Should you read: Jeff Olsen’s The Slight Edge

Jeff Olson’s story is pretty incredible, after feeling disappointed with his early “Beach Bum” years he became a top corporate salesman, then started his own Solar Energy company before losing it all and having to start again.

Throughout his life he realised he’d learned how to make a fortune and how to lose one. So we wrote down his philosophies in The Slight Edge.

The core idea

The key philosophy of The Slight Edge is “slow and steady wins the race”, adopting any major change to our lifestyle is often extremely hard to hold on to. So, Olson advocates making many small positive changes that you can stick to. His one repeated example is “reading just 10 pages of a life changing book a day” will allow you to have read 36,500 pages in a year (that’s about 150 books).

His core success strategy is a sound one, making small incremental changes to your life is far more sustainable than completely overhauling your life. It’s also highly actionable in your life, you could literally start making changes today. However, herein lies the rub.

The problems

Over the course the book Olson rephrases and restructures that one piece of advice, through various metaphors and stories. I actually felt myself wanting to skip through the book to find anything more valuable.

Near the end of the book he does offer some solid goal setting tips, but other authors have covered those better and in more detail. If Olson had focused more on giving real life examples of how he had actioned the Slight Edge in his life the book would’ve have been more visceral and useful.

The big issue with The Slight Edge

Strangely enough, a popular question asked is can The Slight Edge can mentally hurt you? If you improve something, there’s a chance that you’ve inadvertently chosen a pathway that will over time lead to ruin, or at least in a worse off position. As this article on Medium suggests “that simple, seemingly insignificant error in judgment, compounded over time, will kill you”. As long as you know this is a possibility and regularly measure your success, you should be able to readjust and try again.

Ultimately the book is a solid choice for beginners or those new to the business personal development sphere. Those who are a bit more experienced will find the book a tad overbearing and it’s likely you’ve read most of the ideas before.

Verdict: Borrow it from the Library



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