The formula for success in photography
"We each have to find our own way. It’s a process that involves indecision, loneliness and uncertainty. There is no path and no road signs, encouraging words may be few, if any. If you choose this path, your rewards will be fleeting moments of intense joy and exquisite awareness. Those working in safer more predictably structured endeavors will have no idea what they miss or what we are talking about." – Jay Maisel
The formula for success in photography is something that some photographers are always in search of. They seek a road map, a template that promises them success if they do steps A, B, C and D. They want to succeed but even more they want that guarantee.
So, bad news: There is no formula. There is no road map. There is no template that will guarantee success. You can't copy another successful photographer and expect to succeed by following in his/her footsteps. You have to figure it out on your own. This is one of the many things that makes photography - and any other creative endeavor - so difficult, so disheartening, so exasperating and so enigmatic. It is also one of the many things that makes photography so rewarding, so uplifting, so enjoyable and so inspiring.
There is good news, though: It is possible to set goals in photography and realize them. One of the key factors in achievement of your goals in photography is perseverance. Nothing of value is easily achieved; it is the work, the struggle the sacrifice and the difficulty that gives a goal or an achievement its value.
Some will ask, "Where do I start?" You start where you are. Some will ask, "What do I do?" You figure it out. Some will ask, "when will I be successful?" The answer to that question lies in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsSC2vx7zFQ