I do not want to compete with zillions of people with access to freely available tools. Finding a good niche that is rewarding, in every sense, is tricky. Getting into it is even trickier. Maintaining a good network of colleagues and friends may give you an edge here. The "who you know" is significant in this context.
I have rarely found learning new software a problem. It is developing a good process and being aware of the gotchas that is a major key. That is where your network can really give you an edge.
Every so often something comes along that is really hard to crack, having someone to run through it with you really helps. I always document my findings once I/we have solved a problem. That is where you need to go the extra mile for others too. Helping others will always reward you. I would almost call it a law of life. Your document may be all they need. Some months later, it is all you will need.
I think the article was timely.
Keep Up with TechRepublic