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Vince Lombardi was wrong.

According to Seth Godin, and his new book called The Dip, Ol' Vince's adage "Quitters never win and winners never quit" is bad advice.The_dip_2

Seth says, "Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time."

The difference is choosing the right time to quit things.  And it's choosing the right things to quit.

What's the "dip?" 

Well, it's the period of time between learning a new skill and the time when you experience success doing it. 

It's that gap between the initial excitement of beginner’s luck and sustainable success. 

You know... it's when the "learning" is tough and there's no obvious ROI for the effort. 

The "dip" is hard.  The "dip" can be lonely.  But the "dip" is where success happens.  Because... when the right people... stick it out... they can emerge the winner.

But Seth makes the point that what separates the superstars from the pack is:

  • Their ability to recognize the right "dip" to push through
  • Their ability to quit the wrong "dips" quickly and without guilt
  • Their willingness to seek out the "dip" because they recognize the reward of pushing through the "dips" that most people wont stick out

I'll give you a simple example from my own life. 

I'm not a huge golf fan.  Many of you know that. 

In fact, I have some classic nightmare stories from the golf course. 

I used to play.  Better said, I dabbled.  Why?  Well, I was in an industry where a lot of my customers were golfers.  So, it seemed like I needed to golf too. 

Once and a while, as I played, I would hit a great shot.  One that would go right where I wanted it.  And that feeling was sweet. 

But on most days, the balls veered left or right.  Sometimes they even seemed to violate the laws of gravity to wind up in weeds or water.

More importantly, I recognized that I didn't enjoy the game.  At all.  Ever.

So, I chose to quit. 

A number of my counterparts doubted my decision.  EVERYONE golfed.  So... they thought this decision would hurt my ability to do business-as-usual.

But I quit anyway.  I chose to try something new.  I lived in Montana at the time, so I chose rock climbing.  Yup.  Rock climbing.

As it turned out, I loved it.  I WANTED to spend time doing it.  I yearned to push through the "dip" between beginner's luck and true aptitude.

I was also surprised to find out that a number of my clients rock climbed, too.  So, although most of my competitors offered to take people out golfing, I started to take people out for an afternoon of rock climbing.

And it was a hit. 

I'd take someone out, and we'd spend time hiking to a rock face.  We'd hold each other's life in the balance.  We'd push each other.  Then we'd get to hike back. 

It was different...  it was fun...  it was memorable...  AND it was a good fit.

So, since the golf was a bad fit, I quit.  Without guilt. 

Yes.  Even though a number of people thought I was crazy, I quit.

I tried something new. 

It was a good fit.  It was something worth pushing through the "dip."  And... it paid off.

How about you? 

Where are you experiencing the "dip?"  At work?  At home?

What do you need to quit (without guilt) to free yourself up to do the RIGHT things?

Whether it's at work... at home... volunteering... serving... what do you need to quit?  So, you can be doing more of the right things... more of the things that are IMPORTANT to you... more of the things that are the RIGHT fit for you?

As a coach, I get to work with people on this question a lot.  It's critical.  It can make the difference between success and defeat.  BUT sometimes it's hard.  Isn't it? 

So, don't tackle it alone. 

Seth makes this point at the end of his book, too.  He even suggests that you pass your copy of the book along to others who need to think about quiting something.  You know... to keep the conversation going.

So... let's do the same.

Join in the conversation... click "comments" and let us know about the things you're thinking you need to quit... AND/or the things you want to stick with. 

Because... whether you choose to drop it or keep it... we're in this together!

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Comments

Mitch,

Great advice and a great example. Another reason golf probably did not work for you, where rock climbing did, was that people could sense your passion for one and not the other.

The same goes for business. Passion pushes you through dips others cannot and rallies others behind your cause. You make new rock climbers where there otherwise wouldn't be any.

When you are truly passionate about what you do, you don't even notice the dips.

Brett

Mitch - thank you. I recently had a dip that I have had to come to terms with, one that I had to drop in order to focus on the aspects that I can win with. Its good read this information to reinforce my decision and know I am on the right track.

Mitch - thank you. I recently had a dip that I have had to come to terms with, one that I had to drop in order to focus on the aspects that I can win with. Its good read this information to reinforce my decision and know I am on the right track.

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