Never was there a truer statement.
Last week I mentioned reading this incredible book and let you know that I would be telling you about it in this post. Guess you could call it a book review.
The Slight Edge – By Jeff Olson
This book is very motivational and really sums up what a lot of other self improvement books have at their core. That is also the reason why I hesitated a little to buy it. What if I had already read everything that this book mentions? It didn’t matter. I wanted those ideas reinforced and that is exactly why I try to read these types of books whenever I can.
I’m glad I got it because he does go into what I feel is most important from the other success books but he takes it a giant step further. His focus is on the fact that you are either on a success curve or a failure curve. The problem is is that most people don’t really completely realize which one they are on until a lot of time has passed. That’s because we all make a lot of small decisions everyday that don’t have immediately noticeable results or effects.
All of those decisions compound over time until they produce visible results. This is exactly why so many people have problems with dieting and exercising and even getting started flipping houses. They will try it for a little while and will probably put forth a lot of effort. The problem comes when they don’t immediately see results. People are so quick to throw up their arms and say “this just doesn’t work”. Then come the excuses and so on and so forth.
Here are some passages and how I relate them to getting started and making this business work. (It was easy to find them again because I dog-eared the heck out of the book. Always a sign that the book was worth reading and going back to. :))
It’s how you do the “how’s” that’s most important.
Jeff states, “People everywhere are clamoring for the formula, the secret, the path to improve their lives. Tell me how you did this, so I can do it, too. Give me the definitive plan. Tell me how to…Tell me…Tell me… … But that’s not how it works. If you’re one of the millions looking for cookie-cutter answers to the great questions in life, you can call off the search right now! How to do it is not he issue. If “how to do it” were the answer, it’d be done. It’s how you do the “how’s” that’s most important.”
This is exactly why so many courses on flipping houses and real estate investing are being sold. There’s nothing wrong with that and I believe everyone should own multiple courses as I do. The problem is what is done with those courses. Merely owning them and reading them will not make you a successful house flipper.
I’d wager that the vast majority of people trying to get into this business won’t even spring for a course. Then a smaller majority will buy one but won’t go beyond reading it before they come up with excuses to not do anything the course said to do. Some will actually make a plan and try to get started. And out of those people, the reason that most don’t continue very long is because it is not what they are doing that is wrong. IT’S THAT THEY DON’T KEEP DOING THOSE THINGS LONG ENOUGH.
As Jeff mentions over and over (as he should be) the problem is not that it is hard to do the small things and make those small decisions every day, it is that it is also very easy (if not easier) to NOT do them. Therein lies the major problem. This gets back in the comfort zone thing. It’s just so much easier to stay in your safe comfort zone.
Believe me that it is just so much more exciting to get out of your comfort zone. It can be difficult to do at first, but once you do, you realize that you can do anything you can dream of. It’s very freeing and exhilarating. (Not a part of the book, just had to add my two cents.)
Have Faith and a Burning Desire
You will run into obstacles and face problems as you get into business for yourself and change your life. I feel that if you are not, you are probably staying in your comfort zone too much.
I love what Jeff says in this section, “And you can determine the size of a person by the size of the problem that keeps them down.” Amen, brother. “Successful people look at a problem and see opportunity.”
That’s all you can do. That’s all you should do. When a problem arises, you just look for a way through it and a way for it to make you better.
Past and Future
“It seems most people live with one foot in the past, saying ‘Only if things had been different, I would be successful.’ And the other foot in the future, saying ‘When this or that happens I will be happy/successful.’ And they completely ignore the present, which is all we really have.”
You’ve got to stop worrying about the past and start using today to work to where you want to be in the future. You really do need to have a crystal clear idea of where you want to be and why you want to be there. If you hadn’t read it, here is my post on Why do you want to flip houses? I hope you know where you are headed.
I think it was Jim Rohn that said, “You can’t change where you are overnight, but you CAN change your direction to where you are headed overnight.” That really sums it up. You just must know which direction to turn to and to stay heading towards.
Jeff Olson talks about how articulating what you want and what dreams you have can cause tension and make you uncomfortable. He talks about how if you tell your five closest friends these dreams and desires and how you are going to work towards them, it will make them uncomfortable because it reminds them of their want (lack).
Most people choose to give up on the dreams and desires because when they do, the tension is gone. Life is easy. But not for long…
Jeff explains it this way, “It means embracing living uncomfortably in order to attain a life that is genuinely comfortable–not deceptively comfortable.”
I want to add that you will get comfortable sooner than later as you work towards your goals and transform your philosophy.
Book Smarts Vs. Street Smarts
Books smarts are definitely useful, but only if you DO SOMETHING with them.
The book explains, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power. The only way to have the power is to do the thing. Just do it. That’s learning by doing.”
I really like this because this is what I’ve always felt that people getting into this business (or any business) should do. Learn as much as you can, but don’t wait until you know everything (which will never happen), before you get started DOING.
Start with a plan.
Jeff goes on to talk about how you need a plan so that you can work towards your dreams and goals. What separates his discussion of plans from the other books, is that he recognizes that you CANNOT possibly plan it all out.
I think a lot of people want to try and plan everything and get bogged down in the details and difficulty in doing such a thing. Then it becomes something that gets put on the back burner or an excuse. I really hate excuses.
You just need a simple plan to get started, not a plan to get you all the way to your end goals and dreams. You need something manageable so that you can take those first steps and DO something towards your goals. Get out of the planning phase. Then, when you’ve made progress and really stoked the fire of your desire to get to where you want to go you can reevaluate and plan for a little further.
If you try to plan everything upfront, you can’t possible know what circumstances you will face 5 years, 1 year or even 2 weeks from now. Make a simple plan to get started so that you can start doing.
The Slight Edge puts it this way, “Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
I’ve always found that when you start doing, you REALLY LEARN the things that you’ve read and heard. You can really start to understand the full depth of what was taught. This is why it’s good to go back and read books that you’ve read several years ago. With your new experiences, you can learn so much more about what was mentioned. Things will seem more clear and you will gain a lot of new ideas.
Once you start doing, the fear that kept you from getting going will quickly recede. The fear of the unknown will disappear as you begin to see the path open up before you. Put fear in its place by doing.
At the end of the book, Jeff mentions that your income will never long exceed your own level of personal development. I believe this to be true and it’s not just your level of income, but your level of fulfillment in other areas of your life as well. This is why I buy and read books like this all the time.
Melissa has heard me talk about this book for a couple of weeks now and is going to read it. I’m very fortunate to have a wife that is as interested as I am in improving ourselves. I’m truly blessed.
I’d love to hear what you get out of the book, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
Also, I wanted to get some ideas from others about what book we should read next. I was thinking “Think and Grow Rich
” because that is such an awesome book. It’s been a while since I’ve read it.
Thanks, I will order that book. I like think and grow rich and quote it to some of my buddies about the concept of transmutation of sexual energy and how most men dont come into great wealth until their 50s because they use that energy for base desires.
Glad that you are getting it. I thought that was an interesting point he made in Think and Grow Rich. Even if a lot of people have already read it, it would be great to read it again and see if we get more out of it. I’m sure we would.
Book is on it’s way, I have a little treat for everyone here is the ORIGINAL Think and Grow Rich videos on You Tube. I believe there are a lot of them out there maybe we all can watch the videos and then make our comments?
#1 “Think and Grow Rich” #1 Definiteness of Purpose
#2 “Think and Grow Rich” #2 The Master Mind Principle
#3 “Think and Grow Rich” #3 Going the Extra Mile
#4 “Think and Grow Rich” #4 Applied Faith
#5 “Think and Grow Rich” #5 A Pleasing Personality
#6 “Think and Grow Rich” #6 Self-Discipline
#7 “Think and Grow Rich” #7 Positive Mental Attitude
#8 “Think and Grow Rich” #8 Enthusiasm
#9 “Think and Grow Rich” #9 Personal Initiative
#10 “Think and Grow Rich” #10 Overcoming Adversity and Defeat
#11 “Think and Grow Rich” #11 Creative Vision
#12 “Think and Grow Rich” #12 Accurate Thinking
#13 “Think and Grow Rich” #13 Cosmic Habit-force
Thanks Roshard. These are great!
I know what I’m going to be watching today.
Also, I think that it’s fear that holds a lot of people back from their dreams. Fear that other people will think they are silly, fear that they will fail, and in a way fear that they will succeed.
But, if it really is your dream, why not go for it? If you are always afraid to at least try for it, you will *always* fail.
I couldn’t agree more.
Thanks for the tip on this book, I went out and got it right away and just finished it. As a person who has read many of these self-help books, your critique is very accurate. It summarizes very well what a great many previous self-help books. And it presents these concepts in a very plain and simple way that is easy to understand.
I think Think and grow rich would be a good next book. I haven’t read it in many years. We may find what Jeff Olson commented about in his book how he went back and re-read a book that he hadn’t read in a long time, then he found it conveyed a entirely new message to him because he had learned new things since the last reading and was in a different mindset.
Thanks again, and glad you have started your blog again.
Glad you got the book, Larry. These books always motivate me and give me a good push to get out and work harder.
One thing I have been remembering lately is something like ‘for every adversity there is a greater reward’ or something like that. Meaning, for every problem that you face there is something that can come out of it that will benefit you more than if you had never run into the problem. If that makes any sense. This is great for when you might get frustrated by something. Always remember that something great will come from it will help to keep you focused on working through it. And, you know what, most of the time something better does come out of it. Great stuff.
I just re-read Think and Grow Rich but this time I’m following the instructions to the letter. I wrote out my definite major purpose including my income goals (and then doubled those goals!) and I’m using autosuggestion backed with emotion to really put myself in the zone.
As someone who’s already learned 10 times as much real estate “stuff” as needed to actually start DOING it….I’ve broken out of the planning phase due to following the instructions in the book.
Next stop….yellow letter campaign….finally.
Oh, I also really enjoyed Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within which i’m currently re-reading.
I’ve been listening to Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn. Both excellent motivator with top-notch info.
got the book last week, half way thru it and would like to thank you for the recommendation.
Thanks, Kiran. I’m glad you got the book. It really is an awesome way to think and take each little decision you make seriously. I’ve been a lot better about doing things that I’ve put off in the past.
I liked your review a lot. I thought it was a really good call to action!