By Alyssa Gregory

5 Things to Elevate to the Top of Your Business Bucket List

By Alyssa Gregory

Do you have a bucket list? You know, a list of things you want to accomplish before you die? We all have things we want to experience, and a bucket list can be used to outline our goals, aspirations and dreams.

Many times, though, a bucket list is used for all of the big, far away things you think about — visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza, running a marathon, becoming fluent in another language — and then it’s forgotten.

Instead of using a bucket list to pinpoint all of the “someday” activities you dream about, a bucket list can be an effective way to identify your broad business-related goals. Think in terms of your work life:

  • What do you want to accomplish in your career?
  • What activities mean success for you?
  • What would you regret not doing?
  • What do you want to change about your current work situation?

Then, create a bucket list that includes everything you need to do to create a successful and satisfying work life. Attach a timeline to each item so you can start to knock them off one by one.

Here are a few items that may be candidates for the top of your business bucket list.

Take the Plunge

If you’ve dreamed about working for yourself, taking the plunge may be one of your biggest bucket list items. Think about what’s stopping you. What has to happen in order to make it a reality? It may seem like it’s an impossible dream, but oftentimes, it’s the fear of the unknown that holds us back. If you can figure out what your biggest fears are and create a plan b (or b, c and d) to give yourself the reassurance you need that you’ll be okay, you can make this happen.

Read The Five “P” Checklist for Taking the Plunge for more on preparing to work for yourself.

Go to an Industry Conference

It’s comfortable working from within your comfort zone. Sometimes, it’s so comfortable, that the thought of stepping outside the zone can be downright painful. Attending conferences and other networking events touches the painful zone for many of us. But this is one area that is almost guaranteed to be worth the pain. Why wait until next year, or five years, to finally get to an industry event when you can start planning right now?

Read The Non-Virtual World of Freelancing: Face-to-Face Networking for networking tips.


Create a Business Continuity Plan

Since a bucket list involves things you want to do before you die, an appropriate item to move up on the list is your business continuity plan. After all, what happens to your business if you were no longer here to run it? Not a happy thought, but one too many solo-workers overlook. This may not be an item you dream about, but it’s definitely one that should make it to the top of your list.

Read Why You Need A Business Continuity Plan for more on protecting your business in case of emergency.

Take a Vacation

If you’ve been working for yourself for a while, I would venture to guess that you don’t take nearly as many breaks as you did when you worked for someone else. It’s simply not that easy when time off could potentially mean lost income. If this sounds familiar, taking a vacation should make it to the top of your bucket list and get off the “someday” list. As impossible as it seems, it is possible with a little planning.

Read The Freelancer’s Pre-Vacation Checklist and Get Out! Three Foolproof Ways to Get Yourself Out of the Office for tips on finally taking that vacation.

Start to Delegate

Delegating is not only a healthy progression for a successful business, but it also may be necessary if you want to do some of the other items on your bucket list. This is another one that can be challenging, but it becomes easier to do once you get started. Identify what you need and look at it as an ongoing activity, and you will become an efficient and successful delegator.

Read 5 Steps to Effective Delegation for advice on how to get started.

What Tops Your List?

These list items may not be overnight accomplishments, but action is the first big step for each one. Start slowly and methodically, outlining the steps you need to take, and making each step time-bound. Before you know it, not only will you be crossing items off your bucket list, but you’ll be living the life you’ve always dreamed about living.

What tops your bucket list? Is it a “someday” activity, or do you intend to accomplish it in the near future?

Image credit: mai05

  • Alyssa,

    It’s rather ironic for me, this morning, to read this amazing article. Thank you. My own personal bucket list has become a priority in my life. In fact, today I’m in the process of taking some plunges and stepping outside my own comfort zones. I’m excited and pumped up for the first time in years.

    I recently became a facebook user, in the last 14 days I’ve managed to reconnect with all kinds of people. It’s been a very positve experience. There is one person though, that had an amazing effect upon me with very little effort and there’s been a unique series of events and positive energy that was set in motion.

    What do you do? This is a typical question people ask one another after years of not being in contact with one another. This question came up around our 4th message exchange. She told me she had a fashion company, a small one, that it was Fun (the keyword being fun). In our exchanges it become painfully clear that she was also successful at it. Keep in mind the one keyword being “fun”.

    It’s been years since I’ve literally had “fun” with work, in fact it reached a point where it’s been anything but. When we were talking over the phone she sounded suprised that I did not find my work fun nor interesting. The next week I seriously reflected upon all the reasons why not. It was this time, I started to focus upon my own Bucket list.

    Ironic, a few days after these exchanges between us. I was over on ted.com and Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk “Do what you love (no excuses)” caught my attention. So I clicked on it and proceeded to indulge myself in watching it. Everything that was coming out of his mouth had so much truth to it. In fact, it reminded me of the differences between the clients or people I’ve worked for over the years. The ones that were successful truely loved and enjoy the Hell out of it. Here was this guy (Gary Vaynerchuk) talking about everything I already knew, that I myself was not focused upon.

    I love the phrase “Business Continuity Plan” and how one should incorperate their own Bucket list into it. Along with doing things that you love and have fun doing. The key elements to being successful.

    It was refreshing to come to sitepoint this morning and read this amazing article full of positive energy. It’s dead on the money (priceless).

    • It’s so nice to hear that the article resonated with you…and thank you for sharing your story. I am a firm believer in the notion that doing what you love, what you’re passionate about, is the key to success. Otherwise, it’s just another “job.”

      Good luck to you as you leave your comfort zone and find your true passion!

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