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For the love of the game

When people go into business for themselves, they frequently choose the solo version of what they were already doing. So someone who works for a law firm will open a private practice, and someone who works for a clothing label will become a designer.

Then there are those who turn their backs on all their years of hard work. "I'm not doing that anymore," they say. "I'm becoming a magician." And with that, the transition from working stiff to living off a hobby is born.

The transition is rarely easy, and many who leave the workforce to pursue a hobby for profit often end up with nothing but humiliation and maxed out credit cards to show for it. But a select few have left traditional jobs to do something they had previously only done for fun, and found success.

CNBC.com spoke with people who made this transition. Read ahead to find out who they are.

—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 28 Jan. 2014

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