This topic can be very complex, as experiences vary a lot from person to person, and the definition of "successful" can be a moving target. However, there are a few frameworks that you can implement and move towards achieving success. I like to use the PREMISE-VISION-PURPOSE-STRATEGY framework, about which you can learn more below:
1. Start with a PREMISE
What are your beliefs around the idea of success? Do you believe that you have to work long hours to be successful? Is success tied to any amount of money (yearly income or net worth)? Do you believe that only after a number of years of experience you can be successful? Ponder your premises and keep what makes the most sense to you.
2. Define your VISION
What exactly does success mean to you? Is it having your own office with dozens of employees? Is it a nice home? Maybe an educational title?
The idea here is to create a (few) picture(s) that will help you connect with the idea of the meaning of success to you and how you will know that you have become successful.
3. Think about your PURPOSES
Why do you want to follow the route of success? Why is it worth the effort? Is it because you want to have more quality of life? Maybe to achieve a better life-work balance?
4. Your STRATEGY
With the previous topics defined, determine what are the steps that you need to take to implement them. Define milestones, timelines and everything that you can.
For instance, let's suppose that you've defined (your premise) that to be successul you have to be able to enjoy the money that you have earned and have enough time to do so. Your vision of success puts you in the role of the head of an office with assistants working for you, and your clients recognizing you for your high level of professionalism, which ultimately gives you the power to choose your customers and even turn down some offers. The purpose of doing so is to travel the (post-COVID) world to attend business conferences in fancy hotels, and have a great quality of life, with time to enjoy your meals, engage in personal activities, connecting with people who are important to you, etc.
With that in mind, your strategy goes through the decision of owning a business or achieving a high-ranking position in a corporation, investing and managing your money well, committing to personal activities (non-work), etc; when will you achieve that level of success. Let's go one step further and suppose that you decide to own a business, and reach that level of success in 5 years from now. What type of business are you going to own? Do you have a business plan? Maybe in the first and second years you can work long hours to create the foundation your business needs to take off and take it easier in the following years? What do you need to do today to help you create a successful business? Do you need to learn new skills? Do you need funding? These are just some questions, of course. Keep track of your milestones and timelines to ensure that you are on the right path to success.
This preparation work can be long (from weeks to months, depending on where you're at now), but very inspiring and pleasurable at the same time. You will learn a lot about yourself. You will have to learn what successful people who inspire you do or have done to achieve success. The truth is that there's no right answer, and only you can decide what works for you.
I know that this is not the most straightforward answer, but it is a broad topic. I hope to have helped, nevertheless.
Feel free to reach out if you need!