Last week I read Seth Godin´s book The Dip. It is an easy read, and very useful in life and in business.
If you have not heard of The Dip, you may read more about it in:
In Seth Godin´s words:
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.
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.
For me, The Dip might be making a commitment to keep writing and writing, and writing more, until I get to… Well I don´t know where exactly I want to get yet.
For you, It may be your current project, job, life task, etc. Whatever you are doing right this moment, might be or become your Dip.
The question for you and me really is: If the Dip, we are in, is really the right one. If the project you are committed today, is your win situation of tomorrow, then you are in the right Dip. If not, you will have invested a lot of time, work and maybe also a lot of money.
In order to fight against the Dip, we have to:
Find the right path
This is actually the most difficult task. You need to be able to start new projects with enthusiasm, but to be able to assess your goals, without the Shiny Object Syndrome.
Shiny Object Syndrome means that you always give your attention to the shiniest object in front of you at any given time, and because of that, you loose your focus to what is really important.
The project or work in question needs to be fun, a challenge to you, but also have possible rewards that appeal to you, and also, (very important) it needs to feel right. It needs to shine for you, but you need to be able to do it, because you feel joy doing it, you like it, and you would feel o.k. to do it for a long time.
If you just like a project or work because it might give you money “fast” or a very fast reward, then that would be Shiny Object Syndrome, and not a workable project for you in the long run.
For me, I like writing, and I would even do it just for the fun of it, and for helping a lot of people. If there is money involved in the future, then it would be awesome.
For you, you must answer to yourself and to your heart, if the project or work you are doing right now feels good, and if it appeals to you in the long run. If the answer is yes, you have found your path.
Walk the path
If you are having the Shiny Object Syndrome, then you would think and feel that your path is great, awesome, and most of all fun. That you are making it fast! Let me tell you, the Dip is not fun, and it definitely is not awesome.
You must like and love what you do, but in order for making the Dip more walkable, you need to start your path by setting up a good foundation. You need to set up everything that you might need later.
It is like going camping. You might feel great and awesome, but you can´t make it without all the preparation needed, and without the right mentality.
This is the moment to set everything up.
The Dip will make you or it will break you. Like Seth Godin says you need to become the best of the best for your market.
If you are starting a web page, or a blog, then start it the right way. Set everything up, the right way, or when the path gets tougher, and believe me it will, you might just quit.
If you are starting writing a book, you must have a clear mind about your characters, plot, timeline, etc.
If you are starting a project or a business, you need to have great care on: Yourself, your Human Resources, your Location, your product, your systems, your brand, your marketing.
You need to set everything that you will need, so whatever you are building will stand against time and any kind of force.
Love every moment of the path
The path is unique, and it´s yours. You need to take a deep breath and plow your way. There will be great times, and there will be not so great, or even boring and scary times, but it´s all part of the path you´ve chosen.
Love every moment, cause in the path there is knowledge and learning. This knowledge and learning, and the Dip, makes you a successful person.
Victor Frankl, in his book Man´s Search for Meaning summarized it as:
“Don´t aim at success, the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue… as the unintended side effect of one´s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Get help to walk along the path
In order to help you walk the path, you need to use systems. You need to find a system that works, and that makes it easier for you. If it´s your work, find a good system that may help you. For instance, why not get a Virtual Assistant? They might be useful for the boring and difficult times. Look at them as your sidekick for the journey.
Find your Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow tells us that:
We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.
We must find the Flow through the Dip.
If we manage to be masters of our own fate, and be in control of our actions, we might definitely get to be the Best of The Best…
I would love to read how are you fighting against your Dip, lets comment, and maybe we can find a way to help us?!