Are You an Entrepreneur or an Intrapreneur?

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When people think of the word “Entrepreneur”, they automatically envision a successful business owner who has traded the shackles of corporate life for the freedom of self employment. While many people strive for this, some see the benefits of being an entrepreneur within their own companies. This is called being an “Intrapreneur”.

Here is the definition from dictionary.com:

an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and does not have to follow the corporation’s usual routines or protocols.

See, entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting your own business. It can also be about being an agent of change and innovation within your own company. Many people overlook this as a viable career option and instead look at the corporate world as a punishment for not taking enough risks.

When I first graduated from business school, I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I had decided that corporate life wasn’t for me and that I wanted to be the master of my own destiny. As any entrepreneur can attest, things don’t necessarily turn out the way you think they will. The road of the entrepreneur is fraught with many obstacles, failures and setbacks. So as my first venture didn’t work out, I decided to take a corporate job. I quickly found a position in account management at a media company. I decided to take a sales job because I figured that learning how to sell would be an important skill if I ever wanted to run my own business. Even though I was working for a company, I knew that eventually I would start my own business and the job was just a training ground for learning the skills I needed to succeed. The entire time I worked at this company, I knew that I was dying to start my own business but at that time in my life, it was important to pay the bills until I could develop a viable (and profitable) idea. So, I decided to change my attitude and focus on being an intrapreneur. After a year, I had succeeded in creating a number of changes within the company as well as developing a style of selling that worked for me.

My point is, that although you may be in the corporate world right now, you can still be an entrepreneur. Just be an intrapreneur within your own company. Bring your ideas and entrepreneurial attitude to the table and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

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