Finding the perfect gifts for your nearest and dearest can be a challenge. But if any of them are entrepreneurs or freelancers, you should find them quite easy to buy for. Anything that enhances their working life will be appreciated – especially as they don’t get any gadgets or electronics on “the company dime!”
Similarly, if you’re self-employed, and thinking about what to ask for for Christmas or another occasion, there are probably plenty of things that spring to mind.
Either way, this bumper list of the best gifts for entrepreneurs and freelancers will provide you with lots of inspiration.
Unlike many such online lists, I haven’t simply browsed through Amazon for ideas. Everything on this list is something I either personally own or want!
- A Quick Note on Buying Gifts for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers in 2021
- A DECENT Webcam
- A Good Quality Microphone
- An Advanced Mouse
- A “Clicky” Mechanical Keyboard
- A Hub or Docking Station
- A USB Power Bank
- A Wireless Charger
- A Curved Monitor
- A Fast Backup Disk
- Headphones and Ear Buds
- An Audible Subscription
- A Blinkist Subscription
- A Readly Subscription
- A Green Screen
- An Oil Diffuser
- A Himalayan Salt Lamp
- A Column Desk Fan
- A Digital Photo Frame
- Electronics Wipes
- Compressed Air Duster
- Moleskine Notebook
- A Mobile Office Case
- A Laptop Sleeve
- Apple AirTags
- The Messy Middle
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- The Four Hour Workweek
- The Startup Playbook
- The School of Life
- Freelance Kickstarter
- Gift Courses from Udemy
A Quick Note on Buying Gifts for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers in 2021
At the time of writing, many countries are experiencing component shortages and shipping delays. In both the US and the UK, people are being advised to plan and buy early for the festive season. If you’re usually somebody who leaves these things until the last minute, that might not be the best plan this year.
Gadgets and Electronics
Buying a good quality webcam is very 2021! In a world where Zoom and Teams calls have suddenly become so ubiquitous, it’s a really solid investment.
You may be wondering why anybody would need a webcam when laptops include them as standard. There are several reasons: Firstly, not everyone uses a laptop, and many entrepreneurs use them with external screens – meaning they’re not actually facing their built in webcam.
Secondly – and most importantly – standard issue webcams are often really poor quality – even on expensive laptops like MacBooks. A good webcam is a really worthwhile upgrade – and nobody will complain about suddenly looking less grainy and washed out on video calls!
I particularly recommend the Logitech StreamCam. I invested in it myself, and use it for everything from Teams meetings to recording screencasts, and even for my young son’s YouTube channel. The image quality is outstanding, and the supplied software allows you to apply all kinds of tweaks, bells and whistles.
A decent microphone is one of the best gifts for entrepreneurs and freelancers, for the same reason as a good webcam: we all spend a huge amount of time on Zoom these days.
Once again, standard laptop mics are rarely much good. They’re always just a secondary feature on webcams too, and rarely impress.
A dedicated microphone is worlds apart, and you’ll get extra bonus points if you’re buying for somebody who gets involved in podcasting or YouTube as well as online meetings.
The Blue Snowball mic is another item I use personally. I bought it when I started to record my podcast, but now use it daily for all kinds of purposes. It’s nice to never be the person people say “I can’t hear you!” to in meetings.
When I splashed out on a rather fancy (and quite expensive) new mouse, I did wonder if I was being a tad extravagant. I certainly wasn’t in any hurry to tell my wife what it cost!
However, it’s proved to be worth every penny. In fact, the other day, I met somebody else in a meeting who had one, and we both raved about how much they increase productivity.
If you’re looking for a gift for an entrepreneur, this is one of those things they won’t know they needed until they have it. The Logitech MX Master 3 is ergonomically designed, lets you scroll horizontally and vertically, and has several customisable buttons. Five minutes spent setting it up can genuinely transform workflow.
I personally adore the electromagnetic scroll wheel – it allows me to move up and down vast documents with speed and precision. It’s also possible to pair the mouse with several devices at once, so you can use it to control more than one computer.
This is the kind of gift that the recipient will be grateful for for a long time to come.
This is a quirkier idea, but if you’re searching for gifts for freelancers in writing and editing, a mechanical keyboard could prove a winner.
Modern computer keyboards are often produced with form over function in mind. They can look slick, but lack the travel and precise feel of older tech.
That’s where mechanical keyboards come in – a distinctly old-school peripheral that many writers will greatly enjoy using.
Another area where “form over function” is strong is tech companies only including limited ports on their machines – especially small and slick laptops.
You end up either continually swapping cables over, or daisy chaining lots of different adaptors, leaving that slick laptop sitting surrounded by a spaghetti of wires.
A whole new generation of hubs and docking stations has emerged to solve this problem. Some are quite expensive, but they have the ability to make a home office both easier to work in and much tidier. The freelancer or entrepreneur in your life is likely to appreciate that!
I accept that a USB power bank isn’t a particularly glamorous present, but it’s also certain to be both appreciated and made good use of.
All of us carry around various electronic gadgets – from ear buds to tablets and smartphones. There’s always something that needs charging, and being able to do so on the move is not just helpful – it can also get your out of tricky and inconvenient spots.
There are two particularly important things to consider when choosing a power bank: First off, go for something with a meaningful amount of power. You want something that can fully top up your devices several times, and perhaps even run your laptop in a pinch – not something that will grant you a measly 10% extra charge in your iPhone.
Secondly, always choose a reputable brand. Connecting expensive electronics to a power bank from some suspicious unheard-of brand isn’t particularly wise.
Wireless charging capability is something that’s been around a while now, but it’s not really taken off yet. People are so used to plugging their phone in to charge, that many simply haven’t got round to investing in a wireless charger.
This makes it one of those gifts for entrepreneurs that people would love to have, but probably wouldn’t treat themselves to. It’s super-convenient to charge your phone just by laying it on a mat on the desk or bedside table.
The same caveat applies as for the power bank above: Use a quality brand – don’t risk valuable gadgets with anything cheap and nasty!
This is certainly one of the more “spendy” presents for entrepreneurs on this list. But if you’re in the market for a big gift, there are few things that can transform workflow as much as a massive, impressive new screen.
Curved screens are very “in” right now, and many people are choosing them in preference to dual-screen setups. They’re simpler to manage, and require fewer cables and power adaptors. There are also all kinds of sizes and options, ranging from smaller curved screens for a few hundred bucks, up to desk-filling behemoths costing $1000 plus.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs are responsible for their own electronic data, and that of their clients. However, many are remarkably slack when it comes to taking regular backups – something discussed in our article on keeping data safe.
One thing that can help ensure backups actually get done is having devices that take minutes to back up a computer, rather than hours.
The Samsung T7 recommended here is something I recently invested in myself. It uses a fast USB-C connection, and backs up at a seriously impressive pace. It’s a big upgrade over older, slower drives.
Good headphones and ear buds get SO much use – whether it’s taking calls on the move, entertainment while exercising, or podcasts on the train. The right headphones can be life enhancing – bringing you the sounds you want, and blocking out those you don’t.
If you’re planning to buy ear buds or headphones as a present, it’s worth dropping a few subtle hints and asking the right questions. Some people may want noise cancelling functionality, for example, while others may be all about the best possible sound quality.
The Sennheiser CX 7 BTs that I recommend here are ones I use myself. They’re a great compromise between more traditional headphones and modern wireless earbuds. I know I’d be sure to lose the latter, and like the fact these have a neck strap so they stay “attached to me” when I take them in and out.
If you’re really looking to splash out on something special, Apple’s AirPods Max are well worth some consideration.
Subscription Gifts for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers
An Audible gift membership makes a great gift. Audible is Amazon’s home of audiobooks, and provides exclusive podcasts and other content too. For entrepreneurs, there are MANY business and marketing books among the selections.
I’m a huge fan (and paying subscriber) of Blinkist. It’s a service that gives you access to thousands of non-fiction books in short, digestible “blink” form, in either text or audio format via an app.
With tons of self-improvement and business content, this makes an ideal gift for an entrepreneur who’s constantly seeking to learn new things. I’ve actually written a full review of Blinkist on my other site.
Readly is another service I use personally. It gives you access to thousands of magazines – both current and past issues.
As somebody who works in tech, I consume many computer and web magazines. Regardless of what niche your recipient is in, they’ll likely find plenty they’re interested in – food magazines for culinary entrepreneurs, and home magazines for freelance interior designers – etcetera.
Gifts to Enhance the Home Office
We’re all very used to seeing other peoples’ home offices and living rooms now. We even get a “through the keyhole” look into the homes of politicians and celebrities when we see them on the news via Zoom calls.
But not everybody wants their home as a backdrop. With a green screen, your backdrop can be literally anything you want!
Of course, green screens aren’t just about changing your background for video calls. They’re hugely useful to entrepreneurs and freelancers who work with video, or do online streaming. They’re an inexpensive (albeit large) gift that many will find useful.
This is one of the most successful gifts I’ve ever bought. I grabbed one for myself, last year, and used it so much that I bought two more for family members. They still rave about them to this day.
They’re a pretty simple piece of tech: You add some essential oils and water to the bowl, and the device emits a stream of scented vapour. However, they look really cool, and the right choice of oil can be anything from calming to energising or pain relieving.
They’re a great addition to any home office, and the kind of thing the recipient may not expect.
Once something you would only see in high-end wellbeing stores (at astronomical prices), Himalayan Salt Lamps are now much more mainstream and much more affordable.
You wouldn’t want to use these as a sole source of light in a home office (unless you’re going for a “boudoir” kind of feel!) However, they make an attractive addition, and are said to help people unwind and de-stress.
I use a desk fan all year round – even when it’s cold outside and the heater is on full. I find both the airflow and the white noise pleasant – especially mid-afternoon when my energy levels begin to flag.
The trouble with desk fans is that they take up a lot of space, and require a lot of fiddly cleaning over time. Column-style fans solve both of those problems – and they look much slicker too.
This is another gift that fits cleanly into the “something people would like but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves” category.
With many entrepreneurs and freelancers spending vast amounts of time in their home offices, a digital photo frame is a great way to add a personal touch.
There are plenty of different options, including some that are sub-$20 cheap. For this example, we’ve included something rather more fancy. It is a connected model that interfaces with an app, allowing you to keep the frame up to date with newer photos, from a distance.
Some of the gifts in this section aren’t that exciting, but they ARE things that are certain to get some use!
These definitely win the prize for least exciting present in this list – but they’re something everybody can make use of.
In these hygiene conscious days, it’s important to keep everything clean, and tech gadgets get touched more than most things.
Perhaps don’t buy these for your spouse’s main present(!) – but they will make a decent stocking-filler.
Dust doesn’t do electronics any good. As an IT person by trade, I’ve seen how clogged up the inside of computers get.
Something I always carried around when doing support work was a compressed air duster.
I’ve lost count of how many times these gadgets have sorted out an over-heating laptop, or dislodged something under a sticking key. Any freelancer or entrepreneur should appreciate having one around.
You’d struggle to find a list of gifts for entrepreneurs that doesn’t list Moleskine notebooks! However, they always make a great gift.
However much we all increasingly lean on tech, there’s something uniquely satisfying about jotting down thoughts and taking meeting minutes on pen and paper. Moleskine has cornered the market for luxurious notebooks – although we should, of course, recognise that other brands do exist too!
Entrepreneur Travel Gifts
The first time I really splashed out on expensive luggage was when I purchased a Samsonite “Mobile Office” case for a business trip to Hong Kong and Singapore. It proved to be worth every penny – and if you have a travelling entrepreneur in your life, they’re sure to be grateful for one.
They provide the ability to keep everything in a dedicated place, and to simply flip the front open to access your laptop and travel documents. They’re also the perfect size to carry all the things you need for short overnight trips.
Some things in life are worth paying the money for, and this is one of them. Travel is pretty stressful these days – the right luggage does a surprising amount to reduce that stress.
It doesn’t matter how fancy a laptop bag is. If you keep moving a laptop in and out of a frequently-used bag, it ends up picking up dust and debris.
A laptop sleeve is the answer. I use one myself, even though all I usually do is move mine between my house and garden office each day!
Not only are these sleeves practical to use within a larger bag, they’re also handy to provide protection when popping down the road to work in a Starbucks. They make good, simple little gifts for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Several companies have long offered GPS-enabled “tags” to help you keep track of portable possessions. But – as is often the case – it took Apple’s entry to the market for people to sit up and take notice.
AirTags are perfect for travelling freelancers – for keeping track of everything from suitcases to bunches of keys. The fact that they use Apple’s well-established “Find My…” infrastructure means there is some justification for these being way more popular than any third-party equivalent. They look cool too.
Book Gifts for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs
I’m always raving about this book!
So many books cater to start-ups, and to people just beginning their journey. This one is aimed more at those who are already established. It’s designed to help people get over other challenges that happen “in the middle” – such as scaling, and dealing with when businesses stagnate.
I remember discovering this book and feeling like a prayer had been answered. If you have somebody in your life whose business is already established, this could make the perfect gift.
This is a relatively new one for me, but it came highly recommended.
Anybody who runs their own business – regardless of its size – needs to think about sales and marketing, and that’s where this book comes in.
It teaches about all the sales methods and psychological tricks we’re subjected to every day – but goes on to discuss using them in business in a conscious, ethical way.
This is quite an old book now, and one that seems to divide people. The Amazon reviews split neatly between those referring to it as a game-changer, and those who criticise its attitudes and ideas.
I’m including it here because it WAS a game changer for me. I never followed its advice to the letter, and disagree with some of the advice (for example, I prefer to pay a fair rate to the freelancers I hire, rather than looking for cheap support from less developed countries.)
What the book did do for me is change my mindset. It taught me that there is an alternative to the “find a good job, save for a pension, retire and spend it” path in life – a path that seems less and less relevant and feasible these days.
It’s essential reading for any entrepreneur, and makes a great present.
It’s always good to learn from other entrepreneurs, and the startup playbook has interviews from 40 different founders, telling the story of (now) big names, such as PayPal, LinkedIn and Flickr.
It’s refreshing to read a business book that doesn’t try to lay out a step-by-step strategy. Instead, it’s the kind of book that sparks ideas, with plenty of big knowledge bombs along the way.
This isn’t a business book, but I’m including it on my list of gifts for entrepreneurs and freelancers with good reason: Not only did it have a notable impact on me, and my mindset, I’ve also had great feedback from others that I’ve recommended it to.
It’s very much a self-help book for these challenging times – uplifting and real – with a focus on stoicism, realism and making the best of what you have.
I recommend this to anyone who cares to listen, but I’d say it will make a particularly good present for anyone who’s a fan of books from the “Mind, Body and Spirit” section.
Courses: The Gift of Learning
The freelancers and entrepreneurs that succeed constantly work to boost their skills and knowledge. As such, they’re sure to appreciate a gift that helps them to do that.
My very own Freelance Kickstarter course is custom-designed for those taking their first steps in the world of freelancing. It was described by one student as “a perfect mix of inspiration and reality to prepare new freelancers for their new life.” The course delivers both encouragement and realism – the latter being something rather rare in courses of this nature.
You can buy the course online (link below), but if you’d like to give it as a gift, please feel free to contact me direct – I can prepare you a gift voucher to your desired specifications.
Udemy is a huge course provider, known for its vast range of courses, affordable prices, and almost constant discounts.
The platform also gives you the ability to gift any of the courses available – so if you know of (or can find out) any skill somebody wants to learn, you can find a suitable course and turn it into a present.
We have a full review of Udemy here.
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Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.