Cubicle Escape Artists, Unite!


My friend Jason Van Orden and his business partner, Jeremy Frandsen recently coined a term I really love: “cubicle escape artist”.

It’s a term that invokes curiosity.

And yet I believe people instinctively know what it means, and their curiosity is really disguised hope.

People know that a “cubicle escape artist” is someone who has somehow escaped the old J-O-B and found a way to be free. And people want to know what that way is, and how they can do it themselves.

This just demonstrates that people are willing and ready to move from the Old Economy to the New Economy – and people instinctively know there’s some way to use the Internet to do this. I'll get to that in a moment…

When someone (like Jason and Jeremy) coins a nice little phrase that sums up that idea, people are attracted to that like bears to honey.

I know I was, when I decided to break out of a great radio broadcasting business.

This quick post is being written from the back of the Copywriting Motorhome, which was paid for by my own “cubicle escape” a few years ago. I’m on a three-month spiritual journey around the USA (a 7,500 mile odyssey), and yet I’m still preparing to launch my own new Internet venture and managing three client launches while on the road.

So I know cubicle escape is possible.

In fact, while I love Jason and Jeremy’s term (and I highly recommend you check out their free podcast entitled Internet Business Mastery), I think of myself as  something a little more radical…

So from now on, please think of me as an Economic Freedom Fighter™.

I hereby lay claim to that handle.

My mission: to free those captive to the poverty mindset, to help people build wealth, and bring more prosperity to the world… using the power of the Internet and the alchemy of marketing.

And make no mistake – it is a fight.

The common mentality, the mindset of the average person, is the employee-factory-wageslave mentality.

People with the average mindset will scoff at your efforts to escape the 9-5. If you’re a business owner, “average” business owners will try and tell you why your efforts to improve your business or thrive in “tough” times are doomed to fail.

Average people do not want you to succeed wildly, because quite frankly it makes them look bad.

My advice to you: refuse to be average.

Rise above ordinary.

Step into your best identity, and join me (and others) in the fight for economic freedom. Resist mediocrity.

So…‘till the next time, this is your friendly Economic Freedom Fighter™ urging you to fight the good fight.

“If you’re hearing this message – you are the resistance.”

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Hot Secret Cash

    i hear
    yet if i am the resistance then
    the law of attraction believers will say that the resistance is the problem…

    • The key to being the resistance is to focus on the outcome you want – as opposed to the mindset that gets you what you don't.

      And on another subject…what powers the “law of attraction”? Who made it a law? Who said that you will “reap what you sow”?


  • LOVE it!

    The term “Economic Freedom Fighter” provides focus. It not only says what WE ARE but it always tells people what WE DO.

    Great job Ray.

    P.S Make sure to send us some “roadtrip” pictures along the way 🙂

    • Stu, I always love getting feedback from YOU… and you can bet I will be posting some pics.

      Peace bro!

  • True, you need to be thick skinned to make the move and fend the naysayers. It’s also difficult in the beginning, when you make just a fraction of what you did in your job, and can’t commit to spending much to promote your business. But as you grow more experienced and better at what you do, prospects begin to notice and referrals can help grow your career outside the cubicle. Perseverance pays…you don’t know when you’ll turn the corner. The stone you’ve been hammering away is one stroke from splitting. So hammer away at what’s working in your business and replace what isn’t with something new.

    • Good words of wisdom. I love the “stone cutter” analogy.

  • chuck hall

    Viva La Revolution!

  • Henry Griner

    Hey Ray, you are Right On bro! Joe and Jane Average JOB’er does not like it when someone makes it outa the cube or warehouse to the I made my escape 2 1/2yrs ago and I love this. Praise the Lord!
    Henry Griner

    • Good to hear from a fellow member of the resistance. Great work Henry!

  • Was reading through Ted Nicholas’ Million Dollar Copywriting Bootcamp materials this morning. On one page he lists 20 affirmations. This one strikes a chord with your post:

    “The world does not reward average people well, so I will be extraordinary.”

    And here is the rally cry going into battle:

    And now, it’s time for you to decide… time to make a decision about the direction of your life from this point forward.

    Are you going to continue to struggle through life with less freedom, less financial security than you deserve?

    You can hold onto this idea trying to decide “the right thing to do”, meanwhile another day slips past and you are no closer to your economic freedom than you were this morning.

    Soon another day turns into another week… and then another month.. and then… another year

    Don’t let this be another opportunity that slips by.

    Instead, let this be the day. The day you drive a stake in the ground. The day you stake your claim to the Economic Freedom that can be yours…

    Freedom from your boss! Freedom from the clock! Freedom from financial worry! Freedom from the regret of not seizing your dreams…


    • Steeping yourself in Ted Nicholas has certainly paid off – well-written, well-thought!

  • Anonymous

    Cautionary Tale for Cubical Escape Artists or Economic Freedom Fighters: A University Physics professor and his friend were standing at a dock near a large ship. The professor bet his friend he could move the ship 24 inches. The friend scoffed: “the bet is on”. The professor put both hands on the ship and leaned into it with his full body weight. After 15 long minutes, no movement of the multi-ton vessel could be detected. But at the 20 minute mark the ship began to inch its way from the dock. A few minutes later the ship had moved nearly 36 inches. Attention all Cubicle Dwellers: before you hatch your escape plan you had better be prepared to exert focused effort on a seemingly impossible goal for a very long time and develop a strong immunity to scoffers. Also, you need some specific scientific knowledge that you can apply in a practical way. Freedom’s taste is sweet but its cost will try your very soul.

    • Thanks Martin! Good food for thought. Of course, if you think the fight for freedom can be costly… try counting the cost of slavery.

  • Bruce

    Well Ray,
    I agree with ALL of your social observations. As for me, I am semi-retired and live on a farm on Lake Ontario water with my lady and daughter. I know little of how to make money online, and know nothing of “driving traffic” for little or no cost to a website. (although, I loaded-up my credit card with “fluff & hype”, some of these guys should be put away). I am as green as they come, but do see the “worth” to the New highbrid economy before us in the years ahead. Peter Drucker had a lot of this stuff figured out, indeed. My late parents ran an Ottawa “Mom & Pop” business from home (household cleaning supplies with “repeat” customers). There motto was… “You do not have to see to know quality” (my dad was a door-to-door-salesman who did not have the use of his eyesight, blinded from an early accident, and raised six-children). Well I guess the old adage… “You are what (well, secret)” holds true. Might make a great website title oneday. I have a friend of many years now in Los Angeles who is an x-radio guy that you might like.

    “Economic Freedom Fighter”… love-it!

    Bruce, Lake Ontario, Canada.

    • Thanks Bruce, great to hear from you. I appreciate your observations and your story. And I'm sorry to hear you got “taken” by some flim-flam artists.

  • Bill S.

    As each of us takes off on our own spiritual journey (whatever that means to you as an individual…) you often come to the point of heartfelt “knowing” that the things, people and places you have surrounded yourself with – or that have stuck with you for years – simply no longer serve you, your needs, your growth. There comes a time to break free of the past. For some, it means changing relationships (I did this myself, getting a divorce after 20+ years of marriage). For others – many of us – it means that whole cubicle thing is NOT where we want to be.

    The internet is the place where we can continue to support ourselves with a nice income, but also give ourselves that all important FREEDOM. We can be free to explore (as you are doing… cool!) or the mind-opening freedom from the 9-to-5 enslavement we’ve all been taught is our only way to “get by” in this world.

    So many thanks, Ray… for your great insights and putting your energy where your spirit is directing you. I love the “Economic Freedom Fighter” tag… keep up the good work (and play!)

    Bill S.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the tag – seems like people think it “works”.

      And you're right – I've found FREEDOM to be more important than a specific number in the bank account.

  • yes we have been brainwashed to be average, and pay our taxes…

    it’s been the most difficult thing, to free my mind of that “hard work is it’s own reward”
    which is utter nonsense, but it was programmed into me so hard by my parents,
    and I didn’t even know i was being programmed…

    i shall endeavor to rise above

    • Good to hear you're joining us in the “resistance”… thanks for posting.

  • Clarke

    In 1975, I was standing on a 1.5-acre plot I bought 4 years earlier for $25 down and $25/month because that’s all we could afford, when the Lord came into my mind and said, “Build the house – now.” I replied, “I have no money.” He said, “Build it now because you’re going to need it, and if you don’t build it, you won’t have it.” I said, “Okay, but if I do, you’re going to have to step in and help me if I get in over my head.” I covenanted that moment that I would not work on it on the Sabbath, and I would pay a full tithe in order to lay claim on the blessing of His assistance.

    My father gave me $10,000 in advance from my share of his estate, and I started working on it. I pulled a building permit and started the concrete foundation in October ’75. It took nine months through the winter to construct the foundation. I’d never built a home before, though I had worked some on a few construction projects and I was learning a whole lot. In May 1976, I started framing. A few weeks into the framing, the miracles started happening. I was in way over my head, but didn’t know it. The Lord know though, and people — total strangers — started showing up and offering to help.

    I got a bank construction loan during the foundation phase without the bank asking for any references or running any kind of credit check. Soon we were up to $40K in loans (a lot of money back then). In 1977, it looked like we were going to lose it all. I went to the Lord and told him I”d been faithful in my tithes and keeping the Sabbath, but I had a problem I couldn’t fix. He told me to go back to work.

    Two days later, the entire problem “spontaneously” disappeared. The bank expanded my line of credit by bending the rules, and two other people asked me to do some major construction work for them, providing the needed funding to continue to completion. On Halloween day, 1979, we got our certificate of occupancy, closed our permanent financing, and were off and running. We had moved in in 1977 and sold our other home, and lived those two years in an unfinished home, but we finally succeeded.

    The house was 6500 square feet in size, plus garage, but two rooms were too small, so we added another 1600 feet in 1985, but that’s another story. When we started, we had 5 children, and by 1981, we had 9. Last year a contractor told me he watched me build it, and it was his opinion that it was one of the best-built homes in the entire city. I know it certainly isn’t bothered by 100 mph winds from the west when they come.

    But all through that, the cubicle denizens were standing in line telling me I’d fail. I’d never built a home before. I wasn’t a builder. I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t afford the taxes, much less the house payments. A boss in 1976 told me if my attitude didn’t imporove substantially, my value to the company was marginal, at best. About 15 years later, the company paid that boss to leave in a downsize, but I couldn’t participate because I was needed. I retired in 1999. 1-1/2 years later, a boss I had for 10 years asked: “You have a price. What would it cost to bring you back in here.

    I did one project by myself working 30 hours/week for four years. The job moved to another state, and it took 10 full-time engineers to replace me and they couldn’t meet schedule. When I retited, I’d been working about 3-5 hours per day and holding a chair down the rest of the time. It took three full-time people to replace me, one with a Masters degree from MIT, and a year later people were asking if I’d like to come back. I left because another manager in another area of the company wanted me “punished for being a poor team player” because I told the person to do the job on time with the people already in the department and quit whining about not having time and resources (in 3 years they couldn’t do a job that needed to be done and I could have done in a week but it was their “turf” and they didn’t want me touching it).

    One of my favorite quotes comes from David Schwartz’s book, “The Magic of Self Direction: “You will never do anything worth-while for which you are not criticized.”

    The reason the cubicle wage slaves don’t want you to succeed at anything is it makes them look bad in their own eyes because they know they’re not putting in the effort to make themselves better.

    It goes back to the “natural man is an enemy to God” (and to his or her own accomplishment) because we don’t like the pain of change and improvement. A paycheck keeps us comfortable, and ships in the harbor are safe. But that’s not what ships are for.

    Robert Schuller said, “You’re not prepared to live until you know what you want to be written on your own tombstone.”

    And Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”

    So get up off your backside and make something of yourself.

    And remember the words of a wise, righteous king: “When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.”


    • Clarke

      As always, I appreciate your well-written and inspiring prose.

      What a story of triumph, and what an inspirational post you've written. Thanks!

  • L Allen

    LOVE the Motorhome and your portable quest. This is a dream of mine as well, not only for traveling, but for the freedom. I’m finding there are lots of ways to work for yourself while serviing others and not having to “work for the man” in a lousy cubicle with no windows. My last cubicle stint was on an Air Force Base and can’t bear to do it again. Anything but that. Right now I’m writing resumes and learning to build websites that make money, and bettering my copywriting skills. My little savings stash in handy for when my earnings are skimpy, but I’m not working in a cubicle, I’m working at home for myself and helping others. The money is improving and already life is more fulfilling.

    Keep up the good work.
    Fellow writer in Colorado,
    Lynn Allen

    • Wow Lynn – what a great story! I celebrate your success. Keep after it. Freedom is worth it.

  • John

    Ray, met you at two Jeff Walker conferences. Love the Twitter and Blog posts. Keep it up man. -John

    • Thanks John, it's a pleasure hearing from you and I appreciate the kind words.

  • Clarke

    For Lynn Allen:

    Since we're both in Colorado, I'm interested in connecting. Contact info at


  • Economic Freedom Fighter, I refuse to be average! Not one day of my life…