Perhaps this post was "trolling" for instructors, so I will bite anyway.
I was taught by friends at first. Some watching of videos, etc.
Being "Self-taught" is quite a funny thing. For some it is a badge of courage. I started noticing the pride some took in being self-taught during my learning of Golf. The points were very similar to the one's I read here.
"My skiing/golf is fine."
"I have fun doing it my way."
"Lessons are expensive"
"I can figure it out."
"I don't have enough time, so I have to take advantage of it, and working at it in lessons would take up that time."
"Working on new things will set me back."
"I have too many bad habits to unlearn", etc
Mostly stuff the is ego-based. "I can do it myself".
These are all fine and good, and quite frankly any excuse is as good as another. It really depends on how "good" you wanted to become. And skiing is so much fun, that you don't need instruction to have fun.
For me and sports, I wanted to be able to be a scratch player in 5 years. I wanted to ski "just about" any condition at anytime with fun and ease. Run a 4-minute mile, etc. A philosophy I have is that, "anything worth doing often, is worth doing well." and "Successful people don't just do certain things. They do certain things in certain ways". And I fully understand that most people don't share these philosophies and attitudes. If yours are different that's cool. And probably healthier, lol. But as a percentage, few people have as much fun as I do on the hill or on the course.
The 'lessons", i.e. philosophies, attitudes, and beliefs that will give you a "shortcut" in your learning curve could be read here, in books or in person. The act of doing that goes beyond being self-taught. I applaud you for being in a instruction/technique forum. Many try to figure it out by "watching it from the lift". And like most anything in life, you can be most successful by observing the masses and doing the "opposite".
There is an idea from David Allen, How to get things done,
which is very interesting. Until about the age of 35 most people are "Rugged Individualists" We are taught this in school (so it must be right. Right?
). Do your own homework, don't cheat (collaborate), work on your weaknesses, etc.
But at some point we find it is better/more effective to be "Unique Team Players", and develop your strengths and have a team (each individual of which has their own strength) that makes the whole better.
How to find your Pro? It is easier that it has ever been. The internet is a good place to start. The ESA is an exceptionally good place to find fun people who want to get better.
I remember interviewing a few golf instructors early on. I told them, " I want to be a scratch player in 5 years. I live in the mountains were I can play only 4 1/2 months/yr. I will do what it takes, as long as I can remain living in the mountains." Then asked, 'Can you help do this?"
I had a few coaches tell me that it probably couldn't be done. A few more who said, "We can probably could do with enough coaching". And two who said, "Yep, I've done it. I can show you how". I selected "C".
But that is just me.
Have fun on which ever trail you take,
p.s. I teach for many selfish reasons.