It is always best to be realistic and accept that there are already far too many books published already, so the chances of someone finding time to read yours is small unless it is exceptional. I also think it is important to narrow the odds and having face to face contact with agents and using the services that Jericho offer will help. I use the analogy of the athlete who wants to go to the Olympics. They train every day getting up at the crack of dawn and in the end they might not be good enough. Is all that training wasted? They have to learn to deal with failure. Let us suppose they actually get into the team and go to the Olympics , they might not even get through the heats but they still try. Winning a gold medal is a chance in a million. Writing is like that. You have to want to do it. As Debi said, it needs to be an enjoyable experience.
I've self published two novels and had some great feedback from readers. I only sold about 5000 kindle copies and about 150 paperbacks of my first book which is no where near enough for an agent to make them money (or me for that matter). Agents liked what I was doing but advised me to write something with a wider potential readership so now I am writing a domestic noir psychological thriller. Writing something which is more character driven is a great intellectual challenge. I'm enjoying the experience.