A Publication of WTVP

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again…”  —Henry Ford

Recently, a client turned me on to The Dip, a quick-read book by best-selling author Seth Godin. The whole premise of the book is that in anything worth doing, there will be a natural dip—and the bigger the dip, the more effective it will be at filtering out the crowd to allow the super-achievers to rise to the top.

The key to becoming a super-achiever in your field? Just make it through the dip while everyone else drops off.

We are in dip-producing times. It is hard to watch the evening news sometimes, given all the doom and gloom projected upon us by the media. Every day, there’s another sad story about a business that simply couldn’t survive.

There is little tolerance in our culture for failure and tremendous pressure to get things right every time, to be in control, to succeed and win. What would it be like to cast our dips in a different light, to take them out of the darkness of disgrace and guilt and remove the associated feeling of “disaster”? Dips actually serve several essential functions for our businesses:

Dips spark creativity. Sometimes we need to be jolted out of our routine and back into the essential work of re-assessing and re-creating our businesses. Failure doesn’t just clear its throat—it blows a trumpet in our ears and stirs up all sorts of creative juices. Harness that energy, and you’ll find creative solutions to business problems.

Dips promote risk-taking and change. Great courage is needed to face times of change. A significant dip can be exactly the influence that enables us to step out of our comfort zone to try something new.

Dips remind us what’s important. Being forced to face possible failure drives us back to the basics in our businesses. To keep our clients in a downturn, we have no choice but to pay attention to our core products and services, while taking excellent care of our customers—because, quite frankly, we are reminded of how precious their business really is to us.

Caught in a dip right now? Search for the hidden wisdom in the situation. Start by asking yourself these questions:

Understand that dips ultimately are not about loss, deficiency and flaws. Instead, their lessons make us wiser, stronger and more prepared for the rest of our journey. iBi