1. "Scratch your own itch". You can't possibly be living a life where you didn't want to make something easier for yourself, something different.
2. Don't worry about money for side projects, especially initially.
3. Read a lot - fiction and applied CS. It'll take you to a lot of different places you haven't been and won't ever be. My personal bias is towards fantasy fiction. In applied CS, read books like "Exploring Everyday Things with R and Ruby: Learning About Everyday Things" 
4. Be curious and observant. Look around you and ask why things are the way they are.
Example - People enjoy watching soccer/football (on TV and live). But in a lot of high profile games the referee makes a mistake about whether the ball has crossed the line or not. Try reading about goal line technology. Maybe a book on Computer Vision to figure out how you would solve the problem .
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