Shoebox Business Bucket List


This blog post is a bit different than previous posts.  While I do have a tip for you this week, I wanted to share a bit of my story with you first.

I want you to understand that while I have helped hundreds of people, I have also had my own struggles around becoming confident, really enjoying my life, and finding clarity in my work and life.

For me, it has been about finding my clear and authentic voice, having a clear vision for my life, and getting past the fear to take the necessary steps towards that vision.

Before I get into the details, let me ask you a question.

Have you ever felt that you were interested in so many things that it was difficult to focus on just one thing for any length of time?

I’ll tell you a secret.  It’s my biggest problem.  It always has been.  It took me years to settle on a career because I felt that if I chose one, I wouldn’t be able to do any of the others.

In college, I changed schools and degrees several times.  I went from computer programming to theater design to broadcast journalism to finally earning a BFA in Photography/Film/Electronic Media when I was 28.

After working as a web developer/designer and internet project manager for a few years, I started getting that “this isn’t my purpose, I need something more” feeling.

Even after going to grad school and getting my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, I still felt it. Although I enjoyed the clinical work I did during my training, I still had that feeling. To give you an example, with every rotation I did, I was always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the department. It wasn’t enough to do just clinical work. It only fed a part of me. I even had a side web design business during school.

I’m finally at the place in my life where I feel on purpose. I have found my calling and purpose and it feels fantastic. I have found a way to integrate several of my passions into one business — psychology, serving others, design, and building efficient systems.

For many of us, we have so many things we want to do in life that we can’t focus on just one thing.  A project we’ve been working on gets put aside to work on the new shiny exciting project.  We end up with 100’s of partially finished projects but nothing to show for it.  This can be especially difficult when you own your own business.

The Shoebox Business Bucket List

To help with my scattered focus, I created the Shoebox Business Bucket List.  And yes, it’s really a shoebox.  When I get a new idea and am inspired by it, I sketch it out.  Everything that comes to mind while I’m still inspired.  I also write down why I think it’s such a brilliant idea and all the emotions I feel at the moment: excitement, hope, optimism, etc.

I then take everything I’ve just written down, date it, and put it in the shoebox.  I’ve now got a great archive of the idea and why I wanted to do it in the first place.  This allows me to keep going with my current project until I’m finished.  When I’m done with a project and am ready for a new one, I take some time to look through my shoebox.

Why this method works so well

Not only does this help me keep on track with my current project, I now also have a line of possible projects just waiting.  I’m never without ideas that I can begin implementing right away.  Because I wrote down my emotions and did my best to capture my excitement, when I read through the notes again, all that excitement comes back.

How about you? Are you like me in that you have a lot of ideas and fun things you want to try, but you don’t seem to have enough time to implement them all? Do you think the shoebox bucket list is something you could use?

If so, I would recommend trying it for yourself. You’ll most likely find that the pressure to start the new project decreases and you’ll be able to concentrate more on the project at hand, knowing that the new shiny project is waiting in the wings.

With love & joy,

Signature & Pic

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