Success Comes...Just Beyond "The Dip"
By Kristen Lamb
If you stick with your dream long enough, you will make it to The Dip (thank you, Seth Godin). The Dip is that span of suck right before the big breakthrough. The Dip is a killer and it seems to go on and on and on, but The Dip serves a number of important purposes.
The Dip Weeds Out the Uncommitted
Writing is the best job in the world. I love what I do and, frankly it's a huge reason I struggle with resting. My work rarely feels like work...unless I'm in The Dip, which I'm in now. We writers also call these "revisions." I've read my new book so many times, I swear I could recite it from memory.
But there's a missing comma. Oh, and where did that extra period come from? Wait, the subject and verb don't agree in that sentence. Doesn't that need a citation? All righty. That sentence totally made sense in my head. WTH? Kill...me...now.
It's so tempting to just say, Well, it's good enough.
Then I could start a new book. I have all these ideas! But no, the world rewards those who finish what they start. The world rewards excellence. It rewards those of us who make it past The Dip. This is true with writing, business, losing weight, or trying to accomplish anything remarkable. There are DIPS.
The Dip Trains Us for Success
I blogged once a week for over a year and a half and, if I had over 50 visits a day? I did a huge happy dance. But I kept going. I didn't blog for others. I didn't blog to get comments or sell books. I did it to train me to be committed, because I was a notorious flake/slacker who required far too much outside validation than was probably healthy.
If we need constant outside encouragement, we won't last in this business (or any other). Sometimes we need to keep pressing when everything in us tells us to give up, when every friend we have thinks we're nuts.
We need to keep pressing when we haven't lost a pound in two weeks and we are tempted to dive face-first into a gallon of ice cream.
Getting Past the Dip
First of all, just keep going. Keep your head down. No matter what it is you want to achieve, small actions over time add up. Showing up is a huge part of success.
The same thing happened with my first book. I hit a HUGE Dip. When I published We Are Not Alone--The Writer's Guide to Social Media, I had no platform to support that book. My first royalty check made me cry for three days. When I tell writers how important it is to have a strong platform, I speak from experience...from doing it wrong.
But, despite my mistakes, I learned how to do things better and kept my head down. I kept moving and eventually that book became a #1 best-seller.
One step at a time. One bite at a time. Keep investing in you, your career, your craft, your dream. Eventually all that potential energy will pile up and then WHOOSH!
Then Expect a New Dip
As Joyce Meyer likes to say, "New level, new devil."
Once you make it past the Dip, celebrate your success. Reward yourself. Then back to work. And soon? Guess what? You got it ;).
But remember, Dips train the successful. The Dips can even get bigger and longer. The stakes grow higher, but you will be ready because you've been blasting through Dips so long, your motto is, "Bring it on!"
What about you guys? Are you in The Dip? Ready to scream yet? What Dips have you conquered? I want to hear about your successes? What are you struggling with? Do you have any tips, tactics, tools that might help? Share!