Escaping the Cubicle Isn’t About Traveling



For me, they’ve got it wrong. Most of the time, coaches, consultants and other entrepreneurs who teach on building a business to escape the cubicle brag about how they can travel and how often. I was looking at some sites and just started feeling like seriously?! All the pictures of them riding a camel in some foreign desert. Or backpacking in some foreign rainforest. Or bragging about sleeping in a new country every week. For those who want to do that cool!


However, I don’t want to move to a foreign country. I don’t want to backpack through several countries. I don’t want to lay my head in a different place every night. Don’t get me wrong I like to travel and see new places but that’s not my main reason for wanting to escape the cubicle. To each his own right? I just want to live life on my own terms and eliminate my income cap.


I want to be able to completely govern my day and show up in the world the way I desire. I don’t want to have others tell me what my skills, time and energy are worth. I don’t want to spend 40% of every day commuting and working in a cubicle just to be able to survive. Not thrive but survive. Have you ever calculated how long you have to work to purchase a necessity, like food or pay your rent or mortgage?

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You have to work soooo many hours! It’s a little crazy. Let’s run the numbers. According to the Census Bureau, the average American earns $52,250 per year (this is the median annual income). Before taxes, this breaks down into $27.21 per hour. So you spend an hour at work to earn $27. After taxes it’s about $18 per hour. Therefore, you’re working an hour to bring home $18.


Let’s say you don’t want to pay a mortgage for 30 years and you know this is your forever home so you got a 10 year mortgage loan for which you pay $1,800 per month. In order to earn enough money to pay your mortgage you have to work for just over 99 hours. Uhm what?! Wow! There is only 160 work hours in the month. So 60% of the time you’re working just to be able to have a roof over your head. Of course I’m assuming your regular shift is eight hours and you only work five days out of the week. Calculate how long you have to work to afford the necessity of shelter. The number may be shocking. I was shocked when I ran my own numbers.


Some of you may be thinking well my mortgage isn’t that high or I rent. That’s not the point. The point is how many hours you have to work just to be able to survive. Just to be able to buy necessities. Let’s do another example. If you’re in a four person household your food budget should be about $400 per month. You have to work over 22 hours just to be able to feed the household. Can I say wow again!


No way am I doing this for thirty years then “retiring” so I can live the life I truly desire. Not when there is another way. Sunless cube for thirty years, I’ll pass. That’s why escaping the cubicle is important to me. So I can spend more time on things that I deem important and frankly I like the sun. So I can pick my work schedule and spend more quality time with family when I choose. So I can rearrange my schedule to catch the important moments. So I can erase the cap on my income and have more money for myself and my family.


I’m building my business to help others build wealth and to achieve my desired lifestyle. Sure I want to be location independent as in I can run my business from anywhere, but anywhere as in on vacation. Or visiting friends and family. Or all I need is a mobile office. The option needs to be there for when I feel like exercising it.


Your why is important. You don’t have to have a grandiose colossal save the world type of why to leave the cubicle. As long as it’s important to you. You don’t have to want to travel or visit every country. If you just want to be able to pick your own schedule so you can get your child from school, buy your dream home without being chained to a bank forever, take care of aging parents with less money stress etc then it’s good enough. If it’s important to you it’s good enough.


Don’t feel like you have to have a desire to travel for escaping the cube to make sense. Read, watch and listen to those coaches. You’ll find great advice to grow your business and increase your revenue. Take the tips and lessons to build your business and to build your wealth. Implement them and increase your revenue (yes to me this warranted repeating).


As an employee, now is the perfect time to work on growing your business. You have a source of income that can be used to survive while building and implementing your escape plan. When it’s time, pay yourself a salary. Save more money. Invest money in other vehicles. Grow your wealth while living life on your own terms.


What’s your why? Why is escaping the cube important to you? If it’s to travel to a new country every night, it’s ok. That’s cool.


Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios

About Dr. Maria James

Dr. James, The Money Scientist, has expertise with designing income management, debt management, and wealth strategies to help you live your best life. She is the founder of Pocket of Money, LLC and the creator of The Wealth Protocol™. Dr. James has also been a guest financial expert on ESSENCE, WEAA, Madame Noire and more.

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