Want to know the formula for financial success? You’re not alone. I think there are only two types of people that want to know the formula: woman and men.

Of course, everyone wants to know the formula. That is why you’ll see book after book on success. The curious thing, is that they all seem different. In other words, people come up with different formulas for success.

I believe the way people come up with their formulas is by comparing what worked for them, and what didn’t. For example, President Obama weighed in with his opinion on what he thinks is the formula of success.

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Let’s turn Obama’s words into a mathematical formula:

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. … I’m always struck by people who think, “Wow, it must be because I was just so smart” — there are a lot of smart people out there.


Financial Success = Being Smart


“It must be because I worked harder than everybody else” — let me tell you something, there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.


Financial Success = Hard Work


“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life…. Somebody invested in roads and bridges — if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet.”

Through his process of deductive reasoning, he comes up with:


Financial Success = getting a hand-up from someone else


There is only about a million problems with his formula. But the big one is this: those people that have been on welfare and unemployment for a long time… they should be the wealthiest among us.

Obviously, Obama’s formula for success is wrong.

He’s absolutely wrong. And that makes him a fool, because he actually believes it himself.

The Bible’s Formula

There is one quality of achieving financial success that runs through every legitimate formula of success. And it is actually God’s plan that he laid out in the book of Genesis. In fact, it as the very first two words he spoke to man.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful” Genesis 1:28 (NIV)

Therefore, the basic success formula is:


Financial Success = Be Fruitful*


I’ve discussed Being Fruitful numerous times on this web site, so I won’t go into that more here. I just want to talk about the formula itself.

So, do you see that little asterisk? That is man’s contribution to the success formula. It is a modifier that we can control to speed up or slow down the rate of success.

It is an exponent. It makes the formula:



Because it is an exponent, it acts as an accelerator for success. The bigger the number, the faster you create wealth for yourself. An easy example is to square a number, which means that n = 2. In that case, the result of being “twice” as fruitful doesn’t go up twice as much, it actually goes up four times as much!

That number “n” is very important. And we control that part ourself.

I can’t give you an exact formula for finding the value of the exponent “n”. That is what all those success books are for. But for the sake of this example, lets say the value of n is:


n = Wisdom + hard work + timing + perseverance + sacrifice + skill + habits + unknown


At this point, you can start to figure out what is more important to accelerating success. It also allows you to get a rough estimate of the magnitude of the each variable.

For example, if n = “hard work” all by itself, you’d see that it doesn’t really increase the rate of success much. In fact, here I have to agree with Obama. Hard work by itself does not guarantee success.

In mathematical terms, that means that the magnitude of hard work probably has a value less than 1.0.

Just grab a calculator, and do the math. For example, say the value of “Be Fruitful” was a 2.0, and that for you, “hard work” has a value of 0.5. Then:



In other words, hard work by itself doesn’t get the job done. It doesn’t accelerate success as much as you’d like. And if it is less than 1.0, you actually are worse off than when you started.

So something has to be added to the value of the exponent for it to accelerate your wealth accumulation. The point is, the value has to be greater than 1.0 for you to increase the rate of your wealth accumulation. All those variables added together must be greater than 1.0.

Wisdom – The Multiplier

I believe that Wisdom is a multiplier in the success formula. The bible says over and over to get Wisdom, so it must be. That means the formula for “n” would look more like this:

n = Wisdom ( hard work + timing + perseverance + sacrifice + skill + habits + unknown)

Do you see the difference? Adding in Wisdom is one thing. But it actually magnifies the other variables, which means it is far more important in the success formula.

Wisdom also must be a positive number. A negative number is devastating to your wealth accumulation. Grab a calculator, and see what happens when you take a number and you raise it to a negative exponent. It crushes your efforts.

In other words, don’t be stupid, or you’ll never get wealthy.


Values Change – That Means That The Success Formula Changes


The values of all the factors in the success formula are in constant flux. There are days you’ll be more fruitful than others. There will be days when you work harder than others. Get the point? It isn’t a static equation, which is why it is so hard to pin it down.

What then is “Most Important” that you should concentrate your efforts on?

Being Fruitful is where you should start. The more fruitful you are to others around you, the greater your value is. You absolutely must have a base value for being fruitful. A zero number there, just won’t cut it. Zero raised to any power, is still zero. And it definitely can’t be a negative number, as that means you are a problem to those around you. You have to be the solution, so it absolutely must be a positive number and greater than 1.0.



Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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