Book review: The Slight Edge (by Jeff Olson)

Book review: The Slight Edge (by Jeff Olson)

Many things happen in our lives quietly on the background. Those things don’t make any big noise or fuzz about themselves – until someday the results are visible.

One example of this (mentioned in the book) is the water hyacinth. It lives in a pond and rarely anyone notices it at first, until a month later, the pond is covered by water hyacinths.

Another example would be from my own life from last fall. I was determined to finish my first free report to my upcoming squeeze page.

I didn’t have any experience of writing something like that earlier, so I had to start out small.

Every morning before going to work I took 30-45 minutes to write that report. After each writing sessions I was closer to my goal.

Finally, I finalized the report and now it is ready to be published after the proof-reading.

These are some examples of Slight Edge in action. Things happen on the background – by small steps at a time – but still consistently. And eventually the results – whether they are good or bad – can be seen.

The Slight Edge is also about making decisions – the small ones. They are easy to do, but also very easy not to do. However, those small decisions will eventually become life-changers.

Do you decide to wake up earlier each morning and do some report writing, blog posting or article marketing or do you just decide to stay in bed. It is a small decision to make, but decisions like that can have huge impacts later in your life.

This is a very important book, since you can take the Slight Edge to your advantage and reach your dreams, if you really want to. As the author states, “it’s not yet another self-help book, it’s about utilizing and taking advantage of that information by applying Slight Edge to your everyday life.” I couldn’t agree more!

Get The Slight Edge here: The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life

What’s in it?

This book is divided in the following way and here are the small descriptions of what those chapters contain:


The introduction to the Slight Edge by two stories: Author meeting a shoeshine woman at the airport when he was already successful and a story of the beach bum, which was a story about the author himself, when he was younger and living without any destination, nor knowing about the Slight Edge.

Three Stories

These are the examples of the Slight Edge in action: The Water Hyacinth, Two Frogs and The Choice.

Chapter 1: The Slight Edge

Your life philosophy and why it affects to everything in your life. It affects into your attitudes, which turns into actions, which turns into results and eventually they lead you into a positive lifestyle

Chapter 2: The Secret of Easy Things

Why it is easy to do something but at the same easy not to do something and how this affects to your life. Also, why you won’t necessarily see the results right away, even by making the right choices.

Chapter 3: The Secret of Time

It takes time for us to achieve anything when living with the Slight Edge way. You have to have faith in order to see the results eventually. And whether the actions you take or the decisions you make are positive or negative, the end result will become visible someday.

Chapter 4: The Secret of Penny

Why it is important to start something and even by start out small. You have to start somewhere to eventually realize the results. The penny is the start. The same way it can be a start of a fortune, but it is the start of everything.

Chapter 5: The Quantum Leap Myth

Why the “big leaps” and overnight successes are not actually what they seem. Rather, why you shouldn’t confuse yourself with Quantum Leaps, since they are actually Slight Edge in action.

Chapter 6: Two Life Paths

Why time is not your enemy and the two paths (the upper curve and the lower curve) one can choose by applying the Slight Edge or not. It also describes the differences between successful and unsuccessful people and how they see the things like blame, responsibility, past and the future.

Chapter 7: Mastering the Slight Edge

The baby steps you need to take to reach your goals. Also, the uncomfortable feelings you may get, when going after your dreams. Finally, about the funerals and what they taught to the author about handling the rejection.

Chapter 8: Faces of the Slight Edge

Characteristics of the Slight Edge: momentum, completion, habit, reflection and celebration.

Chapter 9: Mastering Yourself

Why learning is the greatest gift you have given and why it is extremely important to keep learning and develop yourself constantly. This chapter also describes why you need to balance the theory and actual implementation of new skills and why reviewing your results is important.

The chapter describes also the influence of others and its importance in your growing process. It also explains why it is important to decide who you associate with (negative or positive people).

Chapter 10: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Setting your goals effectively and executing them in four different steps.

Chapter 11: Living the Slight Edge

The Slight Edge in the various parts of your life (health, personal development, relationships, finances and in life) and four different steps that prepare you for achieving goals in those areas.

Chapter 12: It’s a Wonderful Life

Why the Slight Edge is the most important asset you can have, even if you lose everything (as what happened to the author himself) and how to apply those plans that were setup in Chapter 11 to work for you consistently, on daily basis.

Life-Transforming Resources

List of great self-development books that are recommended by the author.

My verdict:


What I liked:

I was truly awaken to see, that my life had many Slight Edge components already, but how remarkably big power this is and that there are still many areas in my life where I can apply that force.

Also, I got many insights out of this book and especially the goal planning part was simple enough to implement in my everyday life. The great thing about the Slight Edge is that you can apply it to many areas of your life easily.

This is not a very thick book (168 pages), so it wouldn’t take that much time for a reader to go through it. Of course, if you are reading it using the Slight Edge way, it would take longer. That’s what I did and I eventually I crossed the finish line J

Any internet marketer would learn a lot from this book. Applying the knowledge into action makes you eventually cross the finish line.

What I didn’t like:

This is perhaps a minor thing, but it would be easier to digest a book like this, if there were a small action step list or summary at the end of each chapter. This would speed up the implementation of all the different principles and lessons taught in the book. But, as said, this is a minor thing that was missing and one could live without it as well.


I truly recommend this book!

for anyone interested in learning the power of small, consistent daily actions and why they are important when trying to reach your goals.

Although it is often stated, that in IM world you should take massive action, you can proceed with smaller steps as well.

The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life



  • I live and breathe the Slight Edge. The best in it is what you have observed for yourself Timo – you read it and find that it is working in your life; for you and against you, but it’s working.
    2013 was my best year ever, in every area of my life, because I’ve built about 30 Slight Edge habits

    • Timo Kiander

      Hi Michal!

      Yes, it was a great book indeed!

      I read it couple of years ago and I need to read it again.

      I guess every time you do that, you get something new out of the book.


      • The new edition has bullet points at the end of each chapter ;)
        And the readers stories (including mine :D )

        • Timo Kiander

          Well, I have to take a look at it then :)


  • I think you have really captured the essence of this book well Timo! an enjoyable read :)

    • Timo Kiander

      Thank you Charles!

      Yes, it was a great book and I have to read it again sometime soon :)