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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
- Publisher : Portfolio; First Edition. First Printing. (May 10, 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 96 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1591841666
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591841661
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This book tries to address a major challenge that I've faced: How do you know when to quit vs. keep pushing through? The issue I have with this book (and others like it) is that much of the advice is anecdotal and cherry-picked to fit the narrative. 1: Capitalize on the "quit-fast, quit-often" mantra. 2: Find someone who became incredibly sucessfull and attribute it to because they knew how to quit working on the wrong things (never mind all the other factors at play). 3: Find someone who quit too early and didn't stick it out. 4: Find someone who quit too late and wasted time. One example here is snowboarding - why start when you won't be the world's best. Really?
While you will get a lot of anecdotes, you won't find a process or formula to help you determine if you're in a dip vs a "cul-de-sac". I'm actually surprised that there isn't an upsell here to help find it for you through a network of private coaches, webinars, or additional online quizzes with one-time use codes. Next time!
My own anecdote to add to this steaming pile:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
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.
Top reviews from other countries
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.
In essence it says, sometimes it's important to stick with things when the going gets tough because the rewards will be worth it, and sometimes it is better to quit. There is some quite generalised advice on how to tell the difference. Oh, and apparently we can all be the best in the world (by redefining 'the world' to mean our immediate context).
Essentially this is a blog post masquerading as a book, a short work that should be even shorter.
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!