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Do You Have a Bucket List?

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

This week I asked our panel of experts …

Do you Have a Bucket List? I know it's a depressing topic, but I'm finding that more Entrepreneurs seem to have them than Non-Entrepreneur types.

Lynette Chandler of says:

I do not have a list per se, but one huge thing. And that's to travel with the entire family months at a time. Years ago, I read of a family who sold their home, moved into a much smaller place and purchased a sailboat. They spend about 9 – 10 months of the year sailing and only 1-3 months at ‘home'. When I read that, I said to myself “That's what I want to do”.

Other than my faith and our business, travel is the one of my major passion and certainly something I want to do before I go.

Mark Mason of says:

It's an interesting question, Nicole. And, an interesting movie as well.

In the movie “The Bucket List”, Carter (played by Morgan Freeman) talks about the death of his friend Edward. Near the end of the movie, he says

“Even now I still cannot understand the measure of a life, but I can tell you this. I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open. And I'm pretty sure he was happy with his final resting place, because he was buried on the mountain. And that was against the law.”

That reminds me about how I feel about bucket lists. I don't really have one. I love today. I am just a happy reading a book in Dallas as I am eating dinner in Singapore or hiking in Yosemite.

I don't have a list — but I do want to be remembered as someone who helped people generously and with integrity in all things. I plan to die with an open heart (just like Edward).

Shannon Cherry of The Business Building Live Intensive says:

I don't have a bucket list. Nor do I want one. But before I explain why, let me let you in on a little secret.

I used to have one… in my twenties. And although a lady never reveals her age, I can tell you that was way before the movie “The Bucket List” and the craze du jour that followed – especially for entrepreneurs. You see, I was obsessed with reaching certain milestones in my life before the age of 30, including becoming a major TV network anchor, making a six figure income, traveling the world.

And did I do it? Yes, some of them. (Although I never did become the next Katie Couric.)

But I was miserable. Although I was crossing off things on my list left and right, I was empty.

And here's why:

Life is not a checklist of accomplishments or a to-do list (and many of you know how I love my to-do lists in my business!). You don't need to skydive or own a Ferrari to know you've achieved something in your life.

But you do need to LIVE and enjoy it. If you don't like something, work to change it. Be happy in the accomplishments you have made and will make.

Today, I have happiness, joy, success and love all around me. Why the hell do I need a list when I have that?

Connie Ragen Green of says:

I finally do have a ‘bucket list', so I guess that means I am thinking more about accomplishing my goals while I am still alive. I lost my mother last month, so that has changed my thinking on this topic. Being able to spend these last few years helping her out was so special to both of us. She was 93, and I was able to provide her with everything she wanted and needed up until her last day on earth.

The more successful my business becomes, the more I value the people in my lives. The only reason I am enjoying the financial freedom and time freedom that comes with this online business is that it gives me more time and resources to share with those I love.

My extended family is spread out all over the world, and being able to visit them and have them visit me on a regular basis has enriched my life so much. We have been able to do more and see more than most people could do in several lifetimes. Just this past week I was in Georgia with part of my family. These are memories that we will all have forever.

The only things left on my list right now are to sing the national anthem at a baseball game and to jump out of a moving airplane. I'll let everyone know when that happens.

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

I got one of those emails awhile back from my mom ( that gets sent around. It's the “bucket list”.

So today I decided to post it here.

You're supposed to mark an “X” next to the things you've done. I deleted some as they weren't really anything I'd want to do, personally.

Things I've done:

(X) Been to an Air Show. There used to be one that went right over our house when we lived in Oregon. We'd sit out in the cul-de-sac to watch it with the kids. I'd have to rearrange all of the cups in the shelves after it was done since they'd jiggle all over.

(X) Shot a gun – Yep. I love shooting things. I wouldn't shoot anything that's living, but I love shooting other things. Blowing up aerosol cans (so they could be taken to the dump and burned) used to be one of my stress-relievers. 🙂

(X) Archery – Yep. Love that, too.

(X) Ride a roller coaster.

(X ) Been to Las Vegas

( X)  Been to Mexico – Climbed the pyramids, went to the open air market, toured the Shrine of Guadalupe — all kinds of fun stuff.

(X) Take Belly Dance lessons. I am still no good after a year of lessons!  But it was fun.

( X)  Go spelunking – Been in caves in Oregon, Florida, and Tennessee so far.

( X ) Been to Florida – Currently Florida is home – since 2003.

( X ) Been on a plane (NOT a fan, although it's a necessary evil that I put up with – but I normally pop a Xanax before the plane takes off.)

( X ) Been on a cruise ship

( X ) Swam in the ocean – I live 5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. We go quite often, but not often enough.

( X ) Been to a water park – Yep.

(X) Been to a Disney park.

( X ) Sang Karaoke – VERY poorly. Cleared out the entire bar. Granted it was morning, and there were Bloody Mary's involved, but it was not one of my finer moments. lol!

( X ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose and elsewhere (Nearly on a daily basis.)

( X ) Caught a snowflake on your tongue – Grew up in Northern Wisconsin so yep.

( X ) Danced or played in the rain – Hasn't everyone?

( X ) Written a letter to Santa Claus

( X ) Watched the sunrise with someone

( X ) Gone snorkeling – Three times so far and I'm totally hooked. Once we saw seahorses and starfish, the other time was over a coral reef and there were Angel Fish everywhere. Amazing!

( X ) Gone ice skating –  Ice skating used to be part of gym class. The ice rink (outdoor) was a block from my elementary school.

( X ) Gone snow skiing. Yes. Both cross country and downhill.

( X ) Gone snowmobiling. Yep.

( X ) Gone snow-shoeing.  I guess we can determine that anything that start with “snow” – I've pretty much done.

( X ) Camped out under the stars – I lived at a camp one summer in a tent, so yes.

( X ) Been skinny dipping outdoors – Too many times to list here.

( X ) Been fishing – Not a big fan.

( X ) Been boating. (Sailboat, pontoon, speed boats, etc.)

( X ) Been water skiing – Again, very poorly. Not one of my better skills. I can be dragged around a lake in an inner tube, nicely, though.

(X) Been canoeing/kayaking – As often as I can

( X ) Been horse riding

(X) Ridden on a tractor – Didn't I say I grew up in Wisconsin? We had one just to plow the snow, even though we lived in the  middle of the forrest.

(X) Ridden on a horse-drawn carriage

(X) Been camping in a trailer/RV

(X) Done Jello Shots – Of course! I've made them on several occasions. 🙂

( X) Seen the Northern Lights

(X) Seen Mt. St. Helens

(X) Stood under a waterfall – One of my favorite things when we lived in Oregon was hiking the Silver Falls State Park.

(X) Visit a Renaissance fair. – I go as often as I can. 🙂

(X) Go to a Star Trek Convention. Yep. hee!

Things I have yet to do and plan to do ..

(  ) Sleep in a castle in Europe

(   ) Swim with dolphins

(  ) See manatees in the wild

(  ) See the Southern Cross

(   ) Gone to a drive-in movie

(  ) Write a book – (It's in the works)

( ) To travel to every state in the US

( ) To set foot on every continent.

My REAL Bucket List is to see each of the 7 Wonders of the World.

BUT…  when I started to research and plan I found out that there are several lists.  That's where it gets tricky… I'm going to have to live awhile. 😉

I'd better get packin'! 🙂

Would love it if you'd post your list on your blog, too, and then comment below.

Mine will be changing much in the coming weeks as I think about things I'd like to do. Can't believe I haven't done this sooner.

Nicole Dean

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Peggy Baron

    Nice! Lynette, I love your dream. Anything in the future involving a boat and water would be a winner for me.

    Mark, thanks for the quote from the movie. I can just hear Morgan saying it. “I love today” – that’s a great attitude.

    Nicole, I loved Silver Falls State Park! I wished I could have done every hike and waterfall before I moved away.


    • Lynette

      Thanks Peggy, I always thought that was really neat. I told my husband, I can’t imagine what a wonderful learning experience it would be for the family. If they need to say learn ancient civilizations – we’d sail to Italy or Greece and visit as we learn.

  • Debby Hall

    Nicole, sorry to ask this here but I can’t find another way to contact you. I joined your new membership site on April 8 and have not rec’d any info. Just checking, the confirmation from paypal did come through.

    Can’t wait to read all of your good information!!!


    • Nicole

      Hey Debby? You still haven’t gotten it? We sent new logins to you. When you signed up, you entered your email as .con instead of .com so we fixed it. 🙂 Let me know if you still need help…

      • Debby Hall

        Hey Nicole,
        Thanks, I did get it… so excited to be watching your business from behind the scenes.
        Not exactly a bucket list item but so pleased that I finally got to spend some time with you in Orlando!
        Loads of fun!!!


  • Lisa Marie Mary

    This totally sounds like fun, Nicole! And I totally LOL’d at your email subject line! I’ve been semi spelunking! Going to have to think on this a while….

  • Lynette

    Nicole it’s interesting how many of the things you have checked off have mirrored the things I have done as well.

    I have been to 3 continents so far, 4 (or 3 depending what you are taught). Not sure I’m brave enough for the Arctic/Antarctica portion though.

  • Carol Owens

    Sounds like great fun!!

    Mark, love your “I love today” attitude.

    Connie, I am sorry for your loss of your mother. I too am caring for an aging mother full time. For the last 5 years I have grown closer to her and learned so much about our family’s past that I wouldn’t trade the time for any thing, ( even on those days when she’s not at her best, lol).

    Nicole, I’ve been spelunking in Tennessee and Missouri (where I currently live) and love it. Many of the things you have checked I have done as well, with many more still to do. Looks like I better get busy creating that list.

  • Darlene The Party Lady

    I have always had a bucket list, but becoming fully self employed in 2004 allowed me the time to chip away at it. And here is the scary part. There is only 1 item left on the list! That’s right…I have nearly done it all!

    So if any one has an email address or phone number for Jimmy Page (yes of Led Zeppelin fame) send it my way! 🙂

    I can admit, it really does feel good to really accomplish things you want to get done. But dont worry…I am still having fun every day.

    Till Jimmy calls….

  • Val

    Is there a place to download the list with the things you didn’t care to do as well? I didn’t see it on Moms blog 🙂

    Biggest thing on my bucket list and NO I don’t find it depressing at all to talk about. I want to learn to fly and when we retire I want to tour the country in an RV. I don’t see the RV happening for as long as I’d hoped, but I know he’s warmed up to the idea over the years. I have a lot of friends around the continent to visit!

  • Annemarie O'Bea

    Wow, this was a timely one for me. Funny how everyone’s comments really struck me. Like Mark, I don’t have a “check list” per se, but my partner and I both keep a list of all the things we’d like to to, and travel destinations. It helps to prioritize, pick out special surprises for each other, and on the bad days, keep the dream alive.

    I moved back to Florida this year to help care for my mom who has early alzheimers. So far we are having an amazing time, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve started working on a book, and boy do I have a story to tell. I’m working with my mom to label and catalog all of her old photos and family momentos. A Native Floridian, I’ve been away about 20 years and really forgotten some of the amazing things right here in my own state. So I still want to drink wine, dance under the stars and watch sunsets in Barcelona, dive on the great barrier reef, and ride mopeds through the greek islands.

    But I’m having a blast swimming with live manatees in Blue Springs State Park (come on over NIK), going birding in Ponce Inlet, FL, planning an RV trip with the family and dogs from Ormond Beach to Key West, and snorkeling for lobster this summer in Islamorada. All in my own state. Close enough to home, and of course, to be close enough to Mom. But it doesn’t keep Barcelona, Vancouver, Australia and Alaska off my mind and off my list.

    Thanks for making me think all. And Mark, we’ve just met briefly a few times… but you are on amazing man. What a lucky wife you have. It gives me a brief second thought about switching up my teams, but then nahhh… reality sets in. 🙂 Cheers.

  • Tawnya Sutherland

    Mark, I love your response!

    A bucket list just reminds me I’m getting older so I don’t have one either LOL! I’m pretty sure my 17 year old wouldn’t even know what a bucket list was if I asked him if he had one. 😉 Besides that ADHD side of me would change my list daily so too much effort … that or I’d forget what I was on it because something better would have come along by then.

    It thrills me to be able to be help/touch another in some small or big way each day, however that may be.

    Simply, I wish to live each day to its fullest, doing the above and whatever else puts a smile on my face.

    Have a fantastic weekend everyone and hope you all find many smiles throughout it 🙂

  • Kurt Scholle

    I love reading other buck lists and tops on my bucket list is writing down everything on my bucket list!

    One goal I had as a kid was to learn to fly and I got my pilot’s license years ago. One item on my bucket list is to fly a jet.

    I always wanted to go to Europe and had the chance when a friend’s daughter married on of the Queen’s stable men. It was awesome that the wedding was in the Chapel Royale in Prince Charles’ official residence. Diana lay in state there privately before public services. Henry the 8th was married there. Now I’d like to visit Italy and Spain. I too like the idea of visiting every continent!

    Another goal is to see a baseball game in every National League Ballpark and a football game in every NFL stadium.

  • The Mom

    Well, well, well… I knew my ears were burning for a reason. Thanks for the mention, Nicole.

    No, I haven’t written or posted my bucket list on my blog, yet. I see I’m going to have to. I need to go find that original email and get to work. I so enjoyed yours, Nicole! I laughed, I cried, I had a good time.

    And, thanks for the quote, Mark. Dying with an open heart sounds like a good plan to me! It’s not a depressing thought at all. Neither are bucket lists necessarily depressing, either.

    I see bucket lists as a “note to self”- a reminder – not as a list of things to get done. Sometimes I get so busy just getting done what I have to do, that maybe a list staring me in the face would trigger a little thought, notion, or just help me focus.

    And, Connie, I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. I didn’t know. I lost my Mom 5 years ago, and sometimes it seems like yesterday. I miss her terribly. It is so wonderful that you were able to be with your Mom to help her. That is so important.

    Yes, my bucket list would probably bore the pants off most people. I just truly don’t have a desire to jump off of or out of anything. My desires are pretty simple – spending time with the people I love. Period. Sorry. Nothing to see here.

    Thanks again, Nicole, for the mention and for bringing up this topic. I think entrepreneurs do tend to make more lists, so a bucket list would be a natural. I’ll keep you posted and let you know when I develop one. 😀

  • Loretta

    I don’t have a bucket list either. I know I’m getting older from all those grey hairs on my head and the fact that my son is nearly the same height as me. My “list” would change as often as the wind changes directions though, so it’s probably a good thing I don’t keep one or I’d spend all my time editing it instead of working LOL I used to really want to go skydiving, but I’m not really interested so much anymore. Just one of those things that seemed like interesting one day and now it doesn’t so much.

  • Annette Renee White

    I have a bucket list…live by my list…& love my life!!! I have had so many amazing experiences since I decided to write all my goals down and start stepping out of the box! Couldn’t imagine living any other way!

  • Aybi

    Nicole, you have no idea how I envy you! That was a long list! You’ve accomplished a lot and still have other things to be done yet! You made me realize that I must make my own bucket list and put an ‘x’ one by one to those that I’ve achieved.

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