Ironically, I took enough time away from betting and botting to forget everything I had been doing, so came back with a completely fresh mind. I actively avoided reading any betting and strategy type forums as they only cloud your judgement and turn you into another losing punter. It's also very easy to over-complicate strategies and end up wasting months (or years!) "tweaking" the plethora of settings you *think* you need. If you take an average bot and multiply the combinations of possible settings, it will soon become apparent that it could take about 9 million years to test them properly.
My strategies are very simple and often overlooked because they're too obvious and "everyone will be doing it". I was certainly guilty of having that mindset. I didn't fart about back-testing or compiling statistics, etc. And I don't do any trading because that's how you end up paying premium charges. I wrote a strategy and threw it into the live arena, which is, IMO, the ONLY way to truly test a bot. The biggest lesson I learnt is that volume is king. Barring programming bugs, I will no longer retire a bot until it has at least 5000 settled bets under its belt. More often than not, it takes 10,000+ settled bets to show it's worth. In essence, you create a line graph of your P&L and if there are spikes in the graph, you haven't tested it for long enough. It's basic stuff, but often overlooked when you're -£900 after 3 days and wondering WTF has gone wrong. Big balls are required as, even with a solid strategy, the swings can be large on a "gambling" bot.
Regarding the early retirement/working reduced hours/changing career/etc, I do actually enjoy my job in engineering. If I hated it, I would of jacked it 6 months ago. The main reason I'm starting to consider other options is because the company I work for has become one of those places where there are as many managers and directors as there are "workers". We've got all these little hitlers who are jostling for positions and think that a production factory will be more efficient if they put everything into a spreadsheet and make all the "cretins" work harder. It used to be a good atmosphere where everyone had a laugh and maybe took a few extra breaks but the work got done, and to a high standard. Morale is at an all-time low and production is suffering because of it. TBH, I wouldn't be surprised to see the company fold in the next year or two. So I might hang on for redundancy. ha ha.