This week is your last chance to get all your holiday shopping taken care of, and I’m here to make it a little easier. Or a lot, depending on how many entrepreneurs are on your list.
As CEO of a high-growth startup, I’m part of that breed of business people who run on airport food and caffeine half the time and could use a few things to make life just a bit easier. From practical presents to little luxuries, here’s a wish list I think any entrepreneur would appreciate.
Road warriors hate to check bags, especially on trips where there’s a meeting three hours after landing, and a missing suit would spell disaster. Any gift that makes it easier to pack everything in one carry-on bag and keep clothes and other necessities organized and neat would be great. I personally like packing cubes, which come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different items and fit perfectly in the compartments of a carry-on. The travel-bag company Tom Bihn has a great assortment of packing cubes, each one with a little mesh window that lets you see what’s in it.
Data is at the heart of what makes a lot of startups successful today, and there’s some great data art out there to celebrate that – perfect for the company office, or the office at home. One of my very favorites is a poster of vintage data that showcases everything from floppy disks to 45s. Or take a look at Stefanie Posavec’s uniquely compelling posters, including this data visualization of the first chapters of twentieth-century novels.
From carrying computers to cables to magazines, an entrepreneur’s other office is their computer bag, so why not give them something durable and stylish? Brands like Solo create well-designed bags for both men and women that offer dedicated sections for laptops, iPads, cables and more that make traveling and commuting much smoother.
Massages and personal training
Between funding and hiring and everything else it takes to build a business, entrepreneurs are almost always under stress. Unwinding with a massage or a workout is great for keeping relaxed and healthy. And most entrepreneurs I know would gladly take advantage of the opportunity – if they actually had time to find a massage therapist or personal trainer. There are now have massage delivery services like Soothe that come straight to your home or office or you can purchase a personal training package at a gym close to their office.
Food delivery service
“I don’t have time to eat!” If you have an entrepreneur in your life, you’ve heard that more than once, I’m sure. Put your money where their mouth is, and spring for a food delivery service so they can have healthy snacks delivered to them, such as NatureBox. A delivery from Freshology or another gourmet foods company is another option that would be much appreciated, especially on late nights at the office. And for celebrating new contracts or other wins, consider a good bottle of wine or Scotch if your giftee enjoys alcohol.
Universal power bank
There are few things more horrifying for a business traveler than a tablet that dies in the middle of a presentation or a phone that loses its charge right when a prospect is scheduled to call with news about whether or not you got the business. That’s why a universal power bank for charging mobile devices is such a great stocking stuffer. It only costs a few bucks, doesn’t take much space in a carry-on, and can be an absolute lifesaver on the road.
When you spend a lot of time traveling, high-quality headphones or earbuds aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity. Look for the most comfortable ones you can find. And if you decide to give headphones, remember that your gift recipient’s space is going to be at a premium, so think small but powerful. Here’s a list of great choices to get you started.
Days usually start early and end late for entrepreneurs, and coffee helps make those early mornings and long nights a lot easier to bear. Get a cool photoceramic mug and fill it with gift cards from Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Seattle’s Best or anywhere else that’s on the way to work and/or has a location at the airport. You can also browse Loop & Tie for an assortment of coffee-related gifts (and more) to pair with your coffee care package. That’s the kind of cup of coffee that really lasts.
From wearable technology to classic watches, this is a category with lots of choices for great gifts. There’ve been some amazing deals on Apple Watches this month, so if you know someone who’s had their eye on one, this might be just the time. Or go for something completely different and consider one of these uniqueKickstarter-funded watches Esquire magazine recommends.
I hope these gifts bring more happiness, better health and improved success to the entrepreneur in your life. Happy holidays!
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