Seth Godin teaches you when to quit or stick?
I read a lot of references about Seth Godin but had not actually read anything by him and when I heard he had made his 5000 post on his blog, I thought I should check him out. I came across his book The Dip and read it in a couple of hours. I am not
bragging that I read it so quickly or that it was a book that I could not put down, it is just that it is a very little book and is a very easy read.
It is a little book but in fact it could have been shorten to one sentence: “Quit when you know you will not be successful, stick when you know you will be successful.”
The advise is simple enough and I am not sure why more people do not know about such a simple formula but I guess that is why the book needed to be written. Sometimes we just do not see the obvious until someone else points it out for us.
Seth even suggest that if you are not going to be successful avoid the dip all together by not trying. The question I have is how do you know if you are going to be successful until you have tried.
His example on page 54 uses the Boston Marathon as an analogy of succeeding when you can see that you are going to reach your goal and sticking through the urge to quit. He states that no one quits the race when they are in the last 25 miles because they can see the finish line.
This made me think how many runners who enter the marathon believe they will finish first. If the only runners who enter the race were runners who knew they would finish first, how many would enter the race. There must be some other reason for entering the race. There must be something more important to them then finishing first. Perhaps just being able to cross the finish line is a worthy goal.
If you are the second and third runner and you see number one about to cross the finish line should you quit because you know you are not going to finish in first place? The book does recommend quitting as an intelligent strategy.
On page 60 Mr. Godin tells us a story about poor Doug. Doug it seems has worked very hard in business development and sales. He handled the Microsoft account for seven years until he got a promotion and was put in charge of a division of 150 people the second largest division in the company. Then apparently tragedy strikes and Doug is promoted again. However it is only a lateral promotion to strategic alliances where he is well respected and is making a lot of money. Poor Doug he has worked his way into a respected division and is making a lot of money. Seth says it is time for him to quit and why should he quit, because Doug has hit a plateau. A plateau, doesn’t that mean he has made it out of the dip. He is on a plateau! I thought that was the point of the book. Doug worked through the dip. He made it to the top but Seth states that Doug is in a cul-de-sac and that his career is over.
Now I live on a street with a cul-de-sac at both ends of the street. I like it because there is very little traffic on our street and that brings up my second disagreement. Maybe some people like living on the cul-de-sac. Maybe Doug likes where he is. Maybe he likes being well respected and making a lot of money. I think he should be congratulated for his accomplishments. Doug ran the marathon and crossed the finish line.
I do agree with Seth that the dip creates a scarce percentage of people who will achieve number one because not everyone can endure the obstacles that confront them. The dip creates quality because mediocre will never be able to get out of the dip. I also agree that we need to reevaluate our game plan in order to determine if we are on the right track to our accomplishments. We have to be able to develop a long term plan so that we will be able to cut our losses if we see that we are not reaching the original goals. Unfortunately I don’t think the book accomplishes it’s goal. I don’t think the book offers anything instructive in determining when to quit or when to stick. I did conclude that may be what we need to learn is not when to quit or stick but when to alter our goals.
If you have any thoughts on The Dip by Seth Godin please post them. May be you got something out of the book that I missed.
In the beginning there was chaos and randomness. Then Google said let there be order and then there was order and it was good and free.
Throughout the Land of Web, pages multiplied in the order that was given them and Google said this is good and I will be the one search engine that all shall follow. It soon came to pass that the number of faithful followers grew and Google said let there be my favorites who will rise above the others less faithful and earn their place in my ranks and so it was. However the favors bestowed upon those who achieved the coveted ranking of Google, created envy in those who were not so blessed and the unblessed grew discontented. The unblessed sought out the secrets of ranking and used the forbidden knowledge to seek Google’s approval and it was granted to those who used their newly found powers.
In the days that past Google looked down upon its creation and found those who had discovered its secrets were controlling the gifts of ranking for their own gains and Google became angry.
“This is not good.” said Google, “You have taken my gifts to you, fed on the knowledge of ranking and have forsaken your faithfulness to me.”
Google released a mighty plague upon all of the people of the Land of Web and took away the secrets known as keywords and alter forever the means of attaining its favorers. The great plague spread quickly throughout the Land of Web and smote down the ranking of those who thought they could control their placement on the pages of the Great and Powerful Google. The masters of the web trembled before the might of Google and fled in fear of the fierce hand that covered the Land of Web.For a time the Land of Web was covered in darkness and many of the masters of the web erected sites to appease the vengeance of Google. These sites grew in the images of Google and followed the commandments set down by the Great and Powerful Google.
There was quiet in the Land of Web and the pages of the masters of web became fruitful once more and multiplied. Google looked down upon what it had created and saw that the masters of web in the Land of Web had begun to thrive and grew wealthy from their labors and Google said;
“You have benefited from the gifts I have so generously bestowed upon you. I wish to honor the faithful among you by granting you a place closer to my side. If you wish to rank in my graces then you must pay homage to me. If the homage is worthy of my blessing I will grant you an equally valuable placement closer to my side.”
Many did pay homage and the faithful saw that they did earn a place closer to the all powerful Google. However as it was before it came to pass once more that there were those of the Land of Web who did not wish to pay homage but desired the placement next to the side of Google. It was discovered by those of little faith that if they could earn blessing from another master of the web that then they could benefit from the placement of others. They began to pay for these linked blessings to rise in the ranking of the Land of the Web.It came to pass as it had done before that Google looked down on the Land of the Web and grew angry that money was being exchanged for the favors of linking and again sent a mighty plague down upon the land. Many sites were laid to waste and Pandamonium spread across the Land of Web, much was loss. Google commanded that sites in the Land of Web must show that they are faithful and relevant in anchor tags, in backlinks and in content or suffer the punishment of exile to the 200th placement of the 20th page, never to be seen by the faithful masses again. The faithful masses looked up once more to find favor in the graces of the Great and Powerful Google. They cried out that content was king and long live content. Google was pleased and smiled down on the faithful masses that genuflected before it.
“I am pleased.” announced the Great and Powerful Google. “I will protect you from yourselves. I offer you encrypted searches. As long as you adorn your system with Chrome and authorize your searches with a login to all that is Google as all is Google, I will deliver your searches as Not Set and Not Provided to hide your queries from those who hope to profit from your desires and my secrets. All will be hidden, only Google will know the true meaning of your words. Only Google will be able to watch your movements, your thoughts, motives and desires. However if you pay homage to all that is Google as all is Google and it will be known as adwords, those words will be revealed to you and you may do with it as you will.”
And so it came to be and the keywords transformed to Not Set and Not Provided, hiding their intent from the faithless and Google rested.