These days, it is impossible to scroll through my newsfeed without reading an article around entrepreneurship — articles ranging from what successful entrepreneurs eat for breakfast to the top ten reasons I should quit my job right now.
While I do find much of these articles entertaining and at times enlightening, I wonder if we, as a society, might put too much of our focus in the entrepreneurial basket. Of all the questions I ask myself when it comes to my career goals, “to be or not to be an entrepreneur” generally isn’t one of them.
For me, I excel in a corporate environment. I don’t have a desire to start, build, and scale a business of my own. I shine when it comes to fostering change, encouraging growth, and developing systems — but as it happens — for a business owned by someone else. I’m happy with that.
Admittedly, my lack of desire to launch my own gig might stem from my lack of interest in operations, overhead, and HR (among other relatively important tasks).
Some may believe I’m holding myself back from accomplishing true greatness by clinging to a nine-to-five job instead of taking “the leap” and creating my own opportunity.
I’m inclined to disagree.
I believe it is possible to accomplish greatness in a corporate role, and I believe we all can (and should) create our own opportunity — regardless of our working environment.
That said, I think there is a lot to be learned from entrepreneurs when it comes to creating those opportunities. Below are a few habits I’ve learned from entrepreneurs that can propel even the non-entrepreneur to career growth.
1. Start with a Plan.
I’m told the official recipe for success is simple: One part vision, two parts hard work, and a dash of luck.
Come on, luck has nothing to do with it.
The reality is that you hit a certain point where all your preparation aligns with the opportunity before you, and that is where you find success. You aren’t lucky; you are ready. To be ready, you need to have a plan.
2. Stop Talking. Start Doing.
A big mantra among my entrepreneur friends is: Stop talking. Start doing. Guess what? This advice holds true for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, extrapreneurs; name the ‘preneur, and I’ll show the relevance. Regardless whether you are a CEO or the Friday gal, the concept of taking action towards fulfilling your goals should not be ignored.
Those of us trying to make a mark in a corporate environment should pay attention to this advice. Stop talking about that promotion we didn’t get; the lack of support, resources and feedback from leadership; or the fact that we feel unrecognized for our hard work.
Start doing. We need to be proactive about what we want in our careers. We aren’t going make an impact by sitting at our desks waiting for someone to notice us. The first step to creating your own opportunity is to take action.
3. Don’t Get Too Comfortable.
So the saying goes: Right outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
It’s rare that an opportunity will present itself while we are chilling out in our comfort zone. Worse than that, becoming too comfortable could actually have a negative effect on our career growth, because we are not learning, growing, or achieving.
I challenge you to do one thing today that makes you uncomfortable. Let’s see what kind of opportunity might present itself.
While the journey of the entrepreneur may seem sexy these days, that path is not for everyone. And that’s OK. There are so many things we can accomplish; we have no reason to covet the dreams of others.
The mindset, however, is something we can all access if we take the time to tune into it. Outline your goals and make plans to achieve them. Stop talking about the things you wish you could do and get out there and start doing them. Don’t get too comfortable. The second you become comfortable is the exact moment you stop growing.