The Dip by Seth Godin Review

This book is written by one of the modern-day best-selling author, Seth Godin.  His books have brought great insights on how our “information age” have revolved the old principles that “traditional age” have taught us.  The Dip by Seth Godin has challenged the old belief that “Winners Never Quits”.  This book gave better rationale about Quitting.

Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time. – The Dip by Seth Godin


The Dip by Seth Godin is a 76-page small book yet the content is so much valuable.  If you love reading, like I do, you may get to finish this book in 1 to 2 hours.   What I personally love about Seth Godin’s books is that they are easy to read and his advice are practical, although they are unique.

I’ve been collecting the works of Seth Godin, and this book, The Dip, was one of the best among the rest of his works.  Back in 2008, when I was in the midst of so much life struggles and crisis, this book, among all the rest, was one that guided me in my decision making process.  That year, I’ve realized and proved that it is best to seek counsel from books because it will give you more relevant wisdom and lessons that can be helpful in your circumstance.  It may sound weird, yet I’ve found out that books are better listener and adviser compared to our own friends or family.

If you are in the midst of struggles and life dilemmas, where you don’t know what to do or where to start, this book, The Dip by Seth Godin is a practical and useful guide for you.  Here’s why:

Content: The Dip by Seth Godin

The Dip by Seth Godin points out that:

The biggest mistake they taught us in school is being well rounded is the secret to success.  That we should never quit for quitters never win.

The truth, however, is that strategic quitting is the secret to success.   Reactive quitting and serial quitting are the bane of those who strive to get what they want but most often fail because they quit when it’s painful and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit.

Seth Godin have illustrated, in his book The Dip, the following:

3 Curves that Define Life’s Situations


The dip is the long slog between starting and mastery.  The dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishments.

2.  THE CUL-DE-SAC (French for “Dead End”)

It’s a situation where you work and work, you work and you work and nothing much changes.  It doesn’t get a lot harder, it doesn’t get a lot worse.  It just is.  When you find one, you need to get off it, fast.  Because a dead end keeps you from doing something else.  Something that can make you successful.




It’s a situation where you can’t quit until you fall off and the whole thing falls apart.

If you find yourself into these last two curves (Cul-de-Sac and Cliff), you need to quit. Not soon, but now.  The biggest obstacle to success is our inability to quit these curves soon enough.  The Cul-de-sac and the cliff are the curves that lead to failure.  While “The Dip” is where success happens.

The people who set out to make it through the dip – the people who invest the time and energy and effort to power through the Dip – these are the ones who become the best in the world.

Simple Rule: If you can’t make it through the dip, don’t start.

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.  Find out where you can do best of all, then focus your resources on that and when faced with the dip, don’t quit.  Slog through the Dip, relentlessly changing tactics but never quitting the big idea.  If you can keep going when the circumstance is expecting you to stop, you will achieve extraordinary results.

Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others can’t see it.

Winners understand that taking that pain now prevents a lot more pain later.  However, the decision to quit or not is a simple evaluation: is the pain of the dip worth the benefit of the light in the end of the tunnel?

It’s okay to quit sometimes, in fact, its okay to quit often.

When to Quit?

  1. You’re on a dead-end path;
  2. Facing a cliff;
  3. The reward at the end is not worth it;
  4. You don’t have the time or the passion or the resources to be the best in the world.


Failing happens when you give up. When your dreams are over.

Strategic quitting is a conscious decision you make based on the choices that are available to you.  If you realize you’re at a dead-end compared with what you could be investing in, quitting is not a reasonable choice, it’s a smart one.


The problem with coping is that it never leads to exceptional performance.  All coping does is waster your time and misdirect your energy.  Quitting is better than coping because quitting frees you up to excel at something else.  Quitting for short term is a bad idea.  Quitting for long term is an excellent idea.

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


One reason people feel really good after they quit a dead-end project is that they discover that hurting one’s pride is not fatal.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life doing something you didn’t enjoy in order to preserve your pride?  I think it’s a bad idea.

3 Questions to Ask Before Quitting

  • Question 1:  Am I panicking?
  • Question 2: Who Am I trying to Influence?
  • Question 3: What sort of measurable progress am I making?

The best quitters are those who decide in advance when they’re going to quit.  Without a compass or a plan, the easiest thing to do is to give up.

If you are making a decision based on how you feel at the moment, you will probably make the wrong decision.  You should outline your quitting strategy before the discomfort sets in.

Setting your limits before you start is a powerful strategy.  Just as a smart venture capitalist pressures the board of directors to have a plan in case they run out of money, every individual and every organization that wants to use quitting as a competitive tool ought to have plan about when it’s time to quit.


I highly recommend this book, The Dip by Seth Godin, to anyone who is in dilemma.  The practical, simple yet straight-forward advice you will get is much more relevant than any advice you will get from other people.  As long as you are open and willing to learn new ideas and ways of doing things, I’m sure you will love this book.

However, if you are the type who loves traditional and conventional, this book may not appeal and work to you.  The Dip by Seth Godin presents new ideas and ways of doing things that may hurt your old beliefs.

For a final note, remember:

Quit the wrong stuff.  Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other. – Seth Godin, The Dip



  1. This reminds me of another book I read once. It really does detail the road to Mastery well. There are always going to be dips along the way. It is in how you handle those dips that makes the difference in your path to where you want to be. I say persistence is key, but knowing when to throw the towel in is a good trait too.

  2. I agree steve, in the road to mastery you need alot of persistence. but as i believe, persistence is only good if you’re doing the “right” purpose. When we say right, it doesn’t mean perfect or ideal, but more of, what’s really is align to your life’s principle and objective. Thank you for your note.

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