I don't think that it is fair to create hope for DIY. It CAN be done, it HAS been done and I would venture to say there have been far more failures than successes. I have helped many of these players come back.
What really happens is that the "DIYourselfer" has to get "lucky" with opportunities. I say this because normally a good teacher provides the first opportunities. Those start the "exposure" of the budding musician - and they run with it. Getting a break with no one going to bat initially is MUCH tougher.
My grandfather would have said that the school of hard knocks is not as hard if you learn to listen. A lesson is the premiere opportunity to LISTEN.