Last weekend saw the finish of a very exciting Tour de France. Although some of my friends say it’s like watching paint dry. But whatever your cycling watching opinion is there is no doubt that to win the Tour requires an incredible amount of training, teamwork and strategy….EPO hopefully not included.

This years winner, as well as last years, 7 of the last 8 years for that matter have been members of a team managed by Sir Dave Brailsford

“Brailsford is credited with championing a philosophy of ‘marginal gains’ at British Cycling.

“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together””

This strategy has been adopted by companies and taught at business schools, and would be a nice enhancement to personal financial planning.

Where can you find a 1% improvement. How many small improvements can you make to your financial life. Maybe adding 1% more to your 401k plan, investing 1% more into your business or improving what you do best, or saving 1% more per month.

We typically don’t bother with these small adjustments because they seem meaningless or don’t offer much immediate gratification. Sometimes it seems like more work then it’s worth. And always there is a temptation to go for the home run rather then be happy with the single .  There is literally a chemical reaction in our body when there is a hope of a big quick gain. It is as satisfying as taking a narcotic because it is the same chemical reaction in our body. This is why the gambling industry is so pervasive and why most people under-perform the stock market. It feels better in the moment to go for the big score.

But if you want to be wearing the yellow jersey at the end take page from Brailsford’s book. Let the marginal gains aggregate.

Examine your personal balance sheet. Find a percent here, there and everywhere with your finances and allow the same principle carry to over to the other parts of your life. Make small adjustments and when they all come together you’ll to start to experience and enjoy a whole new level of well being. When you take this approach your foundation is rock solid, there is no slipping backward just compounding the gains.

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