hmm...I technically started when I was in the 4th grade, or about 9 years old. I didn't start taking guitar serious until I was 14 and from then on I have been serious about it. Though I had to gradually get better. I've never took lessons so everything I've learned I've taught myself through books, online-discussions, and watching hundreds of hours of videos, clinics, etc etc. Not to metnion listening to the right kind of music helps as well. In my mid teens I just wanted to play the fast heavy chugga-chugga palm muted riffs. I didn't get into lead playing until I was about 17 years old. From then on I did searches through the web and such and started to "network" with people in the local scene and I slowly found out about guitarits like Yngwie, Vai, Satriani, etc etc. I'm 21 right now.
My family has a very musical lineage so to say. My father is a guitarist (mainly plays music from the 70's such as Santana, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Three Dog Night, etc etc), his father was a guitarist (he mainly played classical guitar, flamenco guitar, and also country-western guitar). Somewhere down the line I have an ancestor who was a very famous flute player in Ireland. My mother is a pianist (mainly plays classical music for church, as well as more popular christian music), her dad was a pianist (he played alot of modern classical, and jazz), and his dad was a violinist from France who played for the Catholic church. There's many other family members who play music as well. One of my cousins plays lead guitar for a black metal band somewhere over in Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Right now I'm not making money from my playing though at certain points in time I have (playing at a family members birthday party or something), and also I have done many shows in the past. Right now I do shows for local bars for free, but there's a catch, I get to play the music I write. Though one of the local bar owners gives us free beer for playing...lol.