Simple Math for Would-Be Millionaires

By  Karen Banes

We want to be transparent about how we are compensated. Some links in articles are from our sponsors. Learn more about how we make money.

I read a simple statement on social media the other day that blew my mind. As is often the case with these things I can’t find it now, but it doesn’t matter because the concept really was simple enough that it’s now engraved in my mind.

To make a million dollars you have to make $120 an hour, every day for a year.

$120 an hour may seem a ridiculous amount if you’re on minimum wage, or a very reasonable amount if you’re a hot-shot lawyer. Either way, you’ll be aware that you can’t work or bill 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And that’s what the calculation is based on. As I say, the math is simple:

120 x 24 = 2,880

2,880 x 365 = 1,051,200

The concept is, of course, based on passive income. When it comes to passive income making $120 in any given hour isn’t that hard. I do it regularly when one of my affiliate partners has a big launch or promotion. The tricky part, without doubt, is doing it consistently, every hour of every day, for a year. That seems like it would be hard to do, and it is, but the mind-blowing part is, it’s theoretically completely possible.

How to Make $120 or More in an Hour

Here are some ways I’ve made $120 or more in an hour.

Selling big-ticket items from affiliate partners

I’m an affiliate for various people who sell, for example, $500 courses with a 40% commission. It takes one of my readers or followers about 2 minutes to buy one of those courses. I earn $200. I also partner with people who sell ‘cheaper’ courses or digital products, at about $97, with a 50% commission. If I promote them and 3 people buy through my link in a single hour, that’s around $145 that hits my bank account.

Launching a low ticket digital product

When I launch a new digital product (like one of my success kits) I sometimes launch with a pay-what-you-want sale. Buyers can name their price, from $1 up. When I do this, sure some people pay a dollar, but most pay a little more. Often 5, 10, or 20 bucks. I have an email list of a couple of thousand people and a social media following (across various platforms) of over 10,000 followers, so generating 100 sales of a new product in the first hour of the launch is perfectly doable. That’s over $120, easy.

Writing a revenue-generating article

I write on, which is a platform that generates income for me according to how popular my articles are. Depending on the complexity of what I’m writing, I can sometimes create an article on Medium in around an hour. If it then generates $120 (over time), I’ve hit my magic number again. Full disclosure: a lot of articles on Medium make a lot less than $120, but some make $300 or $400. My top earning article on Medium has earned over $2,000.

Writing and creating digital products may not be your thing. There are other sources of passive (or semi-passive) income, including various kinds of investments such as rental real estate. I wouldn’t want to encourage anyone to do anything they’re not knowledgeable about and comfortable with. So if you have no passive income whatsoever right now, please do a lot of research before you decide on a strategy.

My aim here is to simply get you to think about the math, and the concept itself. $120 an hour, every hour for a year, and you’re a millionaire (at least until you have to pay your taxes). $60 an hour, every hour, and you’re half-way there. Even $10 an hour, every single hour, and you’re bringing in the equivalent of a very comfortable annual salary.

I’ll be considering this concept every time I strategize around my passive income streams from now on. I suggest you do too.

Karen Banes

About the Author

Karen Banes

I’m a freelance writer specializing in online business, personal finance, travel and lifestyle. I also work as a content creator for hire, helping brands and businesses tell their stories, grow their audiences, and reach their ideal customers. I’ve lived, worked and studied in six countries, across three continents. Stop by my blog to learn how to run your own (very) small business on your own terms. You can also connect with me at my website or follow me on

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.

Leave a Reply