10 Business and Money Things To Do Before You Die

Dave Freeman, co-author of the bestselling travel book 100 Things To Do Before You Die, just died in a freak accident in his own home. He was 47 years old. Nonetheless, reports say he lived his life to the fullest, traveling to exotic locales when he wasn’t busy with his job as an ad executive.

If you haven’t read the book, do–it’s excellent inspiration for getting off your chair and planning an exciting trip. While you’re at it, consider that business might also fit into your bucket list. Here are 10 business and money things you must do before you die:

1. Start your own business.
Entrepreneurs are the maverick travelers of the business space, taking risks and exploring undiscovered niches. Dilligent, lucky entrepreneurs claim those spaces as their own, making a fortune in the process. Some entrepreneurs flounder. Many land in-between.

Try your own hand at starting a business. Some businesses require minimal startup, so even if you claim not to have the money, see what you can do for $200 or $300. Once you’re on your deathbed, you certainly won’t regret having tried. If you’re lucky, your deathbed will be overlooking a Caribbean cay–thanks to that business venture you finally tried out.

2. Make money off the stock market.
This classic form of glorified gambling has made some dreams come true. Even if you don’t rake it in big, play until you win something. Not only will you feel more confident with your money, but you’ll have something extra to put towards that exotic dream vacation.

3. Work a room. Walk into that business luncheon, Chamber of Commerce happy hour, or company awards dinner and work the room. This means making the rounds with people you know, meeting and greeting those you don’t, and not sitting down until you’ve covered most of the physical space. For some people, this comes naturally. If that’s not you, make it one of your goals. Your social confidence will soar. Even if it’s scary, you’ll be relieved that you at least tried.

4. Organize or host a business event.
Coordinate your company’s offsite team-building event. Organize a networking soiree at your local pub or in your backyard. The gratitude you receive for organizing the event will be outweighed only by the new business contacts you make.

5. Attend a board meeting.
Even if you’re not an executive, make it a point to elbow into your company boardroom at least once in your life. It could be for all the wrong reasons, but hey–you’ll look back on it and smile.

6. Give a speech or presentation to more than 100 people.
Public speaking is right up there with snakes and spiders when it comes to common phobias. This is precisely the reason you should push yourself to try. As an added bonus, the overwhelming sense of relief you feel when you’re finished will likely keep you euphoric for days.

7. Drive a company car.
Even if it’s your own company car, there’s nothing like a tax write-off on wheels. Many companies also cover gas and maintenance, granting you a worry-free commute.

8. Promote your product at a tradeshow or convention.
Networking with people in your field while showing off your latest product or service can be a rush. If that convention is located in a choice city, even better. You’ll feel like you’re at the forefront of your industry while taking advantage of sightseeing and nightlife opportunities.

9. Teach a course.
Nothing makes you feel more like an expert in your field than imparting your hard-won wisdom on an eager crowd. Better yet, you’re likely to learn something in the process.

10. Write a book.
Like teaching a course, this may come later in your career. Though it requires a lot of slogging, patience, and support, writing a book could be one of your ultimate life achievements. You’ll know why when you finally pick up the published copy and hold it in your hands.

Runners-up: Be a corporate raider, get a personal jet, and land a million-dollar contract.

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  • Nice, but I think we can get a little more ambitious. (Okay the book, that’s aiming pretty high, but still.) How about ten business and money things to do before you’re forty or fifty? That might make the personal jet thing actually acheivable!

  • Drea

    Good point, Lela. When I created this list, I was using the perspective of someone whose main priority in life isn’t necessarily getting to the top. Rather, I was thinking about people who either strived to live life to the fullest (eg. travel, jumping off of planes, etc.) or had big goals outside of work, such as mastering an instrument or raising a loving family. I know there’s a tendency to want to go big in our society, but when I think of go big + deathbed, I picture a really rich person, all alone in a big mansion (I saw the move Magnolia last night. Kind of like that.) So this might be everyman’s list, or perhaps the minimal list for not feeling regrets on the ol’ deathbed.

    I do agree that a more gnarly list would work well for someone who’s after hardcore business success and can tolerate the quality-of-life price associated with that…