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Home » Random

How To Escape The Cubicle Nation Through Passive Income

I am delighted to welcome back to BRT Murray Lunn, from In case your aren’t familiar with Murray or his excellent blog, Murray is a full time web master for a local tech company, runs his own business as a freelance writer (currently challenging himself to write 1000 articles in 100 days), web designer and blogger.

I particularly enjoy Murray’s pieces as not only are they really interesting and entertaining, he’s actually trying to do what we encourage you all to do, take control of your life and gain your financial freedom.

You can connect with Murray on Twitter or why not join his RSS feed?  So Murray Lunn, you’re today’s #FF, over to you:

The dream of it all: living the life, traveling, visiting friends and family. If only if it were possible to make enough money without being stuck to a 9 to 5 job. This dream … is a reality.

If you’re ready to finally start earning over and over again, escape your job and set yourself up for success, you won’t want to miss this post.

What Is Passive Income?

I thought hard about how to best describe passive income but I believe Pat Flynn said it best:

“Passive income is the process of working hard now to benefit later”

But really, the question to ask is why do you want a passive income?

We all understand the benefits of passive income:

* Additional revenue

* Freeing ourselves from our daily job

* Diversifying our income

A passive income gives you the option of earning additional revenue while sitting comfortably anywhere in the world. Yes, you will need to put forth a lot of work up-front for very little pay but later you’ll be able to continually earn that income without lifting a finger – kind of.

Doesn’t that just make you water at the mouth?

Okay, enough of this babbling – we get it already! – your next question is…

What ways can I earn a passive income?

Although I can’t choose it for you; there are many ways you can earn a passive income online and offline. For the majority of us, we want to learn how to leverage the web and that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you.

There are plenty of guides available on the net which dive into these topics further but let’s introduce some of the ‘core’ ways you can begin generate a passive income:

CREATE A BLOG – A blog is essentially your branding piece. Not only can you create great content which drives traffic but combining affiliate, advertising and your own products can be a great way to generate income. I say branding because a blog is much more than a money magnet – it becomes a launching point for so many other projects that can go above-and-beyond everything you imagine that’s possible (the sky’s the limit).

CONTENT WRITING – Why not freelance writing? Well, it’s all changed now. With so many website and blog owners in dire need of content they’re willing to pay you top dollar for a few hundred words. Paid-to-write sites, article marketing, paid blog posts, article marketplaces and client-based work are just the tip of the iceberg to earn a passive income through your content writing.

AFFILIATE MARKETING– You don’t have a product or service yet – that’s okay! – because someone else does and they’re willing to share a commission with you if you send over leads. Commission Junction, Clickbank, E-Junkie and the countless other affiliate marketplaces have thousands of items and services which you can begin promoting, create sales and earn a passive income.

CREATE YOUR OWN INFOPRODUCT– It’s nothing new but allow me to remind you that the way we buy products online has radically shifted. It’s perceived that the net is always free but we do have the issue of what to do with our time. If you create a product that dives deep into a subject, improves the lives of others and saves them time than you can begin making a healthy living online – you just need to cojones to go after what you know, leverage it to a hungry marketplace and keep at it until the sales come rolling in.

OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING – Let’s suppose you have a business which sells physical products – that’s great and all but you still need to be around to get the job done. By outsourcing your work, you can find others to take care of the daily tasks, ship your products, handle customer support and give you daily reports. You have to build trust in your virtual assistants but it’s much like any employee; you have to screen the right ones and build systems to easily integrate them into your business.

ADVERTISING– You have a blog, website, Youtube channel, some kind of digital domain – good – now let’s monetize it by throwing in some ads. The ads you place on your content will earn you a passive income because the work has already been done. Google Adsense, affiliate products, CPA ads, PPV, Banners, whatever your choice it’s all a way to pull in the dough.

MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS – Now here’s a trick (but very profitable method)! Membership programs are hard to get off the ground because of the sheer amount of work that must be done up-front but when you build it correctly you’ll be able to pull in monthly income without doing much else than checking your account.

Do you get it now? There’s a ton of options for you to earn a passive income online; you just have to choose one.

I would recommend taking a deep assessment of what you already know. Don’t rush to jump into each – try one or two at a time to see which works best for your knowledge.

You may be great at teaching – excellent, go ahead and make your own infoproduct.

Maybe you don’t want to be out in the open – that’s fine, create content and advertise or sell it.

The point: Take. Action.

The “Escape Plan”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Escape plan?! Nobody said anything about an escape plan! Oh wait, that’s the purpose of the article.

With silliness aside, I’m sure you can agree that it would be wonderful if you could step away from your job so you can spend more time with family, work on your own projects or travel the world.

You may love your job but the thought is still there. Well, even if you don’t plan to, you can still benefit greatly from the up-coming plan.

If you are itching to leave the cubicle nation, you’re in luck because I’m going to outline a plan that allows you to step away without burning bridges and will set you up for some amazing success:

I call this the “Tipping Point Escape Plan” (not really, just made that up but it sounds cool, right?).

Phase 1: Pregame

While working your job, your afternoons are still yours. Instead of watching television, talking on the phone or doing any number of activities, spend that time to set up your passive income streams.

Even at an hour of work writing content, networking with others, taking the next step to work on your projects will set you just a little bit closer to achieving passive income.

At this point in time you’re still working and don’t really have enough time to go big.

After enough work, you’ll be earning enough passive income to make up for a certain percentage of your total income.

I suggest waiting until you earn roughly 25% of your total work earnings before you move to the next step.

The point: Use this phase to learn the basics, get a few projects off the ground and set up the systems you’ll be using later.

Phase 2: The half-and-half

At this point your escape plan you’re going to make a big (calculated) decision: cutting back your work hours by half.

Because you’ve managed to generate a cool 25% of your total income through passive income streams you’ll only need to pick up the other 25%. But this is where it’s good: you now have double the amount of time to invest toward your passive income goals.

If you managed to reach 25% before, you’ll be able to finish the other 25% in half the time! Sooner than later, you’ll now be making 50% active income and 50% passive income – you’re breaking even!

After you’ve evened out your earnings it’s time to take the final leap…

Phase 3: Total Control

You’re making 50/50 income online and through your work, you’re getting into the groove and love the freedom but the time has come to take the leap of faith.

The final step is the rockiest – you’ll be completely moving away from your job and earning a full income online – hopefully, passively.

After you leave your work, you’ll be able to devote your entire time toward building an online income. Just imagine, you’ve started with just a few hours each week to full time – that gives you an unimaginable amount of freedom!

You will need to devote all of your efforts on your existing systems to maximize their potential – it’s not so much expansion as its optimization. After you’ve found one or two ways to effectively make an online income you’ll want to systemize the process and branch out into other ventures.

This entire process will allow you to gradually step away from your job by setting up the systems beforehand. Starting now allows you to avoid burning bridges and being dumped onto the street with no form of income. It’s best to take action now than wait until you’re in the frying pan.

Final Thoughts

Throughout this post you’ve learned a whirlwind of information related to passive income. Not only do you now know some of the ways you can begin earning a passive income but also how you can take what you know and completely transition away from your job.

I started this post with a quote from Pat and believe me it couldn’t be truer; passive income is going to take some work – this isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. The systems you create today will eventually lead you to a life of freedom.

If you’re truly serious about making the push to earn a passive income online, choose one of these processes and go all the way with it. Consider stepping away from your job after it begins to take off; you’ll never know your true potential until you give it your all.

Best of luck

Enjoyed this? Why not check out Murray’s other Guest post for the BRT: How to Start a business in your spare time


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  • Chris C. Ducker said:

    Absolutely fantastic piece of writing, Murray.

    I particularly liked your take on the ‘half and half’, very true, and very required – at the right time.

    Excellent insights.

    Keep rockin’.


  • Murlu said:

    Thank you Chris,

    I think a common misconception and thing many business coaches do is to immediately tell people to just quit their job and start doing their thing.

    While I do like the idea of just going after what you love, there are those people that have obligations. That’s why setting up a system where you can transition away from your work would be much more viable for those in the same boat.

    Likewise, you are less likely to burn any bridges. If you leave on a good note you could even turn back to the the company you worked for and have them as freelance clients!

  • Karla Campos Lopez said:

    I really like how in your “Escape Plan” (phase one) you discuss how a person can use their after work time more productively by focusing on passive income streams instead of watching TV. Many articles talk about how to make easy money online, while the reality is that it takes a lot of work and dedication, which is a very clear message in your article, thank you.

  • Murlu said:

    Thanks Karla – it’s hard to find people that want to tell it as it is without hype, ya know? But that’s how it’s going to be for nearly all of us; it’s like any business, we have to work toward our goals, put the time in, pay our dues and go for it all.

    The phase 1 is great for entry level because it’s not like you’re completely throwing yourself out there; it’s strategic.

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire said:

    Great work Murray,

    You are totally right that you can’t know your full potential until yo finally pull the plug with your emplyer. It’s really scary, but until the crutch of a paycheck is gone, you may not completely push yourself over that first hump of entrepreneurship.

    You’re also so right about never burning bridges. You don’t want to run down the halls of oyour company naked, wearing only a hockey mask, telling everyone off. You never know if the company that you work for might need to hire you as a freelancer some day.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  • Murlu said:

    Thanks for the comment Joshua

    Going out on a good note also can allow you to do a couple other things like take reports (hopefully) – it seems common that companies will only be used as a reference but if you’re in good ties with where you work you could ask for things like how much you’ve made the company, first round testimonials and more. This gives you a ton of social proof as soon as you launch your next project.

  • Kevin Douglas said:

    Great post, as always, Murray! This is a definite blueprint for leaving the rat race of the 9 to 5. I’m currently in the 50/50 phase. Awesome definition of passive income, too. You nailed it!

    I’m still trying to decide if you’re a robot or an alien, though. lol The amount of content you produce per week is amazing.

    Great work, sir! 🙂

  • Murlu said:


    That’s what cutting out TV will do for ya 😛

    Congrats on hitting phase 2! Should be interesting to hear your journey as you finally step away (if you want to) and take it full time!

  • Ben said:

    Cracking post Murlu

    Like my good friend Chris up there, I agree the 50/50 game is an crucial part of the whole. If you’re in that full time employment it allows you to safely and confidently start make that big shift.

  • Murlu said:

    Thanks for the comment Ben!

    I think it also helps in ways that you may not think: what if you’re starting to feel burnt out from your job?

    Cutting back 10 – 15 hours will greatly create additional spark toward your work cause it doesn’t feel like you’re stuck there, ya know?

    Could be a fantastic alternative to those that are simply fed up with their work (I know there’s a few people here that could probably say that) hehe.

  • Steve said:


    Great post, as always. Your 50/50 plan for escape is a great one. Having made the leap to my own online biz at a 10/90 ratio, I can tell you personally it makes it tough to succeed.

    Like everything, a little proper planning can really make things run smoothly. Your methods of ‘escape” seem well thought out and very well done.

    I also agree with Kevin that you must be a robot or alien life form from the sheer amount of high quality writing your produce.

  • Murlu said:

    Does not compute Steve 😛

    That’s quite a leap you took Steve – it certainly worked out because you’re living the life!

    Even though completely jumping out is what many would think, those little added benefits of keeping in contact really work well in the long run – freelance clients, business mentors, potential JV partners.

    You worked with those people for so long, you can still hold on to them and benefit both parties while you still have that freedom!

  • Eric said:

    I like the way you went in detail about things. Pretty awesome there and I really like how you explain things here too. I’m actually building up my first niche site this week and will see how things go. I may add something to my blog about it but at this point it’s just one step at a time.

    I don’t have a job and don’t plan on getting one but am making it with the income from my girlfriend who’s working full time. If I can get this all up and running then she won’t need her job any longer but then it will be her choice, which we both like.

    Thanks for your awesome words here Murlu.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hey Eric, congratulations on the niche site going live, I look forward to hearing all about it!

  • Murlu said:

    Congrats on making those steps Eric – it’s the first that will be the hardest but once you set up these goals and take action, they seem to fall into place.

    You live, you learn, you get better. This first site may not be the winner but the next one will have all those little experiences from it to build upon.

    However, what you already know is more than enough to create success. It’s not so much what you do; it’s that you do it. Don’t get caught up with every little new technology and hype – take the essentials and run with them 😀