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Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 5 Minutes podcast. Today, I like to share with you episode three: Roadmap of What Matters series. This is the original audio of the series I'm doing about career. And this time, I talk about how do you build a roadmap. How do you identify the projects that you should undertake in the future to find your path towards your career? And sometimes, in this video, I'm saying, "put your name here, put the project there."
So I make this reference because it's a video. Just understand that I'm talking about a 2x2 matrix between Cost and Benefit, and I'm placing the Post-Its around this cost-benefit graphic to identify which of them are worth doing and which of them are not worth doing. These are my direction of travel. Okay? I hope you enjoy it and see you next week with another five minutes podcast. (gentle music) This photo is a very important photo for me. It was taken maybe 10 or 11 years ago and I was doing my annual planning and I invited my two daughters to join me on the exercise and this is what I want to share with you now. (gentle music) So take a flip chart, some Post-It notes. I like different colours, it's helpful for me to understand different aspects and you should start asking what is success for you five years from now? What will really make you feel excited? And you will celebrate if you accomplish? And then you write it here and put it at the top in the centre. This is your North Star. This is the direction of the journey for your professional life. After that, you should go a little bit down and think okay, to reach to this point today in five years, what I need to do in two or three years? Then you put it here. Then you should go down and say, "okay to reach to these in two to three years, "to reach my North Star in five, "what do I need to do next year?" And then finally you say, "okay to do this next year, "what do I need to do now?" These are your projects. So what I want here is to show the direction of your journey to reach this North Star in five years you should go on this path. Then in the short term, this and now this. So you are finding from short-term to long-term. These will give you a sense of direction; let me give you a simple example. Let's suppose I want to become a farmer, so my North Star it's in five years, I want to live on a farm and work as a farmer. Remember, I'm not an agricultural engineer, I'm a chemical engineer, so I don't know anything, but this is where my passion is. I want to bring direction to my life or build an option to become a farmer in five years. So to become a farmer in five years, what do I need to get in two to three years that will enable this to happen? So I need to study agriculture. I need to study livestock. I need to buy or lease a property. And then I can say, "okay then what do I need to do next year?" for example, I can do an online course on sustainable farming. I can do a training or I can become a member of a farmers association. So I'm looking long term to short term and this is where your projects will be. So let me give you a different example now. Let's suppose that you want to do a course now, on graphic design and look, I love graphic design, but graphic design is driving me towards the direction of becoming a farmer? Maybe it's good, but maybe it's not for that North Star. You do not need to have one single North Star, you can have two or three, they must be the relevant ones, things that you really want to accomplish in five years, that will make you fulfill your life and then from here, you have the initiative. What we need to do now, we need to manage this part here, because usually, you have here one, two, three and down here, 20, 30, 50, 100 different things that will sustain this path. The next step of the process, is to map this here, it's exactly to build this. And in order to build this, I need to start by drawing a Y-axis, and an X-axis. Here I will put cost and here benefit. What is the cost? You may think that cost is just money the amount you're spending. It's above and beyond that, cost is much more related to effort. To the stress, to the headache to the pain of doing that project and benefit is how that project helps you to reach your path. Maybe it has a good benefit if your direction of travel if your North Star was a different one. So you need always to keep in mind, benefit towards the direction you wanna travel. And then basically, you will start mapping this; this is a small version. Usually, I do this on a very large paper, what you need to do now. You need to start putting the Post-Its on this map, trying to put them in a relation, to their costs and their benefit. So let me use it here and let me put the first one, this is a project that I want to do. One of these ones that I wanna do, and I place it here. Low cost, low benefit. Do you know how do I call these projects? Distractors. They are the irrelevant ones. They are very easy to do because the cost the effort is very low, but the benefit is still very low, so it's an irrelevant initiative. If we take this initiative and move up here, then it's a different situation. I'm facing something that has a low benefit, but a very high cost. This is the worst possible idea, this is the worst possible the project you may have, because the cost is too high and the benefit it's not, it's like, let me give you just a funny example. It's like you telling me that you want to go to the moon. Okay, the cost of you doing that is... I don't even know how to price it and the benefit for you to become a farmer, it doesn't make sense, right? So it's here, if you move this project from here, to this direction here, what you can see? You can see a high cost and a high benefit, or this is where most of the pain and most of the relevant projects will be, because they will deliver the results, but they cost a lot. It's a dramatic effort. For example, my PhD was here up to last year, so it was a very relevant project to myself and to the direction of travel, I'm doing, but it's extremely expensive in terms of effort. And finally, this one here, high benefit, low cost or this is, I would say it's the dream of every single one. I have a dream to have all my ideas around here, super high benefit and very low cost. But I need to be honest with you, these are very unusual. Most of the ideas you follow, a path like this one, because you know, it's not, there is no magic. Maybe if you have a hundred of things here, it's because you are overestimating benefit or underestimating costs. Maybe you can find one or two pockets of very nice ideas but most of the things will follow this path. Most of the things will happen like this, they will happen here, here, here, here, here here, around this. It's like this. This cloud here, it's always around here. Another important thing, that you may feel challenged is that, you see that I spoke many times about adaptability. Say, you need to be adaptable, you need to have options and for some of you, you may think when Ricardo is putting this into place, he's, in some ways, solidifying me. Not at all. This is why I use Post-It notes. This is something that you evaluate here now, maybe tomorrow it's here, maybe it's here, maybe it's here. Maybe you change your decision over time and I want to explain to you, most of the things in life, you cannot control, but that small piece you can control, then you should put your DNA on it and make the best of what you can control. And look, if we have all of this ready and something happens, I usually do this once a year. But when COVID-19 arrived in early 2020, the first thing I did, I took this. I put it on the wall in my office and I recheck every single post-it. Said, "is this benefit still valid? "Is this cost is still high or low?" For example, one of my North Stars is very much directed to travel, to know different things. So I have some Post-Its that were related to travel. So what happened? They were here around here, the cost became very high. Not because the air ticket became expensive, travel became much more challenging because of Coronavirus. So most of them I had to remove and others just popup, popped it up. In one example, I'm doing it, when you see this series, I'm recording now, it's one of my Post-its, it's one of my Post-Its. So as soon as you do all this mapping and move them, you need to start selecting what you wanna do. Usually, what I do is: I start by removing this, that I'm calling garbage, because they are just irrelevant and very tough to make. This here if I have, I'm lucky enough to have something around here, then I will do that. And then around here, I will decide, okay, these are the very hard ones and very good ones. I can not do everything, so I pick the ones I wanna do. And then I start doing them and monitoring them. Usually, what I do is I try to put maybe a mark here, or I use colours and I start trying to map the ones I will do and the ones I will not do. So, in the end, I have around a hundred Post-Its and I picked maybe 30, maybe 40, this year for example I'm picking 38, but it's your life, it's not my life. So you need to decide what you will put in yours. (upbeat music) One thing that is extremely important, and this is a war that I have many times with myself when I'm doing this; it's the anxiety of doing everything. You look to this and say, "this is all great; let me do everything." "Let me do this; I need to do this, this, this." but your day has only 24 hours, and you have limited resources; you cannot do everything. You need to select, and I feel that, because, for example, I love courses. I love learning. It's something that really drives me, my passion, and I cannot see a new online course. I get crazy; I want to do all of them, it doesn't matter too much the topic, but I want to do that. But what is the relevance of starting ten different courses and not finishing any of them? It's like starting books, books is the same. Every time I get inside a bookstore, I want to buy 20 books and then I struggle to read all of them up to the end. So you need to get things done, in good project management terms. You need to reduce work in progress, because most of the benefits of what you are doing are related to the conclusion of that and not just the journey. So if you read one chapter of a book and the one chapter of another and one chapter of the third one, you are not reading three chapters of one book. It's very important to get things done. So you need to select because your time is limited and your resources, and you select based on the cost, the benefit and your North Star. And what is driving you towards the direction, you decided for yourself or building a new option, or for example, Ricardo trying to become a farmer. So everything that helps me here, to become a farmer at the lower cost, it's a great idea. Right now, what I suggest you do, pick a piece of paper and start doing this for you. You start doing this. Take a Post-It note and start playing with this, and you will see that many ideas will come up and say, oh God, I don't have anything to help me to get to this in two years. So you need to create projects that will create that capability for you. You need to do this, and you need to try and feel what you can do at this time with that. And in our last episode, I will give you some tips and I will cover some points, that will help you to build your professional journey. (gentle music)