let me tell you something about that.....staying out til 10 to do someting for next to nothing sucks even more. there are definite perks to running your own business and working for yourself, but dont think its 9-5. 12 hour days are the norm. and i usually work at least 6 days. i feel guilty if im not at the shop everyday. id rather sit and look at shop walls and clean tools and tune shit up than sit at home watching tv. you WILL bust your ass working for yourself. but you'll love it. especially if its something you like. some days i work 12 hours and wonder where the time went, other days i work 2 and cant wait to get done, and know i have another 8 to go. on monday i was at the shop at 9, worked there til 6 or so i think. went home, had a sandwhich, then did drawings and priced a job til 1 a.m. almost. then was back at the shop yesterday morning by 930, and didnt get home til 830. then met with a client last night to look over drawings.
it aint all fun and woohoo. at least youre collecting a check every single week, regardless of how much you actually accomplish, and you dont have to pay rent on an office or shop and overhead is lunch money, gas, and maybe clothes. working for some slob and picking up a check at the end of the week has its perks. i dont get vacation pay. i havent seen a christmas bonus in 3 years. i pay my own health insurance. and i never get paid days off.
do something you love, it will justify the time you spend doing it. dont worry how much money you make at first, just keep clients happy, build a name for yourself, dont bite off more than you can chew, and the rest will come in time.
i will say its nice to get a check for 5k or 10k and know it goes right into your pocket. you bust your ass for it, make a name for yourself, make people happy with what you do, and no one gets in the way of the cash. but its definitely hard earned.