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Also, what I like to do is think of something I want to buy in the next 2-5 years...say...a new car...or a new house. I then build a website and plan to sell it within that time frame. So far this year I've purchased an airplane (20k) and acreage out in the country.
Disclaimer: I'm single...so that REALLY helps, too. But I figured I'd do what I can until I get to my mid 30s..then I'll settle down. OH yea, and I get to be self-employed. The best of both worlds.
[edited by: skunker at 2:31 pm (utc) on Aug. 25, 2009]
I would advise you to keep a tab on the market prices for all your sites, even though you actually are not willing to sell them.
Most of my sites have been up for many years, but the going rate for most content sites is only a year or so's worth of earnings. In hindsight, I've never been offered more for a site than what I've made by simply hanging on to it and collecting the ad revenue. There is a lot to be said for passive and almost-passive income.
I choose this profession not only because I like coding and designing, but also because I have a personality disorder. And it is exactly that which prohibits me from making "big" money.
So I think you can be successful at a lot of jobs (web related or otherwise) as long as you are good at social stuff and selling things.