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on April 6, 2007
This is truly a book I would recommend to anyone...and the only reason I would ever recommend a book is if it's had significant, real personal impact on my life in practical ways...and this book has done just that. It's caused me to be more consciously aware of the slight edge when making small, seemingly insignificant decisions throughout the day.

Jeff doesn't necessarily offer up a new philosophy or idea in this book. But he uncovers the simple, eternal truths about success and failure, and he calls it the "slight edge": simplified disciplines (good or bad) compounded over time. This principle, which is true to everyone, everywhere, can be recognized and applied to EVERY area of life.

He explains how our society has been inundated with what he calls the "breakthrough mentality": how we expect success and completion to come easily and quickly. He breaks down the slight edge and how it affects your financial prosperity, health, relationships, etc. This book really causes you to look at your life, where you're at, how you got there, and the choices you can make daily to get to where you want to go.

I have read the book, I have listened to the audiobook. I will continue to refer back to it's principles.

Bottom Line: It's easy reading, it's practical, it's useful. It's not fluff or hype, but it's written by a realist who knows what it is to fail, and what it takes to succeed greatly. Not only would I recommend this to everyone (which I RARELY ever do for a book), but if I was in charge of things, I would make this a required text in high schools.
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VINE VOICEon November 9, 2009
Author Jeff Olson offers the secret to a successful life in his "The Slight Edge." This book centers on answering the questions, "Why are some people successful, and some people failures? What is the difference - really?

The book begins with three stories, of which I will share the one about the water hyacinth - a beautiful, delicate-looking little plant. The hyacinth is one of the most productive (successful) plants on earth; its reproductive rate astonishes botanists and ecologists. The method it prefers for colonizing a new area is to grow by doubling itself. One plant can multiply to cover an entire pond in thirty days.

The "Slight Edge" involves the flywheel effect which caused the hyacinth to multiply. Success is built on each turn of the flywheel which builds upon work done earlier, compounding the investment of effort. It doesn't come from nowhere; it can't be conjured up out of thin air. It comes from a very small, tiny beginning, and grows with time.

The secret ingredient to success is one's philosophy. What are the attitudes behind your actions? Your attitudes lead to actions which lead to results - creating your life. Olson provides a useful diagram of our actions and how their compounding interest leads to success or failure over time. The upper curve on the diagram is the formula for success: a few simple disciplines, repeated every day over time. The lower curve is the formula for failure: a few simple errors in judgment, repeated every day over time. The upper curve represents the one person out of twenty who follows the "Slight Edge." It's pure geometry, the geometry of effects over time. One can choose time will to be a friend or an enemy.

Each of us, every day and every hour, chooses which side of this curve we want to ride. "The Slight Edge" provides good guide on making the right choice, and a reminder that successful people form habits that feed their success, instead of habits that feed their failure.
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on February 16, 2011
read the glowing reviews of this book and had hopes of feeling similarly inspired by it, but it didn't have that much of an impact on me.

Jeff Olson offers some simple, sensible, helpful and constructive advice to his readers, and it's presented with friendly intent, but there is nothing new. The book starts off with the promise, not that we are going to discover new techniques for personal success, but that we will learn a new way to use the techniques we already have. I kept waiting for this 'new way' to be presented. Olson's basic premise is that small actions taken over time add up to big effects, and that taking some kind of action, however small, is better than doing nothing. Good advice, but not original. The book started to feel overlong quite early on, and I skimmed through the latter half because I felt I was reading the same information and ideas over and over again. Olson does make the point that making life changes involves paying a price - a fact that many self-development writers gloss over, and the most constructive bit of advice in the book, I feel.

A well-inentioned book that promises something different but takes a long time to say the same thing.
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on October 19, 2014
It could be the shift in our thinking these days or maybe it was always like this. Taking responsibility seems to be less and less of an American trait among adults and, therefore, it will be a less likely trait of our children. As ashamed as I am to admit this, it took me over 30 years to begin to accept responsibility for my actions and for the situations I was at in life. When I did, EVERYTHING CHANGED.

When the switch got flipped for me, I was reading a book a friend suggested: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. A week before I began the book, I had just encountered what felt like a devastating blow to my business. My earnings dropped over $3,000 in just two weeks. Things were not going as I had planned. I fell far shy of the goals I had set for myself. All the time and effort I had poured into my business looked as if it had not paid off and I felt like I lost control of where I was going. So I did what most people would do… I blamed everyone except for myself. I starting pointing the finger and saying, “this person didn’t do what they were supposed to do and this person didn’t do that, etc.” To me, there were a bunch of people at fault and none were the person in the mirror.

You know when you lie about something long enough, you start to believe it? Well, it works the same way when you’re blaming others long enough. The more you blame others, the easier it becomes and the more you believe it yourself. You will actually start believing it’s their fault. The problem with that is, it takes the focus off of the one person that can change the circumstances… YOU. The only person you can control is you. You can’t control other people’s actions.

I prayed for things to get back on track. I expected God to just make it easy for me and reward me for the work I had already done. Well, He answered my prayers in a very clever way. He decided to answer them by forcing me to grow personally. He used the book I mentioned above. I received many great messages from that book, but if I read the book and only got this one thing out of it, it was worth the entire read. The one thing was a quote by John Burroughs that changed my life and it came right when I needed it. It read, “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” I posted it at the beginning of this post and now I’ll post it again below. It’s that important.

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

That quote hit my like a ton of bricks in the face. The entire week before reading that quote I had blamed everyone else for what was happening with MY business. In fact, my entire life before reading that quote I had blamed others for my circumstances. I blamed student loan companies for requiring such high payments. I blamed my law school for raising prices after I had already been attending. I did the same with my undergraduate college. I blamed my job for not paying me enough and putting me in a tough situation financially. No one had been given a raise in over 5 years because my employer was near broke and didn’t know how to manage money and because of that, I paid for it… literally.

My entire life was a huge blame game until I read that quote. It changed everything for me. It’s so simple that most people won’t even see the power in its truth. Here’s the simple breakdown: I have failed many times… MANY times. You learn through failure. It’s a part of life. You show me someone who has never failed and I will show you someone who has never been successful. You reach success through failing. Although I have failed many times, I am NOT a failure. I will never be one and, therefore, I will never blame somebody else for my circumstances.

I look at blaming as a form of whining now. Whenever I see someone post on social media or hear them complain about their jobs, how much debt their in, their horrible co-workers, their family, etc. I only see how much they are whining and that their focus is on everything except what it needs to be on to change things… themselves.

"The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others." - Don ShulaNo matter where you come from, no matter what situation you are in, no matter how bad of a hand you feel that life has dealt you, it’s your fault. The first time I heard a friend say that, the quote above popped in my head. He’s was right. IT IS YOUR FAULT. The good news? Well, YOU can do something about it. That’s right… YOU can and only you can. It’s a decision. That’s what it boils down to; a simple decision. You either are or you’re not going to take responsibility for your circumstances.

Here’s what happened to me when I took full responsibility for my actions. I bounced back. Not only did my business get back to where it was, but it far surpassed it. Soon I was earning in two weeks what I was previously earning in one month. Not only that, I was helping other people do the same. I eliminated over $100,000 of student loan and credit card debt in under two years. My wife and I paid for our wedding in cash. We more than replaced my salary in under a year’s time and we have given ourselves the opportunity for complete time freedom for the rest of our lives. It was as simple as making a decision to turn the finger around and point it at myself. It was as simple as that.

There’s a glaring truth in the book and I’ve posted it below. We are on one of two paths in life. Which one are you on?

“If you want to measure where you are, if you want to know whether you’re on the success curve or on the failure curve, or if you want to assess anyone else and determine which curve they’re on, here’s how. There is one attitude, one state of mind, which overwhelmingly predominates either side of the curve. The predominant state of mind displayed by those people on the failure curve is blame. The predominant state of mind displayed by those people on the success curve is responsibility.” – The Slight Edge
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on July 8, 2016
This is one of those books that reinforce what you already know. Really there is nothing in any self-improvement book that wasn't said first by Dale Carnegie. As with most in this genre, there is a lot of padding to what could essentially be 'a list of 10 things to do to improve your career.' Probably of more value to someone starting a career or switching from employment to self-employment.
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on April 23, 2007
I enjoyed Mr. Olson's book.

In his book, he talks about investing a penny each day. A penny represents something that is easy to do, and also easy not to do. Over time, those pennies blossom and earn compound interest. Success in anything is the product of small things done consistently over time.

Very powerful.
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on August 29, 2013
Most self-improvement or "success" books give the author's experience or are just a series of stories. They don't really explain why those people in the stories are successful. This book gives a concise explanation without the book needing to be 350-500 pages long. More importantly, the reason others are successful is the same reason we all are successful in our own areas and this book points out what that is and how we can make small adjustments to master The Slight Edge. Additionally, it gives a great reference to other books that are also helpful in different areas.

Another book that is well worth the money.
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on August 6, 2012
The slight edge is another self help book talking about how to improve your life. The main idea behind it is to do the small differences to start the big path.
Good examples for it are:
- Read 10 pages a day
- Start with a ten minute run for the first time

The slight edge is a term mentioned all along the book referring to the impact these small steps do. I really believe in them, because eventually these small everyday steps makes each ones capability to enhance slightly, but after several weeks/month/years they are huge gaps from the starting point.

The author introduction summaries the main idea of the book and is very effective. Other than that the book though thin is mostly a repetition of this mantra. It simply goes around and around supplying the same thing again and again.
I've seen very good recommendation for this book, and I believe it is worth them if it is the first self help book read.

Slight edge is a terminology worth learning and practicing
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on September 25, 2011
The beginning story tells it all. what if. . .? or If Only. . . This isn't another self help book its a book to help use whatever information you have or goals or aspirations you aspire to, and turn them into the life you want. The book is just the right length. It reads at a good pace but is packed with thought provoking stories and ideas. I am using it to look at my life and trying to be more successful, asserive, reach my dreams. The information presented is easy to understand, and each chapter is short but packed with usable information to help anyone reach their potential in life.
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on August 3, 2014
This book changed my life! One slight thing you do or don't do won't look like anything TODAY, but over time, will either take you up to the goal you want or take you down to disappointment and not having the goal accomplished. Helps me stop being lazy!!!
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