We’ve all heard the phrase, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” But author Seth Godin would argue quitting is good—if you’re smart about the right time to do it.
From his book The Dip:
“Never quit.” What a spectacularly bad piece of advice.
Actually, quitting as a short-term strategy is a bad idea. Quitting for the long-term is an excellent idea.
I think the advice-giver meant to say: Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment. Now that’s good advice.
So, let’s say you have an idea for an unique arts project for after-school youth. You’ve been thinking about it for years, have spent months refining your plan, hours getting the word out, and countless minutes perfecting your funding appeal. You’re so close to making it happen.
But there’s a snag: the school you were going to partner with backed out and no other school seems to be stepping up as a replacement.
This, my friend, is what Godin calls “the Dip.” It’s the moment when things don’t seem to be going your way and you’re starting to question if all your effort is worth it.
So your project? Godin would say it’s time to change your tactics, not quit the plan. No one quits the Boston Marathon at mile 25, right?
It’s human nature to quit when it hurts. But it’s that reflex that creates scarcity. The challenge is simple: Quitting when you hit the Dip is a bad idea. If the journey you started was worth doing, then quitting when you hit the Dip just wastes the time you’ve already invested.
Quit in the Dip often enough and you’ll find yourself becoming a serial quitter, starting many things but accomplishing little.
Simple: If you can’t make it through the Dip, don’t start.
Have you ever fallen into the Dip? How did you deal with it?