I think almost everyone has at least one entrepreneur in their life. Or, at least everyone has someone in their life who is entrepreneurial in their approach to life.
The entrepreneur (or entrepreneurial-like person) in your life is that person who is:
- Relentless in their pursuit of their innovative dreams.
- Driven by an unquenchable thirst to make the world better.
- Motivated by failure to keep trying.
Can you think of who this person is (or who these people are) in your life?
They’re the ones you love because they seem un-phased by failure, but they’re also the ones you sort of hate because they won’t stop moving (as far as their dreams go, anyway).
Well, love or hate them, these are the people who make our world a better place.
They’re also the people who stand particularly in need of certain things. So, here’s a holiday gift list specially designed for the entrepreneur(s) in your life. I’ve got three gifts in mind you can get them this year (all incredibly cost-effective).
Also, here’s a disclaimer: they’ll never let you know that they want these gifts, so just trust me on this one.
1. Share With Them How Proud You Are
Entrepreneurs are extremely prone to mental health issues.
Believe it or not, one study by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that roughly 70% of entrepreneurs are impacted by mental health problems directly or indirectly.
The question is: why?
Why do entrepreneurs tend to suffer more than non-entrepreneurs in these ways? One theory is that given the very nature of their lifestyle, entrepreneurs are much more likely to experience loneliness.
Leading an initiative while trying to innovate can be a bit isolating. Moreover, when in this position you rarely hear from people that “you’re doing good work” or that “I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished so far.”
It’s not until you’ve “made it” that these compliments start to flow in from those on the outside. So, give the gift of your affirmation to the entrepreneur in your life. Chances are, they’re used to hearing how they can improve (if not from others, then certainly from that pesky voice inside their head).
Trust me, this will be one of their favorite gifts this year. The second gift also requires some words. Here it is.
2. If You Believe In Their Entrepreneurial Project, Tell Them
According to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, if you’re going to be innovative then you better be prepared to be misunderstood.
This couldn’t be more right. Genuine innovation means charting new territory. And new territory isn’t just uncomfortable. It’s also a bit puzzling and hard to comprehend.
It seems to me that the problem here lies in people’s tendency to see things the way we’ve always seen things. We resist change and we prefer what feels known.
Unfortunately for so many entrepreneurs, this makes their job at least twice as difficult.
So, think about the project the entrepreneur in your life is involved in. Attempt to give it the most charitable understanding you possibly can. Imagine a world that has fully embraced their idea or their project.
Would it be a better world? Would the world be improved by it?
My hope is that doing this will enable you to see that their project is probably one worth believing in. Of course, if you never struggled to believe in it in the first place, then the gift-giving task here will be a bit easier.
Here’s the gift: if you believe in the project of that entrepreneur in your life, tell them. Let them know. Don’t hold your belief from them. It’ll only go to waste that way. Once again, these are words the entrepreneur rarely receives until they’ve “made it.” Change this story up for them. I guarantee they’ll appreciate it.
Finally, here’s gift number three.
3. Ask How You Can Support Them
Entrepreneurs are sort of known for asking people to support them. Whether they’re reaching out to investors or asking for e-intros from their network, they’re often seeking support.
What’s probably also true is they don’t enjoy having to do this. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if someone saw you were in a position of need, and they approached you and offered their support? The dream, really!
As it turns out, this is more of a dream than reality for entrepreneurs.
So for gift number three, approach that entrepreneur in your life and ask them how you can support them in this upcoming year. Remember, simply asking the “how” question doesn’t commit you to any specific kind of support.
Let them answer the question. You may find that all they need is a text of encouragement every now and then or maybe a social media shout out. The gift you offer them is in the question.
The question shows that you care. It also helps them to know that they’re not alone. This is like multiple gifts in one!
All of these gifts are cost-effective and can be given with a single text message or a short phone call. Entrepreneurs are, after all, the life blood of our world. Let’s show them that we value them this holiday season.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re reading this, try giving these gifts to an entrepreneur in your network.
We’re changing the way the world works one bit of affirmation at a time.
Written by: Bryan Forbes