Have you ever heard about the amazing Chinese bamboo tree? If not, keep reading. There’s a lot we can learn from this plant in relation to budgeting and investing.
The Chinese bamboo tree is impressive! Over 90 feet of towering greenery above you. But do you know what it takes to make it grow?
In your first year of growing a Chinese bamboo tree you plant it, lovingly water it, fertilise it, carefully remove the weeds surrounding it, and… nothing happens. Year two the same process and… again, not so much as a tiny bit of green bursting through the ground. Year three and four is frustratingly more of the same. At this point, most would think something had gone wrong and would probably be tempted to plant something else in its place.
But in year five something incredible happens. Green life begins to burst through the soil. Not gradually either, but at an astonishing rate, 90 feet in just five weeks! Isn’t that amazing? You could practically pull out a deck chair and witness a transformation before your eyes.
5 financial lessons from the Chinese bamboo tree:
#1- Plant a Chinese bamboo tree. This is sometimes easier said than done but you need to ‘plant a tree’ (or invest) in something that will produce great growth. It might be a savings goal, prospective business, property or other form of investment. Write a plan about what your 90 foot tree will look like, plan what it needs to help it grow and what daily contributions you need to make to ensure its success.
#2- Consistency is the key. Set a goal and pursue it relentlessly. Keep ‘watering’ by saving and investing with that goal at the forefront of your mind. Before you go to bed each night plan one step that you will take to get you closer to achieving that goal.
#3- Have faith that your ‘tree’ will grow. You might be saving, saving, saving while your friends are borrowing and buying, living the high life. Don’t get frustrated! Bad debt is just that. Save and invest towards good assets that will earn income for you. The goal is not to pull the seed out of the ground now, but rather to allow it to grow. If you are doubtful that your investment/savings ‘tree’ will grow, seek the counsel of financial advisor of some sort. You should feel confident in the seed you’ve planted.
#4- Plant other trees. One tree is great but you could help others more in the world by having other trees planted. Once you know how to plant one, plant another or teach someone else.
#5- Enjoy the planting process. Savings and investment is not meant to be like sucking on a lemon most of your life so you can eat cake in your final years. What kind of a life is that? Enjoy the process along the way. When you save more than you spend, you feel liberated. When you invest in something that grows while you sleep, you feel empowered. And when you can help others along the way, you feel purposeful, proud and free!