Motivational column by J. Nesterets: The dip
- If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try
- And yet the real success goes to those who obsess
MOTIVATION COLUMN BY JULIA NESTERETZ: THE DIP
I’ve decided to make a brief survey of
Well, here are the basic ideas of the book:
STRATEGIC QUITTING IS THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS
“Quitters never win and winners never quit”. Seth Godin doesn’t think so, moreover he says, “Bad advice. Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time”.
- Quit the wrong stuff.
- Stick with the right stuff.
- Have the guts to do one or the other.
THE SURPRISING VALUE OF BEING THE BEST IN THE WORLD
Our culture celebrates superstars. We reward the product or the song or the organization or the employee that is number one. The rewards are heavily skewed, so much so that it’s typical for #1 to get ten times the benefit of #10, and a hundred times the benefit of #100. Winners win big because the marketplace loves a winner.
THE BEST IN THE WORLD?
The mass market is dying. There is no longer one best song or one best kind of coffee. Now there are a million micromarkets, but each micromarket still has a best. If your micromarket is “organic markets in Tulsa”, then that’s your world. And being the best in that world is the place to be. Best is subjective. I (the consumer) get to decide, not you. World is selfish. It’s my definition, not yours. It’s the world I define, based on my convenience or my preferences. Be the best in my world and you have me, at a premium, right now.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THEY MADE IN SCHOOL
“Start with the easiest questions, skip the ones you don’t know”. Superstars can’t skip the ones they don’t know. In fact, the people who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they don’t know. The people who skip the hard questions are in the majority, but they are not in demand.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF QUITTING
Why do individuals less talented than you win? It involves understanding the architecture of quitting, and, believe it or not, it means quitting a lot more than you do now. Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations. Reactive quitting and serial quitting are the bane of those that strive (and fail) to get what they want. And most people do just that. They quit when it’s painful and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit.
Almost everything in life worth doing is controlled by the Dip. At the beginning, when you first start something the fun and the rapid interesting learning keep you going on and on. And then the Dip happens. The Dip is a long slog between starting and mastery. The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment. The Dip is the set of artificial screens set up to keep people like you out.
At trade shows, you see dozens of companies trying to break into an industry. They’ve invested time and money to build a product, to create a marketing organization and rent booth space - all in attempt to break into lucrative market. A year later, most of them don’t return. They’re gone, unable to get through the Dip.
Scarcity, as we’ve seen, is the secret to value. If there wasn’t a Dip, there’d be no scarcity. Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip. They don’t just buckle down and survive it. No, they lean into the Dip. They push harder, changing the rules as they go. Just because you know you’re in the Dip doesn’t mean you have to live happily with it. Dips don’t last quite as long when you whittle at them.
THE CUL-DE-SAC (FRENCH FOR “DEAD END”)
It’s a situation where you work and you work and you work and nothing much changes. It doesn’t get a lot better, it doesn’t get a lot worse. It just is. That’s why they call those jobs dead-end jobs.
Three questions to ask before quitting:
QUESTION 1: AM I PANICKING? QUESTION 2: WHO AM I TRYING TO INFLUENCE? QUESTION 3: WHAT SORT OF MEASURABLE PROGRESS AM I MAKING?
DECIDING IN ADVANCE WHEN TO QUIT
Decide before the race the conditions that will cause you to stop and drop out. The lesson is simple: if you’ve got as much as you’ve got, use it. Use it to become the best in the world, to change the game, to set the agenda for everyone else. You can only do that by marshaling all your resources to get through the biggest possible Dip. In order to get through that Dip, you’ll need to quit everything else.
- Stick with the Dips that are likely to pan out, and quit the Cul-de-Sacs to focus on your resources.
- The businesses we think of as overnight successes weren’t. We just didn’t notice them until they were well-baked.
- In a competitive world, adversity is your ally. The harder it gets, the better chance you have of insulating yourself from the competition.
- And yet the real success goes to those who obsess.
- Your being the best in the world beckons and magnetizes.
- Have courage and persistence enough to get what you want and have guts not to quit when you face difficulties.
- Don’t play the game if you realize you can’t be the best in the world. Don’t waste your resources. You’ll need them to achieve your main goal.
- We succeed when we do something remarkable. We fail when we give up too soon.
- If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.