The word “success” is tricky.
Unless we have the massive hyperinflation of the Weimer Republic, where a loaf of bread cost 200,000,000,000 Marks by 1923, I can say with absolute certainty that not every writer or artist will make millions of dollars selling a book.
One the other hand, if we define success as our ability to perform at our highest level under pressure, without regard to the amount of recognition or compensation we receive, then I’m in 100% agreement.
Also, that word “eventually” is a little tricky.
Van Gogh died in poverty but eventually became viewed as a success.
It kind of reminds me of the term “in the long run.”
Laissez faire capitalists have always argued that in the long run the market would adjust to inefficiencies created by all the criminals and cheat who took advantage of the system, so there was no reason for government regulation.
John Maynard Keynes reply was, “in the long run we are all dead.”
I think the main take away from the term overnight success is to recognize each individual’s infinite capacity for ignorance and narcissism.
We don’t know much of anything, but think we know everything.
Then, something enters our awareness and we react to it as though we are the first person to discover the event.
My favorite personal experience of this type was when I was introduced to “The Road Less Travelled,” by M. Scott Peck. His insight into the meaning of love and the uncertainty of raising children was just what I needed to learn at a time when my children were really young and my marriage was in turmoil.
I was so eager to tell other people about the book, and proud of my new found wisdom, like the kids who discover a great band long before their first record contract.
Of course, I could only laugh at my foolishness when I found out the book had already been on the NY Times Bestseller list for 15 years.