When you have control over your life and time, you just naturally feel more confident, joyful, and engaged with your work. Whether you decide to start your venture or find great satisfaction on-the-job for an employer, thinking in an entrepreneurial way will give you a path to success.

Entrepreneurs are typically known for “finding their passion” or “fulfilling their vision.” Before they actually launch their company, you might hear them say, “I never want to work for anyone.” However, we all work for someone! Entrepreneurs work for their clients, customers, investors, analysts’ opinions, media’s attention, influencers’ mentions, and of course, to pay their rent (and more!). They even work to pay their employees.

What seasoned entrepreneurs realize is that they do all of that – and, in fact, have more than one “boss.” However, they enjoy the sense that it was their choice to do what they do.

Clearly, a dedicated and successful employee makes the same choice. When you make the decision to take a position and use your time and talent to help a company realize its mission, you are an “intrapreneur.” You apply your authentic strengths, skills, and self-motivation at work every day. By being on the look-out for ways to improve yourself and the processes that help your organization deliver its services and products, you are using the same best practices that business owners do.

Committing to making things right, making things better than the competition, and making things the best they can be for customers and co-workers: you are using the exact same approaches whether you are an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur.

Here are five characteristics you need to succeed.

  1. Be eager to learn. Research how to do your job better. Seek out expert advice, the latest tools, and the ideal processes. Use social media to find the best advice and tutorials to access resources beyond what you find in your organization.
  2. Be compassionate with yourself. If you analyze your strengths and weaknesses, make sure to focus on what you’re doing well – not just what you need to improve. Keep a celebration journal that you complete every night before you sleep, so you reinforce a positive outlook on what you can do.
  3. Be ambitious. Keep your eye on the prize of your long-term goals. Initiate conversations with superiors and thought-leaders in your industry to listen and share your insights. Attend events (virtually and in-person), so you can network and expand your connectivity.
  4. Be a leader. Get your work done without needing someone to remind you or supervise you, so you inspire confidence. Compliment co-workers and superiors on how well they are doing. Offer to manage projects and follow-up when collaborating with others on your team or cross-functional team members.
  5. Be innovative. Try new things. Spend some time learning how other companies and industries are getting things done or exploring new approaches. Consider how you can apply these techniques to your work to help meet your company’s goals more effectively.

Next Steps

  1. Set goals in each of the five areas, whether you are an employee, entrepreneur, or jobseeker.
  2. Use your social media, especially LinkedIn, to keep your network up-to-date on your progress and to make new connections.
  3. Keep a journal or spreadsheet so you can track and revisit your progress each quarter.
  4. If you are looking for a job or internship, consider each of the five characteristics and be ready to tell a recruiter how you are using your intrapreneurial mindset to make sure you are the best candidate they find.