Invest or work with what you have?
It's true, I won't lie. You get what you pay for! Either way you are investing and competing at the same time. Be scrappy, low budget that's totally cool, I've done that a lot for my own work. Make a commercial music video with lots of labor and costumes, with permits, color corrections, actors, high end camera gear, I've done that too! Both have merit in the right context. A band has band issues to wrestle with, and a solo artist has to maintain brand at all times. I've been there done both. What is right for you comes with a little soul searching. When you are sure you are ready, then just do it, the best way you know how with somebody who has the right level of experience for your project.
THE X FACTOR
Creative people have a lot to share and gain by coming together, even if it leads to some level of push and pull or what I would call tension.
Look at this from the outside and see if you think it ultimately can help you grow and rise to a higher level. Music is a business if you are going to make a living from it. When things get monetized, expectations rise and there is less room for compromise or mistakes. Professional work is just that, competitive, more expensive than homemade, youtube trained. After all, we are merely defined by what we do.
Can you be a professional guitar player, if the guitar is just sitting there on your wall, hanging there, full of opportunity? Or does the professional use his guitar daily, to put food on his table. There is the difference, and most of the time, you can hear the difference, instantly.
What is your art worth to you?
Jump into the world of making products for somebody to buy. My test is would somebody give you a dollar for this song? Or would they push "skip".
Don't go down a rabbit hole and get side tracked on snare drum sounds, guitar amp settings, if you don't have a good song, go back to the yellow pad and a no 2 pencil. When you have it ready, then you are most likely recordable. Now its time to make a plan and invest in the audio, video, marketing, promotion and live presentation of your work. Let's do it when you are ready!