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Book Summary – The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick)

The Dip - Book summary

Do you believe that quitters never win and winners never quit? Well, that’s untrue according to Seth Godin. In reality, winners and high-achievers attain outstanding results precisely because they know when to quit and when to persevere. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick) is a small book that offers simple but powerful tips on when to stick and when to let go. In this free version of The Dip summary, you’ll learn why it’s so hard to quit the wrong things and stick to the right things and what it means to “quit strategically”.

What is The Dip about?

People often don’t quit when they should. They may hang on to a dead-end job or a sunset business out of habit or pride, or they may cling on to status quo out of comfort. In the process, they incur opportunity costs, since their time, energy and resources could have been redirected to more productive alternatives. On the other hand, people also quit when they shouldn’t. They may quit in the midst of pain and setbacks, when they could have achieved success if they pushed just a little longer and harder.

This book essentially covers 2 anchor concepts: (i) becoming the best in the world and (ii) understanding the 3 Curves in life. We’ll now outline both ideas briefly. You can get the full mojo from our full 9-page summary bundle of The Dip.

Becoming the Best in the World

In any sector or industry, people and organizations at the top get a disproportionate amount of rewards and recognition. So, if you want to enjoy extraordinary rewards, you must first become the best in the world.

In the full 9-page version of The Dip summary, we elaborate more on (i) why there’s a premium for the best, (ii) what “best” and “world” mean and how you can start thinking about your unique niche, and (iii) why you should apply “strategic quitting” to eliminate the non-essentials that distract you.

Strategic Quitting: The 3 Curves

To learn strategic quitting, you must first understand and recognize the situations that cause people to quit. Generally, most life experiences can be represented by these 3 types of curves:
The Dip summary_The 3 Curves

The Dip

Almost everything in life follows this curve. When you start doing something, it usually seems fun and interesting. Then, you start to experience challenges, and it becomes increasingly hard to get desired results. This is “the Dip”. On the surface, the Dip seems to be an obstacle to your desired outcomes. In reality, if you manage it well, it can be an opportunity or a shortcut to success and mastery.

The Cul-de-Sac

This is essentially a dead-end. No matter what you do, nothing moves and there’s simply no progress.

The Cliff

This is a situation where you find it hard to quit until you’re at the edge of disaster and things are about to fall apart. For example, people usually find it hard to quit smoking or gambling until they hit a major health or financial crisis.

In a nutshell, Godin recommends that you should:
• Only quit if (i) you’re facing a Cul-de-sac or a Cliff, or (ii) if you’re not going to become #1 on your current path.
• Never quit in the Dip due to short-term pain, because this is your opportunity to win big.

In our complete version of The Dip summary we zoom in further on:
• The dos and don’ts while you’re in The Dip;
• Common situations when people get stuck in The Dip or quit;
• How you can leverage on The Dip to get ahead of the pack; and
• How to select your Dip, use strategic quitting criteria and 3 key questions to decide whether to quit.

Getting the Most from The Dip

Ready to learn more about strategic quitting? Do get our full summary bundle including a one-page infographic summary in pdf, a 9-page text summary in pdf, and a 19-min audio summary in mp3.

The Dip summary - book summary bundle

The Dip is a short book, and Seth Godin uses a conversational style to repeatedly reinforce the key ideas on strategic quitting.  You can  purchase the book here or visit for more information.

Want to learn more finishing strong or knowing when to quit?  Do also check out  our Necessary Endings summary and Finish summary.

About the Author of The Dip

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick) was written by Seth W. Godin–an American author and entrepreneur. Godin previously founded and sold a book packaging business. He then launched Yoyodyne to promote permission marketing. In 1998, Yoyodyne was sold to Yahoo! for about $30 million and became Godin Yahoo’s vice president of direct marketing. In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo which was sold to HubPages in 2014. Godin has authored 18 books.

The Dip Quotes

“The businesses we think of as overnight successes weren’t. We just didn’t notice them until they were well baked.”

“Quitting the projects that don’t go anywhere is essential if you want to stick out the right ones.”

“Coping is a lousy alternative to quitting.”

“Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”

“Strategic quitting is a conscious decision you make based on the choices that are available to you.”

“Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.”

“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

“If you are making a decision based on how you feel at that moment, you will probably make the wrong decision.”

Click here to download The Dip summary & infographic

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