If you ask an entrepreneur what they want for Christmas, you’ll likely get an answer like: “sleep, time, money, a successful fundraising round, my sanity back.” If you’re a good intentioned gifter, you can politely roll your eyes and check out this list instead. Or if you are the described entrepreneur, send this to your well intended gifter. Either way, here is a sampling of thoughtful gift ideas for an entrepreneur (or grad student, or college student, or basically anyone who is doing too many things at once). We broke it down by issue: Time, Self Care, Money, Work, Fun and included a special, What NOT to buy section.
While you can’t give a person a time turner (yes you can) , you can gift them a few hours with a personal assistant to help with some items. My personal favorites are:
1- Fiverr: $5 goes a long way here if you don't have that much to spare.
Fiverr is a community of freelancers that will do work for as little as $5. I’ve used it for research purposes (‘Find the top 20 beauty conferences in the U.S”), and for data organization. (Here’s a list of websites I found, find their beauty editor and find their contact information and put it into an excel sheet. I did find that there were a lot of international helpers here, so make sure your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Prices start at $5
I was gifted 45 tasks as an MBA graduation present and I loved it so much I subscribed when my free tasks were up. I’ve used Fancy Hands for everything ranging from looking up and booking wedding dress appointments (I’m a Matron of Honor!) to looking up social media ranking for influencers we wanted to use. Note: if you do this for yourself, you get 50% off for your first month using my link. Starts at $30 a month
3. Fitness Genes: A workout plan based on science
Exercise is obviously important, but you may not want to give a gift that may make someone feel like they need to lose weight. That’s why I’m recommending Fitness Genes, which I used earlier this summer. Essentially, they assess your DNA for genes that affect your fitness, and then give you a workout and meal plan based on your results. For example, I learned that my best workout time is from 4-8pm, which is when my body is the strongest and that I could be good at endurance sports. Fitness Genes is especially great for entrepreneurs because we know the importance of making decisions based on data, and this DNA test gives you just that.
DNA Analysis and 4 week starter plan $219, other plans available
Bonus: if you want to dip your toe into the Fitness Genes community, check out the founder’s Facebook page, where he posts free 5-minute HIIT workouts daily.
4. A blow out because great hair = great feeling
I’m often stuck in NYC with a few hours to kill before a meeting. Not wanting to smell like a Starbucks and too tired to sight-see, I usually end up finding a salon for a manicure or a blow out. I recommend the Dry Bar which can be found in most cities. Blowouts start at $45
5. An in-home massage from an app like Soothe
Ah a massage, how luxurious. Except for the part where you have to find a spa near you, spend time booking, and then actually commute to it. Soothe will come straight to your door.
Available in 55+ cities, starting at $109 for one hour
6. The Portable Purple No-Pressure Seat Cushion. Sitting on your butt all day is hard. This cushion has the capability of being portable to take on trains and airplanes, and is washable! $40
7. A Sun lamp because you know they don’t leave the house sometimes. It also has the added benefit of being adorable. $40
8. While it might be weird to hand someone cash as a gift (though please feel free!) a gift card to these places could also work.
- Groupon - can be used for fun or business
- Audible - something to listen to while commuting
- Amazon - Fun fact: I built my first Pocket Palette prototype using Amazon gift cards.
- Udemy - Online classes. Pick a specific course to gift, I recommend something in data analytics, social media, or video creation.
- Master Class - Online classes but from from masters of their craft, like Wolfgang Puck, Shonda Rhimes, and Diane Von Furstenburg
9. A waterproof notepad to capture all the amazing ideas that happen in the shower. A pack of 3 for $24.
10. A flexible tripod for Instagram shots and Youtube videos.
I’ve actually bought this tripod twice now, once because my brother liked it so much he stole it for his soccer videos, and the second time so i could record my Kickstarter video. Also comes with a remote. $25 on Amazon.
11. Keychain charging cable. $9 for 1 and $16 for 2.
Pairs perfectly with...
12. A portable charger with over NINE THOUSAND 5 star reviews. $40
13. Packing cubes. It seems counterintuitive to put more bags inside of your luggage, BUT, there are over 1,200 5 star reviews, so I’m in. $23
14. Digital news subscription
With all the breaking news happening, your entrepreneur probably ran out of free article views already. Gift them a digital subscription to one of these papers. Prices reflect the cheapest, digital, yearly subscription.
- New York Times $120
- Washington Post $80 or $40 for D.C. residents with Sunday print
- Wall Street Journal $222
- Your local city paper
15. These earrings. How can you not? $12
16. This adorable embroidered hat. Because it’s ours and we love it. Plus, any entrepreneur could totally use this on travel days. $23
17. Pocket Palette - This compact travel makeup kit because it is the best for the woman on-the-go. 3 for $12
18. Phenomenal woman t-shirt. She’s a phenomenal woman. Gift her a shirt that says so.
Funds raised from this shirt will benefit various organizations that support women. Buy the shirt and learn more about each organization. $35
19. Statement Socks
I wear these to interviews or big meetings where I have to wear a suit. I ALWAYS get compliments on them, including from a prospective investor and a congressman and a recruiter. Any kind will do, but these are two of the ones I wear. Frida Socks $10 Skull Socks $10
What NOT to buy an entrepreneur
- Planner/Journal - these are very personal and some people don’t like to use an old school one, opting for apps and Google calendar instead. Unless they specifically said, “I want this planner,” do not get them one.
- Fancy pen - this isn’t your lawyer’s corporate gift set. Pass.
- Anything to sit on their desk. Chances are their desk is a mess and doesn’t need another knick knack, even if it’s super cute.
- Magazine subscription - unless it’s something with a paywall like mentioned above
- Business books like Lean Startup, Lean in, etc. You can lean alllll the way out of my business library plz. I’m already behind on my to-read list.
- A mug. Unless you hand made it in pottery class, NO MORE MUGS.
- Anything with a generic “motivational quote” unless of course, it’s this one