Being the Best in the World is seriously Underrated … Seth Godin The Dip
You might be wondering how I came to read Seth Godin’s book, ‘The Dip – The Extraordinary Benefits of Knowing When to Quit (And When to Stick)’ published in 2007 early in 2015. He mentioned the idea of The Dip during the Startup Class – these are brilliant live recordings – and I was intrigued.
Message on Back Cover
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, and not much fun at all. 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 bestselling author Seth Godin, what really 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.[tweetthis]Winners quit fast, quit often and quit without guilt[/tweetthis]
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.
A superb book
There are two salient points that struck me from the book:
#.1 Being the Best in the World
Seth uses a brilliant example to showcase the value of being the best in the world. I would imagine that everyone if asked to name an Ice Cream flavour would mention Vanilla in their first 3 answers. Here is an image from the book of the distribution of Ice Cream Sales.
#.2 Winners seek out the Dip
Winners realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you’ll get more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security.
What to do when faced with the Choice of ‘Quit or Not to Quit’
The author provides powerful advice for anyone facing a decision of whether to quit or not. It is almost impossible to summarise – get the book, read it and answer the questions on page 75 (the book is only 80 pages long). In addition to providing a framework for short term situations the book provides a philosophy for how to live your life – how to make sure that you become the best that you can be.
The book acknowledges that quitting is not easy – there are traps that everyone falls into and in fact the system is set up based on the fact that the majority will quit. We are urged to Pick our Dips and page 71 suggests that you should quit before you start.
Here’s an assignment for you. Write it down. Write down under what circumstances you’re willing to quit. And when. And then stick with it.
As people probably know, I was a well paid Manager in a public sector organisation working with startups from 2006 to 2010. I worked hard and was (biased view) very successful but my contract was not renewed. The decision to ‘quit’ was not mine but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have learned so much since I set up my own business. I have moved outside my comfort zone and I hope I have made a fairly unique contributions to my clients.
Recently, after 4 years as this business settles down, I have been thinking that maybe I need another shake up. Seth asks us to do something with the Book and I will. I just have to pick the right dip.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Comments welcome.
p.s The Acknowledgment at the end of the book is brilliant
This book is really short. Short books are hard to write, but you made me do it. My readers are excellent correspondents, and this is something I’ve learned from them along the way: Write less.