“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
Seth Godin’s book – The Dip
When to quit and when to keep going.
Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point—really hard, and not much fun at all.
And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a Dip—a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. But maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard you try.
What really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really counts.
I bring this book up because the Dip concept makes a lot of sense to me. I experience this “dip” with just about every project. Whether is a mental, emotional or financial hurdle; when times get tough I always question my direction and then decide to continue, postpone or quit.
Now I’m nowhere near a real “Dip” phase of my business. This starts to occur when massive efforts yield little to no results. When you keep putting in time, money and energy into and idea, product or service that provide no valuable return.
Then its Fight or Flight time!
I have experienced several mild dips already just thinking about starting a float center. I’ll get highly motivated and confident, ready to give an arm for the chance to prove myself; followed by doubt, fear, depression, mood swings, etc.
Am I wasting my time? Am I capable of even doing what I know I’m gonna have to do? How am I going to fund this project? Will it better my family’s life? My life? What will others think? What happens if I fail? What happens if I succeed? …and the list goes on.
All those questions I ask myself in a fearful hope to find a good enough reason to quit or not even start. Now I know my dips are barely even on the business scale, but what is so significant is the fact that it’d be so easy to quit. There will always be a million reasons not to DO something, just pick one.
I’m finding that its a reoccurring mental cycle I tend to run for myself. A survival mechanism to protect my self interests, including my family. I become excited about a project idea one day, then I’m doubtful and finding excuses the next.
However, being aware that this is a phenomenon every entrepreneur experiences is comforting. Its a natural process of life and risk. Almost every successful business has went through a Dip phase.
Knowing this is motivation to break through my self doubt and over-analyzing tendencies that discourage me from trying something new and exciting. I’m reminded of what its really going to take to be successful…courage, persistence, commitment, and a set of balls.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
So if you find yourself in a “Dip”, remember that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Push thru into the unknown as you travel down the entrepreneurial rabbit hole with that flickering light of confidence.
Be smart. Think ahead. Plan after results.
Fail early and fail fast. Learn from others’ mistakes before you must learn from your own.
Bail out while you’re ahead of a dead end.