KW Blog: Monthly Book Review

Jun 29, 2012 2:05:39 PM

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Solutions Into Massive Success by Jeff Olson

“Take two seemingly similar people and give them both the exact same opportunity. One takes it and has remarkable success, the other doesn’t. One wins, the other does not.”

What’s the difference between a successful person and someone who is not? It’s a question that’s asked every single day by millions of people aspiring to achieve their dreams.

It’s also the question Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge posed to himself one day while getting his shoes shined at the airport. “The shoeshine woman was a hard worker. Good with people,” he writes. “She knew how to read and clearly enjoyed doing so. She was a superb communicator. She obviously had the talent, personality and basic life skills to accomplish a lot more than just living off tips … I couldn’t help but wonder what this woman’s life would be like if she had taken a different path five years earlier?”

That one day set sparked a fire in Olsen that sent him on a quest to find the factors that separate 5 percent of the population – those who have success - from the other 95 percent who never fully reach their potential.

The KW Blog Editorial Staff pulled together our high-level look at the book and some must-read chapters.

Big Thoughts. Olsen dedicates the first half of the book to defining The Slight Edge and shares examples of the philosophy at work. His take on what catapults people to the top of their game: successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t.

The little things that will make you successful in life, that will secure your health, your happiness, your fulfillment, your dreams, are simple, subtle, tiny things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud and nobody will even notice while it’s happening. Real success is taking a progressive approach to your success. Olsen says, successful people do that by choosing the right attitude and actions day in and day out, allowing those actions to compound over time and then continuing to do them in very key areas of your life.


Best Chapter(s) Chapters 1 – 3 review The Slight Edge Principals and build the case for changing your philosophy on winning over the long term. Chapter 6 lays out the seven ways to apply The Slight Edge Principal to your life. In Chapter 12 Olsen applies the SMART goal-setting process in the areas of health, personal development, relationships, finances and life – a great exercise for anyone looking to make some serious changes to their success trajectory.


If you read nothing else: Olsen’s principal is rooted in logical thinking, and yet, he points out, many people don’t do it. In our haste for immediate results we seek the fast fix, the secret ingredients and the one perfect formula for success. Olsen argues that it’s the things you do every day, the things that don’t look like they matter, that do matter. They not only make a difference – the make all the difference.


Put it in Practice. The Slight Edge can work for or against you. In Chapter 6 Olsen identifies the 7 Slight Edge Principles to create a game plan for success over the long term.

  1. Show Up
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Have a Good Attitude
  4. Be Committed for a Long Period of Time
  5. Have Faith and a Burning Desire
  6. Be Willing to Pay the Price
  7. Practice Slight Edge Integrity


Rating (1 out of 10): 8. Olsen’s book reads fast and is chock-full of simple ideas that will leave you feeling inspired and prepared to take action on your life’s success.

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