Review: “Having It All” by Meg Wolfe

I recently received a copy of Meg Wolfe’s new e-book, “Having It All“ to review. I had the chance to look it over yesterday.

As always, before we begin I’d like to take a second also and point you to my review guidelines. Full disclosure is very important to me, and I want you to know where I stand.

On with the review!

The Organization

There are three “projects” in this book.

The “Stop Shopping Project” encourages you to curb your purchasing by restricting shopping to the absolute necessities (food, medicine, and other things that you really do have to have).

The “Personal Selection Project” encourages you to declutter those areas of your life that are deeply personal – your clothing, grooming supplies, and your kitchen.

The “Onwards & Upwards Project” discusses the “final frontier” of minimalism – the mind.

The Negative

I like to start off with the negative, so I can end on a high note, but there’s not a lot of negative to this ebook.

If you’re expecting a flashy design you’re sure to be disappointed. This e-book is completely black and white, with very few pictures, and all the pictures (except the one of Meg at the end) are of crumpled up paper.

If I had to say something negative, it would be that while the first two “projects” in the ebook are well-written and contain good advice, I think regular readers of minimalism blogs will be pretty familiar with the information in them.

The Positive

Remember how I said all the pictures are of crumpled up paper? I noticed that the amount of paper in the photos seems to get less and less as you progress through the book, until the last page where it’s all gone. Brilliant artistic choice.

There’s a thread running throughout the book that brings the reader’s focus not to lack, but rather to skimming the dross so that what’s left can really be appreciated. It’s been done before, but I love the way Meg’s book handles it.

The last project, however, is where this book really shines.

“Onwards and Upwards” addresses negative thinking, fear, regret, interpersonal relationships, and bringing mindfulness to the moment.

There are a few good, actionable tips in this section, but most of its value is in the fact that she lays things out in an open, accessible manner. Once everything is on the table, it becomes much easier to see how ridiculous certain things really are.

It’s not rocket science; most of the important stuff in life isn’t. But a little awareness of the problems goes a long way, and Meg’s ebook does a fantastic job of bringing that awareness.

To Summarize

As mentioned previously, there’s lots of information in here that you’ve likely seen before. With so much information at our fingertips in the Internet age, this is to be expected.

The thing that separates a mediocre book from a good book, in my mind, is the presence of “gems” – little ideas that really get us thinking, or open our minds to think in new ways.

I think this ebook has enough “gems” to be worth your consideration. It’s a quick read, but there’s more than enough here to keep you thinking for quite some time to come.

Pricing + How To Get It

This ebook is free to download.

“What?” you say, “surely there’s some string attached?”

Nope. You don’t even have to sign up for a newsletter. You can download it with no commitment whatsoever.

That being said, Meg *is* requesting donations if you find the information in the ebook valuable, and I highly encourage you to make one – even if it’s only a couple of bucks.

Meg suggests a donation of $3. I would respectfully submit that plenty of books with less useful information go for much, much more than $3. Donate whatever you think it’s really worth.

Keep in mind that donating isn’t just about the money – it’s about showing an independent author that people find value in her work. That encourages her to write more, and with a writer like Meg that benefits everybody!

What are you still reading this post for? Head on over to Meg’s site and nab your copy of “Having It All” today!

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8 Responses - Add Your Input!

Posted June 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

Thanks for the review, Robert. I’ve downloaded my copy, but not yet read it.

BTW, is that a new masthead? Looks nice!
Mike | Homeless On Wheels recently posted..Guest Post on So Much More Life

    Posted June 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it’s a new masthead. :D I’m still working on a byline to go under it, but I thought the puzzle pieces were simpler and more minimal-looking than the big mess o’ green that was up there before.

    Thanks for the comments Mike!

Posted June 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

Now I feel overlooked. I haven’t heard from Meg in a long time! I don’t seem to be getting anything from her anymore, so I need to correct that. Thanks for reminding me of her great work.

I like the new look. I prefer it to the previous version. Good job.
Gip @ So Much More Life recently posted..Do You Believe In Visionaries

    Posted June 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t feel overlooked – I had to hunt her down and get her to send me the review copy. :)

    She had a couple of posts leading up to this about e-book pricing too, and the reason she’s doing the donation model – well worth reading!

    Thanks for commenting Gip!

Posted June 18, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

Robert, thank you so much for your review! Steve thanks you also for mentioning his photo choices and “getting them.” It made his day :)

You’re a very good writer and I’ve enjoyed reading your comments on other blogs. You’ve been on my blogroll for some time now, and I’m adding you to my daily RSS feed.
Onwards and Upwards!
Meg recently posted..The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having it All

    Posted June 18, 2011 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I have to admit, “Onwards and Upwards” kind of reminds me of Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase – “To infinity, and beyond!”

    I still like it. :)

    Thanks for commenting Meg!

Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

Hey Robert,

I got Meg’s book the day it came out. I thought it was an excellent read and gave her a donation! You did a great review of it. :)
Tanja from Minimalist Packrat recently posted..The Bang-shang-a-lang Minimalist Packrat Tiny House Tour

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