Over the last five years I have had the honor of working with all types of folks. In theory, the goal was for me to teach them stuff. In reality, I have learned as much from them as they have from me.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned is this one:
There are a ton of ways to have a life in the arts. You don't need to make art full time. You don't need to build an organization.
You can volunteer your time to an artist you love. You can join a board.
You can gather friends and do work you're passionate about, for free.
You can sell your art online and make beer (or vacation) money. You can give away an art piece for everyone you sell.
You can write and turn your writing into cheap (or free) ebooks. You can also slowly build an audience and then try to leverage that audience into big money.
Those are all valid choices. There are a thousand other valid choices.
It's not just about being the dynamic artistic leader of a large organization.
It's not just about being the musician that knows how to leverage social media and has critical acclaim.
You can be in front. Behind the scenes. Going for the cash. Going for the glory. Not giving a damn about the money or the glory.
I've encountered a fair number of unhappy people in the arts. Some of them are unhappy because they feel (or have been told) that the path they are on is the only path. It's either start this arts organization or wait tables at the Olive Garden.
There are other choices.
Give yourself the freedom to have a life in the arts that is right for you.