The Forrest Gump Guide to Becoming a Gazillionaire


Who taught Elvis how to dance, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, got Nixon impeached, became the world ping-pong champion, built a national shrimping empire, and fathered Haley Joel Osment?

One man: Forrest Gump.

If I could choose one mentor in business, or in life in general, it would be Gump. I don’t care that he’s not real. The wisdom that he conveys is real, and I think we could all learn something from it.

Let’s listen to what he has to say, and I’ll translate his Gumpisms into advice that, if followed, will make you a much more successful moneymaker:

And cause I was a gazillionaire, and I liked doin it so much, I cut that grass for free.

The whole point of making lots of money is to buy your freedom. If that means cutting grass, then by all means, cut the grass. Many wealthy people chase money for so long that they forget about everything else. It’s a mistake. Never become so obsessed that you lose touch with the little things in life that you enjoy.

I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is.

Smarts aren’t everything. You can have an IQ of 180, but if you don’t know care about other people, you’ll never understand your customers or win the support of your peers. Instead, learn to care. Give customers the products they truly need, support your coworkers, and build a company that not only makes a profit but somehow changes the world for the better.

Stupid is as stupid does.

While you’re at it, change your entire conception of smart. In the end, the people that we call geniuses aren’t the ones with high IQs; they’re the people that make the right decisions over and over again. Similarly, lots of people with high IQs do stupid stuff… like not putting the gun together when the drill sergeant tells them to.

When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went.

Only a fool goes without sleep, survives on fast food, and refuses to take breaks. You’ll burn out after a few years, where someone that takes care of themselves stays productive until they’re 90. You can still do great things; just realize you’re not going to do them in one day. Healthy careers last decades, and you’ll need a healthy body to go the distance.

Momma always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

Find a mentor. Maybe it’s your Momma, or maybe it’s a blogger that tells it like it is (ah hem). The point is you can’t figure it all out on your own, and you shouldn’t try. Look for people that explain things in just the right way for you to understand them, and then expose yourself to as much of their wisdom as possible.

I gotta save Bubba!

Don’t turn into another corporate coward that leaves people behind when things go bad. The real heroes in business are willing to lose everything for the people around them. Nothing creates more loyalty than selflessness, and it’s more valuable than gold. Besides, if you’re wealthy, you should have some nice, cushy buttocks to protect you against that million-dollar wound.

Jenny taught me how to climb. And I taught her how to dangle.

No one gets rich alone. If someone shows you how to “climb” the ladder of success, then don’t forget about them when they’re “dangling” from it, about fall off. Help them dangle more gracefully, or reciprocate any other chance you get. It’s not about keeping score, exactly, but creating an attitude of generosity in both yourself and others. That’s how you get to the top.

My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Sometimes, the smartest thing you can do in life is let go. If your company has been on the verge of bankruptcy for two years with no reasonable hope of recovering, then maybe it’s time to jump ship. Or, just as importantly, you can only ride on past successes for so long before its time to do something new. Either way, don’t let the past distract you from the future you want to create.

I’m sorry I had to fight in the middle of your Black Panther party.

Apologize, even if you’re not wrong. It’s better than getting your ass kicked (or fired).

Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows.

Brag. Shamelessly. Of course, I’m not talking about writing a press release about how you got an A on your term paper, but if you’ve done something genuinely remarkable, then you owe it to people to tell them about it. Do it with a little style, and they’ll love you for it. Forrest spends the entire movie bragging, and people skip their bus to find out what happens next.

My Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

How could I not include this one?

Instead of worrying about which job you should take, which project you should work on, or which company you should start, just line them all up, choose the one you think you’ll like, and take a bite. You’ll probably enjoy them all, but it’s only by “tasting” the opportunities in life that you’ll truly live.

That’s all I have to say about that.

When you’ve said all you have to say… shut up.

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  1. […] The Forest Gump Guide To Becoming a Gazillionaire: An entertaining guide which shows how you can use the wisdom of Forest Gump to build a successful […]

  2. […] The Forest Gump Guide To Becoming a Gazillionaire: An entertaining guide which shows how you can use the wisdom of Forest Gump to build a successful […]

  3. Keith says:

    Forrest Gump was a mix of common sense plus a little bit of luck…so I don’t know if we can really credit Forrest Gump with having “created” a wealth-system we can follow…but otherwise – an entertaining idea!

  4. jennifer says:

    I just started reading this blog today (I got here from your post on, and I just wanted to tell you, you are awesome! I really admire your ability to take two unrelated topics and put them together. I love your work!

    I even have a copy of your “3 Writing Lessons I Learned in Dog Obedience School” on my desk, and I refer to it on an almost-daily basis.

    You are a true inspiration, so thanks.

  5. I found this Blog thro’ Google Search. I felt so impressed and greatful for you and so many of your readers who are sharing the same concept of what Movie “Forest Gump” gave to us. I’m using this Nick-Name “Forest.Gump2u” to motivate peoples after I learn of Gump’s Spirit – ” To live Our Miracle Life in a Simple Way” . Let contribute our part in whatever ways – To make this live a wonderful one we have it freely from above. To God be All His Glory and I love you all in a Forest Gump’s way !

  6. jatin says:

    Dude!! u rock!! i mean the post is too gud!

    brilliant post!

    would love to read more from you.

  7. rick says:

    Now, Momma said there’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off. So, I gave a whole bunch of it to the Four Square Gospel Church and I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre Fishing Hospital. And even though Bubba was dead, and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba’s mommy Bubba’s share.

  8. Susan Schwartz says:

    Brilliant, simply brilliant,,,,,,,,,,,,,I enjoyed that so much,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Susan

  9. Ann Jordan says:

    I love this guide. I couldn’t have said it better myself. 😀

  10. Anita Rane says:

    WOW. WOW. Its so easy to read your stuff. and nod my head in agreement every now and then. WOW.

  11. […] more Forrest Gump-isms on making money, check out this blog entry, “The Forrest Gump Guide to Becoming a Gazillionaire”. addthis_url = ‘’; […]

  12. charles says:

    “I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is.”. Yes, it is so true definitely. And giving importance to every person around you will create an extra-ordinary ambience which be an advantage on your companies status, value, life-span and growth.

    Thank you
    Money Making and Blogging Tips

  13. Peter Zakian says:

    My Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

    That illuminated me somehow…thanx a lot

  14. ghing says:

    Wow!.. I love the Forrest Gump movie and I also love the way you relate his line in making money..

    I think I will also write about this on my blog..

  15. McHow2 says:

    The one who worries too much gets only gray hair in return. To stay in business, one needs to focus every day and take it one step at the time. Anything else will only make you running up the walls. Nice post, thanx.

  16. Dena says:

    Tasting the chocolates is not only fun, but you also learn a little something about each one that you choose and sooner or later you will find your favorite.

  17. Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has come a long way from the TV show Bosom Buddies from way back when.

  18. BM says:

    “My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”
    … this is very true. Don’t live on the past so you can move to your future.

  19. Very thoughtful. Sometimes it’s the simple things that get us, and sometimes it’s the simple things that save us.

  20. Wonderful, wonderful, having seen Forrest Gump a couple of times, I can relate to his sayings. Converted into sound business advice they really do say something. We should all be lucky enough to have his ‘smarts’.

  21. […] to know what’s the most popular? The Forrest Gump Guide to Becoming a Gazillionaire, a post I wrote tying Forrest Gump quotes to principles of personal finance. Tens of thousands of […]

  22. Femin says:

    Useful Post..Keeep ur great work.

    ~ Femin ~

  23. […] Posted 4 Junho, 2009 Filed under: Economia | Jon Morrow, do blog, comenta os valiosos conselhos por trás de algumas das sábias frases do célebre personagem […]

  24. Donna Rose says:

    Forest Gump wasn’t as “dumb” as some people may think. He sure was able to look at things for what they were. We need more Forest’s in this world.

  25. […] While this site aims to help its visitors earn more money, this post is an amusing take on a few quotes taken from the movie Forrest Gump. On Making Money translated various “Gumpisms into advice that, if followed, will make you a much more successful moneymaker.” Intrigued? Check out The Forrest Gump Guide to Becoming a Gazillionaire […]

  26. side job says:

    Wow! It’s amazing how you relate Forest Gumps quotes into business, I have enjoyed reading from top to end.

  27. Bunkerlips says:

    Hi fellas!

    I’ve just signed up and wanna say hi to all the guys/gals of this board!

  28. Yotamu says:

    enjoyed the article, definitely entertaining and bringing out important truths out.

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