I came into the game back in 2000 after having owned a successful local automotive repair shop for several years.
Auto shop grossed about $120k per year, I got about $55-60k after expenses. Not too shabby but very fast paced work, especially during the winter.
On a very cold day in Feb. 2000, I finally decided to make a drastic career change. Sold the business dirt cheap that very day and bailed out to persue my heart's desires - Programming and IM.
Friends & family thought I was completely nuts or else going through childhood #2. Some said take pills. Others said get therapy. Still others said (and I quote) ".....Leave that computer stuff to the eggheads and go back to work!".
But not my wonderful wife. She has never tried to discourage me in any way. And ya know what? since my transition into IM, I've paid off our home, and my wife has been able to go part-time (just 2 hrs./day!) at her job. Now she works only because she wants to.
My old friends don't laugh anymore but they still don't really understand what I do.
And after 8+ years, I still get asked by old customers to work on their cars. And sometimes I do .
So what were you before.....this?