A Guide on When to Quit – And When to Stick

Takeaways from the dip book

Just finished reading this quick read with a punchy point: Anything worth doing has a painful messy middle period, which is where most people quit.

Read The Dip book if this applies to you. There’s not a wasted page. But if you’ve only two minutes, read this instead.

Most people quit.

Quitters never win and winners never quit 

Vince Lombardi

Quitting is often a great strategy, a smart way to manage your life and your career. Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.

In order to get far, you need to quit countless other pursuits.

Skim through the questions and answer the easiest ones first, skipping ones you don’t know immediately.

Bad Advice. People who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they don’t know.

Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations. Most people quit when it’s painful and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit.

The Dip Curve

The Dip Curve

In the beginning, when you first starting something, it’s fun. Over the next few days and weeks, the rapid learning you experience keeps you going. And then the Dip happens.

The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. The Dip is the set of artificial screens set up to keep people like you out.

If you can’t make it through the Dip, don’t start.

Microsoft failed twice with Windows, four times with Word, three times with Excel. The entire company is based on the idea of slogging through the Dip, relentlessly changing tactics but never quitting the big idea.

If you want to be a superstar, then you need to find a field with a steep Dip — And you’ve got to get through to that Dip to the other side — And quit all the other projects and endeavors that don’t offer the same opportunity.

It’s easy to be a CEO. What’s hard is getting there. There is a huge Dip along the way. If it was easy, there’d be too many people vying for the job and CEOs couldn’t get paid that much.

Successful people don’t just ride out the Dip. They push harder changing the rules as they go. Just because you know you’re in the Dip doesn’t mean you have to live happily with it.

Reasons You Might Fail to Become the Best in the World

  • You run out of time (and quit)
  • You run out of money (an quit)
  • You get scared (an quit)
  • You’re not serious about it (an quit)
  • You focus on the short term instead of the long (and quit when the short term gets too hard)

The goal of any competitor is to create a Dip so long and so deep that the nascent competition can’t catch up.

The average is for losers, the average is invisible. The next time you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: Quit or be exceptional. The Dip is an opportunity to create something so extraordinary that people can’t ignore.

Short-term pain has more impact on most people than long-term benefits do, which is why it’s so important for you to amplify the long-term benefits of not quitting.


It’s okay to quit, sometimes.

You should quit if you’re on a dead-end path. You should quit if you’re facing a cliff. You should quit if the project you’re working on has a Dip that isn’t worth the reward at the end.

Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.

All our success are the same. All our failures, too.

We succeed when we do something remarkable. We fail when we give up too soon.

We succeed when we are the best in the world at what we do. We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.

Read The Dip book if this applies to you. There’s not a wasted page.

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