Intrapreneurship to Entrepreneurship: Are You Tired of Working for Someone Else Yet?

It’s really funny how many buzzwords one can find circulating in the entrepreneurship space at any given time. The word intrapreneurship is one that I’ve been contemplating on a lot lately. It’s a label that many of you out there may feel drawn to.

Most reading this want to be an entrepreneur or solopreneur. But, you may be best suited as a hard working intrapreneur. As my mom has told me my whole life: “Some people are meant to be workers.”

Tough words to hear when you want to pave your own path…

from intrapreneurship to entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurship defined:

An intrapreneur is someone who, out of fear or preference, works for someone else. However, their role goes far beyond that of the casual paycheck-to-paycheck laborer or wanderlust types who jump from job-to-job every few months or years. An intrapreneur loves their role and embraces it fully with the objective of growing the company they work for.

The intrapreneur works their butt off to nearly the same level as the CEO and other management. They may even be a manager themselves. They might also be the guy down in the warehouse who prepares packages for shipment. The big differentiator is they’re that name in the company everyone knows and respects.

The intrapreneur doesn’t show up late, rarely if ever calls in sick, and may never see the inside of the breakroom cause they’re working so darned tootin’ hard! With such moxy and desire to win the game, it should come as no surprise many want or desire to venture out into the business world on their own.

It’s believed those who don’t are crippled by two possible roadblocks:

  1. Fear of failure (including loss of current finances).
  2. Deep down, they know they need to have someone else cracking the whip (Ie., they’re not 100% self-motivated).

If you’re an intrapreneur/wantrepreneur, what’s holding you back currently?

When you actually should you make the shift from intrapreneurship to entrepreneurship?

Now that we’ve got the pessimism out of the way, there are a number of you out there that actually SHOULD make the shift. Many of you are likely sitting in the role of an intrapreneur, ready to push the needle in another direction. Yet, you find yourself lacking the full-on commitment to take the plunge.

Here’s a list of things that might indicate you’re ready:

  1. You know for a fact that working for someone else isn’t what you want.
  2. You have a great business idea burning a hole in your soul.
  3. You’re a risk taker and your boss isn’t.
  4. You have skills/abilities that will never be fully used as an intrapreneur.
  5. Every day working for your employer is agony, and you put in less effort than you used to.
  6. You want to leave a legacy by building something that will live on after you.

Now let’s take a look at the steps that will help you start making the shift:

Begin looking for ideas.

I can’t really tell you how to find a business idea that suits you. Without knowing your interests, such a thing is impossible. However, if you’ve got nothing, check out Ivan’s advice on using Google to find lucrative ideas that interest you.

from intrapreneur to entrepreneur

Start saving money yesterday.

You don’t want to find yourself in a position to execute on an idea and have no savings/credit available to make it happen. Most of you will start your first business before leaving your intrapreneurship. It’s a great way to test the waters without going all-in completely. However, it can be miserable doing a job you don’t like anymore simply because you can’t afford to do anything else.

Make a business plan.

A business plan requires a lot of research. It also helps to build confidence in your idea. Putting everything down on paper might be the tipping point that takes you from casual intrapreneur desire to unquenchable entrepreneur obsession!

Execute launch from your safe place.

This might not apply to everyone. However, if financial fears are the roadblock in your way, you need to launch while still working for an employer. This way, you can still build confidence and learn your market with the security of a paycheck. If you’re like me, you’ll quit your job and just go for it (some people need their back right up against the wall, right?)

Get your head screwed on straight.

All advice aside, there’s no time like the present. If you’re young and foolish, you’ve got the rest of your life to recover from a poor decision or two. If you’re aging (like me), time is always running low. If you truly want to leave your mark, taking the leap is never going to get any easier.

There are only so many tomorrows…