I love what I do. I wake up every morning with a grateful heart that I get to be a full-time artist. Most of the time that's enough for me. However, to keep growing in your art, you oftentimes have to grow your budgets as well. That's when the artist mind and the entrepreneur mind start dancing with each other.
The first step for a lot of photographers making the plunge into a full-time arts career is simply exploring the question, "Can I really do this?" Can I really make a living doing something I love and focus 100% on it? You ask yourself this over and over, because as a creative, you were probably told your whole life to have a backup plan.
It's a huge celebration when you can finally, confidently say, "Yes. This is working. I've got all my bills paid, and enough left over to start investing in some gear that going to further enhance my work. Sometimes it's such a big celebration that you forget to plan for what's next.
Once you get past the starving artist stage, and into the full-time freelancer stage with a packed calendar of gigs, there's the daunting task of graduating from freelancer to director of a crew. To grow as a photographer, you have to bring on an assistant, then an editor, then a producer, then a tech, etc. The list goes on.
Before you know it, you're a manager. It's up to you to have the answers, win the business, write the checks, put out the fires. You have to juggle all the bowling pins, and still have enough creative juice left over to fulfill the thing that the client hired you to do in the first place.
It's terrifying, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
There's no ceiling in this business.