I’m sure there are many notes out there, but I often get confused about the minimal setup required to run an ESP8266. You actually only need 4 pins connected:
Connect GND to 0v, VCC and EN to +3.3v.
Then connect GPIO15 via a 2-10k (I usually use 3k3) resistor to GND to specify boot from flash.
And you’re good to go.
Obviously in order to do the initial flash of the device you need to connect the TX/RX and also connect GPIO0 to GND.