When you were a kid, struck out 4 times in one game and told your dad you wanted to quit playing baseball, he told you that a quitter never wins. When you attended every practice for freshman football in high school, but never played one down in the first 8 games, you told your dad you wanted to quit. He told you that you can’t let the team down, to tough it out. When your brother told you that he’s wasn’t happy in his marriage, you instinctively told him to not to give up, give it a little more time.
Is there ever a time where giving up is the right answer?
What if your working for a company where you think the path they’re on is going to lead to failure? What if you feel the major decision makers are blinded by their attitudes from a previous era? What if you have tried to make progress but are always stymied?
The old saying is wrong-winners do quit, and quitters do win.
Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point-really hard, and not much fun at all.
And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a Dip – a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. But maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard you try.
That’s what Seth Godin says.
Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt-until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. In fact, winners seek out the Dip. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you’ll get more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security.
Losers, on the other hand, fall into two basic traps. Either they fail to stick out the Dip-they get to the moment of truth and then give up-or they never even find the right Dip to conquer.
So maybe it all depends on the dip your facing. Can you see to the other side of the dip? What do you see on the opposite shore? Is it what you’ve always dreamed of?
If you can see the opposite shore, and it’s not what you’ve always dreamed of, why are you trying to fight through the dip? What if the other shore is so far off all you can see if the curve of the horizon?
How do you know when to throw in the towel?