The Slight Edge

I have a lot of books that I love because I’ve learned so much from them. Whether it’s business or just everyday life I’m able to apply things I’ve learned. Many of them I will read multiple times because I want to absorb more of the information. The ones that I really love I have both the physical book and the audio book. As I sit at my desk writing this I can look at my book shelves and pick out so many great books that I could refer to people, but there are a few that stand out to me as their own group. Some that for whatever reason have just meant a little more to me. Books like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends & Influence People and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. They are the Must Read books that I suggest when people ask what books they should read. A while ago a book fell into my possession by accident. I hadn’t hear of the book before and I wasn’t in a big rush to read it. But when I finished the book I was reading at the time this book was still sitting on the edge of my desk and I decided to read it. Turns out, this book jumped into my Must Read list.
The book is The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. As they state on, “The Slight Edge isn’t just another personal development book. It’s an entirely new way of thinking; a way of processing information that enables you to make the SIMPLE daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire.”

In the book, Jeff talks about the ripple-effect, the long-term impact that your everyday decisions and actions have on your life and others. He focuses on seven areas where the slight edge can make a transformational difference — health, happiness, relationships, personal development, finances, career and impact.  Many of the things that I’ve learned in this book remind me of things taught by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect, another book that I love. The Slight Edge is published by SUCCESS, so there is a link between the two.
Out of all the great things that I have learned from this book, there is one concept that stands out more than the others. “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also just as easy not to do.” This concept is hit on throughout the book. It’s the simple, little habits that you do every day that lead to success. The simple, little habits that are easy to do, but just as easy not to do. This phrase runs through my head every single morning now if I want it to or not. I set my alarm for 5am. When it goes off I have two choices. I can slide out of bed, put on my running shoes and go for my morning run. Or I can hit the snooze button, curl up in bed and fall back asleep. I’ve really done both quite a few times in my life. I’m pretty disciplined so getting up early to run or workout usually isn’t a big deal. But I’m not as disciplined in going to bed at a good hour. So some mornings when the alarm goes off at 5am and I’ve only been in bed for a few hours it’s pretty easy to justify skipping the workout that morning and usually hitting the snooze two or three more times after that. But now each morning when my alarm goes off, before I have the opportunity to realize how tired I am, the words, “Easy to do. Easy not to do.” are running through my head. That’s motivation enough to get me going.
Jeff talks about the “little things” a lot. If I hit the snooze and skip my run it likely isn’t going to kill me or have a drastic impact on my health. But the compound effect is always working. It’s either working for us or against us. So as I get out of bed for my workout those actions are compounding with all the other times I take those positive actions. That one workout might not have much of an impact on my health, but compounding them all together will. Just like when I hit the snooze, that action compounds with all the other times I take those actions and works against me.
It’s the simple, daily disciplines, little productive actions repeated consistently over time, that add up to the difference between failure and success.
You have complete control over the direction your life will take. The Slight Edge is a great book to help you get on track to use the power of compounding to catapult your life in the right direction.

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Kodiak Mountain Stone – Small Business Superstar

Small Business Superstars

I’ve dedicated a lot of my blog to our Education Planat Kodiak Mountain Stone.  This week I want to thank all those who took the time to vote for us in the Alberta Venture and ATB Financial Small Business Superstars contest.  Over 160 businesses were nominated for these awards and we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of the finalists in the HR Superstars category due to our Education Plan.  Throughout October and November people voted online for who they thought were the most deserving of this award in each category and we (Kodiak Mountain Stone) were fortunate enough to be the winner in our category.

Please take a moment to read our story on the Alberta Venture Website: Kodiak Mountain Stone Education Plan

I’m very proud of our Education Plan and feel that even though it has been great so far, we can develop it into something much more than it already is.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Education Plan and how it might fit into your company, feel free to contact me:

Kodiak Mountain Stone Logo




Please vote for Kodiak Mountain Stone

In my previous blog posts I have talked about our Education Plan at Kodiak Mountain Stone.  We have been fortunate enough to have gained some recognition from our program.  Alberta Venture magazine has honored us as one of the finalist in The Small Business Superstars contest.

Our full story can be read at

We have had great support so far, but we are trailing in votes by a small margin after the first month of voting.  Anyone and everyone is encouraged to vote until the closing of the contest at the end of November, 2012.

To vote you are asked to open an account, which consists of an email address and a password.  At that point, Alberta Venture offers some great opportunities to receive content from them.  But if you wish, you can also opt out of receiving any content.  By voting, you can also have the opportunity to win tickets to the Business Person of the Year luncheon in January as well as the chance to win subscriptions to Alberta Venture magazine.

We would very much appreciate you support by voting for us.  Thank you!

D. Jeff Heggie

Education Plan

One of the things that I (D. Jeff Heggie) like about being an entrepreneur and running my own company is that when you have an idea, you can implement it however you want.

I remember sitting in my office one morning reading the most recent business book that had been suggested to me.  A while later my first employee of the day showed up to work and poked her head into my office to great me good morning.  As I heard her footsteps coming down the hall I put my book away and began working on the project that was sitting on my desk.  I’m the leader in my company, I need to set an example for everyone.  They need to see me working every time they look in my office.

That was then.  I had a meeting with my CFO (Dave) a short while later that changed my perspective on this situation.  Yes, it’s still very important for me to be an example in my company.  It’s still very important for my staff to see that I have a good work ethic, etc, etc. But the thing that made me question my actions was, “why am I hiding from my staff that I’m reading or studying material that will make me a better leader or improve our company is some other way?”

Dave is someone that I enjoy having meetings with.  We work well together and we often look at things from different perspectives.  So from our meetings we often come up with plans or solutions that are much better than either of the plans or solutions we each entered the meeting with individually.  Dave is like me in the fact that he loves to continue learning.  We love reading and/or listening to new materials and ideas.  In this particular meeting I told Dave about the habit I had gotten into.  The habit of coming to work early to spend time reading, but hiding my materials and rush to get my work in front of me as soon as I heard any staff coming down the hall each morning.  I was constantly doing it, but it really wasn’t something I should have been ashamed of or trying to hide.  That’s when Dave brought up Google’s 20% Rule.  Google’s philosophy of giving their engineers one day per week (20% of their time) to work on projects that are not necessarily in their job descriptions.  Why not use 20% of our time to learn and study?

That’s where Kodiak Mountain Stone’s Education Plan was born.

“One of our core values is that employees continually learn and improve.  Employees at all levels should be encouraged to continually learn and improve themselves…

…team members have the opportunity to participate in an educational development program with two components:
1. Required readings within a certain time after joining the company.
2.  30-60 minutes per day of free time to study material that covers information related to our industry &/or the role of the team member.We decided that not only should it be OK to be reading and studying things that will improve us individually and benefit our company, but we wanted to encourage the rest of our team to do the same thing.

Our hope is that we are adding value to the lives of our employees through our Education Plan.  Dave and I are both advocates of personal development and continued education.  Our hope is that with this plan our team members will benefit in their professional lives at Kodiak Mountain Stone, but also that they will take things from what they learn to improve and benefit their personal lives away from work as well.

The part of the Plan that I really enjoy is our monthly Education Plan Meeting.  Each month one of our team members will host a meeting that is focused around the current book or materials they have been studying.  They will teach the rest of the team about the things they have learned that they feel will benefit the team professionally as well as the things they have learned that will help all of us in our personal lives.

Our meetings are great because we can learn so much from each other.  We have had a number of meetings with Ken Blanchard’s book Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service as the topic.  Each meeting has been great and each meeting has been given from a different perspective that has helped each one of us in customer service.  I think that if you really want to learn something you need to teach someone else about it.  When our team members know they will be teaching the rest of the team about the current book they are reading, they get a lot more out of it than they would if they were just reading it in their leisure time.

In this blog I will write about many things.  I love being an entrepreneur and I love continued learning.  So I’m sure many of my blog topics will be focused around those things.  I think that our Education Plan is something that could benefit any company.  If you have any questions about our education plan, please feel free to contact me for more information at


Check out our reading list: HERE