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The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) Hardcover – May 10, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Absolutely delightful, combining his wise aphorisms and anecdotes with Hugh MacLeod's darkly brilliant business-card cartoons."—Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail
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I too have heard Vince Lombardi's famous advice throughout my lifetime: "Winners never quit; quitters never win." Like most great sounding platitudes, they aren't complete or in-depth This book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), teaches you that you need to quit strategically under two major conditions, you are in a cul-de-sac (dead end) or about to face a cliff. Otherwise, to be the best in "the world," you need to push through the "dip" or find the shortcut through it. Quitting strategically isn't failing; it's conserving your energy and resources to go after a dip you can push through.
I particularly liked that he also specified that you need to evaluate your available resources and the size of the marketplace and the size of your competition in that marketplace. Define a "world" that you can be the best in, as Sara Lee did. "In the Netherlands, a much smaller market, Senseo has reached a 40-percent market share of all households."
This would be a great book to learn in say--middle school when it would do you some serious good while making your way through the rigors of an education. Schools mostly teach us to get slough it out for the grade no matter what--which can be good in school, but a disaster when you're sticking with a dead-end job for the health insurance. And horrible to wake up retired with all of your passion spent someone else's dream.
Godin talked about the Dip keeping out the weak-willed so that those who make it are rewarded because of their scarcity. Good words.
Godin talks about how a person would have to give up a decade of their life to their goal--without the distractions of a 'balanced' life. You can't have it all unless you've convinced someone else to give up their dreams to help them realize yours. That role was once relegated to wives, who raised children allowing husbands to dedicate themselves to their job/passion unhindered by the daily druggery of life.
The Dip reminds me of Jospeh Campbell's work, The Hero's Journey. At each door of the journey, the hero must walk through a door guarded by a guardian who embodies what the hero fears most of all. It's all about working through your fears--including the dark night of the soul--in order to finish the journey. The Dip appears to the 'dark night of the soul', your deepest fear, and it's the reason most people prefer to settle, because what's inside of us is the scariest journey of all.
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Seth charts the course of a new journey where you start out feeling passionate and excited with a momentum that fuels you. He then shows how you start to DIP as things get harder, the necessity to learn and experience mistakes kicks in, and you realise it's not going to be as easy as you thought in the beginning. He shows how it starts to be less fun and your motivation wanes to the extent where it's difficult to keep going and keep moving as your goal seems to get further away from you. You lose site of the glorious reward you imagined as things never seem to go right and your heart starts sinking.
Seth illustrates that this is the part where you need to know the difference between hitting a cul-de-sac that's going nowhere or working through the DIP because you know it's the right thing to do and it will be worth it in the end. It's a question of realising you're on the wrong course and changing it or keeping going to be the best you can ever be in your chosen ambition. He shows you how to assess whether you are on the right path and if you are, how to stay motivated and work on to win your prize.
Seth says 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. He says you'll never be number one at anything without picking your shots very carefully and he's right.
The Dip is a short, inspiring book that will help you do just that. It certainly helped me A LOT and it did forever alter the way I think about working hard to achieve success.
The books' central idea is that each goal is easy to start with, but then hits a "dip" of difficulty which we need to push through. We must therefore "give up" on goals unless outweighed by the longtime benefits of pushing through the dip; or not start the pursuit of goals to which we know in advance we will not commit when the path becomes difficult.
Recommended and worth the price.
Quitters never Win and Winners never Quit; "Wrong" abruptly says Godin, winners do quit all the time. tactically rather than strategically he infers. My simplification rather than Godin's.
The wisdom in this book is from several (NOT TOO MANY) real-life examples that he gives.
AND - he writes less, less in this particular case is definitively more.
12th April 2019
Many people might at first think this is a short book when receiving it. Don't be fooled, every single page is gold dust. It's as long as it needs to be. Quality over quantity is the order of the day here.... Brilliant book!
It's not a self help book or business guide in the traditional sense, though you could use it well for both.
Rather, this is a great little study in how to change your mind around the tasks you chose to commit to, or chose to let go of...
Simply written, breezy but actually pretty profound, it makes one point, makes it well, repeats it a few times, then gets out.
At under 80 pages it won't take long to get through, but I loved every word of it and it's had a massive effect on my thinking. Love it.
1. Make sure that what you are doing is worth the effort. Do not start undertakings which will turn out to be cul-de-sacs.
2. Never start something if you do not have the resources (time, money etc) to get through the dip. Once you have got through the dip you will be among the best and get extraordinary rewards.
3. Aim to be the best and get extraordinary rewards. Do not start something if you end up being only average (e.g. aim to be the best salesman, do not end up as an average salesman).
4. Do not be afraid to give up some things, so you can concentrate on the those important things where you can get through the dip.
5 Know when to stick with something and when to quit. There is nothing wrong with quitting so you can concentrate on those things when you can get through the dip.
The book is short, easy to read. I think to get the best out of it requires the reader to stop and contemplate and apply what the author is writing in each section, and then re-read the book occasionally.
You know, there are thousands of people in the world getting in the habit of running these days and finding pleasure in it. It is a business now, a trend, a movement. A good one, I mean. I am no different. I like it. I Joined.
Running just because everybody else is doing just gets you started but it wont get you through the time and effort needed to run one marathon, less even run marathons every year for decades. Don’t you agree?
In the book “The Dip”, Seth Godin talks about the Dip that comes after you start something new and the extraordinary results that come after if you insist in doing that something for a long enough period of time and effort (if its worth for you, otherwise quit fast).
Well, let me share with you the way I found to consistently keep on running and how marathon running is now a part of my lifestyle. How I am pushing through the Dip of marathon running.
Here it goes:
3 – Running a marathon forces me to have a goal that require preparation for a long period of time, at least 3 months of training. Makes me think about training as a must, not a should. Also because of the financial commitment with both the marathon subscription fee and the transportation costs that I decided to always pay in advance.
2 – Running a marathon gives me the opportunity to have a short break with my family and running buddies. Specially because I chose events far away from home. This year I am aiming for Stockholm in May, Dublin in October and I am still deciding which will be the 3rd one. Any suggestions?
1 – I dedicate each marathon to one person I love. One of the things I hate in life are funerals, specially the part where people regret what they didn’t do or say to the person that is now dead. Why didn’t you do or say what you now regret while they were still alive? Well I want to be laughing at the wonderful life that person had with no regrets. I dedicate each marathon to a person I love, first by telling her what I am going to do and why I am doing it, then run the marathon with that person in mind (that is my finish line) and then offer them the finishers medal wrapped in a nice frame like a picture frame. And I have a long list of people I love. I must live long enough to do enough marathons for everybody I love.
So, if we make decisions and choices all the time, and if we make choices based on avoiding pain (mostly) and searching for pleasure, I am happy that this framework is working out for me. What works for you?
you can probably get the same info for free in a blog post by the author.