Formula for success cracked

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Do you want to be really successful in life? I mean really, really successful? I can share with you the formula for massive success. But please don’t tell it to anyone else. Just kidding. In fact, the formula for success is extremely easy and simple. It’s nothing people didn’t already know centuries ago. And you know it too, on a very intuitive level.

Here it is:

Success = Explosion + Control

What? I know it’s not what you expected, so let’s dive straight into the practical examples that will show us what this formula really means.

  • Do you want to be rich? The formula for getting rich is (active, passive or portfolio) income explosion and keeping your cost and bad investments under control.
  • Do you want to a have six-pack? The formula is very simple. Exercise explosion and appetite control – quantity and quality of the food you eat.
  • Do you want to be lucky in love? The formula is, again, very simple. Sexual market value explosion (SMV) and committing to your best fit – investing your best into a relationship every day and expecting the same from your partner. SMV explosion and commitment control.
  • Do you want to be educated and resourceful? Take care of a learning explosion (reading, observing, experimenting etc.), control the quality of what you consume (learn from the best, forget the rest) and immediately implement the acquired knowledge. Quality learning explosion and implementation control.
  • Do you want to have a successful career and be respected by the society? Fight for something you care about (a mission with an emotional explosion), and persist through CRAP – Criticism, Rejections, Assholes, Pressure. So the formula for career success is purpose explosion and persistence through CRAP. Purpose explosion and persistence control in short.
  • Do you want to be a successful entrepreneur? The formula to be a successful entrepreneur is customer explosion (innovation, marketing) and outstanding management in all other business functions (finance, human resources, operations etc.). Customer explosion and management control.

As you can see, the formula for massive success is very simple to understand. But not to follow.

One part of the equation (the control one) is extreme self-discipline. Self-discipline based on commitment, focus, persistence, hard work, immediate implementation, pushing yourself, and constantly making the right small decisions, day by day. It’s also about having enough inner assets to manage the perks of success. Every expense, every meal, every minute you have in a day, you have to make the right decision that will lead you towards your goals, not away from them. Especially once you become successful.

The second part of the equation (the explosion one) is based on getting a few key big decisions right in life – which markets to choose, selecting a supporting environment to operate in, finding your perfect fit, innovating, creating, delivering and capturing high enough value for the markets, using the leverage of smart work, and being surrounded with the right people.

You need to reach both parts of the equation. Only discipline and self-control aren’t enough. Only hard work is never enough. You also have to be in the right place at the right time with the right people and with the right idea. You have to work smart. And vice versa. Being in the right place at the right time is not enough. You also need to put in all the sweat and long hours. You have to make sure that nobody outworks you. Because the competition is stiff.

Here’s another interpretation of the formula. Success is the opposite of how people mess up their lives. You mess up your life with a few big wrong decisions (who to marry, where to work etc.) or with everyday small bad decisions (what you eat, how you spend money etc.) or a combination of both.

So if you want to be successful in life, you have to get a few key decisions right, and then follow them up with everyday hard work. It’s that simple. The problem, of course, is that success is a long and demanding process you have to follow, it’s full of apathy and battles with yourself. And you also need a lot of luck to get to a real explosion. Atomic explosion. But that’s also why you’re here on this planet. To show us all the best possible versions of yourself. And fortune favours the brave.

Formula for success

Formula for success = Explosion + Control

Why is it then so hard to really succeed?

As we learned, the formula for success is fairly simple: success equals “explosion” plus “control”. Self-control or discipline is the part of the equation where you work hard, invest consistent effort, follow the process, put in all the sweat and long hours. Explosion, on the other hand, means being in the right place at the right time, with the right people and the right idea.

Anyway there’s not much to tell about self-discipline that hasn’t already been written. If you want to be rich, you have to watch your expenses and bad investments, if you want to be fit, you have to be careful about what and how much you eat, and so on. Consistently, day by day. If you can’t stay disciplined at anything, seeds of greatness are probably just not in you. Staying disciplined is hard, but that’s still the easier part of the equation.

If you can’t stay disciplined at anything, seeds of greatness are probably just not in you.

Success explosion is the hardest and trickiest part of our equation. Success explosions are the reason why it’s so damn hard to succeed. Success explosion is the part that we usually don’t understand well enough, and that’s also why so few people really massively succeed, so let’s focus more on that.

Different potentials of explosions

So you want to become extremely successful in life, an outlier of humankind. You regularly invest in yourself, you sacrifice a lot, you resist instant gratification, you work hard and you hustle. You invest in the process day by day. You can read that you have to be patient with success on every single personal development blog, and you know that very well and you are patient. But your gut is whispering that only patience and severe discipline won’t be enough; far from it. Unfortunately, your gut is right. Here’s why.

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The society measures success by the outer resources that were more or less self-made. Money, fame, sexual market value based on fitness, status, power (note: this article is not about what success really is, but how to achieve what the society defines as success). If you imagine yourself as extremely successful, you probably imagine yourself as having 1000 times (or whatever the number is) more of outer resources. 1000 times more money, 1000 times more power, 1000 times more fame, 1000 times more mating options.

Okay, first things first. In order to acquire outer resources, you need to develop enough and the right combination of inner resources or competences – mindset, knowledge, experiences, skills, etc. You need inner resources to produce value, and the more value you produce, the more external resources you can acquire. If you know how to code, you can produce a lot more value than if you only know how to photocopy.

Inner Assets Outer Assets
Knowledge Wealth
Skills Sexual Market Value
Experiences Power
Creativity Fame
Health People
Values Technology
Self-Discipline Land
Intelligence Transportation
Attitude Goods
Passion Electricity
Strategy etc. Political capital etc.
Potential for small explosions Potential for big explosions

With more inner resources, you can create more outer resources

That’s easy to understand. The more value you can provide, the more valued you are. More inner resources usually mean ability to create more outer resources. It’s also easy to understand the advantages of inner resources over outer resources. Inner resources can’t be spent like outer resources can be. You can spend money, but you can’t spend your intelligence. Inner resources present bigger security, since nobody can take them away from you, neither thieves nor markets. Inner resources are impossible to transfer from one person to another. They’re a part of you as an individual. They can be given to you (intelligence, talents, genetics etc.) or acquired (knowledge, fitness, cunningness etc.).

But here’s the big catch. Inner resources have one big disadvantage. Inner resources can be acquired only in a linear way. You can’t really acquire inner resources with exponential speed. By acquiring inner resources at slow speed, you’re also very limited in acquiring outer resources. It takes years to acquire enough inner resources and the right combination of them to really massively succeed.

There are, of course, different speeds of personal development and different speeds of acquiring inner resources (linear change, rapid change or leveling up your game), but they’re still more or less linear. There’s a very limited number of hours in a day for you to read, exercise, brainstorm, work etc. These explosions don’t have potential to be atomic explosions. It’s true that all hard work accumulates in time and that’s why you need patience. You need to follow this part of the equation to achieve massive success, but it’s not enough.

Working out for a few years will give you nice body. Reading the right material day by day will keep your mind sharp. Life experiences will lead you to do things better. If you’re patient enough, you can have all that. But that’s it.

Only with discipline and by acquiring inner resources, you won’t be ultra-successful. Because your body can’t be 1000 times better than it is now, you can’t hold 1000 times more information in your consciousness than you’re holding now, and so on. Again, don’t get me wrong, you’ll be much better off with everyday hard work and patience. Even more, you need a critical amount of inner resources to get to the success explosion, but it’s not enough for massive success.

Let’s say that. Your inner assets (resources) are very limited and hard to increase. You increase them with everyday discipline and self-control. Because it’s hard to increase inner assets, you can only improve yourself in a linear way – with everyday hard work, patience and without too big expectations.

Consequently, your outer resources will also grow in a very limited way. You need enough inner resources to start acquiring greater quantities of outer resources at all, but that’s far from enough to massively succeed.

Success graph

If you want to grow exponentially, you need leverage, you need to transcend the speed limitations at which you can acquire inner resources. But what can grow exponentially? Ironically, outer resources are the ones that have the biggest potential to grow exponentially.

Inner resources can be acquired only in a linear way. Ironically, outer resources are the ones that have the biggest potential to grow exponentially.

So if you want to be really successful in life and achieve massive success, you have to employ outer resources as your leverage.

Small explosion potential and enablers of big explosions:

  • Learning
  • Exercising
  • Other inner resources

There are only a few core outer resources that can grow exponentially:

  • Leveraged assets (or money)
  • Massive Transformative Purpose (or ideas)
  • Attention and engagement (or fame)
  • Connections (or people)

And two accelerators of exponential growth:

  • Technology
  • Right place at the right time and inherited inner assets (beauty, talents etc.)


The most obvious outer resource that can grow exponentially is money. Money can work for you 24/7 and there are almost no limits to how fast your wealth can grow. You can’t run 1000 times faster in 5 years, but you can have 1000 times more money with good investments in 5 years; even in one year if you are an outstanding investor.


Ideas have the potential for exponential growth if you poison enough people with them. From social to business ideas, they can bring you money, fame and status. But only ideas are not enough. You need something called Massive Transformative Purpose or, in other words, your idea must positively impact millions of people if you want exponential growth.

Attention and engagement

Fame can grow exponentially once you reach the tipping point, if you know how to attract the attention of mass media and how to engage other people. With social media, everyone has access to massive attention and engagement of other people.


Your work can grow exponentially if you attract the right ultra-talented people into your life as part of your team and, of course, if you manage to build influential connections. You can attract the right kind of people with ideas (they identify with the cause), money (you buy their skills) or attention (they follow your leadership).

But your connections can only grow exponentially if you also empower new leaders within your network. All other non-crucial work can be done by renting staff on demand.

And here are the two accelerators of exponential growth:


Technology brings all previous outer resources together. Today, technology is the best way to spread ideas, gain attention and engagement, build connections and make money. More and more new massively successful people (world billionaires) are from the technology field and even if they aren’t directly from the industry, leveraging technology is usually an important part of their success.

Right place at the right time

You know the story of a poor young girl who’s sitting sad in a bar when a modeling agent notices her beauty and makes her famous rich. Or that of a misfortunate person winning a reality show and his life changing forever. Extreme beauty, artistic talent and other inherited inner resources or being in the right place at the right time can lead to exponential success growth.

It can happen if you’re chasing the right opportunities or if someone notices your talent. But that’s more luck than a carefully orchestrated success process or a formula you want to follow. You may buy a lottery ticket every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be your main strategy for succeeding in life.

Bonus: Love

This one is a slightly crazy one and it’s not even an outer resource, but I bet you can love yourself and life 1000 times more than you love yourself and life today. Awesome feelings and life experiences are definitely 1000 times better than the average ones. You can exponentially grow your love towards yourself and life, I guess.

It may be worth it to mention that outer resources also have limitations, and so exponential growth slows and even stops at some point. Even if you become superhuman, you can only influence 7+ billion people, accumulating wealth starts getting harder and harder when you are a billionaire, and so on. But when you reach that point, I’m sure you already consider yourself successful enough.

It’s obvious why it’s so hard to succeed

Well, here’s your answer. First of all, acquiring inner assets is already damn hard. You need to consistently invest in yourself, be extremely self-disciplined and have yourself under control. Remember patience, daily struggle, stamina, resilience, not giving up too quickly, following the process day by day. Usually having enough and the right combination of inner assets only enables you to get to the second part of the equation – big explosion. And you also need enough inner resources after the explosion, so that you don’t go crazy and mess things up.

But acquiring and managing outer assets is even harder. Getting to atomic explosion is close to impossible. Your control is much more limited. So many variables are out of your influence. You have to be extremely adaptable, fast, creative, different and better. And talented and lucky.

You need to better understand markets, media, people, money management, and you need to know how to create things that people want. Not what you want. What people, markets want. First, you give to the society and then the society gives to you. Achieving that is extremely hard.

And the competition is crazy. You’re the only one who wants to take care of yourself and invest into your future, besides your mother :). On the other hand, there are 7 billion people who have ideas and want to make money and get attention and outperform you. 7 billion. Now compete with that.

Asset Type of asset Growth potential
Health Inner asset, small explosion Linear growth
Knowledge Inner asset, small explosion Linear growth
Skills Inner asset, small explosion Linear growth
Experiences Inner asset, small explosion Linear growth
Intelligence Accelerator
Beauty Accelerator
You need enough and the right combination of inner assets in order to produce outer assets.
Money Outer asset, atomic explosion Exponential growth
Ideas Outer asset, atomic explosion Exponential growth
Attention and engagement Outer asset, atomic explosion Exponential growth
Connections Outer asset, atomic explosion Exponential growth
Technology Accelerator
“Lottery tickets” Accelerator
Focusing only on inner assets isn’t enough. You also need to be good with outer assets.

Formula for success: Lessons learned

You definitely have to invest into the process and hard and smart work every day in order to acquire as many inner assets as possible. With more inner assets and the right combination of them you’ll also be able to acquire more outer assets. In addition to that, you must be sure to put your inherited inner assets to the right use. For example, you can waste your intelligence or use it as an accelerator for learning.

But here’s the catch. To be massively successful as soon as possible, you have to focus your efforts on outer assets that can grow exponentially as well. The better you can manage and leverage outer assets, the more successful you can be.

If you want to be extremely successful:

  1. You must have viral ideas that have the potential to positively impact millions of people.
  2. You must know how to attract the best people and how they can attract even more talented people. You need your own community and crowd that spreads your message.
  3. You need outstanding money skills – earning, managing and investing ones. Money is actually the outer resource that can grow the fastest, with the fewest physical limitations, since it’s only an idea.
  4. You must know how to attract the attention and engagement of mass media and how to sell, in other words.
  5. You must know how to use and leverage technology to your own advantage.
  6. From time to time, it maybe even makes sense to buy a “lottery ticket” and chase completely crazy opportunities (out of reach jobs, auditions, opportunities in foreign countries etc.) and who knows, maybe luck will strike you. This point is just optional and you shouldn’t rely on it.

Having the first five skills is probably the winning combo. Having a few of them also probably works very well for massive success. But focusing only on the inner assets means limiting yourself to linear growth and small explosions; because inner assets are very limited with physical and biological boundaries.

Nevertheless, be aware that if you don’t invest at least in inner resources and personal growth, you stagnate in life and sooner and later become a zombie. So it makes sense to invest in your inner resources anyway, even if you aren’t chasing massive success. But if you want to be really massively successful, you have to transcend that.

You can only extend and transcend the limitation of acquiring inner assets with purpose to create more outer assets with viral ideas, passionate communities, media attention, outstanding money skills and being good with technology.

The only exception in the picture is love. Probably because love is above everything. Whether you want to be massively successful or not, make sure your love grows exponentially.

One more important note. What can grow exponentially, can also shrink or fall exponentially. Having too many outer resources or focusing on acquiring them is a double-edged sword. Explosions are fire. You can cook yourself dinner with it or burn yourself badly. So you must know what you’re doing. You must have enough inner resources to properly manage explosions. You probably know that many ultra-successful people become drug addicts, waste all their money etc.


Here’s the good news to end with. If you acquire enough inner resources over time, before getting to a massive success explosion, you can most often manage the dangers of leverage and handle success much better. You don’t get kicked out of the center. You don’t start abusing your massive success. That’s why having enough inner resources and an explosion of the outer resources is the winning combo. As we said, success equals explosion (of inner and outer assets) and control. You need both.

Massive success formula = explosion (of inner and outer assets) + control

So take care of explosions in your life by being focused on acquiring inner and outer assets and make sure you stay disciplined when they happen. That’s the simple formula for massive success. After that it’s only a matter of time. It may take you a few months, if you’re super lucky, or a few years or even a few decades. Who knows. But it’s definitely worth it. You can do it and you deserve it. Now get to strategizing and hard work. I believe in you.


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About the author

Consulting and management coaching

Blaž Kos has managed venture capital investments over the past 12 years and participated in the development of the start-up ecosystem in the region. Today, he advises companies on growth strategies, process optimization, the introduction of lean agile methods and the digitalization of business. In addition to the Slovenian blog, he also writes an English blog, which was selected among the 50 best bloggers in the world in the category of personal and business growth.
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