> My plan is to take courses and build a nice portfolio and then just go to technology Meetups and network with others and pass out my cards with my portfolio on them. Is that enough to get me in the door?
As for meeting peers and potential clients - meetups are a great place, and you'll find tons of people there doing the same thing - shaking hands, passing out cards, and making connections. Personally I haven't turned up much work from doing this so I don't spend a lot of time in it.
Where I have reliably found work is online. Not on those fiver, 99designs, or cheap websites. Not on Odesk, Elance, or those other freelancer sites - but on actual job boards, like the job board on SmashingMagazine, or the job board on CSS Tricks. Those types of boards have all sorts of jobs - my best client so far hired me for a 4-hour project after originally saying No, and now they feed me tons of work.
Good luck getting started, this is totally a career path you can achieve!