Whoever you are, wherever you work, and whatever you do, to survive beyond the next 10 years, you must unleash the entrepreneur in you and become an Employeepreneur.
You may be thinking to yourself; no way, that's not you! An entrepreneur is a visionary like Elon Musk, who builds incredible businesses like Tesla and SpaceX.
Regardless of what you think, the reality is there's an entrepreneur in you, and you must unleash it to survive the technology advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy as we know it in the next 10 years.
"there are 12 disruptive technologies that could have a potential economic impact between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year in 2025" McKinsey & Co
Why not an intrapreneur?
Commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes, an entrepreneur is defined as an individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risks and rewards of a given business venture, idea, goods or services offered for sale. (Source: Investopedia)
Seen as the entrepreneurs within, intrapreneurs are usually employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project, to develop it like an entrepreneur would. (Source: Investopedia)
Both definitions are exclusive in nature and are used to describe a select few who are seen as special people. It's no wonder most people just don't see themselves as either entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs. It's time for a new definition.
What's an employeepreneur?
Employeepreneurs identify themselves as employees but refuse to surrender their power to the so-called "visionary" leader and her or his close circle of executives, leave them to do all the leadership, make all the decisions, set the direction of the business, come up with all the innovations, grow the business, and collect all the benefits.
Being an employeepreneur simply means being responsible for adding value to everything you do with everyone you interact with.
Employeepreneurs are employees who unleash their entrepreneurship, claim and exercise their power to lead, innovate and forward the business.
"by 2025, robots may jeopardize from 25 million to 40 million jobs in developed countries and from 15 million to 35 million in developing ones" McKinsey & Co
Why entrepreneurship is a must for employees?
The success of a business in today's highly disruptive business environment correlates directly with its ability to continuously innovate, stay relevant, incorporate the latest technologies, and most importantly adapt to the constant change of customers needs and requirements as they look for new, better and cheaper products.
Businesses try to address these challenges by investing more in R&D and creating innovation departments. But innovation is not a department, the whole business must be in a state of constant innovation.
The thought that innovation can be manufactured by hiring some forward thinking intrapreneurs, locking them up behind closed doors to work on special projects, is false, damaging, and significantly increases the risk of failure.
When a business unleashes entrepreneurship in its employees, the result is an explosive mix of unstoppable visionary leadership, product and process innovation. With employeepreneurship, value creation becomes the norm in everything you do.
What are some of the practical steps to unleash the entrepreneur in you?
1. Always Be Launching:
For an entrepreneur, launching means interacting with customers.
You must be always coming up with ideas and talking to customers to find out if your ideas solve a real painful problem that the customer needs to solve, and they are willing to pay you for solving it.
That means many failures, but involving the customer as early as possible in the process will make those failures small and manageable.
The more you delay your launch and the less you involve your customers, the bigger and more expensive the failures.
The more you involve your customers, and the more you accept that failure is just an integral part of the process, the faster and cheaper the process of innovation becomes.
Creating the capacity in your business and your life, be it in time, energy, or budget, for launching as many ideas as possible will help you find great ideas that solve real problems and add great value for your customers.
2. Always Be Pitching
The biggest mistake you can do is hide your ideas, and wait until they are more developed and "ready" to share them with the world.
Always be pitching your ideas to people around you and trying to persuade them into joining you, supporting you, buying from you, and funding you.
At AngelList even the co-founders and senior team members have to pitch their ideas to the team and it's up the team to decide which idea to join and which team they want to work with.
That is considered validation, because if you can't persuade people to join your team and help you build your idea, maybe that idea shouldn't be built.
3. Always Be Growing
Unless you are moving forward, you are moving backwards, and unless you are going up, you most certainly are going down. There is no such thing as staying in place. The world is always moving forward and upwards.
You must actively continue to grow your customer and user base. That is a combination of a process of continuously testing outreach methods and channels, combined with constant iterative enhancements and upgrades to the products and services to fulfil the changing needs and requirements of the customer.
4. Always Be Measuring
You must have a defined destination, clear goals, agreed milestones and simple way to measure whether you are heading in the right direction and achieving what set out to achieve or not. Otherwise, you will have no idea if what you are working on and all the effort and energy you are investing is working, and producing results.
Measurement keeps you honest with yourself and your team keeps you on track and provides you with the information you need to make decisions.
5. Always Be Learning:
Failures are not pleasant, but they are powerful teachers. If you have followed the first four steps, you would have learned about your customers, learned about your team, experimented with channels to reach your customers, and learned what measurements are the best to use.
Congratulations! you are now an experienced employeepreneur, and the next project you are more likely to apply what you've learned, do it faster, better and avoid the pitfalls.
What you've learned is invaluable and you can't such learning anywhere. It will stay forever with you, and it will serve you as you work on the next ideas, and as you support fellow employeepreneurs :)
Would love to hear from you, your ideas, feedback, experience, and questions on this topic and this article.
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