10 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Own
Entrepreneurs need the right mix of skills, tools, and products in order to succeed. We’ve covered tools that will enhance your productivity, and even touched on foods that will enhance your performance. However, there is more to know here. In this post, we’re going to run through some of the most important items for every entrepreneur to own. No matter what your niche or interest might be, these things are must-have items.
A Physical Notepad
You will find no shortage of note-taking apps on the market today. There are even smartphones and tablets that let you add notes by using a pen or stylus. Those are great and all, but there’s just no denying the fact that a physical notepad is still necessary for all entrepreneurs. Why, though? Really, you can take your pick of reasons.
Physical notepads offer a tactile writing experience that most entrepreneurs find rewarding. Even the vaunted iPad and Pen can’t replicate it.
Physical notepads don’t need to recharge their batteries.
Physical notepads don’t need you to keep their apps up to date.
Physical notepads aren’t derailed by things like being without Wi-Fi or cell signal.
Whatever reason you need to tell yourself, invest in a decent notepad or journal. It can be as basic or fancy as you like, but you’ll find that it is an invaluable tool to have.
A Decent Writing Utensil
In addition to a good notebook, you’re going to need something to write with. Yes, you can use a cheap ballpoint pen, but I’ve found that they can be pretty frustrating to use, and saving a few dollars only to deal with smudged ink, a gunked up roller ball and other problems is not the right way to get started.
I say “writing utensil” because some people prefer pens while others prefer mechanical pencils. Both can be used, and both can be joys to use provided you invest a little money into a decent model in the beginning.
A Standing Desk
No matter what field or niche you might be wanting to exploit, you will find that you spend a great deal of time at your desk. More and more, we’re learning that simple things like sitting for too long can have profoundly negative impacts on your overall health. A standing desk helps you eliminate that issue.
There are quite a few different options when it comes to the standing desk you buy, as well. For instance, you could decide to go whole hog and buy a completely automated standing desk. With this type of setup, you press a button and the desk automatically raises itself.
If you’re looking to save a little money, as well as ensure that your desk doesn’t weigh a ton and that you can free up an electrical outlet, there are manual standing desks. Press a lever, pull up, and set the desk at the height that you want.
You will also find even more basic models on the market. For example, if you don’t want the expense of a full standing desk but want to enjoy the health benefits, there are additions that mount to the top of your current desk. They raise and lower via a lever on the side, giving you more control over your health.
Let’s be clear on this. I don’t care what type of clothing you wear. As an entrepreneur, you might wear anything from a full suit to a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. It all depends on your niche and your brand image. What you cannot sacrifice is fit and comfort.
My advice to you is this – be willing to pay for well-fitted, quality clothing. Whether you’re wearing a button down and khakis or a full double-breasted suit and tie, you need to ensure that the clothing is cut so that it flatters your figure and is comfortable to wear. It all ties into ensuring that you’re at your ease while making the right first impression.
One thing that takes many entrepreneurs by surprise is their need for a lot of screen real estate. I don’t care if you have a designated workstation, or if you run your business from a laptop, having dual monitors is a must.
For the workstation folks, this is simple enough to accomplish. Most PCs and Macs today are designed to accommodate two monitor connections, so you shouldn’t even have to upgrade your hardware, other than buying a second monitor. Of course, if your computer does NOT have a port for a second monitor, the situation is different. It might be time to ditch that dinosaur and buy something made this century.
For those who work primarily from a laptop, things are a little different. You’re likely on the go a lot, and toting a spare monitor with you everywhere you go is probably not possible. Instead, have a second monitor set up wherever it is that you do most of your work. Then, adjust your workflow so that the tasks that need the most screen real estate are what you focus on while you’re in your designated workspace.
We have touched on clothing, but we need to spend some time discussing your footwear, too. Your shoes should be well-fitted, like your clothing. They should be of good quality, and they should be comfortable to wear.
Again, you could wear anything from wingtips or oxfords to running shoes. It really doesn’t matter what type of shoes, so long as they are fitted correctly, and that they are of sufficient quality that your feet and legs are comfortable for long hours on your feet. Personally, I recommend either the On Running Cloud X shoes (I recently bought these to replace my ultraboosts and absolutely love them) or the Adidas Ultrabrooost shoes.
At Least One Great Suit
While you might wear shorts and t-shirts during your day-to-day, you need to make sure that you have the right tools to impress when the time comes. Every entrepreneur will need to dress to impress at some point. You could be meeting with potential new clients. It could be a new business partner. Maybe you’re going to the bank for a loan. Whatever the case, make sure you have a great suit on hand to wear for that day.
Now, you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on that suit. It doesn’t need to cost $500. However, it does need to fit you perfectly, and it needs to be modern in terms of style. Wearing a 1970s suit handed down to you by your dad is not going to do you any favors. In addition to a decent suit, make sure you have a pair of shoes that goes with it. They should be stylish yet comfortable.
The Right Wristwatch
There was a time when a wristwatch made a big statement about a businessperson. That faded out to an extent in the last few years of the 20th century. However, it’s come full circle again today. The right wristwatch tells others a lot about you.
Is it an Apple Watch? You’re business focused, but you’re brand loyal. You’re willing to pay a bit more for products that you trust. Is it an Android watch? Depending on the brand, it could say anything from being future focused (Samsung) to having a utilitarian frame of mind (cheaper Androids). Is it an analog watch? You’re old school, and have other ways of keeping up with the information you need than by glancing at your watch.
You do not need to drop $1,000 on a Rolex. However, you do need to ensure that the watch you buy makes the statement you want it to, and that it actually delivers value to your life.
Old-School Business Cards
Websites. Social media accounts. Tap-to-share contact details. We have all of these things and more, but nothing beats an old-school paper business card. They might seem clichéd or outdated, but business cards can pack a big punch, particularly today when there are fewer people using them. Of course, there are a few ways that you can make your business cards really stand out.
One option is to have them printed in a nontraditional format – have the text run vertically down the card, rather than horizontally across the card. Custom art and full-color printing also make business cards stand out, while making you more memorable.
Entrepreneurs need to brainstorm quite a lot. While you can do that to an extent with paper and pen, it’s so much easier on a whiteboard with erasable markers. Whether you go the traditional whiteboard route, opt for clear plastic, or decide that a blackboard and neon markers is more your style, you’ll find that this enables you to think on the fly, make adjustments to your ideas as you go, and more.
With these tools, you’ll be better prepared to handle the ups and downs that entrepreneurship throws your way. Of course, don’t neglect your training. Claim your free copy of my brand new book "77 Life Hacks for Aspiring Entrepreneurs", where I teach everything an entrepreneur needs to know in order to maximize productivity and as a result attaining more success within their lives.