The “Before 30” Bucket List

People make bucket lists as they’re faced with significant, often traumatic, life events.  They usually include crazy things that, in most cases, only impeding mortality would encourage.  I have a different goal in mind.  2013 marks the 30th year of my life.  For some reason this has always been a significant number for me.  It’s inexplicable.  There’s nothing to do with it being “old” or that my capabilities or opportunities are any less diminished after 30.  Nor does it imply a lack of achievement in my time, quite the opposite in fact.  Anyone who knows me and the life I’ve been undeservedly blessed with would agree.  Nonetheless 30 stands before me as a looming beacon.  I used to joke in my college years that I would beat Bill Gates to his first billion by becoming a billionaire at 30.  Perhaps that’s what cemented the number 30 in my mind.  Regardless of what reasons you apply, it’s there.

Now, back to bucket lists.  I have a list of things I want to do before I’m 30.  This year.  Just shy of 9 months actually.  I’ll run through the short list and then explain them in detail along with goals to accomplish along the way.  Each task has a surprising amount of legwork associated with them.  As usual, I may have bit off more than I can chew.  I’m resolute in at making a valiant effort at the very least.

The List

  1. Pass the CCENT – Cisco Certified Enterprise Network Technician exam.
  2. Pass the CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate exam.
  3. Pass all three CCNP – Cisco Certified Network Professional exams.
  4. Finish the manuscript for part 1.
  5. Query and sign with an agent.
  6. Publish a book.

Pass the CCENT exam

This one is pretty straightforward actually.  I recently bought an online training course that provides me with all the classroom training I need to tackle this exam and the other 4 Cisco exams that take me all the way to CCNP.  In fact the requisite course for this program is complete and I’m studying for the exam which I take next week.  The potentials these certifications contain for me as an IT Professional are huge.  There is quite a bit of excitement around them for me.  Checking it off quickly should build momentum for the others.

Pass the CCNA exam

This can only be achieved if the exam above is passed.  Then another couple weeks of training or so followed by yet another exam.  Good news!  The voucher, or ticket, for this exam has also already been purchased.  There are few things more motivating than looming deadlines.  While the date of this exam has yet to be set the voucher does expire 365 days after purchase.  There is pressure to complete it as soon as possible or else the money spent on the voucher could be wasted.  The CCNA is a professional certification that I have longed for for many years now.  Getting deeper into networking is becoming more reality than dream now.  Also, I’m learning an absolute ton!

Pass the CCNP exams

The word “exam” is plural in this sense.  This level of certification has been made more inaccessible than the others.  It carries with that more prestige but more difficulty.  There are 3 classes to take once the CCNA certification has been passed and 3 exams, each passed, to be taken.  There are no vouchers for these exams yet but the clock is still ticking.  The training I have for the exams expires 365 days after the day of purchase which, albeit after my birthday, still puts the pressure on.

Finish the Manuscript for Part 1

Remember the blogisodes?  Those were good days, weren’t they?  Well the manuscript they form is very near completion in rough form.  Weighing in at 304 pages and 103,000 words it has been a massive project for me.  Thanks to programs like NaNoWriMo and the consistent nagging of friends it’s come this far.  Once done it will be proofed and no doubt revised.  The revised and polished document will then be read by “beta readers”.  These are folks who will provide further feedback.  While that is happening I will be preparing to…

Query and sign an Agent

…Query agents.  This is part of the greater goal of being published.  It’s also where things on my list leave my control timeline wise.  This process can take as little as 2 months and as long as a year.  Longer even.  There are many resources online which I will use to fine tune an attractive query letter to maximize my success in the shortest time.  If the first round comes back rejections, however, it may leave this goal unattainable.

Publish a book

If, you simply can’t make that “if” big enough, I manage to acquire an agent next is selling the book to publishers.  Thankfully the agent does most of this but it does mean a long waiting game for me.  Self publication is an option too.  eBooks have radically changed the way literary media is consumed and how authors get published.  There are lots of resources for this online as well.  While viable it’s not my first choice.  Call me old fashioned but I’d love to have a print from one of the big boys down in New York.  This process takes FOREVER.  IF a publishing contract is signed (that “if” dwarfs the first in size) it usually takes 18 to 24 months for the book to hit shelves!  I’m going to consider an ink-dried publishing deal good enough to check this off the list.

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