How to Be an Intrepreneur

I feel like everyone these days is starting a business, out with university educations and in with hustling. Millennials are known for being entrepreneurial, they want to work from home and make their own schedule. No more working for the “man.” Hold on, hold on. But what if I love my job? What if I don’t want to start my own business?

I personally love my job. I put in the hours, I work hard and yes, I work for a large global organization. I am not the CEO, I am actually not even a manager (yet). I have a career level job, which pays me well and provides me with a lot of satisfaction. Enter intrepreneurship. You may be familiar with the latest buzzword: intrepreneur. An intrepreneur is an employee in a company that may have attributes of an entrepreneur but little to no risk. Their job is to solve problems or lead projects. They increase productivity, bottom-line and take on important tasks in a company.

I like to consider myself a bit of an intrepreneur. I hustle, network and enjoy special projects, all within the comfort of a large organization. This is great for me, first of all because my passion is Human Resources and I enjoy providing this service to large companies. And second, I am a creative person who enjoys working through strategy and creating initiatives.

If you are a leader in an organization or a Millennial (or anyone quite honestly) who is looking to satisfy their entrepreneurial tendencies but find yourself working for a large company, consider the following tips for creating an intrepreneurship within your current role.

  1. Determine what you enjoy doing. Any time you are considering taking something on that is over and above, you should ensure that you are passionate about doing so. This needs to be something that you will enjoy working on. An entrepreneur would likely not invest time and money into a company that they did not believe in, nor should you. For example, my passion is employee engagement and more specifically educating leaders on how to engage employees.
  2. Figure out what you are good at. Now that you know what you like, it’s time to figure out what you are good at. Like an entrepreneur you may have to create a small team to help in areas where you are not as strong. Your skill might be creating beautiful presentations on PowerPoint with riveting information however, you might get nervous presenting and prefer to not stand in front of an audience. In that case you may want to provide content for someone else to present on.
  3. Create a business case as to why you should lead a special project. Any good business needs a solid plan. Ask yourself, why? Why is this important? Why do you want to do this? Why should anyone care? Why should the company invest? Once you have an innovative idea of why, sell it to your supervisor or someone who would grant you the green light. Again, this is no different from entrepreneurs who need to sell their business to investors, buyers, clients, or the bank for a loan.
  4. Use time effectively. Don’t let project fall by the way side. Ensure you budget enough time to balance your daily tasks as well as put in the extra effort to work on your side project.
  5. Create and implement. Now for the fun part, get working on your passion project. Create something new and improved, utilize resources that you have internal to your organization (graphic designer, subject matter experts). Then present your final product to leaders who will buy in and implement your ideas. Going back to my personal example, I like educating leaders in staff engagement. I researched topics and created Learning Moments that could be emailed to team leads with a quick snippet or action item for them to increase engagement on their team. My manager caught wind of this and shared it with the other managers, eventually it got into the hands of our Chief Human Resources Officer who posted it on our shared site and now HR Consultants in other regions have been contacting me interested in how they could create their own Learning Moments.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be successful. It can be fun to create your own project but there is nothing that says you can’t do this within a corporate job. Maybe one day you will start your business but working for a big company can provide you with development, skills, resources and experience to get yourself prepared.

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