2 years ago, I was a freelance video/film editor who was making some pretty good money until opportunities began to dry up. As I was researching "make money from home", I bought into the shiny object syndrome of "making $10000000000000 in one hour!" and blew $600+ on various wsos, guides, programs, outsourcing, etc. without seeing a dime back. Already at the end of my rope, I was forced to settle for a corporate 9-5 job.
I took a break for about a year to get my life together and just recently got back into the whole IM scene in November 2011. I had to do a lot of research due to the Google Panda update that I wasn't even aware of, but I already knew how to do keyword research and some new tools that were released in the time I was gone have made things much easier.
Here I am, 2 years later with the first payment deposited in my bank account and it looks like my next payment is going to come much quicker. My mind's already blown thinking about how much bigger things are going to get in the next few months!
The most important advice I've learned is to never, ever, give up!