A bit late on this thread (and apologies for length) but thought I'd throw my story in as I too dream like @ericali as I've posted previously on the forum.
I started in Feb 2016 and like most of you, £200 initial deposit then £300, then £500 etc as I gained more confidence. Always been a huge fan of gambling, Poker, Betfair trading, Football Manager, Fantasy Football, stocks and shares (but didn't know how to do it). Basically discovered FI and thought it combines most the things I love in life and never looked back.
I have recorded every days balance and divs since the start of 2018 and also predict my future path based on that.
Current Portfolio: £165,000
Net deposits: £61,000
Average monthly portfolio growth excluding deposits (last 18 months): 6.86%
Average dividends: 11% a year. Admittedly constantly reducing due to capital growth (not complaining, now closer to 6%)
Target monthly capital growth: 5%
Target annual divs: 7%
If FI continues at similar rates I will be able to earn £2,000 a month dividends by March 2021 (more than enough for me to live on) and the portfolio would be £1 Million by November 2022. I don't see why FI can't continue going from strength to strength. There are more and more new members, people creating content, podcasts, magazines, blogs etc. Potential expansion abroad, general improvement of the product, future dividend rises and share splits. Who knows?
I am 33 now and my dream would be to travel around watching football in stadiums across the world and write about it (see post signature) I'd love to be able to answer the question 'What do you do?' with 'Full Time Football Index Trader'. Probably easier to explain to foreigners than Quantity Surveyor.
Above all, this has increased my knowledge and love of football more than ever and been lucky enough to drag a few friends along on the journey. I love the community feel of FI but just wish there were more meet ups for real life beer and FI discussions.
Feel free to check out my blog below. Latest adventure being the Copa America in Brazil where i was lucky enough to watch 7 games.
Good luck on your journey and hopefully we are all still considered early adopters. Let's dream big, anything is possible (including FI going bust but let's not think about that :-P)