Seth Godin is a well-known marketer who wrote a little book called The Dip: When to Quit and When to Stick. The book talks about when you should keep working at something, and when you should just give up and call it a day.
Seth says the common saying about winners never quitting and quitters never winning is just wrong! Sometimes winners do quit, and sometimes quitters really do win. It’s about knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em and in the Internet marketing industry, this is a lesson we all must master.
Whenever you start a new project, it’s usually very exciting. It’s fun, it’s new, and it’s a lot easier to stick to. After awhile, the project starts to lose your interest. It starts to get boring, and then it gets a lot harder to stick to.
A Dip is only temporary. If you keep working at it, you’ll break through it. But sometimes it’s what Godin calls a Cul-de-Sac, which won’t get better. You could try and try and you’d never make it out of your rut.
You shouldn’t always keep working at something because if it’s going nowhere, it could be preventing you from realizing success. So many people will tell you to keep pushing no matter what – that it’s the only way to be successful. That’s not always true. Smart people know when to escape those dead ends and walk away.
Yes, winners do quit. They quit while they quitting’s good. They quit when it makes sense to quit. People who fail a lot generally fail to keep going when times get a little rough. Sometimes they’ll even keep going when they know deep down they’re fighting a losing battle.
If you train yourself, you can eventually learn to tell when you should quit and when you should keep pushing. It becomes second nature. Until then, there are a few tips you can use to decide whether or not you should maintain momentum with a specific project.
First, ask how long you’ve been going. If you’ve been going quite awhile, giving up might be a waste of the work you’ve already put in. Then again, if you’ve stuck to something for a very, very long time and you’re not seeing any results, it would be ridiculous to keep going.
Next, ask yourself if the potential rewards are worth it. If you’re busting your butt to carve out a big chunk of a very tiny niche, maybe it really isn’t worth it. Will that tiny niche ever be worth the mammoth amount of work you’re putting in?
On the other hand, if you’re already making some headway into a very large market, giving up might be a bit premature. Why give up on a major cash cow when you’re already halfway to the barn?
Finally, ask yourself if it’s REALLY worth it. Don’t think in terms of money – think in terms of your LIFE. You’re the one putting the time, effort, and money into a project. If the potential reward doesn’t seem worth the hassle anymore, maybe it really is time to give up.
After all, most of us wouldn’t be willing to sell our soul to the Devil for fame and fortune. So why sell your soul to this project? If your heart just isn’t in it, consider getting out while you can.