The term “Bucket List” hit mainstream consciousness in the 2007 movie featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Two terminally ill men make a wish-list of things they’d like to do before they “kick the bucket”. These two friends go off on a truly amazing adventure and make their dreams happen- like driving a Shelby Mustang, getting a tattoo and visiting Rome.
Personally, I started my own bucket list a few years ago after watching an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. After hearing about an audience member’s life-list, Ellen surprised the young lady with a stage full of prizes that allowed her to cross items off of her own bucket-list. Not only was the young lady in shock, but she needed to start packing her bags for a trip on the Orient Express. What a great TV moment.
As we all know, in business, staying organized and keeping to-do lists are part of our survival. It’s been hammered into our brains. But does your to-do list look something like mine? Buy paper for the printer. Finish cash flow projections. Finalize end of year taxes.
These are certainly necessary to-dos, but could we take a lesson from the movies and Ellen DeGeneres and infuse a bit of lofty aspirations focused solely on our business?
Here are some examples to get you started:
1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. And, go to Chamber events! Not only are these great networking opportunities, but the Chamber is a powerful advocate for local businesses.
2. Make a toast at a business luncheon. (If you’re not a fan of public speaking, it’s never too late to perfect your skills. Toastmasters is a international organiuzation that helps you fine tune communication and leadership skills. And toasts are great ways to infuse a nice touch of class on a special business occasion with your clients or vendors.
3. Have a second baby. Wait, what? I thought this was business focused?! Well, it is! Make a point each year to take a step back and look at your business for new opportunities. Do you have a new product line or service that could use some more attention? Are you too focused on your current “baby” to nurture it? Take stock- see if there is something there. Who knows, you might be adding to your family, err- business before you know it.
4. Jump out of a plane. Skydiving is actually on my personal bucket list to my husband’s dismay. Think about it though. In business, isn’t it true that sometimes we get complacent? My suggestion is to do something that utterly makes your skin crawl at least once a week. Push yourself. Remind yourself that you didn’t get where you are now without taking risks. Jump. You can do it!
There is something truly motivational about writing out your goals. Once it is in black and white it becomes much more real. You may even find yourself referring to that list in a little self-competition to see how many things you can cross off each year. I’m happy to report that not only have I crossed off 3 items on my personal life list this year, but I’m now building a bucket list for my business. After all, it’s now or never.