Sometimes it’s perfectly OK to be a quitter according to “the dip” by Seth Godin.

This may seem contrary to everything you’ve heard before. At the same time,  Godin knows what he’s talking about. In his book, The Dip – A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick), Godin shares insight to help you determine if you’re on the right path and if maybe you should quit or stick it out.

We all know that every new project, career opportunity or even hobby, usually starts out with tons of excitement and enthusiasm. Then, somewhere along the line we lose initiative, maybe we’re not as zealous as we once were or perhaps we’re simply stuck in a rut. One thing is for certain. If you continue to do the same thing you’ve always done to get the same results you’ve always gotten that may not be enough to survive let alone thrive in today’s business world.

Ask yourself “Am I doing the best possible job I can do?” Be honest. Chances are there are areas of your performance that really need to be juiced up. Godin poses the question “If you’re not going to put in the effort to be the best possible choice, why bother?”

Why, indeed?

It’s much easier to be mediocre than it is to confront reality and quit. According to Godin, quitting is much harder than you might think. Quitting requires you to realize you’ll never be #1 in the world. At least not at what you’re doing right now. So, it’s easier to put it off, not admit it – it’s easier to settle for mediocre.

Mediocrity is rampant in this day and age. The Dip illustrates lackluster attempts at success such as; ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in a job application, junk mail with misspelled names, salespeople who are eager to open an account but never follow up, doctors who don’t bother to call to see if the prescribed medicines are working. I’m sure you can come up with a handful of examples yourself.

Here’s another question from Godin, “Are you hoping to become a success because you’re the only one being considered?”

If so, it’s time to reassess your own motivation and realize you are not the only game in town. Not only that but the internet has taken business to a global level and you can bet there ARE other choices.

Here’s another thought to ponder. According to Godin, some of our learned behaviors originating from our school days are the source of discontent and even failure. Godin points out “Just about everything we learned in school about life is wrong, but the most wrong thing might very well be this: Being well rounded is the secret to success.”

He goes on to ask, “How often do you look for someone who is actually quite good at things you don’t need them to do?” “How often do you hope your accountant is a safe driver and a decent golfer?”

In a nutshell, it makes more sense to be really good at one thing, your specialty and that will set you apart from the crowd. Chances are you’re really passionate about one thing but can do many. Wouldn’t you be happier focusing on your passion?

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There are, according to Godin, three curves that define almost any type of situation facing you as you try to accomplish your goals.

1) Curve 1 is The Dip: The Dip is where the challenges begin. The combination of bureaucracy and busywork you must deal with in order to become what you really want to be. It’s the hard steps you endure to be the best that you can be. Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip, they lean into it, push harder, change the rules and come out on top.

2) Curve 2 is The Cul-De-Sac: This is the French word for “dead end”. It’s the situation where you continue doing the same thing and nothing changes. It’s doesn’t necessarily get better or worse -it just is. That’s why there are positions referred to as “dead end jobs”. When you realize you’re in the Cul-De-Sac you must get out. Because a dead end keeps you from doing something of real value.

3) Curve 3 is The Cliff: Godin likens this to smoking. Smoking can bring pleasure but over time there is a nasty drop off at the end (emphysema). Smoking is designed to be almost impossible to quit, the longer you do it, the better it feels. The pain of quitting gets bigger and bigger. The Cliff is the situation where you cannot get out (quit) until you fall off or fall apart.

The bottom line is, if it’s worth doing there’s probably a Dip. The Dip creates scarcity and scarcity creates value. The Cul-De-Sac and The Cliff are the curves that lead to failure. Godin says if you find yourself in either of these two curves you need to quit. Not soon, but now.

Grab your copy by clicking this link The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Weigh in by leaving a comment on this post.

Where are you? Have you found The Dip? Are you stuck in the Cul-De-Sac? Ready to fall off of the Cliff??  Is it time for you to quit or stick?


Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect," a content strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the values-based "Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™" communication framework to create marketing messages with integrity by focusing on PASSION points (as seen in Inc. Magazine). She specializes in reverse engineering your most powerful solutions into profitable revenue streams. She offers coaching, consulting, copywriting training, and strategies to effectively market your business. Her content strategy plans are known to produce million-dollar results. She’s a #1 international bestselling author and award-winning speaker available to teach, train, and transform your audience with interactive Business Breakthrough Boutiques. She offers business-building resources on her award-winning blog.