The Dip by Seth Godin | Book Report

The Dip by Seth Godin | Book Report


Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.

In this episode, Ross breaks down one of his favorite books, The Dip by Seth Godin, and the different aspects of how to strategically quit to get yourself out of “the dip” as quickly and effectively as possible.

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What You Don't Want To Miss:

Small business owners have a bad (but respectable) habit: they don’t quit. In this episode, Ross will address the following:

  • What is “The Dip”?
  • Dealing with Fear
  • Strategic Quitting
  • Quitting Before You Start


The Dip



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Ross Herosian  00:33 Small business owners have a bad but respectable habit, they don’t quit. You’ve heard the scary stats about how many small businesses fail within five years. And in my experience, a majority of the businesses that do fail, it’s not because the business owner quit. It’s because the business imploded. There’s a Netflix series called Home Game. And, it’s a docu-series that “profiles unique and dangerous traditional sports from around the world, as well as the communities and cultures where they thrive.” That’s taken directly from the Netflix site in case you didn’t know. And one of the sports featured in the series is free diving, which is when people see how deep they can dive without an oxygen tank, or any sort of breathing apparatus. It’s a fascinating episode and one that really explores the limits of the human body and spirit.

Home Game Excerpt  01:33 Freediving is as simple as it sounds. Divers go into the water as deep as they can. On a single breath. Freediving is 20% physical and 80% mental. It’s self-discipline, inside looking sport. It’s all about you. Nobody else can solve the problems. Everybody thinks it’s about techniques. But it’s actually about being calm. Freediving isn’t just about competition. Freediving is the ability to go out on a reef snorkel down. It’s all just another extension of holding your breath. It’s challenging yourself to go deeper and deeper. Freediving is more about exploring your limits.

Ross Herosian  02:18 This show showcases the push and pulls between growth and limitations. And in the case of freediving, limitations so severe, they can actually result in death. Now if you’re a small business owner who isn’t operating with a trust fund, then guess what you’re freediving. Your day-to-day is a push and pulls between growing your business and keeping your business afloat. Of course, as you have success along the way, the likelihood of the business failing seems to be as far away as the surface of the water is to the free divers. But if you’re not careful, or too arrogant, one day, you’ll find that you’re too deep, and you will suffer disastrous consequences. 

Ross Herosian  03:06 Let’s stop here for a second. If you’re scared, depressed, or otherwise affected by what I’ve said, Good, those are realities. But just because something has a potentially scary outcome does not mean that you shouldn’t do it. If that were the case, you’d probably be paralyzed by fear, and not be able to do anything. Why drive a car if I could get into an accident? Why speak in public? If people will laugh at me? Why eat something new if I could get sick? Why start a romantic relationship? If it could end up in heartbreak? Why start a business? If it could fail? You’ll be faced with many crossroads as a small business owner, and you won’t always know the “right answer”. When I work with coaching clients, they all want to know the right answer. But what do you do if you can’t figure out the right and wrong answers? That brings me to today’s book report. But first, a word from our sponsor.

Ross Herosian  04:12 It probably comes as no surprise to you that Instagram is the favorite social media platform among creative business owners. Instagram also continues to find new and interesting ways for small businesses to generate revenue, promote their products, their service, their expertise. But Instagram does have a major limitation. External links. They won’t work in your captions and you can only use them in stories if you have a large follower count. Sure they give you link-in-bio, but that’s just one link. Problem solved with Solo.to. Solo.to is one bio link for everything. When you create a Solo.to account, you can showcase tons of links for your business. If you’re a creator like me, you can even embed music videos and podcasts right there on Instagram from your favorite platforms. Want to see solo.to and action, head on over to Tricycle Creative’s Instagram account @hellotricycle, and click the link in our bio. Solo.to offers a free plan to get you started. And you can upgrade for as little as $1 a month, use the referral link in this episode’s description, and in the show notes, and you can save 10% off any upgrade package within 48 hours of signing up. Solo.to, It’s one bio link for everything.

Ross Herosian  05:46 Let’s go back to my example of freediving and apply the concept of quitting free divers, our competitors, they don’t want to quit. But an inability to understand their limitations can quite literally be deadly. That doesn’t mean they can’t keep improving. But they must do it incrementally and understand when they need to quit, Seth Godin’s book, The Dip can help you quit the wrong stuff, or stick with the right stuff and figure out how to have the guts to do one or the other. Its core premise is this strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations, reactive quitting and serial quitting are the bane of those that strive and fail to get what they want. And most people do just that they quit when it’s painful, and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit. To further illustrate this point, I’m going to attempt to play some theater of the mind radio magic here. Okay, to illustrate his point, Seth, kind of present a graph. And it has results on the y axis that’s vertical and effort on the x-axis, which is horizontal, you with me so far, you then have an upward curve, starting in about a quarter of the way up on the results or the vertical axis, and it starts to dip down about halfway along the horizontal axis, where it drops the lowest. That’s the dip. And from that point, the line shoots up like a hockey stick.

The Dip And that’s visualizing where continued efforts can yield dramatic increase in results. Now, if you couldn’t quite visualize that, I will include the graph in the show notes, TripodPodcast.com, also a link in the show’s description. The dip is a long slog between starting and mastery. It’s a combination of bureaucracy and busywork that you must deal with, in order to like say get certified in scuba diving, right? It’s a long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishments. And as Seth emphasizes, successful people don’t just ride out the dip. They don’t just buckle down and survive it. No, they lean into the dip, they push harder, changing the rules as they go. Just because you know you’re in the dip, doesn’t mean you have to live happily with it. Dips don’t last quite as long when you whittle with them. I absolutely love this book. And it’s literally one that I read over and over again.  

Ross Herosian  08:46 There’s a major thing that I want you to be aware of when we’re talking about this book. And it’s this concept of quitting before you start. And Seth introduces this in the book. And it’s simply a way to identify the conditions under which you would quit at the beginning of a project before you get too deep, like an oxygen-deprived freediver who gets confused and blacks out. It’s an assignment and it goes like this, write it down. Write down, under what circumstances you’re willing to quit, and when and then stick with it. And this is easy enough. You can even add this as a column when you’re setting your goals or when you’re sitting down thinking about a project. Under what conditions would you quit and when and stick to it.  

Ross Herosian  09:45 The stakes were freediver and a small business owner may seem like they’re worlds apart, but I think there are a lot of similarities. If you look close enough. It’s the risk to reward ratio. You know, the higher the risk, the better the reward and the difference takes this concept further, and provides actionable advice and tips so that you can assess objectively how far you want to go. There’s a final concept I’ll leave you with from The Dip. And I think about it constantly. And it’s this. Are you willing to go through the pain to experience the pleasure? You don’t have to have one answer to this question. When it comes to your business, the pain, the pleasure, and the profit can certainly vary depending on the project, but you should always be asking yourself, Should I stick? Or should I quit? 

Ross Herosian  10:41 If you found this book report informative, and you’re thinking about buying The Dip, please consider using the affiliate link in the description and in the show notes at TripodPodcast.com. If you purchase the book at no extra cost to you all get a small referral payment. And that helps to support all my content creating efforts including this podcast, or videos, blogs, whatever. So until next time, I encourage you to keep pedaling.


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