Personal: The Ngo Christmas Gift Guide 2016
The holidays are coming up and it’s time for you to do some gift shopping.
I remember hearing in House of Cards that “Generosity is a form of power.” In psychology, there’s something called the Law of Reciprocation.
It basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.
As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed.
Li Ka-Shing is one of the richest men in Asia. He recommends you set aside a portion of your earnings for wining and dining with those who are more successful than you. Neil Patel also uses a similar strategy.
I use this same strategy, but you can take it a step further.
Buying gifts for someone is a great way to put you on their radar. Every time they use the gift, you’ll pop into their mind.
Also, it’s not just a business thing. It feels good to give.
What’s the point in making money if you can’t give some of it away to those who you care about?
People have always complimented me on my gift giving ability, and I seem to have a talent for finding really good gadgets to buy.
I like to give gifts that are useful, helpful, and going to be appreciated, so I left alcohol and star bucks gift cards off the list.
Three quick tips
1. Don’t expect anything in return.
Even though the law of reciprocation is in effect, I’m really not expecting anything in return. People can feel if you are. Give just to give.
2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money.
The thought matters a lot more.
3. Write a note.
I really appreciate the business we’ve done together this year. You’ve been invaluable in the growth of X.
I remember we had a conversation and you talked about having some productivity issues. I bought you an Esington glass which has helped me a lot this year with focusing.
Best wishes to you and your family.”
Tier 1 Gifts: Under $30
Product: Tuff Tags
Description: These are a simple gift, but something that’ll be appreciated. It’s the sort of gift that someone will still have in 20 years. You can use these on gym bags, suitcases, laptop bags etc. so if you lose it, it can be returned to you.
Description: I wrote a review on How to Fail and Still Win when I first read it because it’s so good. The basic idea is that you should focus on processes and systems instead of goals, because those are within your control.
Product: How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets by Felix Dennis
Description: Felix became a billionaire, started Maxim magazine and became one of the richest people in the UK after dropping out of high school. The thing I like about this book is that he’s not really selling anything. He’s just a rich guy who wants to see other people succeed. It’s a breath of fresh air in the “personal wealth” section.
Product: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Description: This is a book about the history of humans, but not in a traditional sense. The author looks at our development from a cognitive point of view, and how we are becoming more “designers” of our lives than in the past.
He talks about where we’ve been and where we are going. It’s a good change from business books, but it’s got some psychological insights that’ll be useful in your business life too.
Product: Bumb Travel Organizer
Description: You guys know I love anything that makes life easier.
I spend a lot of time traveling, not just between countries, but also locally. Often I go to a cafe to work and I want to have everything with me. USBs, chargers, cables, trackpad, pen, notepad etc. all just sit in the bottom of your bag if you don’t have them organized.
This is a great gift for anyone who has a lot of gadgets, or moves around a lot.
Product: Ingenuitea Tea Maker
Description: I drink a lot of tea, but I like to make it myself. This tea maker infuses your tea leaves, then it dispenses tea straight into your cup.
The mesh filter works perfectly so no leaves end up in your cup. It holds 16 ounces which is a good size for travel, but big enough to use at home. It’s dishwasher safe too (my old one had to be hand washed).
I’ve shared this on Snapchat a few times because it’s so good.
Product: Game of Thrones Season 1
Description: Game of Thrones needs no introduction. If you’re on my Snapchat you’ll know that when a new season comes out, I’m all in. Apparently, it costs about $6 million per episode to make, but the GoT franchise generates about $1bn per year.
It’s also increasing with each season, so let’s hope they keep making them!
This is my favorite show of all time.
Price: $25.75 for a single season, but I recommend the entire series
Product: Esington Glass
Description: This is a 25-minute timer that I use for the pomodoro technique.
These timers are handmade from a single piece of glass, so they are something a bit more special than an online stopwatch for pomodoros.
When you work online and your whole life is a series of apps, software, and SaaS, it’s nice to use physical products sometimes.
It looks baller as hell on desks and makes a great conversation piece.
Tier 2 Gifts: $30 – $100
Product: Supernova Massage Ball
Description: I take this massage ball with me every time I travel. When you sit at the computer for 8+ hours per day, your muscles get stiff and more susceptible to injury. You also build up knots that need to be ironed out of your muscles.
If you work out, you should be massaging your muscles frequently. Foam rollers can be good, but think of a massage ball as the “big boy” version. The Supernova hits your muscles harder than a foam roller, and you can definitely feel it working.
This is a great gift for active guys who wouldn’t buy something like this for themselves.
Product: Hue Lights
Price: Start from $69.00
Description: What are hue lights? They are lights that you can control wirelessly. You can control the brightness, time and color from your phone.
Why are hue lights useful?
- Date nights / Netflix & chill
- Setting the timer so your light comes on when you should get out of bed
- Setting lights to come on before you get home
If you love tech / gadgets like me, you’ll enjoy these. Hue lights use a lot less power than normal lights, and they create a nicer atmosphere for getting ready for sleep in the evening. They also work in with Alexa.
Product: Jaybirds Bluebuds
Description: I’ve had so many pairs of headphones, and these are my latest.
They’re called Jaybirds, and I like them. They have great sound quality, they are bluetooth (so you don’t worry about cables), and I can use them when I exercise (they are sweat proof).
Phones are starting to get rid of headphone jacks so everyone’s going to need a set of bluetooth earphones soon.
Price: from $99.00
Tier 3 Gifts: $100+
Product: Amazon Echo
Description: Think of Amazon Echo as Siri, but for your house. It works on voice recognition software, so you can talk to it from around your house and ask it to do certain things.
- Play different music from your favorite app, turn volume up / down
- Omni-directional audio (so it fills the whole room with sound)
- Answers questions about weather, sport, traffic etc.
- Order food, Uber and other functionality
- Control switches, lights, curtains etc
I bought one of these for fun, but I use it more and more. It has a timer function which is super helpful if you want to set a timer, but you aren’t near the computer.
Product: WiThings Scales
Description: WiThings is a company owned by Nokia, and they’re doing some cool IoT (Internet of Things) projects.
WiThings Scales are wireless scales to weigh yourself and track your body composition. These are a cool alternative to traditional scales as they give you a lot of key data. Instead of just tracking weight, they can tell you a lot about your composition.
- Integrate with most big health / fitness apps
- Monitor fat mass, lean mass, BMI etc
- Check heart rate and other cardio health metrics
- Access to all of your data on a secure server
- iPhone app to track your progress that syncs with scale data
You can customize these scales to do a lot of the tedious work involved in tracking your progress. I definitely wouldn’t give these to a female, but health-conscious guys will appreciate it!
Product: 23andMe Kit
Description: This is a kinda weird gift, but it’s becoming more normal to do. 23andMe are a company that evaluate your DNA to give you a deep insight into who you are.
The kit comes with instructions about how to use it (it’s just a saliva sample) and the return box.
Once they receive it, they do their analysis, and then provide you with the results.
Here’s an overview of what the kit looks like and what you have to do to activate it.
Price: $149 – $299 Depending on location
Gifts Are Good For Business
Imagine one of your contacts shares a valuable tip that means you get an extra 20% ROI on your campaigns.
Or your affiliate manager has their birthday coming up.
How powerful would a thoughtful gift be in these situations?
People are much more likely to remember you if you get them a gift because they’ll use it multiple times.
Oh yea one more tip…if you’re buying a gift for a female business colleague…don’t be fucking creepy. (Affiliates are not the most socially savvy people out there).
Stay away from what I call girlfriend gifts such as perfumes, makeup, etc. Keep it professional. My rule is…would I buy this for a male as well?
Got any other gift ideas for guys (or girls)?
Let me know in the comments!