When you get a taste of success, it's easy to get hooked. The adrenaline rush of a big win, the sense of pride from building something of your own, and the confidence that you can achieve anything you set your mind to—all of these things can be intoxicating.
But new levels bring new devils.
Eventually, the things that once excited you can start to lose their lustre. The stresses of your day-to-day can begin to overshadow all the great parts of being a founder. And you can easily lose sight of why you really went into business for yourself in the first place.
We have a theory, though: every entrepreneur who ever existed has had their own Founder’s Bucket List—full of things that are now, or were at one point, the promised land of their self-employment journey.
You’ll scratch things off this list and add new ones over time. But every now and then, it’s important to take stock of the things you’ve achieved along the way as well as all the ones you’re looking forward to.
Defining the Founder's Bucket List
Made famous (if not originated) by the 2007 film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, “The Bucket List” represents a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket."
But to put that in the context of entrepreneurship, think of it this way…
When you first decided to set out on your own, what were the catalysts that pushed you past the threshold? What were the biggest things you wanted to achieve in doing so?
If you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you might’ve been:
- Tired of working for someone else and feeling unappreciated
- Ready to answer to nobody but yourself
- Sick of waiting for small annual raises and having no real control over your financial destiny
- Unhappy with the 9-5 lifestyle and craving more freedom
- Unsatisfied with the current state of your industry and inspired to make a change
That was the first iteration of your Founder's Bucket List.
Reflecting On Your Milestone Moments
If you look back at that first draft of your Founder's Bucket List, how many have of those things have you achieved? How many new priorities have you added to that list?
In order to stay inspired for the future, you need to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far to help you stay grateful for what you’ve built and inspired to keep going.
Evolving Your Founder's Bucket List
The same way your business evolves, so too will your Founder's Bucket List. As one item gets scratched off, another will doubtlessly be added.
As your business grows, that might be things like:
- Taking your company public
- Selling your company for a profit
- Achieving a certain level of sales or revenue
- Hitting a milestone number of employees
- Winning a major industry award
Whatever those things are, they should be a reflection of the new set of goals you want to achieve before you call it a day on your career.
Writing Out Your Founder's Bucket List
Some people might scoff at the idea of putting their goals down on paper (or in a digital document), but there's real power in doing so. Career coaches continue to suggest that writing down goals makes you more likely to achieve them.
So, take some time to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish with your business.
And once you have your list, don't just put it away and forget about it. Take some time every month or so to review it and see how you're progressing.
Heck, you can even frame it and put it on the wall for a daily reminder!
Achieving your goals won't happen overnight. But it does take time, and it’s important to stay grounded as you do.
The passion you had when you started-that internal inspiration, the flame that burned deep inside-is what will sustain you through the long trek ahead.
Looking back on what mattered most on day one of your business will help you stay humble and grateful while getting you fired up about what’s still to come.
Celebrating Your Successes
When you check a new item off your Founder's Bucket List, celebrate it!
This doesn't necessarily mean going out and buying spending a thousand bucks on dinner every time you land a big client (although, if that's your thing, more power to you).
But, at the very least, it does mean taking some time to appreciate how far you've come and all of the obstacles you've surpassed.
The problem is this is something tons of founders struggle with.
We’re constantly driven to do more, achieve more, and be more. And in the process, we can forget to appreciate what we have accomplished already.
So, take a step back every once in a while and pat yourself on the back. Take a moment to celebrate when you check an item off your Founder’s Bucket List.
Embracing the Power of Connection
Remember that you don't have to be on this rollercoaster by yourself.
By surrounding yourself with people who can celebrate your successes, counsel your failures, and keep yo accountable, you create a support system that will help you through the tough times and make the good times even sweeter.
And at Project Spaces, that’s what we’re all about. We’re a community of founders who work, grow, struggle, evolve, learn, and ultimately succeed together.
So, if you’re looking for a community of fellow founders who will keep you on track and celebrate your wins with you, book a tour of Project Spaces today.
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