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10 items that should be on your checklist before Running for Office.

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If you are thinking of running for office in the next year or two, there are some things you should do before you make that decision. Doing them will make your time on the campaign trail easier. Failure to do them can make your life hell, or make you wish you had.

Number 2. Get Your Family Finances in Order.

Campaigns often put a strain on the family budget. Even if you are not using your own money to pay campaign bills, you will find there is less time for work. If you are self-employed, you’ll have less time for clients. If you work for someone else, don’t expect that the boss will still happily pay you when the campaign requires you to miss work.

Number 3. Know the Rules for Getting on the Ballot.

In many jurisdictions, it is easy to do that. You collect a few signatures, or pay a small fee and its done. But some states and jurisdictions make it very difficult to get on the ballot, requiring an exorbitant fee or thousands of signatures. And the rule book that regulates the way those signatures are filed is more complicated than the U.S. tax code. Best to know what you are up against before you make a decision of running for office.

Number 4. Update Your Resume.

You’ll need a resume for your website, and some will ask you for it. Make sure it includes the jobs you’ve held, the degrees you’ve earned, organizations you belong to, charitable and civic causes you have volunteered for, and honors you have received.

Do not, under any circumstance, embellish your resume, exaggerate what you’ve done or claim degrees you have not earned. You will get caught and it will be a bad day when you do.

Number 5. Make it Habit to be Informed.

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