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The Mindset of Intrapreneurship

Via LinkedIn : For those responsible for large budgets, individual contributors for companies with many or thousands of employees, it’s easy to feel like just another cog in the wheel.

An important mindset is to view one’s self as an entrepreneur within one’s company; an Intrapreneur. While an intrapreneur is technically serving his or her company’s clients, he or she must operate as if it’s his or her book of business. The mindset must be “Individual Contributor Doing Business As (DBA) Parent Company”. What does this mean for the intrapreneur?

Advantages and Disadvantages

Having run a company as a sole proprietor, I can speak to the disadvantages of bearing full responsibility. The trade off for unlimited earnings potential is unlimited risk in the form of legal repercussions or bankruptcy. While the entrepreneur can risk jail for not following the rules, or insolvency for cash flow problems, the repercussions for failure for an intrapreneur are less severe. Usually the worse that can happen is that you could be fired. Being fired is not fun, but it’s certainly better than jail or bankruptcy. The intrapreneur has limited overhead costs; with an office and technology provided and compensation for company expenses.

Invest in your personal brand

Your Linkedin Profile is your landing page, make a reflection of your value proposition. From a professional headshot, to case studies of how you’ve helped other businesses, to updating it as your skills and successes grow, understand that your LI profile is where your customers do their due diligence before they do business with you. Consider investing in your own website or promotional items that your company doesn’t provide; it’s your business and your ROI calculation.

Flex your brand equity muscles

If you work for a company that has a strong brand and good marketing resources, utilize it as support for your own positioning. From retweeting company tweets, to referencing key company accounts, to citing the accomplishments of leadership at industry trade shows, the work your company does can only further your credibility if you position it in a way that indicates you bring those resources to the table as a representative of your company.

What they can’t take from you

If you decide to leave your parent company, you can’t take your customers, or the company car, or the other amenities that come with intrapreneurship. But what they can’t take with you are the skill sets that you develop while you’re working for them. As long as you’re working for a company, take advantage of any personal or industry relevant training that’s available. Making the most of training and certifications is no different than maxing out the employer contribution match on a 401K. No one would turn down free money, and knowledge equals power, which also equals money. Make the most of it.

The takeaway

For those lucky enough to land a great opportunity with a great company, the inclination to take your foot off the gas pedal and wait for the leads to come through your company is tempting. The long term success is to maintain the intrapreneurial mindset that we’re all in business for ourselves. We don’t just work for our company; we are building our strongest skill set possible, and the best book of business that we can serve, and we’re sharing it with our company for as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial.

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