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the dip
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Do you remember starting something new that interested you? Chances are the world seemed a little brighter, a little more inviting, and your smile was a little wider that day.

Now, remember how that same activity seemed after six months had passed. It's likely you weren't having as much fun; progress was hard to accomplish; and frustration was starting to build. That's what a dip feels like.

That sequence is the normal experience and psychology of creating worthwhile results.

But in some cases, you are headed for a dead end where results will never amount to much (if you ever see me play golf, you'll know what I'm talking about). In rarer cases, results just keep going downhill forever (if you've seen me run lately, you'll get the idea).

Many people make mistakes when "the going gets tough."

1. Some will keep going even though future results won't reward the effort (such as those who keep trying to master something for which they have little ability). This behavior is usually the result of bad habits (like always following tradition . . . or existing beliefs) I call "stalls" that harm progress.

2. Others will quit before they break through into improvements that make an enormous difference (going through a dip) and miss the chance to get great benefits from continuing, well-focused effort. The "best in the world" (or "best in your corner of the world") will get a disproportionate share of the benefits from what everyone does. Who is going to pay much attention to the 1,000,001 ranked book reviewer on Amazon? People who behave this way are usually suffering from the procrastination, bureaucracy, ugly duckling or disbelief stalls (see The 2,000 Percent Solution).

In past books by Mr. Godin, I've criticized him for taking an article and stretching it too far into a book. I've also mentioned that he sometimes forgets to explain what to do.

In The Dip, Mr. Godin has broken through his dip and avoided both of those problems. This book is only slightly longer than it needed to be. It has excellent advice on how to tell the difference between future potential and lack of opportunity. The point about disproportionate rewards is also well developed.

Nice going, Mr. Godin!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Winners never quit right? Well sometimes they do, but only at things that will hold them back from being more successful.

Have you ever felt that something is just not worth going on with and it is time to look in a different direction? Well that is called the "dip" and if you aren't careful you could get stuck in the "cul-de-sac" of life with no significant advancement in any direction.

So what should you quit and what should you stick to? That is up to you but reading this book will help you make those crucial decisions.

Seth Godin's books are always catchy, "un-put-down-able" and this one is no different. Short and sweet you can get a lot of bang out of this quick read.

Todd Millar, Glenn Simon Inc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"This book is really short. Short books are hard to write, but you made me do it. My readers are excellent correspondents, and this is something I've learned from them along the way: Write less." --Seth Godin

Damn straight. This book is an exercise in brevity. I often recommend that readers preview a key chapter before deciding whether to commit to a book. No need with this one--just take an extra 20 minutes and read the whole thing. Borrow it instead of buying it; the key points will stick with you.

Godin's points are straightforward:

* Comes a time in doing anything when it gets hard and stops being fun.
* If it is something you can be the best at, stick with it through the "dip."
* If it isn't something you can excel at, quit. And excel at something else.
* Learn to recognize such "cul-de-sacs" and avoid even starting such paths.
* Endlessly coping without either excelling or quitting is a trap.
* Systems are designed to exploit "copers" in various ways. Beware.
* There are eight common causes of "dips." Beware some more.

That's pretty much it. There are some good stories about Vince Lumbardi, Butch Cassidy, the space shuttle, and Microsoft. But they build on the main points. There is good advice here. It would be worth your time, even if it were longer.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
It is impossible to ignore what Seth Godin has to say and how he says it. That's remarkable. In this small volume (only 80 pages and about the size of a greeting card), Godin shares some LARGE ideas, one of which is indicated in the title of my review. Here is a cluster of Godinesque assertions:

All our successes are the same. All our failures, too.
We succeed when we do something remarkable.
We fail when we give up too soon.
We succeed when we are the best in the world at what we do.
We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don't have the guts to quick.
Quit the wrong stuff.
Stick with the right stuff.
Have the guts to do one or the other.

In 1963, Peter Drucker made an assertion with which Seth Godin presumably agrees: "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all."

Both Drucker and Grodin are diehard pragmatists. My guess (only a guess) is that each learned lessons of greatest value to them from their failures rather than from their successes, that both of them (at least occasionally) felt like giving up and sometimes did, making a bad decision by quitting "the right stuff" or sticking with "the wrong stuff."

I presume to offer an example of what Godin seems to have in mind. All of us begin each day with the best of intentions. Let's say our objective is to produce more and better results in less time. OK, that's a worthy objective. Then let's say, that doesn't happen. Perhaps how we pursue the objective isn't working but we don't quit our method. (Albert Einstein once suggested that insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.") Or let's say that our method is the right one but we are impatient with the immediate results, quit on that method, and try another.

Here's the challenge: When encountering what Godin characterizes as "the Dip" (i.e. a temporary setback which creates a "moment of truth"), know the difference(s) between "the right stuff" and "the wrong stuff" and proceed accordingly.

So many decisions in life are gambles (i.e. "knowing when to hold and when to fold") in that they must be made without complete information and thus require a combination of knowledge, judgment, instinct, and faith.

A careful reading of Godin's book will increase the reader's knowledge and improve her or his judgment. He helps his reader to answer questions such as these:

"Is this a Dip, a Cliff, or a Cul-de-Sac?

"If it's a Cul-de-Sac, how can I manage it into a Dip?"

"Is my persistence going to pay off in the long run?"

"When should I quit? I need to know now, not when I'm in the middle of it, and not when part of me is begging to quit."

"If I'm going to quit anyway, will it increase my ability to get through the Dip on something more important?"

Finding correct answers to questions such as these may not sharpen one's instincts (although I suspect they could) but the answers will at least strengthen one's faith in the correctness of the decision, whatever that decision may be, when the next Dip occurs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2015
I enjoyed this book. I'm stuck at a crossroad in my life, working at a full time job that pays alright (enought to pay rent/food/going out) but not enough to build a future on.

I've been looking to better myself and become a software engineer(I know, not the easiest skill/job to just pick up and go) but it's the only thing that interests me.

I've purchased a few programming books on Amazon and I've experienced the Dip. This book helped me understand it and if I should continue or give up.

I'd recommended this book to anyone else in a similar situation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book reads in less than an hour for a slow reader. It is short but it addresses a fundamental issue: When to quit and when to persevere? Probably one of the most critical decisions in life. With simple graphs and illustrations by Hugh MacLeod, this book will help you clarify your thinking, especially if you feel stuck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2014
I bought this book but it was not all it was made out to be as it was really pumped up maybe just not for me
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on February 9, 2015
Easy to read gets to the point. And after all those books I’ve read on the subject he was able to bring out some new aspects and explanations on why some succeed so big and some don’t. Very good book
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on December 9, 2014
Useless book and expensive for the lack of information that it gives. Don't know why it was rated high, since there is no information in there that isn't general knowledge. Kind of a scam.
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on April 7, 2015
Clean cut and to the point. Refreshing book on the realities of getting things done that are of any value to the rest of the world. A must read for entrepreneurs.
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