Are You in The Right Dip?

I just finished Seth Godin’s book, “The Dip” and for those of you who read this blog often, you’ll be hearing a lot about it.  This book has single handedly changed my perspective of how valuable quitting can be

Without going into too much detail, in “The Dip”, Seth Godin challenges the commonly believed mantra, “winners never quit and quitters never win.” Instead, Seth encourages you to quit the right things at the right time. Seth argues that if you aren’t going to be “the best in the world” at something, then you might as well quit before you start.  If you have a shot at being “the best in the world,” then prepare yourself for an intense rough patch (which Seth calls “the dip”).  But, “whatever goes up, must go down,” right?  Therefore:

If, Huge Dip = Huge Competition 

Then, Surviving “The Dip” = Huge Reward and Few Competitors

But this post isn’t about defining “The Dip.”  It’s about being “the best in the world.”

How would you feel if Starbucks started a pet supplies division? Or, if Apple started making clothes?

 I would feel that these brands are getting too big for their britches.  I would tell them not to waste energy and resources on something that will distract them from being the best in the world at what they already do.

Is your next question, “what if I am in the wrong dip?” In other words, what if you hit a wall and are in a situation that isn’t bringing you ANY closer to your long-term goals (remember, dips yield awesome results if you are in the right one!). Well, friends, I don’t know what Seth calls this, but I call it a wall.  My guess is that you are wasting your own energy, time and resources.  Just like those brands were in the hypothetical example above.

Consider these Real Life “Dips”

  • Dating the wrong person who you know you have serious foundational issues with and can’t see yourself marrying.
  • Working in an industry you hate, at a job you hate, just because you get a paycheck or studied the subject in school.
  • Starting a business thinking you’ll be the best in the world, then stopping at the 1st sign of defeat.  Then repeating the cycle many more times.

In all of the situations above, the person is holding themselves hostage and robbing themselves of the opportunity for something better, something successful. 

Sometimes admitting you’re in a dip is tough.  Admitting you’re in the WRONG dip is even tougher; that requires immediate action.  Taking immediate action is beyond tough.

I was in the wrong dip a few months ago.  I was (unintentionally) starting to build a following as a “career expert” online even though I am not a recruiter, I do not work in HR, nor do I plan on it.  This title made me very uncomfortable.  I didn’t have the desire to pursue “career expert” stardom.  This path wasn’t aligned in my 5 or 10 year goals/vision.  But I was putting a hell of a lot of time and energy into it.  I can’t tell you what a relief it has been to get out of that dip when I did.  It wasn’t easy, and I had to cancel a few big projects and opportunities. But now I can focus on being the best at something I love instead. 

What do you want to be the best in the world at?  Are you doing it?

Have you been in a dip that you pushed through resulting in extraordinary results?

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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