Break Some Rules: Escape From Employment Forever

By Mike Johnson

To most people, writing equals freedom. You think if you can just earn enough income as a freelance writer you can quit your job, write part-time in your pajamas and live the life you imagine. I've done this myself so I can say yes, it's wonderful, but you're going to want more.

When your income comes from freelance writing, your body no longer has to report to an employer, but your mind still does. You still have to focus your mind on the needs and assignments of your clients for X-number of hours per day. I can tell you from experience that after awhile, you're going to want to free your mind from employment too.

Most people advance through life in a linear fashion. They get a job, do well, earn a promotion to the next job and then set their sights on the next bigger position on the way to retirement. With ambition, hard work, good bosses and a little luck, you can carve out a life that most would call successful. If you're a linear freelance writer, you might advance by first getting a $10 assignment, then a $100 assignment, then a $1,000 project and if skilled and fortunate, one or two large clients that put you over six figures a year.

I've done that too (adjusted for inflation) and it's wonderful. But the weakness in this scenario is if you stop writing, you stop eating. You're still "trapped" having to produce X-number of hours of work a week. Your mind wants to dream about Waikiki but your writing assignment forces it to dream about widgets. Your brain looks at your body and starts screaming "I want to be free too!"

There's a Shorter Path

What if you weren't limited to that linear progression? What if you asked yourself where you wanted to land and then brainstormed ways to get there without having to go through all that linear progression? What if you could skip directly to where you wanted to be, right from where you are, at the speed of thought?

Yes, that would be nice. However, that's not yet possible for earthlings. But using your "speed of thought" is the transportation system that can shave years or decades off your journey.

After 56 years, I have time and I have money. By far, time is the most valuable. I spent 23 years on the linear work-for-others employment wheel, a dozen years on the linear freelance writing wheel and more than a decade running my own must-be-there businesses. During all that work, I always daydreamed of what it would be like to quit working altogether. Yet I still needed to eat. So I started asking myself what kind of income existed that would still pay me even if I didn't work?

Passive Income

They never teach us about passive income in school. They teach us the linear progression - go to college, get a good job, do well enough to gain promotions, sock away money for retirement and in 40 years when we're 65, retire and live off the interest from our savings. Statistically, very few succeed with this plan.

If the place you want to land is "income without having to work," why not skip those 40 linear years and just use your writing and research skills to self-educate yourself on ways to gain passive income streams right now?

Now you're cooking. This is the best way to use your mind. Questions seek answers and those answers provide the road map to get anything you desire - and quickly!

Writing out questions like the one above is the most fulfilling and most lucrative writing you'll ever perform.

As a writer, you have the power to read anything, interview anyone and become an authority at anything. Why not use those powers to become an authority on everything you desire, starting with passive income?

"Yes, but..." you're thinking. "I don't know what types of income are passive. How do I create passive income for myself? I'm not an entrepreneur, how would I ever create passive income?"

These questions are linear as well. You're assuming you have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Donald Trump to create passive income. They all started by creating something small and over time, built something huge. Linear, linear, linear. We're quitting linear because it takes too long and time is our most valuable asset.

So how do I get passive income right now?

It's simple, you just BUY it.

The Direct Approach

There are several million properties and businesses already established that produce passive income right now. Tens of thousands of them are for sale. Your most lucrative writing assignment is to research how to buy one and then write offers and pitch letters to sellers, banks and Realtors.

And yes, you can learn how to buy these with little or no money down. I bought my first passive income property with just $1,000 down and it produced enough monthly income to pay all its operational bills, a manager to run it and all my personal bills too. I was able to "retire" with my only job being to manage my manager.

I retired at age 52 but had I learned of passive income earlier, there was no reason I couldn't have retired at 25. That's the power of breaking the "linear rules" and going directly to what you want. I sincerely want to save you all those linear decades.

Did you notice that your writing and research skills are still heavily needed? You just direct those skills to your own markets rather than to others' markets. Or you can keep writing for those other markets to develop your skills and build up income while you keep researching how to buy passive income streams on the side.

You'll need those writing skills to persuade sellers and banks to help you acquire those passive income streams. So developing your writing skills will be even more important. But you'll be using those skills in "markets" that have no competition from fellow writers.

You really CAN write your way to employment freedom if you are brave enough to break those linear rules. And you notice I'm STILL writing even though I've already written my way to early retirement? You will too. And your writing will be more enjoyable without the pressure of having to produce enough to eat.

I know this line of thought is a huge leap for people just starting. It'll take some time to get your brain around it. But as you go through your days and learnings and frustrations and victories, it's wise to step back now and then and ask yourself where you're heading as compared to where you really want to go.

Early course corrections can save decades of results that might fall short of your true dreams. The more of us who achieve our true dreams, the more of us will be out there inspiring others. It's a virtuous circle that starts with you and your success. When you succeed yourself, you help us all succeed.

Good Luck!

Mike Johnson is a writer and entrepreneur who learned how to retire early. To learn more, visit Mike's website at