Today I'm going to take a look at a great resource that you may or may not have heard of, one which changed the way I thought about building my business and one that I hope provides you with some useful insights into why it is that you may have struggled to focus or commit to a particular course of action.
I'm talking about a great book called “The Dip” by Seth Godin. I first heard about this book from a colleague in a mastermind group I was a part of and he highly recommended I grab a copy and read it through as I was struggling at the time with staying focused on a particular course of action and he felt this book would help me to understand what I was feeling and what to do next.
And he was right…
So, what is “The Dip”?
Firstly, it's a great book written by none other than Seth Godin founder of Yoyodyne and Squidoo and author of other such books as Linchpin, Tribes and Purple Cow. But seeing as this post is about recommending said book that's not really the answer to the question you're looking for now is it?
Essentially “The Dip” is best described as that stage in starting a business (lifestyle, online or otherwise) when the excitement and initial enthusiasm begins to wear off. That point where you've managed to knock off the easier things on your ‘new business' to-do list such as coming up with a name, getting a logo, setting up your website and/or blog, getting your first product onto the market or making a few sales (affiliate or direct).
It could come quite early into your new venture when you start to question whether you have made the right decision or are pursuing the right niche, or it could be a little later when you're looking at how to expand your business and grow it into something more than just a part time or hobby income that you do on the weekends. This is the part of the business building phase where most people are going to jump ship and the key is knowing whether or not you're doing the right thing by sticking with it and doing something exceptional.
How can “The Dip” help you?
Well, the subtitle of the book is “A little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick)” and honestly it does exactly that. It challenges the reader to commit to creating or being exceptional and coming through the dip to deliver something extraordinary that people won't be able stop themselves from talking about, recommending and ultimately choosing.
Seth takes the time to help you to identify where you are in your journey and provides the tools to recognise whether you are in a dip, cul-de-sac or on a cliff and what action you need to take based on each. Additionally he goes into depth as to why it's actually okay to quit and why winners actually do it all the time (but only when it's right to do so), which makes an interesting change from and flies in the face of the “quitters never win and winners never quit” adage that is so common.
This book will give you permission to quit, which can be an incredible feeling, but only under the right circumstances. The struggle that you will inevitably face is worth it and by helping you to be ready for it this in itself will help you to get through it, especially if you have evaluated the benefits of doing so before you even began.
If you've committed to becoming a master at something, recognise that it's going to be extremely difficult but have determined that it is going to be worth it then you have already made the decision to get through the dip. And by having already made this decision you will avoid making it while you are in the dip which can be the worst time to do so as this is when you will only be able to focus on the negative and find it difficult to reconcile why you started in the first place.
Here's a selection of the key quotes from within the book that help to drive Seth's point home:
- “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”
- “Almost everything in life worth doing is controlled by the Dip.”
- “The Dip creates scarcity; scarcity creates value.”
- “Knowing that you’re facing a Dip is the first step in getting through it.”
- “Quitting when you hit the Dip is a bad idea. If the journey you started was worth doing, then quitting when you hit the Dip just wastes the time you’ve already invested. Quit in the Dip often enough and you’ll find yourself becoming a serial quitter, starting many things but accomplishing little.”
- “The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”
- “The decision to quit or not is a simple evaluation: Is the pain of the Dip worth the benefit of the light at the end of the tunnel?”
- “Quitting is better than coping because quitting frees you up to excel at something else.”
And believe me there is much more in this book that you will get value from and will challenge how you approach your existing or new ventures in the future.
“The Dip” by Seth Godin is a fantastic book that allows you to look at quitting from a different perspective. It's not long but it packs in a lot of value and relevant information for anyone who is serious about building a business or mastering a skill. I purchased it as an audiobook and have found myself listening to it on multiple occasions in the car and can usually get through it in just a couple of sittings.
Be warned, this book will challenge you when it comes to starting any new venture and if you follow the advice given you may find yourself quitting more often, but on the positive side you should be doing it for the right reasons and at the right time.
At the very least you should find yourself with a comprehensive set of tools at your disposal to help you to make the best possible decision with regards to quitting and I've no doubt that this will come in handy for anyone interested in creating an online or lifestyle business.
Until next time…