The Long Grind Before You Become an Overnight Success

I read Seth Godin’s “The Dip: The Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit and When to Stick” over the weekend.

It has some interesting approaches to life and work. Let me paraphrase:

If you (or your company) want to be “the best in the world” at something…you need to work through the beginning phase of development and be able to hang on and evolve through the long development phase, which he calls “the dip”…and you need to drop any distracting investments of time and money for which you do not have adequate advantage to make it through “the dip” — this is called “intelligent quitting”.

The long development phase, which can get progressively more difficult, might be a “dip” with success at the end of the tunnel, or a “cul-de-sac”—a place where you can work forever and never get the rainbow. And you have to learn to discern the difference…

There are big advantages that accrue to those who are “best in the world”.

The Dip is a very interesting and inspiring book which I encourage everyone to read. You can take a lot of meaning from its pages but to me, the book’s main idea is that usually “overnight success” is not actually overnight. For you to become really, really successful you often have to go through an extended period of time where you work VERY hard yet you don’t actually feel like you are making any progress.

This article describes this situation perfectly: The Long Grind Before You Become an Overnight Success.

The lesson here is that if you are working on a new idea, a new business, a new product…a new anything then you should be prepared for the long and hard-fought “dip” which you very probably will go through on your way to success.

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