agreed. The first step is to be able to make consistently great photos, and then display them where potential buyers can see them. but there's no shortcut to the technical quality and vision within the images.
My second thought on this is simple: don't. Just enjoy taking photos.
Why? Because there are a zillion other people trying to get into the same business. And it's a tough business to get into.
So unless your reaction to my saying "don't" isn't "the hell with you, I HAVE to do this", you probably shouldn't. Because photographers who want to get into the business will lose to those that have to.
It's going to be tough to do. Possible, but go in with your eyes open. Or decide maybe it's not the right thing to do right now, and just focus on being a better photographer and enjoying it. Because the reality is, once you get serious about trying to succeed at the business of photography, you will probably find yourself doing more business and less photography. So make sure you know that and it's the right thing to do.
If what you want to do is spend a lot of time taking photos -- then do that. Going pro actually gets in the way of that, because you have to spend a lot of time hustling to raise the money to make the business succeed.
Just something to think about.
chuq (was in your shoes in 2005.... Now very happy as a serious non-pro. For now).