Should you quit? Or stick it out? - The Dip by Seth Godin
Hey friend, Graham Cochrane here, and I am reading a book a week this year. That's right, I'm doing the 52 Book Challenge, and you can join me and read a book a week or two books a month or a book a month, whatever you like. If you wanna get the reading list of these books that I am reviewing here on these mini micro episodes, check out grahamcochrane.com/52books. There's no opt-in, there's no lead magnet, it's just, you can see my updated list of books in the eight categories that I'm reading in this year.
Book number one this year was The Dip by Seth Godin. Tiny little book, so I made it easy on myself to kick it off. And I highly recommend this book for a lot of reasons. One, Seth Godin is a genius. Anything he's ever written, I've loved, and he's got the gift of saying a lot in less. As you'll see is how wonderfully, mercifully short his books are, yet they contain more wisdom than the average 300, 400 page personal development book.
Keeping this to the point, there was a lot in this book that I resonated with, but I would say the big line that got me was that quitting creates scarcity and scarcity creates value. The premise of this book is that any endeavor that's worthwhile, it's going to start out fun and exciting, and then there's going to be this dip where it sucks and it's hard. And the dip is when everybody quits because it's hard.
This creates scarcity, which creates value. So there's value, plenty of money and upside to be made and success and impact to have if you are the person that doesn't quit when you're in the dip and you stick it out and make it through the other side. Now there's two problems here. One is you don't know if you have what it takes to make it through that dip. Just sheer determination won't get you through a dip. It has to be a good fit for you. There's a reason why not everyone can get through the dip. It's not just because it's hard, it's because it's impossible for a lot of us.
I would never make it to the NBA no matter how hard I tried. I just don't have the height. I mean, some people might argue. But there is some dips that just aren't worth staying in. But some dips are worth fighting for. And that's what this book is all about is knowing when to quit and when to stick it out. Most things you need to quit. And that's not failure. That's just being strategic and saying, I'm not gonna make it through that dip, so I'm gonna quit. But I'm gonna go find a dip that I can actually get through so that on the other side, I'm one of the scarce, which makes me valuable.
And an example of this he gives is when Jack Welch took over General Electric, GE, and his whole deal was if we can't be number one or number two in an industry, we must get out. Because at the time, you know, GE has lots of different business models. So Seth writes, why sell a billion dollar division that's making a profit quite happily while ranking number four in market share? Easy because it distracts management attention. It sucks resources and capital and focus and energy.
And most of all, it teaches people in the organization that it's okay not to be the best in the world. Jack quit the dead ends, as Seth Godin calls them. By doing so, he freed up resources to get his other businesses through the dip. And I'll end with this.
Quitting something that is good, that you're good at, that's actually been profitable or successful is hard. Quitting anything feels like a failure or an admission of failure, but it's not. I quit a million dollar a year business, the recording revolution, because it wasn't the thing for me anymore. I had taken it to the top where I wanted to take it. I wasn't in a dip. There wasn't any more upside for me. I was done with it. And it took me a lot of courage and three years of stalling. to move on and start my personal brand, grahamcochran.com. I've even quit masterminds and membership sites. I've quit profitable multi-six figure income streams. And I've felt like this book helped validate some of those decisions because I wanna go big on something else and I wanna find the dip that's worth staying into and leaning into so that I can be at the top of a certain mountain, not every mountain, but at the certain mountain. So the question for you is,
What do you need to quit in order that you can stick it out for something else? What's worth staying in a hard frustrating dip? And what's just a dead end that you're never gonna really get to the mountain top on the other side? Could be a relationship, could be a business endeavor, could be a hobby. I don't know, you let me know. That is the dip by Seth Godin, a little book that teaches you when to quit and when to stick it out. For the rest of my reading list check out Grahamcochrane.com/52books
And I'll have another micro episode just like this, same time, same place next week, as I'll be doing all year long. Thanks for tuning in.
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