Would I be able to satisfy my entrepreneurial itch in a corporate environment?
I have been working on starting my own business. I am worried about having enough financial resources to get it off the ground. I am thinking the corporate route might be a better option, but I am concerned I will regret it and get bored. Has anyone found a corporate job with an entrepreneurial feel?
Hi Deana, yes, it's possible to find a corporate job with an entrepreneurial feel. When you are interviewing for a corporate job, try to find out as much as possible about the culture of the business. Once you get past the first interview process and get to the hiring Manager, you will have a better chance to evaluate how the Manager leads his/her team of staff. Their management style will tell you if you will be given a chance to be entrepreneurial or not.
Many people start their own business while at the same time working for a Corporation. This can be achieved by taking contract corporate jobs to pay the bills while working on your own startup on your own time. If trying to balance the two, make sure your startup is not causing a conflict of interest with your corporate employment. Good luck.
A lot of the answer is determined by what your own expectations are and how how you define an "itch".
If it's really just an itch - and you can scratch it a little now and then, you might get some satisfaction depending on the corporation's culture, what your ideas and motives are, etc. Entrepreneurs are often not a good fit, even if the corporation says they "nurture entrepreneurial talent", because that thinking often doesn't align well with most corporate structures, policies, procedures, legal risks/issues, etc. So that direction and approach might only get you so far.
Worst case scenario might be to give it a shot and take what you learn for future use.
If the corporation is looking for entrepreneurs to help them expand into other areas or do some innovation, you might come closer to striking gold. But the supporting efforts from the corporation can't just be lip service - they need to show systems and processes that back up their stated views.
In a corporation you'll never likely own enough of the situation or results to truly make it a pure entrepreneurial position. There's something about putting it all on the line with "it" being what only you (or with others you partner with) stand to gain or lose.
If it's actually more of a rash than an itch or turns into something more after you start scratching it, it's much less commonly done - unless it's your own corporation and you can shift from your corporate thinking to your entrepreneurial thinking.
By many definitions, entrepreneurship doesn't do well with set-in-stone business structures because of the fluidity of the processes you might go through on any given project. The size of the corporation might affect how well it can turn on a dime and you want to be able to steer that as needed.
Within the concept of "anything is possible" it's not to say you can't do it. But those here who say it's possible need to address the fact that it's not common and why - not just tell you to go for it. There are many reasons and levels of detail that go into it working well. Again, it really depends on your own expectations and how you are defining and envisioning what you want.
Aside from all the above, you might get into a corporate environment and be able to build a case for you evolving into such a position. You would need to work the financial/reward/ROI angles and build your case over time. But if you can position the idea in how it provides value, better positions, or enhances the corporation, plus makes them money short-term and long-term, (and those kinds of things), you increase your odds. Sometimes corporations are more open to starting small with minimal or no risk which can lead to bigger and better, more confident progress.
If you want some ideas on funding without a loan or venture capital, follow the link on my profile, get in touch with me and I'll share what I've told clients that helps them avoid the "not having money to start the business" problem. The solution needs to be customized to what you want to start and I'd be willing to help you pro bono if you provide feedback on my advice.
Deana: With difficulty. Entrepreneurs have certain characteristics among which are a tolerance for risk, discomfort with organizational structure and the desire to monetize your venture in relatively short time periods. Note that these cultural issues have nothing to do with the product, service or financial resources needed to fund the venture.
As corporations grow, they become more risk averse, more structured and less willing to fund ventures that do not have a high probability of meeting well defined profitability targets. Corporate culture also does not accept failure easily. Failure is expected in new ventures. The corporate risk is not only one of possible financial loss but job risk to you and to any internal advocate needed to promote new ideas throughout the organization. There are, however, a few companies that truly practice entrepreneurism one being 3M Corp.
I suggest that you first work on your own business. If you have a proven concept and rational plan, there are investors who can be found top support your vision. Good luck.
I have work with 2 large corporations & 3 Large Family owner retail chains & now my own company, All as Senior management, in my case, I would say that the Corp provided the least amount of entrepreneurial spirit, this most likely has to do with the company itself.
Now the Family owned companies provided a great deal entrepreneurial spirit. because I was part of the decision makers, But still at the end, when the tough decisions has to be made, my point was listen to, but the owners had final say.
Now in my own business, good or bad, I make the decisions, and many can make or break the business at such an early stage of it. But the energy, the feeling of "I can Do this" the adrenaline rush that comes from running your own business is such a thrill that it overcomes everything else.
Trust yourself, see the dream and go for it. In my opinion (that and $2.50 will get ya on a NYC bus lol) You live once and if you don't go for it, will you always say "what if."
If we fail today, tomorrow will still be there, our skills and expertise will still be there and if needed so will opportunities in the Corporate world.
But is there often the right opportunity to go for it for yourself?
Unless you make that opportunity for yourself. Good Luck with whatever you choose, I am sure you will be successful either way.
All the best to your success Auggie
Senior Consultant @ Ask8
Your thought process is quite revealing.
I am not trying to be harsh but an entrepreneur would have no problem answering your question. Their motto would be "just do it".
It suggests that your confidence levels concerning creating solutions to problems is not quite high enough for you to take the big leap just yet. You need experience and if possible exposure to big challenges. You will get this in a corporate environment as long as you pick one that will work with your skill sets.
Most corporates are prepared to challenge good people to try and expand their knowledge and experience and accept that they will make mistakes along the way.
The key for you is understanding your own strengths, (not weaknesses), and working with those to find ways to make good instant decisions that take you in a direction you know in your own heart you must go.Retain strong values at all times.
Be brave, not foolish. Find people who you can work with who have the strengths you do not have, and build a team that will let all of you win. At some point you will just know that it is time to set out alone with the knowledge that you will make sure it happens. Be prepared to work harder and longer than you have ever worked for someone else and never be afraid to ask for help.
My final comment would be no matter which direction you choose, is knowing when it is not working and is not going to work no matter how hard you try, and being prepared to give up and start all over with the same positive attitude in a new venture.
Doubtful. Maybe for awhile, but then it will begin to grate on you. I remember my last "real job." I was a salaried professional. One morning I got to my office about 8:05. My boss (the owner) came in, pointed at his watch, and yelled, "VAN HORN! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE AT YOUR DESK READY FOR WORK AT 8 AM SHARP!!"
Shortly after that I left to start my own business. That was 30+ years ago. Since then I have owned three businesses--the current one for 20 years now.
If you take a corporate job, view it as a tactic to prepare for the launch of your own entrepreneurial business. Set a timeframe and plan of action. Stick to it.
Fine a coach who can help you work through the tough patches.
You're smart to worry about your finances, Deana, because startups most commonly fail due to lack of capital. However, if you are cut from an entrepreneurial cloth, you are likely going to have a rough ride in the corporate world. As Mike suggested below, if you take the corporate job as a means to an end, you can use it to your advantage. Take the paycheck and options and save your money so that you can start your business sufficiently capitalized. Even more importantly, ensure that your learning curve remains steep. There is a lot to learn in the corporate world that will be helpful when you are on your own, and corporate employees often have access to a wide range of training opportunities. If/when your learning curve goes flat (either because of the situation or your own frustration), it's time to bolt! There is nothing worth allowing yourself to become a hamster on the corporate wheel.
That is a question that only you can answer. One person's experience, personal motivations, purpose for starting a business/working in a corporate position, will not be the same as your own. If you are concerned that you will not have enough financial resources to get your business launched, then you might seek a corporate position to build capital and support yourself, while you develop your business on a part-time basis.
My first several jobs were with startups so they were entrepreneurial in that we all wore several hats, pitched in to help wherever it was needed, and felt like our efforts really mattered to the success of the business. Then as they grew they lost that entrepreneurial feel, I got bored, and went and found a new job at a more entrepreneurial place.
I would encourage you to carefully define what you mean by "entrepreneurial feel." I'm certain you can find some aspects of that in a corporate job. And you're not making a life decision here. If it turns out to not be what you want, you can always go find a better opportunity in another company or start your own.
I hope that helps.
I have three in the corporate environment. Different companies have entrepreneurial spirit or spirits: Sales (as in new products, new territories); New product development; Marketing of new product or services. You'll work with many different departments. Try new strategies. Work in many different areas in the 9P's of Marketing (Product or Services); Planning; Place or Distribution; Price; Promotion (eight components or parts); People (Targeting/Segmentation); Partners; Passion (YOUR entrepreneurial spirit here); Presentation. Your spirit could change a culture. New products at Apple, Whole Foods and Nike do
Good luck. Here to help.
Hello Deana, most certainly you can. This is known as being an Intrapreneur. I am an Intrapreneur in my company. There are 2 ways to achieve this. One, if rhere is a similar initiative in your organization then apply and contest in it. The other route is to proactively xome up with your own proposition. In both cases there are some common important things. 1. Your proposition should be in line with company's business 2. You should have a strong business model to back your idea - a convincing Go-to-Market. 3. You should ably be able to demonstrate how you can create value to the company by leveraging existing resources and not ask for resources out of the company's structure. So, there are limitations as you can see, but the benefits far out-weight them. You get a steady income every month and do not have to run the risk of bankruptcy :-)
Deana, You have received some great advice from nearly everyone. I just wanted to add a little bit of information.
1. Have you done any research into your hobby to see if there is a viable market for your goods and services? (Via the Internet)
2. Fact is that finding a Corporate 'JOB' that suffices your unique hobby/passion will be very difficult to find.
3. As far as 'Financial Resources'...there are a plethora of ways to raise capital.
You already have referred business and that should give you a spark more of the Entrepreneurial Spirit. I completely understand the steady and stable income you may receive from the Corporate world yet is that comfort going to soothe you?...I do not believe it will.
Lots of answers have been given already. My personal take is that in my opinion there are definitely possibilities to satisfy your entrepreneurial thirst in a corporate world but from a personal perspective I will always prefer the entrepreneurial route because I know it gives me more satisfaction (so basically for me both can be satisfying but I prefer to be an entrepreneur).
There is no such thing as a corporate job with an entrepreneurial anything! If you look at the word's definition you will see how ludicrous your question actually is. Sorry to be so blunt but that the fact.
that's a question that is close to my heart, and being on the verge to do exactly the opposite of what you are thinking to do I totally understand your concern.
The short and bold answer to your question in my opinion and through my own experience is : NO you won't find a corporate job that will fulfil your entrepreneurial hunger.
However you have companies that definitely would give you a slice of it, or at least an illusion, now it depends if that's enough for you.
The way I have experienced both world is that if you create your own business, to start it and take it off the ground is the most difficult bit, however the satisfaction you get when you succeed is exhilarating and log term. You van even think about the legacy you can create and leave behind. Now you have also the financial uncertainty, the self doubt , the loneliness but that's mostly in the beginning.
On the other hand, being of an entrepreneurial mindset you will most likely be a great success in a corporate job where you have an entrepreneur feel ( and you might have been already), but after the whole hard work, sweat an tears you would have put in it you will realise sooner or later that you are just part of a big machine. You can be the best tool ever, you will stay a tool. And that can definitely put you to question everything you are doing and whether you are wasting a precious time to do something that will never really be yours neither will be recognised to the standard you deserve.
Tough question but you are the only one that can make the decision for yourself, but my advice would be to weigh both paths in light of what you really want to be remembered for and if you want to be remembered ;-)
It is of course easier said than done, but well worth figuring it out before you feel it is too late to go after what you really want.
If you decide to go/back to corporate business I would definitely recommend Gartner, but my previous points stand.
Good luck, and please let me know if it helped, or if you would like me to develop any part. (I tried to be concise and it is not my forte, working on it though;-))
There are many answers to your question, but more than that there are many questions that need to be asked.
1. Did you develop a biz plan for your business and know with some certainty what the financial need truly are. Or, are you worried prior to doing a plan?
2. Is your situation time sensitive that it must or should be in the market now as the competitors might beat you to the opportunity?
3. Re: corporate jobs...Yes, the job is what you make it, but it is true, you have to be at a level of influence to have enough impact to change the organization. Often as a department head, you will be able to express creativity and innovation as long as the results meet the orgainzaitons requirements.
4. I would check out the list of "100 Best Companies to work for" to see if any meet your interest..
I am on Linkedin. And, can definitely tell you that my success had a platform of innovation, creativity and entrpreneurial attitude and lleadership.
I worked in marketing for 25 years.It is very entrepreneurial, if the parent company is willing to invest in the future and not just manage the bottom line.If the salary and benefits are good ,you will be lulled into complacency and competitiveness with your colleagues and lose the gambler edge.
Here is an encouraging article about your goals (The Rise of the Intrepreneur): http://www.fastcompany.com/3046231/the-new-rules-of-work/the-rise-of-the-intrapreneur . I was part of 3 such efforts in my career (1 of which was the 1st RAZR cellphone at Motorola) before I ventured into entrepreneurship.
No, join a startup. It's basically the only way you'll get the same latitude, but say goodby to your business cos you'll be working 24/7. However if you pick the right one, you might make a ton of money and have enough of it to do your own thing ;-)
First, if your goal is to have some money/financial resources before you take the leap,