Wait. Maybe not. Let's think this through.
I just got an email from a reader. It's a variety I get a lot. It goes like this:
"I'm doing X-practical-thing, but I'm passionate about Y. I don't like that X takes up so much of my time. But... it's practical. WTF?"
It could be "college," but it could also be a stable salaried job or whatever. Actually, this particular email wasn't about college, it was about a really well compensated salaried job that wasn't the person's passion.
But I've got the same answer for you, regardless.
How well are you spending the rest of your time?
Five hours a day is a lot of time if you spend it well. Even if you're swamped with college, salaried job, whatever... well, wake up a few hours before you have to head to your obligations and work on what's important to you.
If you're not maxing out your limited free time, it's going to be even worse when you have all day to spend with your passion. Seriously, I know that sounds backwards but it's true. There's nothing worse than having all the time in the world to spend on something that you haven't already been making progress on.
Basically, if right now you're screwing off with your five hours of free time and playing XBox, if you quit your job or university, you'll probably spend 16 hours a day screwing off and playing XBox. No joke.
If you're tired and drained from your requirements, wake up earlier and work before your job or studies. If that's not feasible, exercise or take a nap afterwards to get you juiced up.
Other practical considerations:
Have you tried producing in your new field? The studying, learning, growing, and research side of a new field is different from the do-measurable-practical-productive-things stuff. Try your hand at producing in the new field before bailing out of what you're in.
Start cutting your expenses if you don't have a huge pile of cash. Lower expenses set you free. Cut, and then cut more, and then cut more. Delayed gratification sets you free. Cut that spending. I promise, you'll get to spend even much more later. And you won't be owned.
Kill any bad debt ASAP. 'nuff said on that.
Get a big pile of cash if possible. This might be optional. If you're a risk averse person naturally, then maybe stop obsessing and just cut the cord and go for it. But a big pile of cash helps a lot if you're getting into a new field or starting a business or whatever.
And yeah, make sure you're spending that time well. The most fun play in the world still has work-related elements when you do it professionally. Like, invoicing and collecting your receivables. Invoicing and collecting your receivables and harassing people to pay you when they're late blows. It's not fun. And you have to do it if you're contracting or consulting, or you're going to be writing off a ton of your money when people just flake out and don't pay you. And nobody likes doing this, but you have to do it.
So make sure you're putting time into doing productive stuff now and using the few hours you've got well, especially on doing the hard productive tasks of your new field. If you're saying, "Oh no, I'm too tired after work, so I just want to play XBox to relax..." then no, you probably shouldn't quit whatever practical thing you're doing yet.
Max out your time until the practical thing is actively holding you back, and ideally have low expenses, no debt, and a big pile of cash at that point. Then you quit. Maybe selling your XBox helps you kill the debt and get some pile of cash too.
“If you’re not maxing out your limited free time, it’s going to be even worse when you have all day to spend with your passion. Seriously, I know that sounds backwards but it’s true. There’s nothing worse than having all the time in the world to spend on something that you haven’t already been making progress on.”
Definitely a lot of truth to this - it happened to me last month. I think it may be one of those things you have to experience to understand. Counter intuitive for sure.
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the huge value that you deliver through your blog and your newsletter. I often use your advices, striving to become better and more self-disciplined.
I am a junior engineer working within the automotive industry. This is a demanding job and I work at least 45 hours a week. As I want to become independant (i.e. being able to work on my own projects from any place in the world) as soon as possible, I am starting to create my first business (I'm currently researching a niche market).
I have GTD'ed my schedule and eliminated most of worthless activities such as video games, TV shows and compulsive internet browsing.
No one is going to tell you an easy way to make money
In the beginning days of my gambling thing, it was very easy to make money. The system was basically foolproof and anyone with a credit card could make a good yearly income. I wasn't making money through any sort of skill, I was essentially exploiting a loophole. But here's the thing about loopholes: no one is going to tell you how to do them, especially not someone you don't really know personally. Because if too many people find out about a loophole, it closes. So if you want to make "easy money", you're probably going to have to stumble upon it yourself. If someone IS trying to share a loophole with you (especially aggressively, by email) it's probably a scam like a HYIP or a Forex trading scheme.
Most of the people who were gambling like I was now play poker. You can play poker online or in casinos and make six figures a year. But it's not a loophole, so it's okay to tell everyone. The barrier to entry is a few years of exhaustive practice, thousands of dollars to lose while learning, and the ability to sustain that lifestyle while you struggle to break even.