In all likelihood you’re familiar with the term “bucket list” made extremely popular from the 2007 Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson film by the same name.I hear this concept, making a list of all the things you want to do before you die, tossed around in entrepreneurial circles frequently and it occurred to me that there’s another kind of bucket list that actually might be more important in business.
To me, every entrepreneur should first and foremost get to work on their “people bucket list.” This is simply a list of all the people they want to meet before they retire. (Whatever retirement looks like.)
I think there are some incredibly powerful and practical reasons for creating and keeping such a list. Sure, you can have famous people on the list that you would love to meet in person, but perhaps more importantly this list could consist of mentors, influencers and people with skills and experience that you need to acquire in order to succeed.
Targeting and building relationships with people that have accomplished some or all of your vision for business is a smart strategy for growth. Not simply so you can check names off your list, but so you can gain from knowing what they know, following their path and ultimately tapping them as a resource in some manner at some time.
Obviously I’m not talking about stalking, I’m talking about giving to build bridges.
Early in my business I read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and determined I would meet him and learn from him. I licensed his E-Myth Program and worked with him on numerous occasions. He greatly influenced the direction of my work and even contributed a lovely foreword to my first book Duct Tape Marketing.
If I could go back in time I would add Peter Drucker to my list, but in the last few years I’ve met and worked with Tom Peters, Kevin Kelly, Scott Cook, Anne Lamott, Martha Beck, Doc Searls, Andrew Mason, Phil Libin, Jason Fried, John Mackey, Harvey Mackay, Dan Sullivan, Arianna Huffington, Ray Kurzwell and Seth Godin – all people high on my list for various reasons.
Currently, I would love an introduction to Herb Kelleher if anyone can make that happen!
My people bucket list is always evolving and there will always be names both famous and obscure, but I believe that stretching to build relationships with members of this list is a key to my own business and personal growth.
Want to know a powerful way to connect with people on your list? Start and build a podcast. That’s right, my podcast, or more specifically, my offer to interview and promote people on my list has opened doors and launched relationships like no other approach.
Business leaders and authors have a very hard time turning down interview requests, particularly in and around the launch of a new book or project. Now, keep in mind that no matter whom you put on your list you should start first by trying to determine how you might add value to their world and then move on to why you want to meet them.
So, who’s on your people bucket list?