Are you trying to power through some tough times? Are you really going to make it and succeed? Maybe you’re actually in a cul-de-sac (essentially a dead end) where there’s no chance for success and you need to quit…
Dreary thoughts, I know, but they’re reality checks everyone needs to go through. According to Seth Godin’s book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), people who succeed don’t do so because they never quit, they succeed because they know when to quit, which battles to avoid, and when to persevere through tough times.
At the recommendation of our advisor, John and I listened to the self-narrated audiobook version from iTunes which took a few hours to finish and sparked a few more hours of discussion. As with most of Seth’s books, the concepts are simple, but he does a good job of explaining and illustrating with stories.
One of the examples was about snowboarding and how it’s easy to learn, but there’s clearly a “dip” before you can truly master it. He made the argument that unless you have the dedication and resources (time and money) to persevere, you might as well not even start snowboarding. It seems like an extreme proclamation, but it gets his point across. It also hit pretty close to home since I did exactly that. A lifelong skier, I gave snowboarding a shot, learned it pretty well for a few seasons, but hit the wall (well actually fell off a jump onto my face and slid down the mountain) and gave up. Had this been a business, I would have wasted plenty of money and time.
The key takeaway we got from the book was that if you’re not going to be the best in the “world” at what you’re doing, don’t even start. Being the “best in the word” means you’ll have to power through the inevitable “dip” along the way to success. The keys to success here are to:
- define your “world” appropriately, and
- be aware of your capabilities, resources and commitment
The other thing we learned from Seth is that you don’t get credit for starting something then just giving up when the “dip” gets tough. It’s one thing to quit because you recognize a cul-de-sac/dead end, but if you just quit because the dip is hard, then you’ve neither succeeded or learned anything. What’s to say you’re going to succeed at the next venture that inevitably has a dip? If the dip is too hard, change your world and your goal to something attainable given your resources and capabilities.
Take a few minutes to think about it.
Are there things that are taking valuable resources away from your primary goal that maybe you should quit? Are you going to be the best in your “world”? Should we stop blogging?
I’ve love to hear any thoughts or stories.