I've run into crossroads in my career life. After working hard, pulling myself up by my bootstraps and finding something that worked career-wise for me in software development, I still get pulled back into my passion of teaching music professionally. I think that's because the major reason why I pursued where I am now is because I needed purpose and I needed to make money. I had a new family and the most important thing at that time was to help provide for my family; and have more time with them. Now that my spouse and I are in a much better position, I'm finding myself wanting more for myself and can't stop thinking about completely changing my career path once again.
I have the ability to hold down my job while I attend one or two courses a semester working towards completing a degree in music education. Once it gets more intense (non-core classes) I will have to start freelancing with development and private music instructions. I'm fairly confident I can freelance while in school without missing out on most of my current income.
I've laid out pros and cons but I still have this looming fear that I can't possibly transition from one industry to another. I'm certain that budgeting alone will allow me to afford this change (50% of my current pay, on average) but I still feel hesitant to fail. I feel like mentally I need to change what I'm doing, but I need to find ways to assert that the need is much more than the want.
For those out there who have completely switched from one unrelated career path to another, how did you handle the deciding factors?