There are a couple key points here.
Stocks are higher risk/higher reward. IF you have a good portfolio, it can be tough to find better returns elsewhere. The broad market (S&P 500) has more than doubled in the past 10 years and many individual stocks have grown even more than that.
That said, you can also LOSE money in individual stocks if you don't know what you're doing and if you don't actively manage your risk. Ultimately, the market has gone up over long periods of time, but a) not every company makes it and b) you could still lose a lot in the short term. For example, I mentioned that the S&P 500 more than doubled over the past 10 years. It also lost more than half of its value between 2007-2009. If you held from 2007 until now, you would have doubled your money but you also would have had to stomach a short-term loss of 50% of your capital. Of course, you can control that risk by using stop losses, but you need to have a plan.
You don't need to dive head first into individual stocks. You can ease your way in by choosing some lower risk ETFs and/or using an online robo-advisory service. Advisory services charge a management fee, but some people like the peace of mind of having their investments managed for them.
Either way, I think your best bet is to slowly dip your feet in until you feel comfortable. You can invest as little as $500 at a time.
In terms of the actual investment process, it is simple. Open an account with an online brokerage and place orders to buy and sell the stocks you are interested in.