When To Quit

July 31, 2009
posted by sheric

I have introduced you to the wise words of marketing guru Seth Godin before. He has amazing insight into the inner workings of marketing strategy and using it to your advantage. He has a book called The Dip which is about quitting. Yes, quitting is a success strategy that goes against everything anyone has ever told you about succeeding. The reason I want to talk about it here, where filmmakers come to read my thoughts and advice about film marketing, is that learning about quitting is a valuable tool to use before you embark on a career in filmmaking, or any career for that matter. I realize that this is not a popular concept, but hear him out.

With the proliferation of digital cameras and tools, the process of filmmaking has become simplified. So much so that practically anyone can give filmmaking a try and the market is now flooded with cheaply made, varying quality films all hoping to succeed. So how does one succeed and stand out from this  pack of new filmmakers? Seth explains that the dip is the barrier that exists to keep the masses out. When you start off being a filmmaker, it is so exciting. You are filled with enthusiasm for your project and you infuse that energy in the people around you so that they are also excited and supportive. Everyone starts out with a full head of steam when they start.

Then comes the part where you have to come up with a great and strong story, raise money,  find crew and talent who are skilled but willing to work for little to nothing. If you get into the production, it is often without a real sense of what is going to happen at the end and all of that enthusiasm starts to wane. This is the dip, the hard part that inevitably comes. The barrier that separates the truly committed and talented from everyone else. Proper planning, a clear determination toward your goal and an amount of research into what successful filmmakers before you have done to survive the dip will help you come out of it. That is what separates the successful from every other filmmaker.

If you are not willing to commit to coming through the dip, do not start. Do not even attempt it. It is imperative that you do not get into the dip and then quit. All of the time you spent at the start will have been wasted and you will never enjoy the benefits that come after you make it through the dip. You could have directed that time and effort into something else more rewarding. Only the focused, prepared and committed will make it through the dip. Everyone else should quit and devote their time to something else that will make them a success.

Here is a short video of Seth Godin explaining his philosophy on quitting and making it through the dip.

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