Weekends: Pursue Money Making Projects or Spend on Something More Satisfying?

I have been writing on and off here about a “Weekend Entrepreneur” project that I want to start. The interest was born out of a realization that while a salaried job is great for job security and generating a steady stream of income, it is essential to learn some skills of self-employment, and to set up a stream of passive income. I want to do this now, on the weekends, since I don’t have any kids yet and can squeeze some time out to pursue this. Establishing the additional stream of income will give me an option to scale back on my day job, when I do have kids. But things have taken a bit of a twist over the past few weeks and I am stuck with a dilemma.

I started out with an idea initially. It was for a “Web 2.0” based project (aren’t they all!). My problem was that in order to implement the “idea” I have to do significant amount of coding, possibly using PHP, and I don’t know PHP :) Since I do coding as part of my day job, learning a new coding language on the weekends is not so appealing and I never got around to doing much. And I should not forget that, in order to get the project off the ground I will need a lot of marketing skills, which sadly, I don’t possess. I suspect the idea has a bit of potential though, and so if it flies it could be big. The greed kept me going for a while. I was quick to jump the trigger and purchase a domain name for it. But, after going through some planning, I decided it was just not my cup of tea and called it off. Better to cut the losses now, than to keep going and not get anywhere!

Over time, I’ve toyed with several other options. I am now seriously interested in another “idea”. The problem however is that I doubt if I can make any money out of it and so, I am not sure if it qualifies as an “entrepreneurship” project anymore. The demands of this project are significantly lesser than the one I was toying with earlier so I think I might actually have a shot at seeing it through. And, moreover, I think it will be significantly more satisfying to work on this project. It will take some time to set up and may require some minimal amount of funding (domain name, hosting, etc.), but I find that I am perfectly fine with spending the time and the money that it requires.

So now, I am torn. Should I continue to pursue something which I think I will enjoy doing and will be very satisfying, or should I drop this and look for other ideas that have the possibility of making good money? Should I do something that could be helpful to several people, or should I look for something that will generate a stream of income for me? Where do I draw the line between a natural desire to make some additional money and all consuming greed? And, time is a premium here – I do plan on starting a family *soon* and when I have kids, they will be my highest priority. Pursuing a money making option now and establishing an additional stream of income will open up the choice of possibly cutting back or quitting my day job later when I have kids. But, I am not sure I am comfortable with this person I have become that is obsessed with making money! I do fine in my day job, and I want put my weekends to use in other beneficial ways. Aaaargh, the choices we have to make!

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