I want to draw parallels between two paths for success.Although these are not the only ways to fetch success.
First one is the way where you have some role model who inspires you for the act which you have been doing.Another one is the path where you are the first one (or the only one at that time) to opt for it. Its the success achieved by the role model in the past grabs the attention of the followers of the same path. Engineering your own way requires a lot of original thinking,vision and the patience to take the task to the finish mark.The amount of original thinking may differ in both the paths,pioneer path needs more. "Gurukanth Desai" from film "Guru"is an ideal example of the pioneer path star. Without any assistance from the surrounding atmosphere Desai became the greatest industrialist of the country.He didn't have any godfather to guide him en route.
The experiences,the challenges,the skill to handle suddenly arisen and unexpected problems make the path difficult if you are the lone and the first traveller of the path. Each stumbling block along the path has a certain element of surprise and varying potential of risk in it. It needs enormous self belief to trace your own path and to defy the existing pathways. It takes a copernicus to wreck the contemporary believes and stand on own point. The courage behind the firm stand is the product of self belief which comes from correct work basics and right approach.
Even if you have a role model whose ways you can mimic,there can be situations where the problems faced by you and your role model might be different. At many stages you have to be original and contemplation becomes a necessity.
The glory fetched after the successful completion will obviously differ. Its actually the indicator of the hardships faced.
Its not always possible to define your own way,it depends upon the nature of the person taking up the job. To pioneer your path needs a lot of courage where as following the footsteps has reduced risk in it.A person playing safe might choose the later one where as a courageous person would go for the earlier. In my opinion the glory factor might be the tempting reason to prefer the pioneer path over the role model path.