The Dip The Dip 7.7分

Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.

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Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other.

Our culture celebrates superstars. We reward the product or the song or the organization or the employee that is number one. It’s called Zipf’s law, and it applies to résumés and college application rates and best-selling records and everything in between.

As a result, the rewards for being first are enormous. It’s not a linear scale. It’s not a matter of getting a little more after giving a little more. It’s a curve, and a steep one.

Anyone who is going to hire you, buy from you, recommend you, vote for you, or do what you want them to do is going to wonder if you’re the best choice.

People settle. They settle for less than they are capable of. Organizations settle too. For good enough instead of best in the world. If you’re not going to put in the effort to be my best possible choice, why bother?

Just about everything you learned in school about l...
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Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other.

Our culture celebrates superstars. We reward the product or the song or the organization or the employee that is number one. It’s called Zipf’s law, and it applies to résumés and college application rates and best-selling records and everything in between.

As a result, the rewards for being first are enormous. It’s not a linear scale. It’s not a matter of getting a little more after giving a little more. It’s a curve, and a steep one.

Anyone who is going to hire you, buy from you, recommend you, vote for you, or do what you want them to do is going to wonder if you’re the best choice.

People settle. They settle for less than they are capable of. Organizations settle too. For good enough instead of best in the world. If you’re not going to put in the effort to be my best possible choice, why bother?

Just about everything you learned in school about life is wrong, but the wrongest thing might very well be this: Being well rounded is the secret to success.

It involves understanding the architecture of quitting, and, believe it or not, it means quitting a lot more than you do now.

The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment. Tennis has a Dip. The difference between a mediocre club player and a regional champion isn’t inborn talent—it’s the ability to push through the moments where it’s just easier to quit.

The Dip creates scarcity; scarcity creates value.

When Jack Welch remade GE, the most fabled decision he made was this: If we can’t be #1 or #2 in an industry, we must get out. Why sell a billion-dollar division that’s making a profit quite happily while ranking #4 in market share? Easy. Because it distracts management attention. It sucks resources and capital and focus and energy. And most of all, it teaches people in the organization that it’s okay not to be the best in the world.

When faced with the Dip, many individuals and organizations diversify. If you can’t get to the next level, the thinking goes, invest your energy in learning to do something else.

If you want to be a superstar, then you need to find a field with a steep Dip—a barrier between those who try and those who succeed. And you’ve got to get through that Dip to the other side.

I’d rather have you focus on quitting (or not quitting) as a go-up opportunity. It’s not about avoiding the humiliation of failure. Even more important, you can realize that quitting the stuff you don’t care about or the stuff you’re mediocre at or better yet quitting the Cul-de-Sacs frees up your resources to obsess about the Dips that matter.

If you’re going to quit, quit before you start. Reject the system. Don’t play the game if you realize you can’t be the best in the world.

To be a superstar, you must do something exceptional. Not just survive the Dip, but use the Dip as an opportunity to create something so extraordinary that people can’t help but talk about it, recommend it, and, yes, choose it.

The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.
 
No, the opposite of quitting is rededication. The opposite of quitting is an invigorated new strategy designed to break the problem apart.

When people quit, they are often focused on the short-term benefits. In other words, “If it hurts; stop!”

THREE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

Q1: Am I panicking?

Quitting when you’re panicked is dangerous and expensive. The best quitters, as we’ve seen, are the ones who decide in advance when they’re going to quit. You can always quit later—so wait until you’re done panicking to decide.

Q2: Who am I trying to influence?

If you’re considering quitting, it’s almost certainly because you’re not being successful at your current attempt at influence.

One person or organization will behave differently than a market of people will.

If you’re trying to influence a market, though, the rules are different.

Q3: What sort of measurable progress am I making?

If you’re trying to succeed in a job or a relationship or at a task, you’re either moving forward, falling behind, or standing still. There are only three choices.

To succeed, to get to that light at the end of the tunnel, you’ve got to make some sort of forward progress, no matter how small.

The challenge, then, is to surface new milestones in areas where you have previously expected to find none.

If I’m going to quit anyway, is there something dramatic I can do instead that might change the game?
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