A Close-Up of the Office Lives of Entrepreneurs
The life of an entrepreneur is one that requires a huge investment of personal resources, long hours, sacrifice and no guaranteed reward. Perhaps it is the great risks, coupled with the high rewards attached to those risks, which makes entrepreneurship such an irresistible venture for those who have a true vision, one which they believe in and are willing to invest the hard, often frustrating work that goes into making their vision a reality.
There are many ways to get insight into the minds of entrepreneurs. Whether it’s an interview, a tour of their office, or a sit down with their first-in-command, the life of an entrepreneur is reflected in many of the tangible aspects of everyday living.
A question we decided to pose to entrepreneurs was What is on your desk? The responses were colorful, insightful and represented a wide variety of needs and comforts.
1. Ellen Huxtable, CEO of Advantage Business Concepts
“…a yellow, tattered, 1982 pocket edition of Roget’s College Thesaurus…a six inch plastic LED lit, usb powered Christmas tree... The former is there because sometimes the online references just don’t seem to capture the essence of what I want to say...the latter is there for a little old fashioned, high tech year-round Christmas joy.”
2. Michael Epstein, CEO of getonlinewithme.com
“…3 monitors…I also always keep a picture of my family to keep reminding me what's most important and what drives me to be successful…”
3. Kyle Frederickson, Managing Director of pitchburner.com
“I keep a gong on my desk that will get hit for every new client we receive. The sound of the gong is a way to build a competitive atmosphere amongst the team and celebrate success.”
4. Brian Pfeiffer, Creator and Owner of Design a Tea
“…a full-size professional zombie mask. …how can you not look at life differently after staring a zombie in the eyes?”
5. Garrett Dodge, Co-Founder and CEO of rockbot.com
“A [WTF] button. Sometimes you just have to let off a little steam. That VC you were talking to didn't come through or a tech bug is driving you crazy. The WTF button lightens up the mood right away.”
6. Anna White, Artist, 2dayichoose.com
“…inks and paintbrushes, office supplies and files, my cameras, and usually a toy or two. Right now a color sheet and a Highlights magazine are hiding under that pile.”
7. Stacy Goldberg, CEO and Founder of Savorfull
“…my grandmother’s antique letter holder…a seashell my daughter gave me…zebra-striped binder clips…a holiday card from the White House…a photo of the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in Platinum…”
8. Barry Maher, CEO of Barry Maher & Associates
“…a small toy dog…My staff gave it to me years ago and whenever I need people to buckle down and focus and get back to work, I simply hold it up, press its side and make it bark, rather than barking myself. It's amazing how well it works…”
9. Billy Bauer, Marketing Director of Royce Leather
“130 year old hammer. I keep my great grandfather's hammer on my desk as a tribute to the vast enterprise that he inspired 130 years later.”
10. Birgitte Rasine, Author and CEO of Lucita, Inc.
“…salt shaker…two Obsidian statuettes from Honduras…A clear acrylic box of business cards, of which a bright red TESLA card from one of the company's employees is the top one. It's a reminder that one day I, too, shall be the proud owner of one of these gorgeous electric vehicles…”
11. Huge McIntyre, Marketing Manager at Boombox, Inc.
“BoomBox, Inc. CEO John Hendricks has a swear jar, and you must give up $1 per swear in John’s office (well, usually)…a “helicopter pen”…a muffin…a Venti hot mint tea from the Starbucks across the street…erasable markers for brainstorming all over his walls…”
12. Steve Silburberg, CEO of Fitpacking
“I have barf bags on my desk. Why? Because I have the largest collection of Air Sickness Bags in the Continental United States, and I'm always in the middle of a trade with other collectors.”
13. Adam Singolda, CEO of Taboola
“…3 cigars, a copy of Sun Tzu's Art of War, a pair gloves (for the current #polarvortex), and an iPhone.”
14. Fabian Geyrhalter, CEO of Finien
“…a wine cork…that features Martians dancing around feeding each other wine. We designed the cork for a winery (by the name of 'Martian') and it reminds me to think outside the box (or bottle in this case)…”
15. Mel Carson, Founder of Delightful Communications
“I've just had a Varidesk delivered… as I've been reading how beneficial it is to stand at your desk for a few hours a day…”
16. David Landis, President of Landis Productions
“…the character that sits on MY desk all the time is Mr. Trench. I have him inside a big-old-upside-down mason jar to keep myself safe from him.”
17. Chris Bailey, CEO, A Year of Productivity
“…a water bottle…a tea station with loose-leaf teas…a plant…a laptop…speakers…headphones…a notepad, for capturing thoughts and ideas…”
18. John Schnall, Founder of Quality Schnallity, Inc.
“…a latex fish with a huge 'talking teeth' mouth…a Phantom of the Opera bobble-head, which arrived so mysteriously I ended up thanking the wrong person for the present. When production crises arise, when client notes are too out-of-left-field, these two stalwart Quality Schnallity fixtures join me in a project freak-out; always therapeutic…”
19. Diane Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency
“…a small, stained Fisher-Price lunchbox from my childhood filled with loose change from around the world on my desk. It reminds me of why I got into the advertising business: to have fun while working and to earn enough to have fun traveling while not working…”
20. Josh Jacobson, Managing Director, Next Stage Consulting
“…on my desk right now is a dog's chew toy in the shape of Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live in the 1970s. When I'm feeling stressed, I squeeze it, and it says "Oh Noooooooo!" It helps.”
21. Sam Jackson, Marketing Executive at Mojo Motors
“...photoshopped images of coworkers at our desks. We also all have license plates from the cars we owned before working and living in NYC…”
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/imagerymajestic