Intrapreneur / Entrepreneur
I am celebrating my first anniversary as an entrepreneur after more than 20 years of the corporate life. It may be that you are an entrepreneur or that you are thinking about becoming one. Maybe neither of these realities are relevant to you and you are happy at your company. Maybe you are considering a change and the idea of entrepreneurship hasn’t crossed your mind (yet). Whatever the case, allow me to share with you my experiences throughout this amazing journey.
I never thought about becoming my own boss. I was a corporate person and I loved my job immensely but without losing focus. My position combined three elements which have always been my passion: people, international environments and retail. I had lots of fun working with a wonderful, multicultural team, implementing amazing projects from NY to Shanghai. I shared best practices with my colleagues and never did anything I didn’t believe in. I was always more focused on my internal clients than on corporate politics. To be honest, taking into account how difficult it is to find the job of one’s dreams, I’ve been very happy. But it’s also true that the real me was kind of hidden. After spending so long in the same organisation, and even though I’ve always been very loyal to my own style (not being authentic is only cheating yourself), in the end I was fading in this environment. I could launch dozens of projects, but I was always using my brain in the same way and for the same goals. Having such an intense corporate life, I also networked within my organisation (different countries, different brands, but the same structure and similar topics). I didn’t have much time to exchange experiences with peers from other industries or disciplines.
In October 2016, after leaving the company where I spent so many years, I realised that I had actually been working as an intrapreneur and this fact was precisely what “hooked” me so positively to my job. So I decided to keep on working in the same way, but using my own brand: I became an entrepreneur. Suddenly, I was aware my brain started to work in a different capacity. I could use my time to connect and network with people belonging to environments that I had never interacted with before. The new dynamic boosted my energy and creativity. I realised that specific skills and experiences from my previous corporate life which I assumed were “normal” were considered extraordinary and I could help people and organisations that were interested in my contribution. Meeting new professionals and other workplaces and realities nurtured my inner me and enriched my vision of the world. And everything clicked: I discovered my value proposition, the pleasure of pure networking and the power of cooperation. And everything got real when I visited my first client and I was asked at the security check for which company I worked for, I just answered: “My company’s Emma Giner”. BINGO!
My routine has changed a lot. I continue to work hard, that’s just the way I am, but my focus has changed. I work hard to make organisations challenge the status quo and to become key players in shaping a better society. I enjoy volatility, nothing is worse than stagnation. I love my present projects and those over the next months. And, above all, I am so thankful to those close to me, who supported me in my corporate times and who have become my cheerleaders in my entrepreneurial life. It would have been impossible to achieve what I am achieving without them. Maybe I’ll be an entrepreneur until I retire. Or maybe one day I will find an organisation I will fall in love with and I will return to the corporate life once again. Or maybe this will never happen. Who cares? Whatever I do, my entrepreneurial / intrapreneurial muscle and the values which are in my DNA will still be there. I will be the same person.