“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine
In 2007, Seth Godin released a book called The Dip. Godin lays out his methodology for understanding when a venture is dead and when it may gain new life. The title inspired this blog post but the message goes even deeper than is possible in this post.
Success and failure are the steadfast companions of an entrepreneur. As success urges one forward, previous missteps haunt the same psyche. The highs make its passengers feel like they are ten feet tall, impervious to any other fate. Conversely, failure taunts one as a specter that looms ominously before or behind one’s successes.
What are dips?
Imagine life as a sine curve. Dips are the lulls between your successes. These are also referred to as the valley in the common phrase “peaks and valleys”. Dips cannot be avoided, they must be embraced.
In 1980, Steve Jobs took Apple public. In 1986, the Armenian-American CEO founded Pixar, which later produced Toy Story. In 1998, Apple removed Steve Jobs as CEO. 1998 was a very public dip.
Moving beyond the dip
Dips are inevitable as are the opportunities to learn from them. Here are a few tips to learn from down times:
1) Remember what actions led to this outcome
2) Remember the pain and anger associated with this dip
3) Seek counsel from a trusted source
4) Build better systems
5) Apply these lessons to the next challenge
Dips will follow any success. However a change in fortune does not mean these is little to learn.