Flaubert said that success is a result, not a goal. (Le succés est une conséquence et non un but). It is a consequence of what you've done. Seeing it as a goal, deferred to the future, means making it more nebulous, less grounded. Of course, until it exists, it has to remain merely a goal.
What this axiom seems to suggests is the emptiness of the notion of "promise." Seen before the fact, success is a big question mark. Seen in retrospect, it seems almost inevitable. So success is almost a sure thing, the logical consequence of a series of actions.
Easy for me to say, I guess. I've always seen it more or less like this.