Can You be an Entrepreneur Within an Organization?

Is it really possible to be an entrepreneur within a large company?

Simply put the answer is yes and for those of you that thought it was impossible I would like to introduce a new term to you:

The intrapreneur.

What does this weird word intrapreneur mean? According to the definition is listed as:

“A person within a large organization who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk taking and innovation.”

What are the most effective ways that you can apply entrepreneurial skills to your current place of employment?

Volunteer to work on some of the more difficult projects.

Every workplace has those tasks that are so difficult and time consuming that everyone avoids them like a bad kisser (sorry for the horrible analogy).

Try being that one person that actually volunteers to do these tasks (not always but most of the time) no matter how long and tedious they may seem. Your efforts will hopefully get noticed by management and your fellow employees. Another reason for striving to complete difficult tasks is because a true entrepreneur turns adversity into opportunity, meaning that each problem is just another challenge.

Be passionate about every task that your perform.

Not every assignment that you work on will be glamorous or flashy. You may even at times be stuck performing a very simple task or one that requires minimal effort. Either way don’t let it be known that you take these tasks lightly. Sure typing out the next weeks schedule may seem boring but complete the task flawlessly to show that you take your work seriously.

The way you do anything is the way that you do everything.

Never forget that.

Be a leader and not a follower.

Don’t wait for a subordinate to give you directions to begin working on something. Don’t seek approval from your fellow employees when it comes to your work ethic or attitude in the workplace. Be the first one that tries something new or the first one to get the latest project rolling. Motivate others around you to work harder than they normally would and bring out the best everyone.

Embrace change.

Don’t be afraid of emerging technologies or new processes in the industry. Learn to adapt to change so that you don’t fall behind the times and get left behind in the dust. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with every new iPad that gets released but it would be beneficial if you learn how to use new software at your job before anyone else does.

Be willing to put the company first.

Sometimes you may have to act in the best interest of the company regardless if it’s feasible or convenient for you. This may require some personal sacrifices such as staying behind at work to complete a task instead of going out to get drunk with your friends.

You don’t have to quit your job right now to keep the entrepreneurial flame burning. You can show off your skills at your current job. You can even build a business on the side.

“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” — Conrad Hilton

3 thoughts on “Can You be an Entrepreneur Within an Organization?”

  1. 100% in agreement.

    The “intrapreneurs” are the ones who move up in the business world. They are the ones who go into the more value-added positions than typical office work.

    And people do notice.

    For example, just a few days ago one of the executive’s in my company sent me a long email that started out with “Thanks for your follow up and proactive approach to your role.” This is the position that I look at as my future role down the stream.

    They also notice the people who don’t turn over rocks and look for alternate processes.

  2. Hate to toot my own horn, but I’m an intrapreneur at my bank. I’ve consulted with our social media team to help them launch new products and services. I can even take some of the credit for getting my bank’s customer service onto twitter.

    But my contributions are still minor at this point. Most of my ideas will fall of deaf ears. Many people who branch off on their own start out as intrapreneurs and just get a good idea thier employer can’t support. Maybe I’ll get there someday.

  3. @Studenomist

    My timeframe for my mentors role is probably within a year or two. I currenty backfill his position when he is on vacation so I am networking with all his contacts all the time.

    My timeframe for the next position above that (which is the executive) is probably more like 7-10 years according to my manager. Typically it is more like 10-13 years or something. Every year counts in my opinion.

    Nothing is saying I will stay at this company, but that is the track I am on now.

    And in no way do I claim I am better than everyone else there… I just will take responsibility others won’t and introduce ideas when others don’t care.

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