Two way to go bankrupt (or two ways to thrive)

Since I’m a terrible reader, I am admittedly just about 100 years late to discover this passage.
But in fairness, at some level, I knew this, but I never had the words for it.

From Hemmingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

What does that mean? As stated here, It’s common to the human experience that we’re rarely motivated to act unless a crisis is upon us. We see this over and over in life experiences: studies, businesses, relationships. It’s not until something large and irreversible happens—when we risk losing all—that we feel compelled to act. But often it’s too late.

But on an optimistic note, gradually and then suddenly can also be the path to good things!