March 13, 2014 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute
Before Google, Apple and Amazon originated, The Walt Disney Company got its start in Walt Disney’s uncle’s garage in Los Angeles. Walt and Roy Disney set up “The First Disney Studio” and began filming the Alice Comedies. The Walt Disney Company originated as a startup, propelled by Walt’s entrepreneurial skills, creativity and visionary leadership.
You may not realize you have the power to exude Walt Disney’s entrepreneurial nature in your workplace. Entrepreneurship is the process of identifying and starting a business venture, or even just an idea, sourcing and organizing the required resources and taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture. It can be a state of mind. Thinking like an entrepreneur can open your eyes to new opportunities to learn and grow in your role, which will in turn strengthen your business or company and put you on the path to be a great leader.
Here are 5 ways to be an entrepreneur in your role:
1. Be Adaptable: Use your position as an opportunity to learn new skills and test your knowledge. Take on a side project. Take the time to observe others and ask questions. You can develop new capabilities, see other perspectives, and explore other roles within the company. Don’t be afraid to pivot if you are not thrilled with what you are learning. It is an experience that will help you find where you fit in and an opportunity to gain the skills you need to transition to a new path that fits your skills, interests, and goals. You may meet new people and be able to network with key individuals in your company.
2. Be Yourself: Take advantage of what makes you unique and don’t try to fill the same roles as your co-workers. Think about how you can be innovative in your role and don’t be afraid to voice your perspective. You may have a fresh idea no one has thought of yet. Collaborating and listening to diverse ideas and perspectives can be the key to success.
3. Build a Brand: Whether it is your own personal brand or your company’s, managing your identity is critical to your career. Social networks provide a great opportunity to build your personal brand. It is crucial to utilize opportunities that provide business minded individuals the opportunity to showcase their resume, experience, projects, portfolio and other assets. And since you are also a part of your company’s brand, set an example for your coworkers to uphold brand standards and improve them.
4. Make an Impact: Regardless of whether your company is big or small, you can have an impact no matter the size. Find a niche for your voice to be heard that has the potential to snowball. Like a true entrepreneur, take ownership of your ideas and projects. Spread your ideas. Make sure that your actions leave a legacy and add value.
5. Be a Serial Entrepreneur: Gain as much experience as possible. Identify as many touch points as you can and build connections with people across the company. Test-drive different career paths and learn where your passions and talents truly lie. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t be afraid to take risks as without innovation, we stagnate.
No matter your position, seize the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and make your role your own. Recognize opportunities and find the value of taking risks. Thinking like an entrepreneur will enrich in your role, impact your company, and prepare yourself for the future.
How are you an entrepreneur in your workplace?