There's a lot of different ways to pass the time in New Eden. Some are fun, some are profitable. Once in a while, you luck out and find something that is both fun AND profitable.
Running missions wasn't incredibly fun. But, with the right social skills, it's not that painful to get to the highest level mission givers, and by proxy, the highest level R&D agents. Once you've sidetracked training a bit and become a fledgling scientist; then, you can gain a nice passive income from harvesting datacores.
From this point, it's fun because you're earning a few million isk a day from doing nothing. Nothing other than an occasional visit to your research partners to collect and sell the datacores.
There's other ways to make profit from doing nothing. You could invest in stocks. That requires you to pay attention to the stock market. Which also requires you to trust other inhabitants of New Eden with YOUR hard-earned isk. That requires faith in strangers. Time and again I've seen that faith in strangers is a fool's errand. A fool and his money are soon parted.
Where's the real money? Getting your hands on a T2 BPO, trading, or both. Buy low, sell high. Simple concept. Ratting gives you decent money. If you can get your loot and salvage back to a market, you can get even better money. Being part of a roving gang CAN provide you with fun and money.
Everyone has to find their niche. If you're a jack of all trades, that niche takes a while longer to discover. A jack of all trades also has many avenues open to them, many revenue paths available -- research, invention, production, alliance building, ratting, pvping, mining ('roids, ice, moons) -- many revenue paths available to the strong-willed and industrious.
The weak have but one path, and when that path is obstructed -- they flounder. Diversify to survive, specialize to ascend.