I went to school. I got lucky—of the professors that did not want to kick me out, one put me in a show at a gallery. I’ve been with them ever since.
In this business you basically have to find out a way to hang around other artists until one with more power than you likes you and decides to help. School is the easiest way to do that, but it requires taking out a loan.
If you’re scared to get a loan, there are alternate ways of meeting other artists, like sleeping with them or giving them drugs. It’s a pretty dumb system.