When I first got into making Internet Marketing software, I was making a lot of easy money and I had no responsibilities; I'd receive a project, I'd work on it until it was testable, and then I'd debug and finish it with whoever gave me the project in the first place. Simple enough, but time went on; while methods died and employers changed, my proficiency in developing software snowballed. After a certain point, and to this day, my limiting factor was simply not having enough work. I tried working for a few different people, some of them being a pleasure to work with and some of them not, but I still couldn't manage to make more than a payday every few weeks as many of the projects I was being put on had little to no hope of producing any actual money without some dedication and resource investment on the part of whoever used the software (I was not, and am still not, interested in being BOTH the full-time software developer AND the full-time software user). At this point, I was frustrated with my lack of steady progress towards independence and decided to explore other avenues. One of these avenues was getting a real Software Development job - so I looked into college for that handy piece of paper that lets me get into job interviews. I ended up taking a few online classes at a well-known, regionally accredited college here in Florida; that started out fine, but ended in my second round of classes when I realized the program was a crock of shit. Why did I realize then, and not before? In my second round of classes, I took the "advanced" introductory programming course where I was 1 of 3-4 people out of the entire class that passed. Makes me sound smart, huh? The only problem was, the reason everybody else failed was because the course was a colossal shit-storm of poorly planned out assignments and misinformation. The only way to pass the class was to already know the information it was trying to convey beforehand (which luckily, I and a handful of others did). Even though I did well in the class, I was not interested in continuing to purchase the right to teach myself stuff for absurd prices (I was then in debt for over $6000 for 4 classes; the $150 book I had to purchase for the programming course wasn't even used, there were no reading or work assignments drawing from it, and it ended up going straight from the package it arrived in to a storage box). Another avenue I considered taking was going into business for myself and selling the software tools and utilities I was already comfortable with making to a larger audience; I had hoped to launch a website, but due to the potential legal issues I foresaw I put the project on hold (legal issues I have yet to figure out). Instead of launching my own website, I decided to sign up on a few freelancing sites and see what work I could get there; turns out, not much. Most of the jobs I found that I was qualified for either paid too little for what they asked, or had too many proposals to make it worth applying for without an undercutting offer (and just try to undercut 50 foreign rent-a-coders, I dare you). I'm still making use of these websites as I've been able to get one small project from them, but by no means will I be able to put food on the table with my "freelancing". Now my daily routine consists of waking up and gluing myself to my computer chair trying to find work so that I can buy food for the day and take care of those that I love; because that hasn't been working out too well, I'm now considering putting my development career on hold and getting a job at a store like Publix. What's stopping me? For one, it's a huge dose of reality for me (I was pretty spoiled growing up living in a middle to upper-middle class family) that there are now days where my stomach hurts from being hungry and all I can afford to feed myself is shitty dollar menu food, and because of this I keep trying to convince myself that I'm just going through a rough patch that will end soon (something I've been telling myself and my loved ones for months now). I'm also worried that if I were to get a comfortable above-minimum-wage job somewhere that I'd end up drifting too far away from the "work" I love - programming - and end up being miserable later on in life when I have too many responsibilities to try to change careers again. Further, people far more experienced in the work-force than I have trouble getting minimum wage jobs, so how could I expect to be able to get a job where I'd be capable of supporting both myself and others? I'd really appreciate some input from those more experienced in life than me; I'm really at a loss for what to do.