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Better Goals - Deriving Values from Personal Investment and Risk Tolerance

Published 10/18/2022

Having trouble setting goals? Take a look at a different angle with the guided exercise in today's episode.

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Square has APIs for almost every aspect of running a business from employee management, to order creation and tracking, to inventory synchronization. Square’s APIs also integrate with software business owners already use like tax and bookings. so business owners can have an integrated software stack that empowers them to achieve their goals. To get started building remarkable business applications, visit https://developertea.com/square to learn more and create an account.

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
If you struggle deciding on what your goals should be, and today's episode we're going to look at it from a different angle. My name is Jonathan Cutrell, you're listening to Developer Tea. My goal on the show is to help driven developers like you find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. Running out of goal, it sounds like a big difficult task. Sure, you can do short-term goals, but if you've been listening to the show, you know that short-term goals really don't mean much unless you have a long-term plan. Short-term goals should align to your long-term identity goals. And so, if you haven't figured this out yet, in today's episode we're going to do a simple exercise, and this exercise is going to be based on two metrics that I want you to pay close attention to. And these are going to be things that you're going to feel. This isn't something that you're going to simply figure out by writing down a bunch of numbers. This is going to be something that you have to decide internally. What resonates the most with you? You may be able to review something that you've written down that helps you understand who you are, but ultimately, what the exercise that we're doing today is going to be about you deciding how you feel. Deciding what that long-term identity looks like. Now instead of putting a set of words to that long-term identity, we're going to create a mental model, a way of thinking about different activities, different subjects. You get to decide what those things are in this activity. First, talk about today's script. This episode of Developer Tea is sponsored by Square. There are millions of sellers across the globe who are using Square right now, right this second. They're running every aspect of their business using Square. Many of them are looking for customized solutions that are deeply connected to their business and easy for them to use in all of their specific situations. This is where you as a developer come in. You can grow your business by extending or integrating with Square using free APIs and SDKs to build tools for those sellers. Purpose-built tools for sellers are going to help you grow your business. At over to developer.com-square to get started today. This developer.com-square is going to be sponsored by the sales department. This exercise that we're going to do today is very simple. It doesn't make it easy, but it is simple. I want you to draw a big T, just a horizontal line and a vertical line intersecting. We're creating a quadrant here. And on the bottom or on the top of that vertical line, I want you to write risk tolerance. This is risk tolerance. This is one of the metrics that I want you to be thinking about getting in touch with today. On the horizontal line, you're going to give the title investment. What should you think about this as personal investment? On mine, I wrote care. How much do I care about this thing? How much does this personally matter to me? All right. So we have risk tolerance and care. We've created these four boxes. There's four different categories that I want you to explore and start writing some things down. Now, again, the output of this is going to be this picture for you to take a look at it and see what is this telling you. When you see certain activities, maybe you didn't think about this particular model. You didn't think about the intersection of care and investment and risk tolerance. But that's why we're doing this exercise. So this should be enlightening. On the bottom left quadrant, you're going to label this one necessary evils, necessary evils. These are things that you don't have the tolerance to risk. Right? There's a low risk tolerance, but you don't really care very much about them. A great example of this might be getting your taxes done, but there are other things that may, that other people may actually enjoy doing that you don't really enjoy doing. But you believe are really important things that you're not willing to risk. So that's the title of the bottom left quadrant on the top left quadrant. We're going to label this quadrant avoid. Avoid. These are things that you have a high willingness. High tolerance for risk. And you don't care about them. Right? In other words, you don't really care if it succeeds or fails. You could never do it again and it wouldn't matter to you. These are things that you should avoid doing. Avoid putting your time into these things. All right? So as you're thinking about this, I want you to think on both of these axes individually, right? Consider a particular topic like for example, spending time with family and determine how much do you care about that and how much are you willing to risk it? Right? In other words, how much are you willing to do things that cause that thing to be put at risk? All right. Now we move to the right two squares in this quadrant. It is important to note both of these right two squares you care a lot about. Like both of them, you care a lot about. So there are things that we care a lot about that we also have high tolerance for risk in. And then there are things that we have low tolerance for risk in. The things in the top right corner, we're going to call these moon shots. These are things that you're willing to make really big bets on. These are the things that you're willing to try your best at at the high risk of failure. And you're willing to do that. Moon shots, the bottom right corner, we're going to call sacred. If you don't like the word sacred, you could put protected or even something like untouchable. These are things that you care very much about and you're not willing to risk. Things you care very much about and you're not willing to risk. For me, family time is in this quadrant. I care very much about family time and I'm not willing to risk family time. For example, for the sake of work, I'm not willing to risk the time that I spend, the quality time that I have with my family. And so that is sacred to me. All right, so look at this quadrant. You have four different categories. You have necessary evils. You have things to avoid. You have moon shots and you have things that are sacred, things that are protected. Now the job is to go back through, go back through these quadrants and place things on them. Now notice you don't necessarily have to treat everything that's a necessary evil as an equal amount of ambivalence, right? You may care about some of those things a little bit more than others. It may be a necessary evil, but you like it more than doing taxes. That's fine. You can put those things further to the right on this quadrant. What does this quadrant tell you? What does it tell you? Well, it gives you some idea of the things that you value. It gives you some idea of the things that you value. It also gives you some idea of the things that you want to pursue. The higher risk categories on the top right, those moon shots, the things that you'd like to pursue even at risk of failure, that can drive some of your goal setting. But you can also evaluate your life goals through the lens of are you able to keep what is sacred? This picture also helps you reconcile between the two categories of things that you don't care very much about. One, that you are willing to risk, in other words, you're willing to allow something to fail because you don't care very much about it. And two, the things that you're not willing to risk. This gives you clarity on why. Why you have to spend time doing something that you don't care much about because you have a low tolerance to risk for that thing. Now take this quadrant into your next goal setting session. I guarantee you that if you cross reference your goals to this chart, it's going to help you clarify where you're willing to make concessions, where you're willing to optimize, what you're willing to set your goals around, what kinds of goals you should be setting. And then perhaps the most important thing here is what you should avoid doing all together. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. I hope you like this exercise. It's a little bit of a different lens on how you can derive what your personal values are. The things that you find on the chart, I hope that you will create the chart in a way that is necessarily different from another person. Not very many people enjoy doing their taxes. So there's not a lot of value in adding that to this chart. If you focus on things that maybe somebody else might enjoy, but you don't, you're going to get more value out of this chart. If you can find the things that are unique to you, then you are probably kind of walking down the road of determining your own values. Thanks so much for listening. Thank you again to today's sponsor, Square. Head over to developertea.com slash square to get started today. Thanks again and until next time, enjoy your tea.