Have you ever heard of the concept “the dip?” This idea was pioneered by entrepreneurial thought-leader Seth Godin in his book titled…you guessed it, The Dip. In his book, Godin writes about a point in every entrepreneur’s journey when the going gets tough and the tough can’t get going. A point in life when the desire to succeed is outweighed by the innumerable obstacles standing in front of that success. A point when most people stop and give up. Godin accurately refers to this feeling as the dip.
The dip is a feeling that every human will experience at some point in their life, aspiring entrepreneur or not. But for the entrepreneur, the dip is the crucible. It’s what defines a successful entrepreneur because all successful entrepreneurs have both faced the dip and overcame it.
There are a lot of strategies on overcoming the dip. Many of these strategies preach forging ahead full-bore, or suggest making incremental progress toward a defined goal. These strategies are tried and tested by many entrepreneurs and – in some cases – have led to entrepreneurial success. Is it possible though, to mitigate the dip?
I am at the point in my entrepreneurial journey where my ideas are beginning to pick up pace. I am taking my advice from my previous post and focusing on building a sustainable platform, and my excitement is growing with each new idea. Which got me thinking, if there is a dip that every entrepreneur will face, there must be a peak that comes right before it. Conventional wisdom will tell you that the higher the peak, the deeper the potential dip; the higher the initial excitement, the further the emotional fall.
I’m sure we have all gone through a peak and a dip already. You know the sequence of emotions: a desire to create something bigger than yourself, elation when you think of an idea worth pursuing, excitement as your idea begins to take shape, and then the inevitable feeling of dismay when you truly understand the enormity of your undertaking. That feeling of dismay is exactly when most aspiring entrepreneurs give up. That feeling of dismay is the dip.
I don’t believe it’s possible to avoid the dip. Having emotions that wax and wain is part of being human, and overcoming the dip is a milestone in every entrepreneurs journey. I do believe it’s possible, however, to shallow out the dip. When you have that initial feeling of elation and you stand atop your emotional peak, it’s important to remain even keel. Your passion and desire to create something great will lift you up, but you need to be realistic about the challenges that lay ahead. Many of the most successful people in the world never let their emotions control them. They never get too high, and consequently they never get too low.
Understand that achieving your goal will be a hard fought battle. Recognize the peak as an opportunity to see where the dip lays, not to discourage you, but to give you the foresight to overcome it. If you remain realistic about your journey your peak won’t get too high, but your dip won’t get too low. You may be giving up some instant elation, but you will be gaining a wealth of long-term, stable success.
And don’t worry, if you experience the dip right after the peak, you are headed in the right direction.