The Job Trap is Baited With Peanuts

By Mike Johnson

I placed some peanuts in the live trap and retreated to the house. A pesky squirrel was making a nest in my attic. Thirty minutes later, I was fascinated to see a blue jay frantically fluttering inside the cage. If I wasn’t there to let him out, he’d have spent the rest of his life in that metal box. All because I was offering peanuts.

Sound familiar?

If you have a job, you may be in the same situation. Your paycheck is the bait and the cage is the parameters of the job. You have to work a schedule. Wear a costume. Beg for time off, raises and promotions. Obey stupid policies. Suffer horrible bosses and coworkers. Live within the confines of your income. Worry about your paycheck evaporating by layoff, restructuring or the whim of some crazy boss.

Then if you’re successful -- you stay in the job, make it a career and follow their rules-- you just might earn enough over decades to buy your way out when you’re 65.

This is insane. Yet nearly everyone does it (I did too!) and few question it. This is your life! You deserve better.

If you wake up and realize your job actually IS a trap, you have the awareness to escape anytime you want. There actually ARE many other ways to earn income besides jobs. It just takes awareness and self-education.

I get it. Conventional wisdom is quite compelling. When most people do something a certain way, it’s easy to follow everyone else. Your friends work a job. Your parents work a job. Schools and colleges keep telling you to get a job. Most of the people you know willingly trade their precious time and life force for money at some job. Following the masses seems “normal.”

"We accept the reality of the world with which we're presented. It's as simple as that." - Christof, “The Truman Show”

The trouble with jobs is that they eat your life. They steal your time and your freedom. If you are “successful,” you get to retire when you’re 65. If you’re fortunate, you’ll enjoy retirement for 10 or 15 years. With luck, they’ll be good years. Maybe even your best years.

But more likely, you’ll spend a good portion of those final years fighting some illness or disease while hospitals, doctors and nursing homes strip-mine all the savings and assets you worked a lifetime to acquire.

This is a crappy deal. Yet virtually no one questions it. When you take a job and turn it into a “career,” you’ve just given all your biggest dreams a death sentence. So you shrink your dreams to fit within the limited time and limited money your job provides. You’ve traded something priceless (time and freedom and big dreams) for something common and declining in value (money and small dreams).

There’s another way.

Take a job to LEARN, not to earn. Enter the job like it’s a research project. Pick a job and a company in an industry that inspires you. Your goal is to gain skills and knowledge that you can then use to start your own business or purchase your own income property later. Then learn as fast as you can and GET OUT OF THE TRAP.

Once you OWN the asset that provides your paycheck, you can never be fired.

Once you establish systems that allow a manager to operate the business or income property instead of you, you’re free of having to work a schedule.

Once your business or income property delivers more monthly income than your monthly bills, you can 95% retire right then – no waiting decades until you’re 65.

With good management of income and expenses, you’ll never outlive your money because it is freshly replaced every month. If inflation starts eating your purchasing power, you just buy another passive income stream.

Now you have the time and money to do anything you want!

No job offers this.

What is ironic is that so many people are willing to invest four years and tens of thousands of dollars to attend college. What is their goal after spending all that time and money? To land a good job. Ouch!

Why not invest far less time and a fraction of that money to self-educate yourself on ways to earn passive income that frees you from a job forever? Instead of saving a nest egg for decades to gain financial and time freedom at age 65, why not just spend a few months learning how to BUY a passive income stream that gives you financial and time freedom right now?

Doesn’t this sound more sane than staying in the job trap? If you follow the herd, you’re going to get what the herd gets. Look around. Do you really want to trade your remaining decades helping other people achieve their dreams at the expense of your own?

After I released that blue jay, I reloaded the trap with peanuts. 60 minutes later, the pesky squirrel was locked inside. I took him 20 miles down the road and opened the trap. That poor squirrel discovered yet another downside to the job trap… arbitrary transfers.


Mike Johnson made the journey from jobs to freelance writer to entrepreneur to passive income and early retirement. Today he teaches people how to skip right to passive income and early retirement at .

Once I learned how to BUY passive income, I stopped chasing the bucks and the bucks started chasing me!