Quit Strategically: Seth Godin, “The Dip”

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
by Seth Godin
Hardcover book of 96 pages
To be published: May, 2007 by Portfolio

Why would someone write a book about quitting? We’re taught that quitting is for the weak… for losers… for those who lack moxie?

But Seth Godin’s upcoming book “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)” is about quitting. (Seth knows controversial book topics get attention… a recent book of his was “All Marketers are Liars”)

Long story short… Seth suggests strategic quitting. Stop the stuff that’s not getting you to your long-range goal… and try another tactic.

In addition to great advice… the book is peppered with motivational quotable quotes…

Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.


Quit the wrong stuff.
Stick with the right stuff.
Have the guts to do one or the other.

The “dip” that Seth refers to is that low, challenging part experienced after the high, fun, and excitement of starting something and before the other high-point of being the best at something… “The long slog between starting and mastery.”

The Dip is the combination of bureaucracy and busywork you must deal with in order to get certified for scuba diving.

The Dip is the difference between the easy “beginner” and the more useful “expert” approach in skiing or fashion design.

The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.

What separates those we have heard of, those who are “great” at something from those you’ve never heard of… is survival of the dip. The difference between mediocre and remarkable!

When the pain gets so bad that you’re ready to quit you’ve set yourself up as someone with nothing to lose. And someone with nothing to lose has quite a bit of power. You can go for broke. Challenge authority. Attempt unattempted alternatives. Lean into the problem; lean so far that you might just lean right through it.

To be successful focus on the long-term strategy… your big goal. Work through this hard part… the dip… even if you need to modify your short-term strategy.

I’d recommend a companion book to Seth’s “Dip” especially if you’re finding yourself a bit bogged down in your own dip experience… “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.

The Dip is under 90 page long, yet chock-full of inspiring advice.

Idea Sandbox recommends it.