questionshave you turned your side hobby into a fulltime…

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Not me. My hobbies cost me money. If I did them full time, I'd go broke.

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My buddy Bruce enjoyed vigilante crime fighting on the side for a while. He ended up losing his company so he just started fighting crime full-time. He doesn't really make money doing it, but he gets some strong community support.

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I started doing photography for money and had income from it for 3 years. The math didn't work out. I was spending more on travel and equipment than I was bringing in.

I could have gone full time but I wouldn't be able to tell you about it since I would have starved to death by now.

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I would guess you have to love your hobby, and be obsessed with putting time into it and into the quality of your work. And the hobby must have some sort if marketable aspect to it, and you have to become a businessperson, and the transition can take years. It really helps to have a spouse who agrees that it's worth the sacrifices.

I am fortunate to have as friends or acquaintances several people who, as adults, became successful fiction writers. In most cases it became "part time income", worth perhaps getting off the corporate treadmill for. In at least one case it's full time and significant income.

Obviously these people all have talent and drive - in each case they were in a supportive and responsible relationship with someone in a "normal" job. And they all wrote to a genre without being copycats. Each of them describes their success in crapshoot terms. Literary careers are unpredictable.

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Yes. What I do now actually started as a hobby. My degree is in psychology, yet I'm a software engineer. When I was in grad school I happened to see a job ad for a "webmaster" (this was '95 I think) and I decided to apply since "web development" (shell scripting, Perl, Javascript, UNIX, HTML, etc...) was a hobby that I did.. just teaching myself how to do stuff. And I've been writing code ever since.

But, now it's just a career and I have other hobbies :-)

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I have a very close friend who decided to work for himself in digital marketing - he is contracted by clients who need help building efficient and aesthetically pleasing websites as well as expanding their reach and brand awareness. I believe he has been able to become fairly successful in this field due to the fact that he enjoys it, which is the key. Like @f00l says, if you love your hobby and are willing to work extremely hard to get there, there is always money to be made. As for the unpredictability part, getting into any sort of digital service is almost certain job security, as technology is ever-improving at an exponential rate. Good luck!

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I used to have a very expensive hobby (horses) and was able to pay for my hobby by boarding, training and grooming horses for others. I never wanted to make a living from it but it was great to be able to enjoy my champagne hobby on my beer income.

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I turned my programming hobby into a software engineering position. Rather than trying to make it work as a side job I just applied my skills to my previous position and got a promotion based on my abilities.

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@eraten: His name isn't Zimmerman, is it?

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@kmeltzer: I was a biology major. I discovered the computer lab in college and have now been employed in IT for over 30 years.

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I earn enough selling jewelry and other art that I make to pay my property taxes on my home and time-share, but not enough to live on. I plan to use it to supplement my retirement income when I finally escape the daily grind in a year and a half.