Well, someone once said that if you "love what you do, you will never work a day in your life."
I believe this to be 100% true, however, not to many of us actually WORK in the field that makes us the happiest. I consider myself lucky; I work at a busy automotive collision repair shop and have been doing this line of work for 20 years now. My job is fast paced, challenging and never gives me the same problem to solve twice. Now, that being said....
I am also a photographer. I have been so for the last 4 years. My friends know I take photos and I regularly share them with whomever I meet. I can look back and compare my work now and see how it has changed, how my style has changed. It has nothing to do with my equipment, my equipment simply gives me more or less options depending on what I buy and take with me for the day. Some of my best work was from XTi and T1i Rebels... It's WHAT you take a photo of and HOW you compose it that sells, NOT the camera it was taken from.
It takes a while to get your roots and figure out where you want to take your "art". Anyone can take a photo of a bird or landscape, but the trick is... how do YOU take a photo that someone wants to BUY??!! That doesn't come overnight, so 1) you work a full time job and do photography second (takes longer), or 2) quit your job and go into photography full time. Both require lots of money and time but at least if my photography fails to produce a paycheck, I can fall back on my painting work. But, the question is... if I worked my photography like a job and pushed it, would I be farther ahead with it today?
Hmmm... I have sold prints and I just made my first publication sale (stock photo for print) this past week.
As I signed the release form I realized that it took me 4 years and over 10K of camera equipment to make a hundred bucks!
Oh and if you throw a website into the mix, that raises the costs even more and time needed to make it work... wow...
Well, at least I enjoy photography.