The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick) by Seth Godin, 4/5
There’s no “I” in “Quitter,” my family has often joked…but according to Godin, there is and often should be. In this delightfully short book (which, at <80 pages, is the size most popular self-help books would be if they cut the B.S.), Godin makes a compelling case for the use of strategic quitting in the pursuit of the ambitious goal to be the “best in the world” at something. Godin advocates setting high goals, specialising rather than diversifying, persevering through the difficulties that weed out the competition (the Dip), and quitting dead-end/mediocre pursuits in order to avoid living the “sunk cost fallacy,” while freeing up resources for more successful endeavors. All this advice is little more than common sense applied with guts and the book does not pretend to provide some grand, fool-proof philosophy to get rich quick. Instead, it gives a little motivation and encouragement, while stimulating a thoughtful, courageous approach to business and career decisions.
[Why I read it: I think I came across it online or something…I can’t really remember. Anyway, the title caught my eye because I’ve always wondered if my aversion to quitting (and even aversion to starting things that I might be forced to quit at some point) limits my potential or is in fact a healthy approach to challenges. Godin has this to say on the subject: “Simple: If you can’t make it through the Dip, don’t start” (32), but I suspect that at that point, he’s writing more to serial quitters than to potentially over-cautious people. So the book was not completely conclusive on the subject, though it still definitely has something to offer both types of people.]