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Entrepreneurs are known for having the great gift of turning coal into diamonds. They take an idea and bring it to life, turning a fun brainstorming session into a multi-billion dollar company. Or, so we are told. The truth is, being an entrepreneur isn’t always a “happily ever after.”
Many entrepreneurs don’t rise to stardom (98% to be exact!). They pour thousands of dollars into a company, only for it to not be executed the way they envisioned. Entrepreneur horror stories paralyze many aspiring business professionals because they want to make a difference but don’t want to risk their earnings and take the chance of losing it all.
However, there is a solution to this problem: intrapreneurship.
As an intrapreneur, you are acting as an entrepreneur within a company. You get paid to do what you truly desire — creating, innovating, helping others — without financial risk.
While being an intrapreneur doesn’t give you the “CEO” prefix next to your name, it allows you to act as an entrepreneur without assuming the same financial risk. Here are three benefits to being an intrapreneur.
Don’t drown with the ship
As an entrepreneur, a big downside to your position is that if things go south for your company, so do your finances. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for finding and maintaining the means to fund your company. As you expand, you are not only responsible for financing the product but providing the means to support your team.
While loans are possible, you will inevitably spend some of your personal earnings on funding your business. Being an intrapreneur, you have the same level of creative freedom as an entrepreneur but will receive a set salary at the end of the pay period and not carry as much financial risk.
A limit to responsibilities
When entrepreneurs begin their business, they are most excited about seeing their hard work and ideas come to life. But when running a business, you soon realize it truly takes a village of people for everything to run according to plan.
You are responsible for much more than creating a vision as an entrepreneur. You have to hire employees, handle the financial logistics of your company, negotiate with other sellers and manage front and back-end operations. The list certainly goes on.
Before they know it, the once starry-eyed entrepreneur’s passion for creating a product turns to pure exhaustion. Being an intrapreneur means you don’t have to take on the extreme levels of the entrepreneurial process. Rather than starting from scratch, you might be given a set budget and period to get a project done. Companies like Google have a similar structure, providing their intrapreneurs the means to create something new while creating a timeline to execute the project.
Do what you love
People often forget with the word “entrepreneur” that it isn’t solely an occupation but a skill set. If you have an entrepreneurial mind, you like to think out of the box, solve problems and generate solutions. These are most likely the skills that inspired you to enter the field of entrepreneurship and business. Being an intrapreneur allows you to use those skills that you are craving to exercise without all of the financial risks. You can focus your time and energy on the part of the business that excites you.
Many people are hesitant to become intrapreneurs because they do the same work without the title. While this is true, you can also do the same job without the risk. Being an entrepreneur is great but taxing.
Sometimes it isn’t about the ego. Sure, there may not be the letters “CEO” listed in front of your name on your business card. But what you receive is your financial stability, the ability to exercise the skills you enjoy and the ability to help others.
To clarify — there is nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs can turn coal into diamonds and make a solid living out of their innovations. But there is another option with a lot less stress and responsibility.
If you are looking for creativity outside the cubicle, becoming an intrapreneur might be the key to fulfilling your career desires. With all the rewards and no financial risk, intrapreneurship might be what you are looking for.