At the time of the drafting of this post, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin has 632 customer reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
That’s pretty impressive for telling people that quitting can be beneficial. But he’s so correct that much of the book is “so obvious we’ve overlooked it.”
Still, it’s a great read for just that reason, it states the obvious, and everyone can use a little statement of the obvious because we’re all often oblivious to it.
“Most of the time, we deal with the obstacles by persevering. Sometimes we get discouraged and turn to inspirational writing, like stuff from Vince Lombardi: ‘Quitters never win and winners never quit.’ Bad advice. Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”
What’s so good about quitting? “You really can’t try to do everything, especially if you intend to be the best in the world.”
And Godin even goes so far as to assuage your fears of never being the “best in the world” by defining best in the most completely down to earth, least intimidating way possible. “Best is subjective. I (the consumer) get to decide, not you. World is selfish. It’s my definition, not yours. It’s the world I define, based on my convenience or my preferences. Be the best in my world and you have me, at a premium, right now.”
What is the Dip? It’s the time in a project (job, craft, hobby, business, etc) after the beginning when everything is new and cool and fun and then it gets hard and isn’t really that much fun. When waiting for the upswing begins to become tedious. That’s the Dip. Is it a temporary setback or a total dead end? Godin helps you to define what it is, you just have to take the time to understand that it is what it is.
Why is the Dip important? Because The Dip thins the herd. It’s when many quit, therefore “The Dip creates scarcity; scarcity creates value.”
But Godin goes further than that by taking on the notion that quitting is only a negative. Not only does he destigmatize quitting, but he also writes about the opposite of quitting being “rededication.”
He also discusses how to figure out when to quit and why. In short, in Godin’s own words “This is a very short book about a very important topic: quitting.”
And it’s also a very good read.
You can also listen to Bill Sweeney of The Wicked Theory Podcast and myself discuss this book in-depth on The Palmer Files Episode 001.