Failure is one of your surest paths to success in your career.
This may sound contradictory as success sounds like the path to success, but the painful if obvious truth is a lot of times we have to fail to get things right. We have to toss the old manuscript and rewrite, we have to learn a business idea is bad the hard we, we have to find out that our art skills aren't quite what we thought. If you want to succeed at your career, often times you have to try things and fail to learn what you're doing wrong (and doing right).
Fandom is an AWESOME place to fail.
In your fandom you have a reasonably sportive environment of people, networked together, in assorted communities and groups. You have events, conventions, seminars, game sessions, and more. You have a big environment in which to DO things, one where you have friends, contacts, and some knowledge of the culture.
So, if you're going to go try out a career idea, from a specific skill to your own business, go on and see if you can try it in fandom. That way you have an environment that you can fail in with some degree of safety.
If you find you really aren't that good at network engineering, better to do it for the local sports center than on the job. You might even decide to get training and try harder.
If you find that your attempts to turn an art skill into an artists alley business reveal a lack of business skills, you know what to improve, get help on – or give up on.
Fandom gives you a place, basically, to screw up, a giant playground to try things out even if you fall flat on your face.
Go ahead. Give failure a shot. You may be surprised at how much you learn – or how good you are anyway.
– Steven Savage