Last night I was surfing Youtube and stumbled across something from Tim Schmoyer that resinated with me. It was a video about how to push through those hard times when you feel like giving up on a project.
It’s an idea that comes from a book called The Dip, by Seth Godin.
Now, I’ve haven’t read the book, but Tim presented the concept in a really cool way. I’ll try to explain it as good as he did, complete with diagram.
What is the dip?
The idea is this; when you start a new project that requires dedication and hard work, we feel a range of emotions.
It doesn’t matter what the project is, it might be a new business, a sales funnel, a new blog, learning a new language, or learning to play an instrument.
The pattern is always the same:
Things move from excitement, to depression, and finally to confidence and mastery.
If you’ve tried to get a website off the ground, maybe you’ve experienced this too?
You launch your website but nobody cares. You don’t get any traffic, there are no leads, no customers, and it feels like you’re out there on your own.
Its cold and it’s lonely.
Every person who starts a website has felt like that, so you’re not along.
Yup, they are normal emotions that everyone feels, regardless of how successful they become.
The dip explained
Things start off really good, you feel excited and there’s a honeymoon period where you’re happy.
Then uncertainty starts to creep in, and you begin to lose confidence.
Ultimately, you feel confused, depressed and you feel like quitting.
This is the bottom of the dip, and it’s where most people give up.
But some people push through those feelings.
They accept that things are difficult and it’s going to take hard work.
They start exploring new ideas and experimenting with them.
Finally, they start testing things, with that comes renewed confidence, and the mastery they’ve been seeking.
How do you push through the dip?
Most of the time, failure happens because people quit before they see success.
And they usually quit because they either:
Run out of time, run out of money, or they lose interest.
So what’s the solution? The Next Web has a list, and here’s my interpretation of it.
Here are the 6 things you can do to prevent failure:
Find your purpose. You know why I’m forever saying you need to focus on your passions? Because when things get tough (and they will) you’re gonna need a reason that’s bigger than your own needs.
Know its possible. Having the belief that what you’re doing is achievable, is vital. So surround yourself with people who’ve already done it, and learn from them
Drop the ego. When you stop caring what other people think, you embrace a ‘growth mindset’ that allows you to truly focus on improving your skills.
Schedule. Forget about using ‘to do’ lists, and create schedules instead. Get your priorities straight, and do the tasks that produce the highest longterm rewards first.
Share. When you start teaching people what you’ve learned, you begin to retain the information – and contribute something positive to other people, as a result.
Set limits. Know what you’re prepared to pay for the success, and what your limits are.
Decide how much time you’re prepared to give a project, how much money you’re prepared to invest, and how what lengths you’re willing to do to in order to succeed.
And that’s because not all dips lead to success. Some lead to a dead end, while others lead to a cliff. Both result in failure.
When to quit?
I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the book itself, but from my research into this I’m getting the impression that 2 years could be a good length of time to determine if a project is going to be a winner or not.
You see, another video I watched about this gave an awesome analogy.
If you’re running a marathon you know you’re gonna feel pain, your legs are gonna hurt, you’re gonna get dehydrated and it’s gonna be tough.
That’s all part of the deal.
Building an email list, driving traffic to your blog, it’s all the same. It all requires work and persistence to truly succeed.
Anything worth having is difficult.
The dip is good for us
But this process, although difficult, has a very positive impact on us, and our environment.
Persevering through the dip is what allows to command more attention in our market, allows us to charge more, and face less competition.
So that’s pretty cool, if you’re willing to put in the work and push through.