Monday Morning Motivation:
When To Hold, When To Fold, How To Tell The Difference 

Happy Monday everyone! The grind never stops so it’s time to get moving!

This weekend, I had several interesting conversations about hard work and success. They reminded me of a book I read a few years back called The Dip, by Seth Godin. It’s a fast read but packed full of information that came right on time for me.

Back then, I was at a crossroads of sorts with Good Enough Mother; I couldn’t decide if I was going to continue on in the direction I was going  (hold ’em) or throw in all the cards (fold ’em.. duh!). Just being at that crossroads was painful and anxiety-producing, neither of which helped the decision-making process.

After reading The Dip I took stock of what I was doing, where I was, where I was going and above all, my personal happiness. When I started Good Enough Mother back in 2005, I was excited; I greeted each day with an enthusiasm and hadn’t had for many years.  I made great strides initially, invaluable contacts and partnerships  and things were going great with a capital G.

Then I hit the first speed bump. Never one to operate well without borders (read: champion procrastinator), the writing/promoting became, well, a job.. and a difficult one at that. It was harder to get excited about what I was doing, in part because the rapid growth I experienced early on, had leveled out. I was, according to Godin entering “The Dip.”

I had two choices; I could quit or lean into it, which proved to be one of the most important parts of the book for me. If I quit, I would go back to what I had been doing before, the very thing I was trying to escape, which was a job where others had complete control over me. Or I could stay on this path that, though hard (and frankly, terrifying at times) was infinitely more rewarding.

But the thing about being in The Dip, as Godin points out, is that if you can power through that as others (competitors) give up, you will create a situation of scarcity and that scarcity will create value in you and your brand. So how do you know when it’s time to quit or hunker down? In my own experience,

You should hold ’em when:

What you’re doing brings you joy:  That doesn’t mean there aren’t hardships, but overall do you feel good about what you’re doing?

You are making a difference: Is what you’re doing being joy, relief, comfort to others?

You are seeing results: Your business is growing, or if not right away, you can see a pathway to success


You should fold when:

You are miserable: UGH! If you wake up everyday and feel like you just can’t do it any more.. then don’t

If your heart’s not in it anymore: If there is no joy in it for you (see above).

You’re not seeing results: If your business is not growing, and you can’t see a time when it will (even after you’ve changed and adapted)

Ultimately, as you know, I decided to power through The Dip and have since discovered one of my own truths; that there is a lot of learning in the valleys.

Can you power through The Dip? Have you ever? What tricks did you use to keep going?

More from GEM:

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