The best step to becoming an intrapreneur: Bottom-up approach – Be on The Run – with Skin In The Game

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This is part of my Intrapreneur Series – check other articles on the link.

The following here are adapted tips from my 7th book ‘Innovate The Next: Success Frameworks to Innovating Products in Any Revolution.’

So you want to be an intrapreneur – i.e. an entrepreneur in your organisation?

This previous article here defines an intrapreneur.

The best step to becoming an intrapreneur: Be a doer outside of employment already – if not start now

This step might be strange to some. I am sure some are saying ‘but I came here to find out ‘how’ and not ‘what to be first.’

To find out why I say you should be a doer already, read on – and if not you should start now.

What does being a doer mean?

It means you have completed a project on your own, from planning to execution. It could have been a news website, music album/EP, app, event, or any other business.

The other nice to have is to have overseen or led all business model aspects of the project or venture: (a) Product (outsourcing is allowed), (b) Marketing, (c) Distribution and (d) Marketing, as per the EBC Business Model I created in my first book Forget the Business Plan Use This Short Model.’ Click here for a free download of the canvas).

You cannot disagree with the following statement: A testimonial of what you have done is a better business card.

So, become a doer outside of employment. Practice! Make that app. Create that gossip website. Outsource the manufacturing of those shoes.

Whether it succeeds or fails, you’ve earned skills that you otherwise wouldn’t gain without executing.

Why become a doer?

Entrepreneurship is a bottom up skill. While it is taught in schools (or anywhere else), to become one really, you have to practice it.

Having been a doer is that practice.

Ideas come better to those who are doers – plus they have the skill to execute better

Ideas come spontaneously or deliberately.

Deliberately is when you intentionally try o solve an identified problem. You investigate it, apply all sorts of perceived solutions, and, maybe succeed or fail.

The creation of the COVID-19 vaccines was a deliberate attempt at curbing the Coronavirus.

These scientists were able to produce the vaccine because they were doers and ‘On The Run.’ Meaning, they were already skilled artisans in vaccines. Artisans know how to break down the material variables or properties of whatever they deal in.

So, when a problem arrives, they can dissect it and try to put together a solution. This is what the COVID-19 vaccine scientists did.

This is why it is advantageous to be a doer already.

I have a relative who is employed full time as a chartered accountant. On the side, outside of employment, he has had a couple of apps built.

He is not a coder but hires them. In the beginning, some coders ripped him off. In other instances, his briefs – as he is not a coder – were misguided and that badly affected what was delivered.

But now, he is a master at getting coders to make apps for him. This practical encounter of managing app creation makes him a doer and artisan. He has been through all the aspects of his app ventures: (per the EBC business model) making the Products, Marketing, Distribution and Cash Flow.

He has skin in the game. He put his own money and effort on the line.

His employers credit his entrepreneurial come artisan hobbies also in promoting him.

Now, start whatever projects you have in mind, outside of your company. It is practising to being a doer.

On the spontaneity of ideas. Well, those who are already doers know what to do when ideas come to them. They are match fit.

Penicillin (the first true antibiotic) was discovered spontaneously by Alexander Fleming in 1928 when he realised a mould had grown on a culture he had been working on.

Upon investigation, and because he was already an artisan or doer, he discovered that it had antibiotic properties.

Had he not been an artisan, he would not have known to even investigate.

The following (and many others) were discovered spontaneously: The microwave oven, super glue, champagne, etc.

Something was done about them because doers/artisans handled them

Start now

Start now to also pursue your interests outside of work. It makes a case to become an intrapreneur. It is also a compelling case to your employer, however (and importantly) it is a lifetime business card for you.

Being a doer gives you skin in the game.

Bottom-up and giving self permission

Some have had the privilege of being involved intrapreneurially in their organisations.

This is for those who have not had that privilege yet.

In this article, I stress the importance of practising bottom-up and with skin in the game, i.e. projects outside employment.

At work, you have to ask permission to become an intrapreneur. What will you do if it never comes?

The whole point is to accumulate skills in ways you have control over in the meantime, i.e. executing your entrepreneurial interests outside work. You should fund and execute them.

Maybe this employer or manager doesn’t allow your intrapreneurial endeavours. However, the next manager, or company, might.

So it is better if you have entrepreneurial skills already.

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A post that speaks to the same concept but from a different perspective: How to Have Fun Outside The Education System