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  • Writer's pictureTy Montgomery

The Aggregation of Marginal Gains: Business Reflections



Ty Montgomery II walking to meeting, outdoors in front of vehicles, Aggregation of Marginal Gains blog post

Would you rather have a penny that doubles every day for a month, or $1 million today? Most people might be inclined to go for the million. I certainly would have a few years ago. But in this scenario, a penny that doubles every day would be worth $5.36 million in one month. Many people understand this concept as compound interest. But as I began to learn more, I realized this fit into my holistic approach to life: getting 1% better every day through marginal gains is going to take me farther than I ever expected. This concept known as the aggregation of marginal gains states if you decide to improve on a particular skill by as little as 1% every single day, you will be better than at least 90% of other people who have that skill. It proves true every time. But, what if you couple both of these ideas: compound interest with aggregation of marginal gains?



Growing up, I always heard people say, “You need to leave something for your kids.” I didn’t think much about this idea until I had my own son, Stone. Then, I began asking myself, what do I have to leave for him? At first, I could only think about this idea in terms of physical assets – material things like real estate or money. But then I realized I didn’t know how to build something financially substantial to leave for my child. I didn’t have the know-how or the mentorship to leave him a financial legacy. Ever since that day, I’ve been learning how to do exactly that. That’s when I realized exactly what I wanted to leave for any child of mine.

“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)

I believe the best thing I can leave for any children I may have is the knowledge of how to build something financially. Generational wealth, financial health, all of that will grow over time with the proper foundation. Wealth that changes families stems from knowledge. I realized I want to leave more than tangible items to my son; I want to leave the knowledge he would need to live a fruitful and fiscal life. I don’t want Stone to be afraid of losing a dollar, because I’ve equipped him with the skills to make one. Leaving my son with wealth that he doesn’t know how to maintain or build himself would be of no use to him. The need for a dollar should never be more valuable than the understanding of how to get one. 


The need for a dollar should never be more valuable than the understanding of how to get one. 

One of my biggest fears growing up was the fear of losing money. I embodied a scarcity mentality. That’s how I lived financially for a long time. I was afraid of losing the money I earned in the NFL more than I was excited to grow it. I knew how to work, but I didn't know how to get money, or how to grow it. I knew how to save it, but in this life, we so easily spend money far quicker and easier than we save it. If all we can think about is saving money, then we can’t build wealth, but on my continuing journey, I’ve discovered areas that unlocked financial understanding for me.


Three of those are:


Networking

A huge part of becoming financially aware is evaluating what you need. Financial awareness begins with self-awareness, and for many, you need a network you can learn from. A community of people who have gone before you or are on the same journey is key to moving from fear-based money to confident stewardship. Having confidants who are well-educated and have your best interest in mind is crucial when discussing your evaluations, investments, and financial decisions.


Mentorship

Thoughtful networking leads to mentorship. From community to even more intentional one-on-one insight, mentorship has changed everything for me. While still being accountable for my decisions, mentorship has allowed me to trust that I can call someone who will present the financial fallout of my potential decisions so I feel fully informed. 


The Leap

Many people are knowledgeable about investing, but fear keeps them from making a move. Oftentimes we need to take a leap and gain experience from trying to grow our money. As I said, it’s often the fear of losing a dollar that keeps us from growing it, but taking small, calculated investments offers rewards in more ways than one. 


I combined all three of these tools, and a few others, to step into a new financial era. Having a network that has your back will open doors for you is extraordinary. Having a mentor who is unbiased and market-savvy is crucial. Trying things for yourself and learning how money works is “on-the-job training.” 


I don’t want to live my life like a phone battery, draining whenever I’m not recharging and maxed out at 100%.

This journey I’m on, anyone can walk. It’s about consistent improvement, not getting rich quick or unsustainable gains. The Aggregation of Marginal Gains philosophy is how I’ve viewed so much of my life up to this point. In football. In my family. In faith. I can improve from 99% to 100%, or I can choose to improve 1% every day with compound interest, which means that every day my 1% is larger than the previous day (Ex: 1% of 100 is 1. 1% of 1000 is 10). I want everything in my life to grow like returns on investments. I don’t want to live my life like a phone battery, draining whenever I’m not recharging and maxed out at 100%. I want to live my life like it’s an investment where I see an infinitely growing return well above 100%. This is how I’m now choosing to approach my finances as well. 


“Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.” Proverbs 13:11 (NIV) 


My faith walk works much the same way. If each of us viewed our faith through the Aggregation of Marginal Gains + Compound Interest philosophy, how much more impactful would we be? Imagine how we could shine in this world.

Imagine the strongholds that would break in our families.

Imagine how we might imitate Christ, not abusing His grace but seeking to improve every single day on the improvements made in the past.

In Christ, my 1% is exceedingly more today than it was when I began my faith walk, and, as I’m learning to apply this to every area of my life, I’m excited to multiply and grow in the area of finances.


I want to break down more specifically what I’ve done to understand faith and financial legacy. What part of business and finances interests you? Leave it in the comments and I’ll respond in an upcoming post. 


Live love,

Ty

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