So, you have an entrepreneurial spirit, but you don’t yet have the perfect idea for a new business or you’re not in a financial position to go out on your own right now.
Perfect. This blog is targeted specifically to you.
And right off the bat, let me tell you what your two choices are. One, you can be bummed out about the fact that you are not your own boss right now and simply go through the motions at your fulltime job until that situation changes. Or two, you can use your entrepreneurial spirit to become an intrapreneur.
If you’re not quite sure what an intrapreneur is, you’re not alone. In fact, the word still gets underlined in red when you type it in a Word doc.
But it’s a very real word, and becoming one will not only give you tremendous fulfillment. It’s also likely to help you rise up in the company and perhaps put you closer to your dream of becoming a true entrepreneur.
When someone engages in intrapreneurship (also underlined in red, by the way), he or she behaves like an entrepreneur within the structure of a larger organization.
By spending some of your work week (and maybe some evenings and weekends) focusing on bigger picture issues such as problem solving, new product ideas, more efficient ways of accomplishing current tasks, etc., you can flex your entrepreneurial muscle and make yourself more valuable to your company.
Now, the intrapreneur still must fulfill the role he has been assigned. And let’s face it, sometimes that involves a little grunt work and assignments that you would probably not label as “inspirational.” That’s OK. There still should be some time for thinking outside the box.
In some circles, working for someone else is looked down upon. Some folks see it as a stigma that you haven’t really “made it” yet. That’s hogwash. Many intrapreneurs have found their sweet spot by working within an organization they believe in and where they are given the freedom to be creative and help turn good companies into great ones.
Perhaps someday you will become the entrepreneur you envision, and you will have people working for you… including intrapreneurs. But right now, becoming an intrapreneur could be the best step for you to take on the path toward that goal.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.