The purchases an entrepreneur makes can set them up for success. The products in your life directly affect how you present yourself and spend your time. Making purchases that result in you doing better work, reaching more people and being propelled faster into greatness can result in happiness, prosperity and wellbeing.
Here are five recommendations from entrepreneurs running all sorts of businesses, of products they swear by.
An impressive tech setup
Now, more than ever, business communication is carried out via video. It’s not just meetings; many entrepreneurs are ramping up their content production to reach a bigger audience with their message. If you’re filming on a potato and your audio crackles, it detracts from what you’re saying and undermines your message. If your message is truly worth sharing, don’t risk it being ignored by poor production quality.
Professional copywriter Nic Simpson, who has been self-employed since 2004, recommends entrepreneurs purchase the “best tech set up you can afford. Don’t try and manage with a shonky laptop or dodgy camera,” which may detract from your message. Instead, make your content easy to watch. Lee Chambers of Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing, which focuses on improving productivity in business owners, wants you to “invest in some quality visual and audio equipment, [because] you need to be seen and heard in your best light” When recording and producing video content. Toms Panders recommends filming wearing lightweight sweat shorts, too, for maximum comfort.
A great journal
A daily journaling habit means the messy cloud of thoughts in your head can be translated into words and sentences from which trends can be drawn. It maximises your sense of self-awareness and it can mean plans and ideas spring to mind. One entry a day, however short, over time can become a powerful tool for progress.
Jamie Taylor, a sales support associate from software provider SAP, puts a journal as his number one purchase for “tracking your mood and documenting your journey over time.” He added, “I think the real value is reflecting over your entries and noticing changes in the way you write. It mirrors a change in your mindset. Reading old entries is such a connective experience as it gives you a holistic perspective of where you have been and where you are now.” Taylor journals to “clearly see what went well and what [my] wins were but more importantly to identify what didn’t go well and what [I] can improve on going forward. This is what gives you courage to continue on with your journey, despite the inevitable ups and downs, because it’s always good to remember that tough times pass but tough minds last.
Get specific with the logs you keep. Jinesh Vohra of app Sprive, which helps homeowners in the U.K. be mortgage free, faster, swears by Moleskine notebooks specifically for their quality over other notebooks and “to keep ahead of and stay in check of finances.” Hannah Swinson, founder of independent gift shop Birchover and Bromley recommends purchasing a wellness journal, to ensure “your wellness is just as much a priority as your new business.”
Jessica Fitzpatrick of Buyers & Sellers Media PLC loves her Law of Attraction planner from FreedomMastery.com and Luke and Lauren Elliott of Music Monsters recommend a “knock-your-socks-off planner” like My Pro Planner so ensure there are “no scraps of paper lying around.”
Tools for comfort
Without serving yourself it’s impossible to serve others to the best of your capability. Whether it’s your chair or bed, buying the best means investing in your health, wellbeing and happiness. The best version of you operates on plenty of rest and high-quality sleep. The worst version is knackered, irritable and trapped in short-term thinking patterns brought on by lack of sleep and perspective.
Harry Bryars from Journey Further recommends an Eight Sleep mattress, an Oura ring or a Dreem headset to “track, understand, & manage your sleep” and learn which daily factors affect its quality. Then there’s blackout blinds, a white noise machine, a Manta Sleep mask and some decent earplugs if you sleep next to a snorer.
According to a study by CIP HR, having plants in your office can help reduce stress, increase productivity and boost creativity. Darby Cox of online plant store Sproutsouth has seen a 30% increase in sales over lockdown, especially for “easy care houseplants as well as low light tolerant houseplants” adding that “plants make people happy”.
Chambers, mentioned earlier, also recommends a bespoke and ergonomic chair and desk with quality lighting so you’re not squinting or straining. Wellness expert Kate Morris-Bates thinks a fascia release ball is a sterling purchase for any entrepreneur. “We spend so much time crouched over laptops they really help release tension from the body; particularly back, neck, shoulders – culprits for tension headaches and pain. I use them in my clinic on my patients and on myself!”
Interests outside work
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But it’s not just that. Taking a step back from work can mean you go back to it refreshed and raring to go. My best ideas often manifest when I’m doing something totally different to sitting at my laptop; in the shower or on a walk or when chatting with a friend.
Rytis Lauris, CEO of ecommerce email marketing platform Omnisend, loves things that “help to unplug and reset the brain” which he says is “crucial for any entrepreneur who wants to stay sharp.” For Lauris, top hobby purchases include “anything for cycling as this is one of my top choices when I need to disconnect, especially important nowadays when we’re all in this crazy and tiring lockdown situation.” He recommends VanMoof for electrified experiences, Specialized for “simply great bikes” and Peloton for indoor cycling.
Several of the entrepreneurs interviewed mentioned gym membership as their top purchase. Adam Barrie of Electric House wouldn’t be without his, recommending that you “keep your body and mind healthy and the rest will follow.” Health and fitness are unquestionably linked to wellbeing and longevity. As Barrie joked, “Can’t run a business from a hospital bed or grave.”
Invest in yourself
It’s all very well waking up from your comfy bed to sit in your comfy chair, journaling each day and making beautiful videos that sound perfect; but there’s another arena of purchases that represent investing in your biggest asset: yourself. Lucy Patterson of business consultancy Flourish Unlimited believes that the latest products and apps will come and go, but “lifelong learning and coaching or mentoring support lasts forever.”
Freelance photographer Claire Victoria Bishop knows that “self-development is really important before building and investing in branding for your business.” She sees the work of your coach as being to “guide you and help you develop yourself so your values are fully aligned with your business” and has worked with a coach since she started her business. Nicole Dellipiani from Bump To Bambino thinks it’s “hard being a solopreneur” and believes the solution is a mentor who is “aligned with your business strategy and long term goals.”
Each intentional purchase takes you closer to mastering your time, brand and reputation. Lay solid foundations, work and rest in comfort, present and brand yourself exceptionally and record every milestone. Cultivate optimal health and active hobbies outside work to ensure your in-work effort takes you further.Jodie Cook
This article was first published in Forbes Entrepreneur.