- Anything that you choose to do (project, work, hobby, etc) has a dip, which is the amount of time and effort required to get between the excitement and enthusiasm involved in a new endeavor and the desired end result – also known as the hump.
- Everything has a dip but dips are different. Learning to say hello in 5 languages has a dip of maybe an hour or two. Learning to speak 5 languages fluently has a dip of years, possibly decades.
- For those things you are seriously interested in engaging in (not hobbies), such as starting a new company or writing a book, you need to be able to prepare for the dip, recognize it when it happens and work through it by either incorporating strategies to be productive through it or shorten it.
- If you aren’t willing to go through what’s required to get through the dip, you shouldn’t even bother. Quit now and save yourself the time and effort to focus on something you are willing to get to through the dip on.
- You should also strive to be the best in the world in what you do.
Best in the world? Yep. But Seth throws a little curve ball as his definition of the world comes with a big asterisk. Best in the “world” is being best in the world in which you define it. Looking at it from a consumer, let’s say you want a graphic artist to do some logo work for you. You want the best (who doesn’t, amirite?). But there are several problems with attaining the best. The best is usually already busy with other work they find more interesting (availability), their prices are out of your range (accessibility) and some of them you might not even know about. So you can’t have the best, but you can have the best based on the available graphic artists who are available and willing to take what you are willing to pay. These two aspects just cut your pool down about 95% with two simple characteristics.
But using Seth’s logic, this is what you should be focusing on – being the best of the world of the graphic artists who are freelancers, are willing to do things for less than $100/hr and have bandwidth. All of the sudden, the world as you know it becomes much clearer and even attainable. Now, you can take this world construction down to such a sganular level that it becomes absurd. I am the best blogger in the world named Stephen, using WordPress, who is 6’1″, etc. This doesn’t really do much for me. However, being the best blogger in the world doesn’t give me much value either. Instead, I pick a middle ground. I want to be the best software development and product management blogger in the Houston area. While that pool is still pretty deep, it is also something I can strive towards and it’s an attainable target, if I can get past the dip. My dip involves refining my writing style and increasing the value of my offerings. These are very tough things to work on and require some pretty serious commitments. Your world may change as you develop and attain new skillsets or experience. A software developer’s world may go through several phases.
The best at documentation out of the 3 junior developers on the team.
The best at refactoring the persistence layer on the team.
The best developer on the team.
The best developer in my section.
The best developer in my company.
If you have some spare hours this weekend, grab a copy of the book and give it a read, especially if you are like me and have many more projects that you start but don’t finish. Reading the book and understanding the concept isn’t hard. Defining your world is the real dip. Start small. Dream big.