5 Awesome Gifts for the Creative Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur’s workplace is where you let your creativity run wild – don’t stuff it full of plain old desks, gray carpets and uncomfortable seats. They say we’re products of our environment – make your environment the best!

The awesome gadgets we’ve listed below will help you be more productive, supercharge your creativity and, frankly, have a lot more fun at the office.

FLUX Delta+

The FLUX Delta+ is a kind of ‘everything machine’. It’s a 3D printer, a laser engraver, a vinyl cutter, a 3D scanner and pretty much anything else you want. Launched form a Kickstarter campaign, the FLUX Delta+ is an amazing gadget you can use to build prototypes and even create one of a kind products. And, it fits easily in your home office.
Cost: $999 with starter kit

Kootek laptop cooling pad

Whether you’re running online meetings, editing videos on your Mac or doing some heavy graphic design, an overheated laptop can slow down your productivity and even damage your hardware. The Kootek cooling pad is the solution. The pad sits under your machine and its five silent fans cool it down and let you work uninterrupted.
Cost: $32.99

Wristomat

If you spend too much time holding a mouse or typing on a keyboard at the wrong angle, you can do your joints some serious damage. But, most wrist-supports are badly designed and don’t allow for much movement. The Wristomat tries to help here. It provides a soft, moveable support which fits exactly to your wrist, allowing you to keep your hands in the best position while typing or using a mouse. The coolest part? The bottom half of the Wristomat ‘hovers’ on a magnet to allow maximum movement.
Cost: from $29.99

The RocketBook

Ever taken notes in your notebook when talking with clients, then lost the paper? The Rocketbook means you’ll never lose your notes again. When you use a Rocketbook, you take notes, then scan your pages with the smartphone app, and the pages are automatically sent to your cloud-based note-taking app of choice. And, the Rocketbook is reusable – once you’ve run out of space, you can microwave it (yup, you read that right) and the ink disappears!
Cost: from $27.00

Trinetic

This isn’t just any old office chair. As a winner of numerous design awards, sitting on the Trinetic is a pleasure. It’s a highly flexible seat which adapts to your sitting position for maximum comfort – and it claims to provide circulatory and musculoskeletal benefits too!
Cost: from $500

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Does the GDPR affect your online business?

On 25th May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. It’s a wide-ranging privacy law, and comes with maximum fines for non-compliance of up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover.


The new legislation is primarily aimed at keeping big businesses in check, reigning in their ability to collect data on millions of people without their consent. It’s also about giving power back to consumers.

But if you’re a small business, don’t just assume you won’t be affected – even if you’re not based in the EU. While it’s true that European countries will be most impacted, the GDPR covers any company that collects personal information about citizens of EU countries.

So, even businesses and freelance consultants in North America could be affected if they collect certain kinds of information.

Say you live in Canada but provide life mentoring services to clients around the world, including customers in Ireland. If you were to record any of those conversations with your Irish clients, or even take notes about them, you may well be affected by the law.

What Does The GDPR Cover?

If you collect personal data on EU citizens, you need to take some extra steps when it comes to the way you manage that information. ‘Personal data’ can mean a lot of things:

  • Name, address, date of birth
  • Gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity
  • Email address
  • IP address
  • Geolocation
  • More here

Many small businesses might be collecting more of this data than they are aware of. All the information you receive from your customers that you write down or otherwise record – their bank details, information about their jobs or partners, their name and email – all count as personal data.

The regulation takes a softer approach to small businesses, so you’re less likely to be scrutinized. All the same, your business will be affected if:

  • You regularly process personal data
  • Fail to report a data breach where personal data was stolen or exploited within 72 hours of the breach
  • You omit to provide information to customers about what you will do with their data
  • Refuse to hand over data you hold on a customer when they request to see it (a ‘subject access request’)
  • Refuse to delete data you hold on a client when asked to (AKA the ‘right to be forgotten’)

How you can get GDPR-ready

Here are some simple steps small businesses can take to become GDPR-ready:

  • Review how you store client information – make sure it’s in a secure, password-protected environment like Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, or even a folder on your computer
  • Write up a policy document which you share with clients explaining what you do with their data. There are many GDPR-ready templates available online to download
  • Share a similar document with your employees
  • Delete any data you hold on customers that you don’t really need

Being GDPR compliant will involve a little work now, but will improve customer trust in the long run, and will also give you confidence that you’re not in violation of any laws.

Can entrepreneurs have a work/life balance?

Most entrepreneurs love what they do (one study shows they’re the happiest people in the planet).

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that running your own business is hard work.
You need to:

  • reply to emails at any hour
  • manage payroll and tax
  • chase up leads
  • search for new staff

All that extra work can ruin your work/life balance.

One recent survey of small business owners found that almost 50% cancel social plans at least once per week because of their work. And half of entrepreneurs say they work more than 50 hours on average per week.

Of course, if you love what you do, doing some extra hours might not feel like work. But, managing your work-life balance is important if you are an entrepreneur. Let’s look at why, then see how you can manage your time better.

There’s nothing cool about being a workaholic!

Entrepreneurs tend to be very driven people. You’ve got an idea you’re passionate about and you want to share it with the world.
But, just because you can work long hours, doesn’t mean you should. The risks of not managing your work-life balance include:

• Losing the passion: if you work yourself to the bone, your business could become the thing you hate

• Damaging personal relationships: whether it’s with your partner, friends or family, working too hard means you spend less time with the people who matter

• Missed opportunities: sometimes you’re so focused on small tasks, that you fail to see bigger opportunities which could bring you a lot more value

• Burning out: if you don’t get enough sleep and spend too long under stress, your mental and physical health could take a hit

How You Can Get Back Your Work-Life Balance

So, how can you avoid these risks and get back your work/life balance as an entrepreneur?

1. Delegate tasks
The ability to delegate tasks is essential as an entrepreneur. If your company already has employees, you need to learn to hand over tasks to them, allowing you to focus more time and energy on strategy. If you work alone, there are countless online platforms where you can search for accountants, data-entry staff or web developers. Delegating these tasks allows you to give yourself a little time to breathe and focus.

2. Exercise!
Setting aside some time to exercise during the working week is wise. If you’re getting up at 5am every day and living off a diet of coffee and cookies, you will end up sick! It’s super important to dedicate a little time to your health at least once or twice a week. Whether that’s going for a run, visiting your gym or taking your bike for a ride, a good exercise session stops you from doing work at the same time, and your mind is focused on something other than work.

3. Mini-breaks
Entrepreneurs tend to take way less vacation than employees. That’s no surprise – if you’re uncontactable for two weeks, a lot of your clients may go elsewhere for business. Mini-breaks are a great solution therefore. Even if it’s just once per month, take a Friday off work and go away for the weekend. Get a change of scenery and turn off your work phone.

4. Re-evaluate your customer list
You know that client who calls you late at night with extra requests? The one who manages to get you to give them free advice or provide work for less than its real value? The one who sucks up all your attention? It’s time to evaluate if that customer is actually worth the money they’re spending.

Many entrepreneurs have at least one customer like this, and they can be truly exhausting. If the relationship just isn’t worth it for you, it might be time to ask if you’d be less stressed letting them go and working with a less demanding client.

5. Having clear boundaries
Last but not least, you should set clear boundaries around your work hours and your private time. Sure, there’s got to be some flexibility, but you should set yourself rules that you stick to. Turn off your work phone after a certain time in the evening. Focus on your family (and food!) during your evening meal. Give yourself at least one day each week where you do no serious work.

Balance Your Work And Life Like A Boss
Working yourself so hard you get exhausted and disillusioned isn’t clever. As an entrepreneur, you need to manage your time in a way that allows you to get some of those rewards of being a small business owner – using some of the money you’re earning, treating yourself, and spending more time with your loved ones.