Are You an Entrepreneur or Intrapreneur?
While pop culture would like to remind us once again that the American, Canadian, Australian, – heck! World dream – is to own our own business and live life on our own terms, that is simply not the case for the majority of the population.
Entrepreneurship is exciting, sure, but it’s also super scary. The media would have you believe that it is something that we are born to do, but the truth is that anyone can learn to start and run a business. Except, we need to stop assuming that everyone wants to do that. Instead, we should turn our focus to the people who help the entrepreneurs make the companies they start, great. After all, you can’t have a company without employees, and if everyone had their own company, who would work for you?
So let’s turn our attention then to these intrapreneurs. Intrapreneur is a person who works for someone else, but has an entrepreneurial spirit, autonomy, initiative, and can assume some risk on behalf of a company. These are your A-players. These people are the ones who show up early and stay late, and you need them to survive.
So are you an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or somewhere in between? Many fall in the in-between category. We just want to earn our paychecks and go home, but many more of us want something more from our jobs and know there is more for us in the world, but we don’t want to assume all of the risk for the operation.
It’s a tricky place to be, but if you can get it right, and find the right company for you to explore your entrepreneurial side without all the risk, you might just start living the dream despite not being the owner of the company.
Social media would have us believe that people who run companies are like Gods – at least, that is what their profile pictures suggest. But the truth is that many entrepreneurs are cringing on the inside as they make decisions and try to negotiate their way through the realm of business ownership. Despite many examples of models telling us what to do and what not to do, entrepreneurs are a funny bunch who like to try and see for themselves. This is part of the reason it takes so long to get a business off the ground first – people aren’t willing to listen to sage advice. But still, they power through and do their best to make things work.
All the while, they are relying on some very important people – the intrapreneurs. The ops managers, the account executives, and even the receptionist are all people who show up and give 110% to your company on a regular basis because they believe in it like it was their own. And they can feel safe in doing that because as the entrepreneur, you assume all the risk. Without intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs might find it difficult to start and even run a company. It takes a village to run a company the way it takes a village to raise a child.
So if you feel like there is something more for you out there in the big wide world, but you aren’t willing to risk what it would take to be your own boss, consider adopting an intrapreneur attitude. Consider being the A-player that shows up day in and day out and works to bring someone else’s dream to life. Heck, it can be your dream too, but you don’t have to bank roll it. And in taking the supportive role, you can have a lasting impact on your community, that ensures you get to contribute in a meaningful way. And that is what entrepreneurship is really all about.