The Dip by Seth Godin
The Dip by Seth Godin
“Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment” - Seth Godin (p. 64)
- The dip - where there is a barrier to great success
- The cul-de-sac - where nothing will change when you reach a certain point
- The cliff - when you can’t quit until you fall off
The dip can be what separates mediocrity and the average from ‘superstardom’ If you’re not going to be excellent, why are you doing it?
“Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip. They push harder, changing the rules as they go. Just because you know you’re in the Dip doesn’t mean you have to live happily with it. Dips don’t last quite as long when you whittle at them.” (p. 19)
Decide in advance when to quit. Don’t quit when you’re panicking or the pressure is great - decide when you’ve got a cool, level head and can approach the issue rationally. Write down the circumstances where you’re willing to quit and when.
Who are you trying to influence? If you’re trying to influence a single person, you might be trying their patience. When you’re approaching a market, it’s different strokes for different folks, so you may be able to find a better fit. You can make progress with a market, and it gets easier as you become more entrenched.
Measuring your progress means you can see if you’re pulling ahead or not.
Questions to ask before quitting (p 75-76)
- Is this a Dip, a Cliff, or a Cul-de-Sac?
- If it’s a Cul-de-Sac, how can I change it into a Dip?
- Is my persistence going to pay off in the long run?
- Am I engaged with just one person (or organization), or do my actions in this situation spill over into the entire marketplace?
- When should I quit? I need to decide now, not when I’m in the middle of it, and not when part of me is begging to quit.
- If I quit this task, will it increase my ability to get through the Dip on something more important?
- If I’m going to quit anyway, is there something dramatic I can do instead that might change the game?
- Should I really be calling on IBM? Should I really be trying to get on Oprah?
- What chance does this project have to be the best in the world?
- Who decides what best is?
- Can we make the ‘world’ smaller?
- If I like my job, is it time to quit?
- Is doing nothing better than planning on quitting and then doing something great?
- Are you avoiding the remarkable as a way of quitting without quitting?
If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.