage in his personal and work relationships and has things in perspective. He does this with a help of a support group that meets to discuss these ideas under the able guidance of a guy, Clarence.

Chris wrote this book before the COVID-19 pandemic. But, given the lock down and expected downturn in the economic conditions, I think this book deserves your time. His insights attempt to take you through a space between a full time corporate job and the gig economy. I already see many people offering their services online and some even earning for these services.

Think of something you’re good at, help people and earn money.