I'll bet Seth Godin didn't realize he and Ricky Bobby had the same philosophy. Ricky Bobby believed that "If you ain't first, you're last." Seth Godin says, "Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers."
"The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)" at first makes you mad. "Hey Seth Godin," you think, "Someone has to be average or else there is no average." Then you start wondering where you're wasting your time being average or even mediocre. Finally, you end the book with a determination to be the best in the world. Even if, as Seth says, the best as in the best for right now, based on what you and others believe and what they know.
For example, if someone wants to hire "the best," that may mean the best person in town, who is available and is in their price range. You can't afford to not be the best. Otherwise, you're going to lose out every time to the guy who is the best.
How do you get to be the best? By knowing when you are in a dip and working through it or knowing that you're in a dead end and quitting. That's pretty much the whole book. Seventy-six pages. Very short and readable in probably an hour. There is a lot more effort in making this a short book than blabbing on for 400 pages. Mark Twain once said he could speak for an hour with no preparation, but that a short speech would take a few weeks to prepare.
The dip is the place after the fun and excitement of starting something new wears off and before the apparent ease of true mastery begins. It's the 18 mile point in a marathon - past the excitement of halfway, but will another 8 long miles to go and no finish line in sight. It's the point where the grand opening ribbon cutting leftovers have been eaten, but before word of mouth really starts to build your business.
You need to get this book and read it on a regular basis if you ever find yourself wondering if you need to soldier on or if it is appropriate to quit. Is it a true doldrums or are you about to turn the corner? It's better to take a few minutes, read the book and ask yourself "Am I first... or last?"
Beth Bridges has attended over 2,000 networking events in the last 7 years as the Membership Director and Chief Networking Officer of a large west coast chamber of commerce. She believes it is possible to be a Seth Godin and Ricky Bobby fan and still have some brain cells left.
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Copyright Beth Bridges, 2011