The exceptions ARE the ones that succeed, 9 of 10 business starts fail.
Also, I'm not suggesting film will make you or break you as a pro. I'm suggesting that simple competency with your tools, some creative marketing, skillful salesmanship, hard work, and good business practices and plans, will get you a lot further than 10-years of work trying to make a living competing with the weekend warriors in the $500 market.
As I remember the story Joe decided he wanted to be a wedding photographer as a second career, he was already quite competent with a camera, decided what market he wanted to serve, came up with a plan, gave away his first wedding jobs to people at the low end the market he wanted to serve, marketed like heck at those weddings to build his prospect base, worked all his connections, and built his business without ever doing a wedding in the $500 market.
Gary Fong, by his own admission was a really lousy photographer when he started, but he knew what he wanted to do and made a system and refined it to make buy-ups the norm. When he sold a $500 wedding deal his norm when all done with that client was three times that, $1,500 not $500. Like Joe he worked his tail off to find the prospects that could move him up the food chain too.
Their creativity in marketing, salesmanship, BS, schmoozing, and business sense made them what they are, not their photographic skills or the technology they used. Same for Jose and Johnathan.