Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The truth is we usually associate the figure of the ‘entrepreneur’ to a freelancer who starts out their business or entrepreneurial adventure with much effort. In other words, that self-employed contractor known to us all.
But if we go to the grain of entrepreneurship and, hence, the psychosocial characteristics of what an entrepreneur is, only one of those points indicates that they should be someone who starts up their own business. However, in recent years the idea has spread that an entrepreneur is synonym of someone who creates their own business or activity. That is merely a simplification of the profile and skills of an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur is also someone who cares about making their activity essential for the customer, that customers find their needs covered at all times; a person who is thorough and meticulous in what they do, even isolating themselves from their environment to achieve the goal set out, with an innovative spirit… We need to clearly distinguish between what an entrepreneur as we have identified it today is and what the entrepreneurial spirit is, as those special features in their way of working or thinking that a person of such characteristics has.
If we think about the entrepreneurial spirit, why aren’t there entrepreneurs on payroll in companies? Can we say that the members of the R&D&i departments in companies have an entrepreneurial side to them? Why mustn’t an entrepreneur have a pay check? Let’s take the example of Albert Einstein, a man with entrepreneurial restlessness. Did you know that while he was inventing he worked as a civil servant? (when he was a young unknown physicist, employee in the Bern Patent Office, he published his theory on special relativity).
The restlessness that an entrepreneur shows in their personality, their way of looking at things, their way of acting and thinking is not exclusive to freelancers; it can also be found in employed individuals.
The big difference lies in the level of commitment held with the project being undertaken, as when you are freelance, it’s not just a job, it’s an entire life that revolves around the business; while when you are on payroll in a company, the commitment lies within a position, a salary and some duties and obligations, but your entire life does not revolve around what you do.
For that reason, although for many it is not possible, we can say that there are entrepreneurs in companies, and it is this human collective that the HR department in organizations has to find, protect, pamper, as they represent the true talent within organizationsand that, unfortunately in this country, have always been underestimated. We business owners have always preferred uncreative employees that are meek and obedient over employees with initiative or entrepreneurs who, at some stage, may argue with their bosses.
How can we cultivate an entrepreneurial culture within our companies and in our employees?
Motivation, assertiveness, empathy, listening (not hearing) to what they have to say, making them part of the company’s success, valuing things done well… everything in short that should be the norm, but unfortunately is forgotten by many bosses in this country.
Jose Luis del Campo Villares is a facilitator, trainer and coach. He cares about people and their lives within organizations; for that reason, he is a social media consultant and CEO of Socialmedia Network. Apart from several collaborations, he writes his own blog, which we highly recommend at Zyncro.