Would self-publishing hurt your chances to become popular?
Self publishing allows the author a lot more control. This is both a boon and a curse. You are able to go and find the people who are most likely to read your work and interact with them which is great and gets sales. On the negative side it takes your time away from your writing.
You are the one who has to keep yourself to high standards, and learn what those standards are. You have to know if you need to pay good money to get an editor for your book before self-publishing. You need to know if you’re going to pay for a book cover to make your book stand out. You need to know how to format the ebook, or pay someone to do it.
A well done self-published book has the same, if not better chances, of becoming popular than traditional publishing. Yet, that path has so many more areas where an author can crash and burn, it makes it seem like the more dangerous path.