Answering your questions
If your concept has hockey stick potential then build an advisory board, recruit investors and hire the talent you need.
Asking someone to perform work for equity only imposes a cost on the talent - the cost of foregoing earnings talent could be bringing in now. Add that cost to the risk of the equity coming in far below expectations because of factors talent can't control (maybe the company sucks in management or sales) and you can see why your offer is singularly unattractive.
Prospective investors will also be uncomfortable with this because of the likely low quality of the talent attracted to an equity only proposition and because of dilution.
Create a scaleable enterprise that fills an unmet need that is regional or even national in scope.
The hard part is breaking out of thinking in terms of the ways things are now and freeing yourself to think of how things could be.
Steve Jobs had that ability and brought us products no one knew we needed until Steve showed us we could have them.
Since you shared your age I'll go ahead and say that I can't think of a better age to be in order to take on that challenge.
Your opportunities are limited only by your willingness to pursue them!
In the world of consulting, connections win the day. Coarsely stated, numbskulls with good networking skills will out earn the smartest poorly-connected consultant in the game. No connections = no gigs.
On the other hand, businesses will hire complete strangers, sight unseen, for bookkeeping services. Hire a bookkeeper (or do a little yourself, if you're up to it) and promote your businesses as bookkeeping, then offer your consulting services to your bookkeeping clients. When newbies try to start a consulting company, they starve. When my clients start a bookkeeping business they are fully booked in three months.
Points to ponder...