Are you an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur?

Should you be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur?Dilemma: Should you be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur?

Do you want to start your business? Feel like you have an entrepreneurial spirit that is just waiting to burst out?

If so, why not explore that passion within your existing organization? Yes, you read correctly. There is a new breed of entrepreneurs multiplying within large organizations: The Intrapreneurs.

Unlike entrepreneurs, who organize, manage, and assume the risks of a business or enterprise, intrapreneurs emerge from within the confines of an existing enterprise. In other words, they are entrepreneurs within an already established company. In fact, top executives often seek out this particular breed of employee, because they take as much accountability over the organization’s goals as the owners do, applying what author Brad Hams likes to call ‘’Ownership Thinking’’. This translates in higher motivation, performance, creativity, solution-oriented discussions, action-oriented initiatives and the list goes on.

The downside of being an intrapreneur is fully aligned with the main reason why we have so many entrepreneurs arising every day: their existing employers often crush their creativity, innovation, and passion for standing out! So why stay? Simple: given that 9 out of 10 businesses fail within the first year and only 50% survive four to five years, it would be safe to say that not every person that has an entrepreneurial spirit is meant to be their own boss. It would also be safe to assume that given the existing markets, scarce funding resources for new markets and the present volatile socio-political climate, perhaps practicing your entrepreneurial skills within an existing organization might be the best option for most people.

This idea comes with many advantages:

  • Building upon an existing brand
  • Accessing the company’s resources
  • No overhead cost…at least not for you personally
  • No need for a business plan or funding
  • Established clientele
  • Consistent income
  • Opportunity to collaborate with an existing team
  • Instant network
  • Opportunity to test an idea before executing it in a live business environment
  • Greater possibility of having a wider impact
  • Opportunity to gain valuable experience to be applied to your future entrepreneurial ventures!

If this doesn’t convince you to become an intrapreneur or better, if you try it and still remain unsatisfied, daydreaming of walking into your own business and working with your own employees, then, by all means, take the plunge! But do note that many of such intrapreneurs have found much fulfillment and success within their employers’ organization, sometimes being promoted to top executive levels or earning enough income to one day become angel investors, therefore funding start-ups fly on their own.

Which will you choose? Or perhaps you are an employer who has completely put aside employees wishing to move and shake things up within your company? What can you do differently?

— Yasmina E. Jimenez, founder of MY WORKSHOP

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