This is just my opinion:
I believe 9 out of ten people have found their way to this website through either a friends recommendation or a season of BBQ Pitmasters. The latter is probably more likely. (Myself included).
I didn't set out to master BBQ, but to see if it was something I could add to what I already love to do, which is cook. I've always liked ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken, but now, I love them.
Start out with small goals. It's hard to mess up a pork butt, but believe me, I've done it. The first one I smoked and brought into the house my wife literally said "You have to get that thing out of here." It reeked of nasty smoke. I didn't realize you have to wait for the bad smoke to clear before you put the meat on. I was overly confident with my cooking skills in the kitchen and they didn't translate well to BBQ.
Really, really, really do your homework on this website. Everyone here has messed up a rack of ribs, a brisket, chicken or a butt and it is documented here somewhere. Don't be the guy that joins a 10 year old website and asks "How do I smoke ribs?"
I really respect the comp guys and I've learned a lot from them, but comp is not for me. I really prefer cooking what tastes good to me.
I think you have to have a passion for cooking period before you can master BBQ.