Today, I thought I’d take a different angle with posting. I’d like to answer and pose to you one of my favorite questions.
What are you going to do after you finish your bucket list?
Let’s say you somehow earn/win/steal (omg) enough money to do everything you ever wanted. What would you do after you are done with your list? For me, this reveals something important. This question helps identify what I really am passionate about. It helps identify what is really important to me. It frames the issue perfectly because it assumes you are without a doubt going to finish your list and live a full life (a worthwhile goal!) and then takes it one step further.
As you might imagine, I get asked this question quite often. I have 37 life list items left and am making quick progress. Completing my list is becoming more certain every day. That is intentional. So what happens after that day?
My answer comes in two parts:
The Short Answer:
The short and truthful answer is that I don’t much care. I am living for the now and will worry about what comes next when I get there. Being present is difficult. I am putting concerted effort into maintaining my focus on living in the moment. It is not easy but that is what makes it so important.
The Long Answer:
Even though I don’t think about what comes next, I have thought about it and I do have a general direction. Roughly speaking, I have three big directional goals.
- Build Distribution
- Write a Novel
- Create a TV Show
It has been occurring to me in increasing frequency that distribution is power. The biggest media players that I know of all generate their power from distribution. Be it traditional publishers, ad networks, news providers, entertainment providers (i.e. netflix), they all have one power card, distribution.
If you want to sell a product, promote a service or even just spread an idea, you will need the help of a source with large distribution channels.
I have spent most of my adult life working in the marketing industry. When you really get down to it, marketing is merely the pursuit of distribution. Google has massive distribution powers, SEO is just one avenue to tap that power.
With this thought as a guide, I am working on building up my distribution channels. I want to be able to reach and help as many people as possible. The key to this is my ability distribute information. Specifically, this means bolstering my RSS, e-mail, social media and brand channels. I want to be able to spread ideas and help many more people.
I plan to do this by actively increasing the amount of value I provide to readers. My product is writing and I believe the best way to increase my reach is to provide more valuable content to people who want it.
Write a Novel
There are two reasons I write this blog. The first is to act publicly with my life’s work to assure that positive peer pressure keeps me moving forward. It becomes much harder to skip a life list item when I have already publicly stated that I am going to complete my entire list.
The second reason I write this blog is to keep a written record of my adventures. I am doing intentionally to aid me with writing my next book. I know that I am mediocre at remembering specific details about past events. By writing down my stories, I am able to maintain a record of what happened. I believe this will prove very useful for me in the future. As an added bonus, another book would also likely help me build bigger distribution channels.
Create a TV Show
Ultimately, I would like to make the leap from storytelling through writing to storytelling through television. I admire Anthony Bourdain and think that I can leverage my future (theoretical :-p) book in the same way he did when he first started his TV career. Of course, any hypothetical leverage will be dependent on my ability to distribute. Again, distribution is power.
For the TV show, I’d like to use a format where I help people accomplish their own life list items. Doing my own adventures is fun but I get much more fulfillment by pushing and enabling others to accomplish their own goals.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself. This is merely the direction I am aiming. For now, I am happy simply focusing on my current life list. After all, I still have a lot of living to do :-) I don’t want to trip on any hurdles that don’t exist yet.
This brings me back to you. What are you going to do after you complete your bucket list? What adventures and passions are laying under the surface for you?