A Bucket List for a Business

By Thad Plumley

My wife was flipping through pages of a journal she has kept for years recently when she came upon a bucket list she and I had written more than 10 years ago.

Interesting to say the least. There were items we had checked off over the last decade and a few that made us wonder why we ever thought they seemed important at all.

Seeing the list actually inspired my wife to tackle an item on it. She is now learning to play the harp, a musical instrument that has fascinated her all her life.

Now the picture in our house is quite the juxtaposition at times. The soothing sounds of a harp wafting from the room where she practices, and me on the couch, beer in hand, watching a football game. I tell her I’m simply practicing for an item that remains on my list: attending an NFC title game in which the Green Bay Packers are playing.

Do you have a bucket list? They are fun to keep, and seeing one made a while ago was like looking at a snapshot of our lives frozen in time.

And while you may have one personally, do you have one for your business too?

You should definitely have dreams for your company. When you have a business bucket list, the immediate goals you set—quarterly and annually—are steps toward your long-term bucket list items.

The list can have anything on it. Perhaps you want to open a second location in a nearby area that you’ve always felt was right for your type of service. Maybe it’s a second rig because you think, despite the added expense, you could still land jobs that would make your profits soar.

I imagine one many of you have is to be the unquestioned leader in your market—to be known around town as the guy you call immediately when there is an issue with a water well system.

One I think all of you should have centers around when you’re not there someday. Have an item on your business bucket list that has a day in which you are ready to retire and that you will have family members or staff trained and ready to take over in a transition unnoticed by anyone on the outside.

Once you compile your list, go after trying to achieve it. Begin advertising in that area that is right for your company’s expansion, volunteer in the community so people see you more often, or begin showing certain staff members how you tackle the office-side of the job.

You’ll be glad you did because when you eventually check off an item, it will be like the sounds of sweet, sweet music.


Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org, or (614) 898-7791, ext. 1594.