Now those seeds – otherwise known as subscribers – need care and devotion. Seeds don’t just sprout without love and attention, so you feed them, water them and make sure that their environment is as conducive to their growth as is possible.

As those seeds germinate and that all-important green shoot appear in the ground, you may need to provide them with different nutrition. They are now no longer just seeds, but are blossoming and appreciated. This is the point when, as a subscriber, people have realised that you care, that you’re not just going to leave them and you, like they, are in it for the duration.

Flowering is not enough, however. There’s still a way to go until the tree of money becomes well-formed and is able to repay you for your kindness. The plant starts branching off in all directions and without you doing some smart trimming and pruning, a sustainable trunk will never transpire.

Just as you know that your subscriber list will include some people who are simply along for the free stuff, you need to understand and identify those segments that offer the greatest potential to evolve into customer communities. You must know more implicitly than ever what they want, and serve them accordingly.

Tree’s company

Thankfully your topiary talents have proved themselves and the tree of money is now growing fast. That thick trunk is heading skywards quickly; the feeding formula of right time, right ingredients is really delivering the goods.

Months have passed since you started nurturing this money tree. You had confidence from the beginning that you could make it work, despite many people telling you it couldn’t be so. It’s the same in building better businesses – we all have crises of confidence when the knockers come calling. But when you truly believe in yourself, your passion and your prowess, it sometimes feels like actual magic when the rewards transpire.

And finally, there it is: Your first home-grown £50 note. I hasten to add it’s obviously legal tender; we all know there’s no such thing as a counterfeit money tree.

Barking mad?

Soon your garden is covered in legal tender. And it’s at this point the most important decision arises since you traded that cow (job) for a dubious-looking bag of ‘beans’ (own business): Do you take the money and run, or continue to cherish the tree?

Those who are interested in low-hanging wins will have bagged up the gains and got lazy.

Sharing Superheroes will continue to give that tree love and attention. They know something their inert cousins will never find out: That as the tree continues to bear fruit, it also drops more seeds, light as feathers, that settle on other parts of your land and start their own growing adventure into money treehood.

Grass is greener

That’s the horticultural equivalent of word of mouth marketing. Keep pleasing your customers, and they’ll keep pleasing you. Sure, you might forfeit a bit of grass to more trees of money, but I haven’t figured out a relevant metaphor for that one, yet.

Are you ready to start growing your own forest of money trees?

Welcome to the world of Sharing Superheroes.