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Business Rx: A gift guide for entrepreneurs

It’s that time of year again – time to start your holiday shopping. Here are some suggestions for things to get that entrepreneur in your life from the experts and staff at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“Drive” by Daniel Pink – “This New York Times bestseller is a must-read for any entrepreneur. It’s all about what motivates us to succeed and perform at our highest capacity. It has a lot of great ideas in it that could help any entrepreneur transform his or her life.” – Glen Hellman, board member, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Idea Paint or chalkboard paint – “Available at any hardware store, either of these paints would be a great gift for an entrepreneur. Paint your walls at home or at work with Idea Paint to make it into a working dry-erase board or chalkboard paint to make it into a working chalkboard. No more scrambling for paper if you have a great thought about your business venture — just scribble it on your wall.” – Ken White, personal branding expert and executive director, Office of Marketing Communications

“Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – “Great book that will help entrepreneurs really think about how they communicate their business ideas with others.” – Brent Goldfarb, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship

A good adviser – “As a holiday gift for yourself, find and network with experienced entrepreneurs who can help you avoid making costly mistakes. Finding a good adviser that you trust will be essential for those hard times all entrepreneurs face with their start-ups.” – Asher Epstein, managing director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

The complete works of Guy Kawasaki – “There are numerous books that you can purchase by Kawasaki that are fun and easy reads and also relatively inexpensive. “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is a great book to start with and will explain exactly what it takes for entrepreneurs to take action with their business ideas.” – Neil Selvin, entrepreneur in residence, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Be a customer – “Be a customer or help find a customer. Dig deep into your network to deliver a customer with a red ribbon. Customers help gain investor interest and get feedback on products.” – Elana Fine, director of venture investments, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

“The Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne – “Read about how Cirque du Soleil hit it big by diving into a market with no competitors — the blue ocean. The creators of Cirque modeled their show off of a circus, but took the parts of a circus that worked and the parts of other shows that worked and melded them to form their own performance that was unlike any other. This book can help entrepreneurs determine what their market should be and is a very enjoyable read.” – Hellman

“Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” by Brad Feld – “Thankfully Brad keeps writing books right before the holidays so I can keep recommending them. I bought this book to use mainly as a quick reference for all the aspiring student entrepreneurs I see at the University of Maryland. I wound up finding it an invaluable reference for myself, especially the three chapters on term sheets. It really made them understandable.” – Harry Geller, entrepreneur in residence, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Gift card to a pizza shop – make sure they deliver! “Pizza is a good gift for entrepreneurs who are always working overtime to launch their business and keep them running. It is quick, easy and cheap – a great meal for the entrepreneur who is too busy to go grocery shopping.” – Alla Corey, program manager, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

What are you planning to get the entrepreneur in your life? Tell us in the comments section below.



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