I grew up in a below-average income family in a below-average city in America, and I carved this out for myself despite zero undergraduate degree. This meme that you have to be well off or that everyone who does it had benefactors is kinda silly.
I realize I am a sample size of one, but I really don't care for being wholly discounted in these arguments as if such a path is impossible. Was it exceptionally hard? Yes. Would it have been easier if I just finished my BS and an accepted-to MS? Also yes.
But I didn't for various reasons, and it still worked out because most of the factors that make a successful entrepreneur, scientist, and employee are exogenous to formal education anyway.
I advise people regularly to continue on with formal education; it is not like I think this is a very good track to take. But it is one that is available to those who self-study their ass off and don't mind working menial jobs to put food on the table for themselves and their families with great sacrifices.
What kind of research do you do?