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The Dip: The Extraordinary Benefits of Knowing When to Quit (and When to Stick) [Kindle Edition]

Seth Godin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Every new project (or career or relationship) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point - really hard, really not fun. At this point you might be in a Dip, which will get better if you keep pushing, or a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better no matter how hard you try. The hard part is knowing the difference and acting on it. According to marketing guru and best-selling author Seth Godin, what sets successful entrepreneurs (and pop stars and weight lifters and car salesmen) apart from everyone else is their ability to give up on Cul-de-Sacs while staying motivated in Dips. Winners quit fast, quit often and quit without guilt - until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. You'll never be number one at anything without picking your shots very carefully. The Dip is a short, entertaining book that helps you do just that. It will forever alter the way you think about success.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yet another easily digestible social marketplace commentary from the blogger/author who penned Purple Cow and Small is the New Big, Godin prescribes a cleverly counter-intuitive way to approach one's potential for success. Smart, honest, and refreshingly free of self-help posturing, this primer on winning-through-quitting is at once motivational and comically indifferent, making the lofty goal of "becoming the best in the world" an achievable proposition-all you need is to "start doing some quitting." The secret to "strategic quitting" is seeking, understanding and embracing "the Dip," "the long slog between starting and mastery" in which those without the determination or will find themselves burning out. As such, Godin demonstrates how to identify and quit your "Cul-de-Sac" and "Cliff" situations, in which no amount of work will lead to success. Godin provides tips for finding your Dip, taking advantage of it and becoming one of the few (inevitably valuable) players to emerge on the other side; he also provides guidelines for quitting with confidence. Quick, hilarious and happily irreverent, Godin's truth-that "we fail when we get distracted by tasks we don't have the guts to quit"-makes excellent sense of an often-difficult career move.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of the bestsellers Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside!, All Marketers Are Liars, and Small Is the New Big, among other books. He is also the editor of The Big Moo, the founder and CEO of Squidoo, and one of the most popular business bloggers in the world.

Product Details

  • File Size: 208 KB
  • Print Length: 90 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002IKLMN4
  • Publisher: Piatkus (February 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749928301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749928308
  • ASIN: B004LX0DHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,035 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
545 of 594 people found the following review helpful
The Dip, by Seth Godin, is a very small book (80 pages) that says, in short:

- Winners quit (regroup. cut their losses, switch gears) whenever necessary on the path to winning.

- Be the best, and the world comes knocking at your door.

- Work through the pain, because the reward is waiting for you further down the road.

If any of these comments/suggestions seem unclear, take at look at The Dip.

If you understand already, you've just saved $12.95.

This is not a "how-to" book. It is meant to be a motivational piece of writing. Work hard... the financial rewards are greatest for the hardest worker. Work through "the dip," or that period where the gains don't seem to be coming as quickly as you'd like. Don't stop running the marathon at mile 25.

Look, the very successful don't read these books. The barely successful can't read these books. So it is written for the somewhat successful, or the person who is looking for "something" else. Here's the shortened version: "Work and study hard. Don't give up. Persevere. However, consider alternatives. Share this book with others."

Don't get me wrong... this is not, in any sense, a bad book, or a book giving bad advice. To me, the advice seems pretty obvious.

Work hard, play hard, and be well.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simple prescription (too simple?) September 6, 2007
Much of Godin's advice makes sense, although it's not especially original. Know when you're going to quit and have an exit strategy. Don't get stuck in a cul-de-sac: a dead end.

Those who focus on a market or skill do reap greater rewards than those who generalize. Among scholars, picking a tiny slice and expanding will reap big rewards. Remove distractions from your life.

Godin's power curves are very convincing. There is a huge difference between Number 1 and Number 2 when you look at ice cream flavors and box office sales. But sometimes a decision to rank lower can be strategic. Some gurus advise against aiming to be Number 1 or 2 on a search engine, because you'll get more tire-kicking clicks.

Much of Godin's advice makes sense for individual as well as corporate career planning. Most careers have dips. Many people find themselves in cul de sacs. What he calls "the cliff" resembles a comfort zone: "The longer you do it, the harder to quit." As a career consultant, I think the cliff is far more common than Godin suggests.

Two problems with this book:
(1) In real life, it's often hard to distinguish between a cul de sac and a dip and careers often morph from one to the other without warning.

In fact, the book's examples inadvertently demonstrate this ambiguity. On page 38, Godin suggests that the helpful mailroom clerk might rise to CEO. On page 62, Doug gets branded because he's been with the company too long: everyone remembers when he started.

We should note that Jeffrey Pfeffer's book, What Were They Thinking, actually contradicts Godin's tips on pages 38-39: Pfeffer suggests that CEO wannabes *not* suck it up but instead stand out.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book is in The Dip November 28, 2009
I read the entire book, and feel it could have been a great book if it deliver on the promise of the title of knowing when to quit and knowing when to stick with something. It does not. The Dip is about the place between the exciting new start of something, and the slump before mastery, or what Godin says "Being the best in the world."

This book in my opinion is in the dip. It had a good start, but is far, far from being the best in the world on this important life changing subject. What the book needed badly is tools for evaluating when you should quit and when you should stick it out. This book felt like more of a rant then a serious study from an expert on the subject who has real life experience or who has worked through the process with a good number of people and learned effective tools to share with others.

It seem like Godin quit while still in the dip with writing this book. Maybe he should have followed his own advise and stuck it out and created something great, or quit before he published this book.
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186 of 221 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Godin is the master communicator of the obvious. May 27, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
OK, I keep buying Godin's books expecting more. But, all I get is content that seems like a well constructed blog posting. Seth is a very good writer and communicator, but this book added zero to my life. It is a very short book about quitting stuff you're not good at and sticking with (or starting) things you're not good at. Life is short. The longer you dwell in mediocrity, the longer it will take you to become exceptional. Contrary to the book's claim, it doesn't really teach you WHEN to quit or when to stick...other than when the goal is worthwhile. Such an examination takes more than just reading some words. There is very little thought-provoking content here. It seems like a summarized rip-off of Marcus Buckhingham and the "strengths" books...which are excellent and unlike this book...may change your life. Godin is well respected in marketing, but how many more collections of blogs (small is the new big), other people's works (purple cow), and short discourses about the obvious can he keep putting out? It's like people who compile ezines.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is it - just to the point!
Published 7 days ago by Aleksander
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Seth is a genius--great book.
Published 11 days ago by Deborah Carlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good points....
Published 12 days ago by Doctoral student
5.0 out of 5 stars Not good to panic and jump
A very practical book about cliffs, cul de sacs, and the dip. We have to pass through the dip on our way to excellence. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Andy Atwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting !
A nice read for all those who give up at the slightest trouble. Well crafted and can be read by all professionals.
Published 28 days ago by abhinav dadhich
3.0 out of 5 stars Different perspective
Makes you think and look differently at your approaches and decision making.
A good handful of takeaways to add to your toolbox.
Published 1 month ago by O. Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth puts into a language that you can easily wrap you mind around
Clear and Concise. Seth puts into a language that you can easily wrap you mind around. Great job Seth.
Published 1 month ago by Kevin Neal
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick motivational read
I decided to read this book as a way of inspiring me to know when to do more and when to do less. Timing is everything in to today's society and Seth Godin explains that very well... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JLopez611
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep, It Might Be Time to Quit
Creative people, this is the book to get! You think about quitting those projects or gigs when the going gets rough. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tieuel Legacy
5.0 out of 5 stars When to Quit Like a Winner
Another Seth Godin masterpiece! I read this little book after I had spent two years in the Dip, struggling painfully through it. But all along I felt it was worth it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laura Stamps, Copywriter
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More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of eighteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It's Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of,. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

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