best way to escape 9-5 wage slavery?

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Philip: As someone who has successfully done so earlier than most, what would you say is
the best way to escape, as you often put it, 9-5 wage slavery? I'm working on it, but would
love to see any general tips or suggestions you may have.

-- Trevis Rothwell, March 4, 2006


For most self-made rich people I would say that the answer is a combination of (1) Other People's Money, (2) Mediocre Performance (S&P 500 or worse), and (3) Very High Fees. The renowned leveraged buyout firm KKR, for example, has had roughly the same performance that you'd get by leveraging up the S&P 500 a little bit (borrowing some money to buy more stock), yet the general partners have become incredibly rich through high fees extracted from their limited partners. KKR gets credit for business acumen, but they offered Ken Lay a full partnership just as Enron was melting down and the smart folks on Wall Street were going short.

This works in the small company world too. You start a company. You get someone to give you $10 million for half of it. You underperform the S&P 500 and earn, say, $2 million over three years. Now the company is worth $12 million and gets sold for $12 million. Your share is $6 million. Your investor would have been far better off in a Vanguard index fund, but it is too late for him to go back...

Without using other folks' money, it is hard to do much of anything. You can be a genius and earn a 50% annual ROI on a $5,000 capital investment, but the total sums involved will still be negligible and nobody will notice that you outperformed the S&P 500.

-- Philip Greenspun, August 21, 2006

It may just be the difference that a few years makes, but there are now so many ways to leave traditional employment, it rather boggles the mind. Over the past year, I've come to realize that almost any passion or enthusiasm can form the basis of a means to escape 9 to 5 and create a more rewarding and fulfilling life. You just have to start with that possibility in mind. (And learn how to market yourself or your product or service.) I really think the root of it is being willing to follow your dreams. After all, why have dreams if you're just going to let them fade?


-- Melissa Gerdes, June 5, 2008

Find a good networking marketing business and build the business like your hair is on fire! I personally know many people who live a life of financial freedome with solid network marketing companies. I have been building one now for about a year. I am amazed that with a small investment (less than $400) one can build massive residual income. It takes committment, focus, and immense perserverence.

-- Jaca Collins, May 15, 2009

A person could get on government disability to escape wage slavery. One of the most tried and true methods is investing in stocks that pay a dividend until one has enough dividends to live on. The key to all this is KEEPING EXPENSES LOW however you can. Shelter, food, and transportation are the three big needs as I see it. If you can keep these expenses to $1000 a month or less then you can achieve an escape from the grind. Royalties, annuities, rent, interest, and capital gains are other forms of income to strive towards. It's not easy to escape the treadmill, but it is something to strive towards.

-- JB W, January 17, 2010