Trying to "make it"--whatever your definition of that is--as an artist is a constant struggle. I don't think I've ever felt pressure like this, even in my early years as a starving freelancer (starving freelancer/starving artist; they're really one and the same because starving is starving) when I said I would only work for companies who I felt were making the world a better place and with people who I liked. You have your underlying ideals and your principles that form the basis of your company, and you stick to them, and you have faith that by following your heart you'll make it--again, whatever that means, though here with Alley Cat Theater I can define what success is. Part of it my idea of success is sharing ideas like this.
But it's hard enough to be an artist, but if you want to make it doubly hard, here are some hard and fast rules you should follow.