Best of luck to you!
The place to begin is with your feet solidly on reality. You have done so in your last sentence.
No, no, nobody is going to guide you through the real operations of this industry. Any other expectation, if you choose to listen to the sweet words whispered by others, you find you solid stance in reality being less sustainable.
Here is where you need to start. With self analysis.
Read my blogs titled, "7 Things I wish I Knew Before Starting Real Estate." They are right here on Trulia. These blogs are where the rubber meets the road. If you haven't the conviction to pursue the one and only question you need to ask, you are destined to become one of the 95%
The answer to your question is, "You must start exactly where you are." Do the homework detailed in the blogs. Success will then depend on your fidelity to yourself.