Should I choose my passion or be practical?

I currently work full time in the real estate industry with a salary of $80k/yr. My job is comfortable, I’m great at it and don’t have much to complain about. While my job is pretty decent it’s not where my heart is at. My passion lies in the tech industry which is completely different.

My goal is to become a software developer and actually work for a tech company. Software development is great for me because it challenges me, fuels my creativity and keeps my mind sharp. I also have so much room for growth and expansion with software development. Additionally, I have some other background in tech that I work on the side from time to time.

Due to the recession that we’re in at the moment, I’ve been thinking about ways to earn extra income just to have a safety net. My coding skills are still very green and I’m not at the level where I can start getting paid for it. So I thought about starting a side business in real estate where I can earn per job, maybe earn an extra $2k or so per month. If I decide on starting a side business in real estate, it will take me farther away from what I’ve been working on with coding. Because I’m great at what I do, I might even be able to go full-time on my own at some point. I’m also considering the costs, time, additional expenses and tax deductions that goes into starting this business. I may not get much back in my pockets being part-time. Obviously there are some pros and cons.

Work is slowing down for the next two months and I have some free time to work on my projects. What I do in the next two months will be critical for next year in terms of my career.

Do I stick with the business plan and see how it goes or should I take that time I have to go hard on coding so I can start building projects and land a job sometime next year?

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