say that I wanted to become the next Jason Harrelson, Andy Taylor, Dave Monette, Vincent Bach. What would be good to have?
A butt load of money...

A CNC machine can go 250k or more... plus all the lathes, mills, buffing gear, annealing ovens, and on and on. You have to but loads of raw materials, build relationships with all kinds of vendors. Pay up front for most of it. Rent some space, and hope you can sell something.

Maybe you can start up on the cheap by pimping up Ambassadors, beadblasting them to look like Monettes, and then selling them to HS kids on ebay.

No butt-load of cash...??
To get a job in a shop you may just need to prove you are smart, a hard worker, great listener, that shows up on time and does what he is told... and works cheap! You may get a nod if you have an engineering background, especially in programming g-code for CNC's, or some 3d modeling software such as Solid Works, ProE, Catia, etc... A few summers working in a repair shop would look good. Be prepared to demonstrate that you can handle tools and can solder neatly.