I was forced to sell my small plumbing business but did so successfully. Recently, I was forced to sell one home and buy another one, and that was done successfully. Both events happened before I intended them to happen because of my wife's — and well-paid business partner — Multiple Sclerosis, but both big changes were pulled off successfully because we had plans in place with “just-in-case” contingencies built in.
Listen to others, be willing to learn and PLAN!
The point is to make conscious choices, know the consequences of those choices, and have some kind of plan in place. There's no shame in staying small, no defeat, no loss of self-esteem, if that's your choice. Your peers who follow the sage advice of those who've gone before are making enough money to buy such needed necessities as healthcare, long-term disability, even dental insurance.