The Science of Getting Rich in 15 Words (aka The 15 Word Rule)

The Science of Getting Rich can be summarized in exactly 15 words.

Before you scroll down to read what those 15 words are, there are a couple of things you should know:

  1. This is the first post on my blog, and I wanted to make sure that if you never visit this blog again, you’re left with something that will impact your life in a positive way. I also wanted this post to be the foundation of my entire blog, something I can always point back to as the core principle and philosophy of starting any business. I’ll refer to this as the “15 Word Rule.”
  2. The title of this post is not entirely mine. It’s derived from the title of a book that I read a few months ago, and those 15 words were hidden in one of the book’s chapters.

I’ll get to those 15 words in a second, but first, a little story about that book.

“The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles

I first heard about “The Science of Getting Rich” from James Altucher.

James has absolutely no clue who I am, but I was bored one day, and James tweeted that he just released his own book, FAQ ME.

FAQ ME is a witty collection of answers that James had put together after his followers asked him random questions on Twitter.

In the book, one person asks: “What are the best books for entrepreneurs?

James answers with a list of a few books, but only one of his responses stood out to me:

Wallace Wattles: The Science of Getting Rich. Forget Napoleon Hill. Forget “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Forget the Law of Attraction” or “The Secret.” The source of all of these books is a book written in 1900 by a relatively unknown, Wattles.”

Relatively unknown? The source of other great multi-million dollar bestselling books?

I immediately downloaded a copy of The Science of Getting Rich on my Kindle and read it in one sitting.

Needless to say, it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read in the New Thought genre.

I’m not going to go into a detailed review of the book. That’s not the point here (you should definitely get it and read it though).

What I do want to talk about are those 15 words that that I think sum up the entire philosophy of getting rich.

Here they are:

Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value

– Wallace Wattles

That’s it.

The entire foundation of doing any successful business transaction can be summed up in those 15 words.

If you consistently give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value, you will get rich. Period.

Here are a few things you should know about those 15 words.


The 15 Word Rule: 3 Things to Know


1) It’s Cash And/Or Time

I’m pretty sure that Wattles wanted to say “cash and/or time value” instead of just “cash value,” but that would have been an awkward sentence. Especially in 1900.

To get rich, you have to consider the TOTAL price that a customer is paying you, and that includes both their money and their time.

If you’re offering something for free, your customers are still paying you with their time, so it’s not really free.

Read that last statement again.

The core reason why there’s a lot of junk online is because those who produce “free” content don’t respect the idea that people are still paying them with their time.

If you’re a blogger, you should respect your readers’ expensive time and realize that there are 10,000 other things they can be doing. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King” a million times before. Now you know why.  Start creating epic content that gives your readers a lot more use value than they’re paying you in time value, and you will get rich.

Similarly, if you’re selling an iPhone App for $0.99 or a Web App for $24.99 per month, your customers are not just spending their money. They are also paying you with their time in learning and using your products. If it takes them ages to do either, and you’re not providing enough use value, you’re going out of business.

The same principle applies if you’re a coach, product developer, or any other type of business owner. Always think about both the cash and time value that you’re asking someone to invest in what you have to offer.


2) The Difference is What Matters

The difference between what you get in cash/ time value and what you give in use value is what counts. It doesn’t matter how high you price your product or service; as long you make the use value a lot more than the cash/time value, then you’re good.

And the greater the difference, the faster you’ll get rich.

Aiming for at least a 10X difference (e.g., if someone pays you $3, you give them at least $30 in use value) will make a LOT  of people talk about your product or service, and that’s how you get free word-of-mouth advertising.


3) Be Honest about Use Value

Figuring out the exact use value that a customer will get from you is not always easy, but you have to be honest with yourself about what you’re really providing.

Snake oil salespeople don’t become millionaires.

Think about it this way: you want the other person to become “richer” as well. You should give them a deal that they’re super happy about, and never make them feel like they got fooled by you.

Also, keep in mind that use value is how your customers or readers see it, not how you see it. So it’s perceived value on their end.

Here’s an excellent example by Wattles that explains what this means:

Let us suppose that I own a picture by one of the great artists, which, in any civilized community, is worth thousands of dollars. I take it to Baffin Ray, and by “salesmanship” induce an Eskimo to give a bundle of furs worth $500 for it. I have really wronged him, for he has no use for the picture; it has no use value to him; it will not add to his life.

But suppose I give him a gun worth $50 for his furs; then he has made a good bargain. He has use for the gun; it will get him many more furs and much food; it will add to his life in every way; it will make him rich.


A Few Last Words

The more I think about those 15 words, the more I truly believe that they’re the basic foundation of getting rich. Look around you, and you’ll notice that every single product or service that you’ve bought or experienced as a customer which made you happy will hold true to the 15 word rule.

Here it is again:

Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value – Tweet this

My objective is to always live up to that statement in whatever I do – including every single blog post I write.

I sure hope this one did.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :)



  1. Hi Hassan,
    I like the 15 words. As a past consultant, I always tried to deliver more value than the perceived cost. I think you can also expand these words out to be a good credo for living in general i.e. we would all be richer (emotionally, spiritually, financially?) if we gave more than we took. Good luck with the blog!

    • Hassan Osman says:

      Hey Tim,

      Thanks for the comment! I think you’re spot on. Those words certainly apply to a much broader philosophy than just business. “Rich” doesn’t just mean financially. You can have a “richer” relationship if you use those 15 words with people you care about (by giving more than you take).

  2. Great post! I guess the challenge is once you try to put those 15 words to practice knowing what the perceived value really is, and if it is lower than you expected admitting to yourself.

    • Hassan Osman says:

      Thanks Celso! Exactly – that’s the challenge. Finding cash/ time value is relatively easy. Knowing use value (especially that it’s perceived on the customer end) is a lot harder. However, if you focus on making the difference between both significant (e.g., a 10X or a 50X difference), then even if you miss the estimate by a bit, you should still be ok :)

  3. Great Post, Hassan! I look forward to following your blog. I really like your style.

  4. Hi Hassan!
    I’ve been reading for a long time and I think your new blog is a fantastic idea. Your first post managed to get excited for what’s coming next!

    Your idea about “time value” is an intriguing one and definitely gets me thinking about how it applies to my own business endeavours.

    • Hassan Osman says:

      Hey Olivier!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Glad to know you’re a reader over at The Couch Manager as well :) Appreciate you dropping by and I hope that my next posts are going to be helpful as well.

      I just checked out your site at and think it’s great (love the simplistic design)

  5. Hi Hassan,

    This is a great first post. It’s along the lines of what I posted as my first thoughts on my blog. The first time I heard that statement (I’ve heard it described in different ways) it hit me like a ton of bricks and made things very clear for me.

    It’s the perfect formula to develop raving fans and customers!

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog and following your journey.

    BTW, here’s the post I was talking about that I wrote. It didn’t come across as well as yours but I’m still learning to find my voice in writing.

    Best Regards,

    John Koen

    • Hassan Osman says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the kind words. I just read your post and totally agree that a purpose of a business is all about providing value.

      All the best with your own blog as well!


  6. Hi Hassan!
    Thanks a lot for sharing! It truly changed my life when I realized this concept! I was rather shy a few years ago but I’ve learned to share since and I now understand the importance of GIVING VALUE to people in order to grow my wealth!

  7. Hi Hassan,

    Great post! I always use 15 words rule in my practice and it does do it’s magic. All professionals should use it!