Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs are two very important roles in our society, they are essentially cut from the same cloth and they often transition from one-another. They are both highly creative people, driven by innovation, problem-solving inclinations and ambitious projects. So what’s the difference between the 2? On one hand, entrepreneurs start their own companies while intrapreneurs choose to operate within already existing ones.
If you are an ambitious person, you’ve surely been faced with a situation when your creative genius was underestimated or misunderstood because of the job title you’ve been attributed. In the last decade I started hearing more and more advice going around along the lines of ‘’go big or go home’’ , ‘’9 to 5 jobs are a slow death’’ or ‘’ working for a boss is a bad idea’’ and let me tell you there is nothing more damaging than one directional advice.
What is one-directional advice and what to do if you come across it?
One directional advice is a universal society expectation based on whatever is trending at any given point. This applies to all aspects of human life from relationships, body image, mental health, life and career choices alike.
For example, in the 70s and 80s the expectation was that women should have children by age 25. Everyone falling outside this norm was criticised and marginalised. Nowadays, women are expected to work and not have children before their 30s… you see where I’m going with this? This type of advice is damaging because it does not encourage us to treat people as individuals, therefore inhibiting their creative abilities and, in turn, depriving the world of brilliant performances.
So how can we avoid being emotionally entangled with this type of criticism? One thing to remember is that one-directional advice is never really born from a malicious intent. Humans are very complex beings and more often than not, we mirror each other and project our own insecurities onto our peers. So a straight forward way to stay away from the drama is simply not to pay attention to it. Our journeys are very complex but never random and never out of order so you must trust the journey. Whatever work is in front of you right now, is there to shape your path.
Is entrepreneurship over glorified?
Highly creative people face the most amount of criticism in their career. Simply because they are good, they are expected to be always chasing the top of the mountain.
The average person will work about 40-50 years until retirement and that is a very long time, in fact more than two thirds of our lives we spend working. So absolutely and without a doubt, it is very important to be satisfied with your career and ensure a sense of fulfilment, growth or personal satisfaction through it.
With that being said, there are many ways to achieve satisfaction through the work we undertake and entrepreneurship surely has the potential to provide one with a playground of self discovery. However, it is not the only way. Use your job as a tool box of self development rather than a fixed career path. Allow yourself to be fluid in your career and experiment with different roles even if you have to do it for free. Entrepreneurship, although a very fascinating space to be in, it is a very deep pool and, if you don’t know how to swim it can be very discouraging.
Give yourself (and everyone else) a break.
Since we are all a constant work in progress, why not cut ourselves some slack? Success is not a one way street nor does it come with instructions and thanks God for that, because the biggest human achievements have often been born from trial and errors.
We must give ourselves (and others) permission to change our mind. It is important to remember that the average person will change radically over the course of 50 years. I mean, think how much you’ve changed in the past 5 years alone! Our opinions change, our preference and the filter through which we view our world will change and so are our career choices.
The best way to go about it is to take whatever job is in front of you and squeeze it out of experiences and lessons. When you’re done with it, move on to the next best thing you can do for yourself. If one feels called to entrepreneurship it’s important to honour that feeling without hesitation. However, if we force ourselves into following a specific trend or advice, it will most likely turn against us.