A starting pin is necessary, but there alternatives. Anything that is fixed, such as a board clamped tightly to the table a couple of inches away from the bit will work. The main thing is to have some other support on the piece when the piece is fed into the bit. I have had a piece catch and kick back a bit as I brought it into the cutter. You would be impressed how much force a 3/8 roundover bit can generate.
Once you are on the bearing, you can move away from the bit safely. Make sure that you are feeding in the correct direction. Going in the wrong direction can pull the work out of your hands, or your hands toward the bit.
Also, with any work, try to set up a guard to cover the bit area. Since you aren't using your fence, a fence mounted guard won't help, but if you watch Bob and Rick they use a guard that clamps to the table and hovers above the cutter.
Hope this helps,