“The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson Book Review, Chapters 1-3

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The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

I am reading this book right now with a two other women. One of the women suggested we read it, and we’ve actually decided to read it all together and discuss.

The Slight Edge is about “turning simple disciplines into massive success & happiness”. Turning you life into a huge success by making small choices or decisions that are positively impactful. We’re reading a few chapters at a time and here is my review/notes/thoughts of the first three chapters.


Chapter 1: The Beach Bum and the Millionaire.

This chapter was a welcome chapter and an intro to who Jeff Olson is. It’s his personal story of how he went from beach bum in Daytona to millionaire to broke and back to success. He talks of his “day of disgust“. This was the day he realized that cutting grass at a country club would never produce enough income to actually become a member of said country club – or anywhere for that matter! His “night of despair” was after his solar power business tanked. He had lost everything and ended up being more broke than when he was cutting grass.

This chapter was great. It gave an inspiring and relatable introduction to the book and offered a great teaser to keep reading. I wanted more and more about how this beach bum became so successful. I wanted to learn what the “slight edge” was!

The world is chock full of people who are working their butts off — and still getting their butts kicked by circumstances.

Page 5, Chapter 1

Chapter 2: The First Ingredient

The first ingredient

Page 20, Chapter 2

The missing ingredient is your philosophy.

Your philosophy is basically taking what you learn and applying it to your life. Using that self-help book, hearing those TED talks, or whatever you like and actually using the information for more than two weeks. The ingredient is staying on top of yourself and disciplining your mind and body to do that thing.

Go to the gym. Follow that diet. Read that book. Hop on that trend.

Whatever it is, put your whole life into it.

Here’s where the gettin’ gets good. We’re finally getting some insight into the “slight edge”. There’s more to come and we don’t get it all here just a taste. I’m eager to read more.

Chapter 3: The Choice

This chapter started off with a heartwarming fable. Here’s a quick summary:

Old, wise, rich dad has two sons. On his death bed he offers to each son either a penny that appreciates in value over the next 30 days or a stack of $1000 that equals 1 million dollars. He also gives them a book filled with short stories. Son #1 read two stories from the book. Story #1 was about a flower that wanted to make it to the other side of the pond so it sent it seeds out and eventually when they all bloomed it covered the pond. Story #2 was about two frogs that went into a bucket of cream. After they had eaten the cream they couldn’t get out so one frog just gave up and the other tried so hard the creamed turned to butter which was a nice foundation for him to climb out of the pale. Son #2 did not read the book and instead just took the million dollars. Eventually Son #2 loses all his money and ends up in more debt than he began with and Son #1 comes out on top with over 10 million dollars

Here’s where the “slight edge” comes into play. Making positive small decisions that compound on top of one another leads to great results. Huge results! Million dollar results! However, making negative small decisions that compound on top of one another leads to failure. Huge failure. Million dollar failures. The choice is yours.

Most people don’t stick with the simple daily disciplines it takes to get where they want to go, because they don’t know how to look ahead far enough along the curve to see the results they are creating.

Page 40, Chapter 3

Overall:

I’m really liking this book. The fact that this reading opportunity has landed in my life right now is perfect. I’m at a low in my life. A pretty bleak season in fact, so it’s about time I found some inspiration.

I’m excited to read more and I’ll be posting updates, so stay tuned!

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All quotes/paraphrases/paragraphs: Olson, Jeff. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success and Happiness. Goko Publishing, 2016.