If you’re about to start your own business, chances are you won’t see the light of day for the next two years, your health is going to take a serious beating and the closest you’ll get to meeting up with your friends for after-work drinks is, well, Facebook chat sessions. Fear not, we’ve pieced together a range of survival kit items to get you through the start-up years.
For health and nutrition: health club membership & cereal bars
The stress levels you’re about to endure driving your business forward and ensuring there’s more money coming in than coming out requires the right strategy to unwind at the end of the day (not that they’ll be such a thing as ‘the end of the day’). And, short of a masseuse giving you the mother-of-all massages before and after working hours, you’re next best option is a membership to your local gym. With its sizeable pool, gigantic work-out area as well as its steam baths and saunas, nothing beats Aspria’s health clubs. We’ve added in a health bar, for post-workout energy boosts.aspria.be
For good first impressions: Laptop bag
Good presentation is half the battle won. And, although your investors won’t exactly be reassured to see you turning up to pitches in a Brioni suit trailed by a flashy ‘personal assistant’, they’ll be looking for details as a sign of your ability to carry your business idea from napkin to Nasdaq. And that can mean anything from the state of your hands (yes yes you Alfa-male self-starters, a manicure will make the difference between a yes and a no), to the pair of shoes you’re sporting. More pertinent still, given the amount of time you’ll be spending on the go, is your choice of laptop carriers. Trust us on this one: you do not want to go for the generic sling-on black bag, as all that says is that you’re more of a follower than a leader. This leather-clad, shockproof, carry-on pouch by Belgian leather good experts Delvaux will, however, ensure that half the battle is won.Airess Laptop Pouch (€130). Available from Delvaux stores nationwide. delvaux.com
For inspiration and motivation: Wired
With recent cover features such as ‘How David Karp stumbld on to Tumblr’ and ‘Why Jeff Bezos owns the internet’, Wired magazine (repeatedly voted digital magazine of the year) is the title that everyone from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists reads. That being said, the magazine, which recently ran a story on a subversive French collective (UX) restoring forgotten parts of Paris’ underground artefacts, extends its dominance of the geeky digital world by speaking to a larger audience of the curious and interested. With both UK and US editions, its blend of big money-talk, ideas, technology, culture and gadget consumerism, makes for a truly unique read.Wired UK (£24 for 12 issues). wired.co.uk
For food and facility: pot noodles
When preparing investor presentations is the only thing on your mind, chances are cooking is, at best, seen as a necessary evil and, at worse, considered an utter waste of time. What’s more, once you’ve gone through your local pizza joint’s entire menu and your lovely neighbours make it clear they’re growing tired of you crashing their family dinners, your last resort is the pot noodle. The saviour to a generation of kitchen-useless students, Aiki Noodles’ pot noodles have graduated to the dim-lit basements of entrepreneurs. Think about it. All you need is a kettle, an electrical socket, some running water (doesn’t even need to be hot, saving you precious dough on utility bills) and you’re set. And you won’t even need to do the dishes after. Priceless.
For informative entertainment: Start-up.com
Ever since they were fifteen, Kaleil and Tom have had their sights set on becoming filthy rich by starting a dotcom. They’ll quickly realise though that it isn’t as simple as it sounds, as their idea – GovWorks.com, a website that allows people to do business with government – gets put to the test by uncommitted partners, demanding families, ruthless competitors and an unforgiving equity market. What’s more, with all the focus put on intellectual capital, the onus is on the founders – as opposed to technology – to make things work. The documentary, directed by Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim, charts the rise and fall of this classic dotcom, and makes for incredible useful watching for budding entrepreneurs as to the pitfalls to avoid.Available from amazon.com