The Dip by Seth Godin.
People and businesses tend to want to hire only with ‘the best’ at a given task. They don’t care about employees or companies that are ‘mediocre’ at doing many different things. Being average is for losers.
Be the best in your world.
Find a niche that utilizes your unique strengths, then cultivate the associated skills and become the best in the world. Once you’re the best at what you do, opportunities are plentiful. If you’re not the best (or at least in the top five) you’re unlikely to be in high demand.
This may involve long hours of hard work doing things that aren’t fun, but if you’ve chosen the right niche, then sticking to it will be well worth your time.
“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
In order to be the best, you’ll have to make it through The Dip. The Dip can be defined as a prolonged period of time without success or immediate gratification, one that eventually (hopefully) leads to massive success.
It requires a lot of hard work, energy, patience, persistence and faith to get through it. And you’ll need to quit all other projects in order to direct all your energy towards pursuing your chosen goal.
Quitting can be a great thing.
According to the author, it’s ok to quit projects that aren’t your ‘main’ project. In fact, it’s essential to quit everything that doesn’t bring you closer to your goal.
However, once you’ve found you niche, stick to it – do not become a serial quitter.
Pitfalls of the Dip.
If you know you can’t make it through the dip don’t start. The opportunity cost of continuously switching projects is enormous. The author outlines 7 reasons you might fail to become the best in the world:
- You run out of time and quit
- You run out of money
- You get scared
- You’re not serious about it
- You loose interest/enthusiasm or settle for being mediocre
- You focus on the short term instead of the long and quit when the short term gets too hard
- You pick the wrong thing at which to be the best in the world at because you don’t have the talent.
Be realistic about your situation.
When you find yourself in the depths of the Dip, recognize where you are and accept it. The first step to getting through it is to admit that that’s where you are.
Remind yourself that someday you will enjoy the benefits of your work and keep at it. Remember, “a woodpecker can tap 20 times at 1000 trees, of 20,000 times at 1 tree and get dinner.”