Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dip/Stick or Dipstick? You decide!

"The old saying is wrong - winners do quit, and quitters do win." - Seth Godin

Ironic, right? Intriguing? Absolutely!

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)I just finished Seth Godin's newest NYT besteller book, the dip, and haven't shut up about it since. Why? Because it's such a simple, clear message that has the potential to shake you (and me) from your slumber and propel you to become the "best in the world". Sounds lofty, eh? Well, it is, and that's the point. The principles outlined in this book depict what it takes to go from Good to Great . Not at all a new concept as this same topic has been addressed by Jim Collins and others. However, Godin, subscribing to the mantra "less is more," finds a way to rivet readers in less than 100 pages through simple charts and relevant case study examples.

What's so BIG about this little book?
- It teaches you when to QUIT and when to STICK.
- It helps you identify if you are in a dead-end Cul-de-sac, a march to your death Cliff or a life-giving Dip. (see illustrations below)

In the past year I unknowingly found myself in a Cul-de-sac of my own. I had a great job, a great life in Chicago, yet my dreams and aspirations for my future were being suppressed in my present frenzied state. I had been at the same job at an ad agency for 3 years and started realizing that I didn't love my job and the thought of spending years upon years of my prime doing it made me shutter. I also realized that the amazing city I lived in wasn't where I could see myself living long-term and the encroaching desire to leave only became more pressing with time. In my own way, I started to see that the hype and excitement of this long sought-after career/city dissipate. It was at this point that I had to ask myself the same questions Godin uses in his book: "Is the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe I'm in a Dip-a temporary setback that will get better if I keep pushing. But maybe it's really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard I try." Tough call!

Should I quit, call my situation a Cul-de-sac and move on? Risking security, comfort and a steady paycheck in the midst of a recession with soaring unemployment rates?

Should I stick, suck it up and keep giving my all for what I hoped would someday be fulfillment? Keeping my 9-5 and the pay and benefits? Risking a chance to pursue my dreams, break the mold and see if I have what it takes?

According to Godin:
"Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt-until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. In fact, winners seek out the Dip. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you'll get more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security.

Losers, on the other hand, fall into two basic traps. Either they fail to stick out the Dip-they get to the moment of truth and then give up-or they never even find the right Dip to conquer."

Ultimately, I wanted to be a winner, so I quit. Now fastforward 6 months and I'm living in my dream city, Austin, Tx, working from home with my Juice Plus+ business -something I'm truly passionate about, and about to go on a month long mission trip to Turkey. Only to return to an awesome opportunity to do marketing consulting for a global sustainability solutions company! Alas, I'm in a new Dip - one worth the fight!

I thank God daily for giving me the courage and conviction to follow my dreams. To take a leap of faith, follow my heart and His will and embrace the blessings that ensue.


AustenTX said...

Nice: good summary of a great book, great take-aways!

Michelle said...

Thanks again for loaning it to me and making this blog possible!!! :)

5th Belle Avenue said...

LOVE THIS!!! You are SO incredibly blessed and I am always so HONORED to witness the amazing life God has gifted you! And I will definitely add this book to my list. Great review, lovie! You are such an excellent writer! MWAH!

Emily said...

you're amazing michelle! so much identify with a lot of what you say here :)