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David Squires

Having A Second Helping of The Dip



Going back over some old book notes this weekend, and I came across a few lessons to live by from Seth Godin’s “The Dip”, a book I’ve maligned previously. Anyway, a bunch of things worth remembering on a random Wednesday morning.

My comments in italics:

Seth: Just about everything you learned in school about life is wrong, but the wrongest thing might very well be this: Being well rounded is the secret to success.

David: Be lopsided. Be blobby. As Marcus Buckingham says, your weaknesses will never become strengths. At best, they will become areas where your performance is middling. Instead of spending your time seeking to become average, what if you lavished your energy on the things you’re already good at … and became great at them?

Seth: Sometimes we get discouraged and turn to inspirational writing, like stuff from Vince Lombardi: “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” Bad advice. Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.


David: When it comes to rules for living, the wisdom of Vince Lombardi is about as useful as the wisdom of Gary Busey. Quitters never win? The most important rule of business is that you should be experimenting all the time. Could you imagine what your world would be like if you never quit any of your experiments?

Seth: The mass market is dying. There is no longer one best song or one best kind of coffee. Now there are a million micromarkets, but each micromarket still has a best. If your micromarket is “organic markets in Tulsa,” then that’s your world. And being the best in that world is the place to be.

David: In a competitive market where it seems like every other jeweler is offering the same thing as you do? Eschew the general. Become more specific. Pick a category (bridal jewelry, colored stone jewelry, men’s jewelry). Or a style (antique, modern, bling-y). Or a price range (everything under $100, nothing under $5,000). Or an age group (tweens, 20-34, 35-50, 50-up). Once you’ve picked your category, become the very best at it in your micro-market.

Seth: People who train successfully pay their dues for the first minute or two and then get all the benefits at the very end. Unsuccessful trainers pay exactly the same dues but stop a few seconds too early.

David: Word.

Seth: The opposite of quitting isn’t merely continuing. No, the opposite of quitting is rededication. The opposite of quitting is an invigorated new strategy designed to break the problem apart.


David: Been floating in your business for months? Maybe it’s time for you to quit. But if you decide you don’t want to quit, start an ambitious new project … stat.

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