Intrapreneurs and the New 9-5

The idea of work has been tarnished a little bit.

We complain about it and we hate Mondays.

The traditional 9-5 is so outdated that ambitious hustlers don’t see another option than to escape it and “start their own thing”.

But there’s a hybrid option available. One that gives you the growth of a startup with the belonging of a company: entrepreneurial-minded companies. They are the new exception to the 9-5 norm.

When I flipped my life at 25 and moved to Southeast Asia, it wasn’t to meditate in Bali or start a travel blog. It was to join one of these entrepreneurial-minded companies: Mindvalley. Coming from a small city like Ottawa, the options were limited and it was hard to comprehend that work could actually be exciting. That you could work on projects that interested you.

And when I did move back to Ottawa three years later, I only had eyes for Shopify. For better or for worse, I’ve been ruined for the traditional 9-5.

And that’s the point: if you’re over the traditional 9-5 and want more, don’t think that your only option is to go it alone and invent the next Uber. Find one of these hybrid companies.

I see a lot of shame from entrepreneurial-minded folks who aren't running their own businesses. Their "entrepreneur" identity doesn't let them settle for a 9-5, yet their lifestyle and mental wellbeing are getting crushed. Working at a company isn't the problem. Working at a company that suffocates your soul is the problem. We need to be less focused on our labels, and more focused on what we’re getting out of our day-to-day.

I want to re-define work. Simply as: a hobby we get paid for.

As we all know: the benefit of setting a goal is not the actual achievement of the goal. It’s the learning and growth that happens as you try your best to achieve the goal.

And the benefit of being an entrepreneur is not to start labelling yourself (and your Instagram bio) as one. It’s about stretching yourself for growth and bringing value to the world.

It’s 100% a mindset shift. Which means…

We’re all a lot closer to success and fulfillment than we think. And the first step is shifting our mindset from slave worker to intrapreneur.

Here are three specific mindsets to adopt if you're ready to make this shift for yourself...

Thrive on Change

To thrive on change, we need a healthy mix of confidence and self-awareness.

Building confidence starts with building trust in yourself. So even when a new direction feels intimidating, you know you’ll be able to figure it out as you go. You will never, ever have all the right answers, but when you have trust in yourself, you can move with confidence. Start looking for little wins by trying something new at work. Something you’ve been afraid to try or haven’t raised your hand for before.

And building self-awareness is an ongoing process. I’ve found that journaling helps me observe my thoughts from a new perspective. Knowing my Enneagram type has also been a game changer in understanding my intrinsic motivators. Knowing I'm a Type 3 "Achiever" solidifies my inkling that success for me is executing results instead of managing people.

Be a Constant Learner

To be a constant learner means adopting a growth mindset. In both expertise and mental state.

Point blank: if you’re not interested in growing your expertise at work, you’re in the wrong job. To move towards a place where work feels like a 'hobby we get paid for', you have to be interested in it. We’re all naturally curious and inclined for learning. So use this as test: what do you like learning about? How can you shape (or switch) your current job to move closer to this?

Internal growth is just as important. The most dangerous words are “that’s the type of person I am”. There is nothing permanent about our personalities or behaviours. Notice how you label yourself (“I’m a negative person”) and instead of wearing it like a badge, start modelling the behaviours of those who are where you want to be.

Be Impactful

To be impactful, we have to think beyond our personal bubble. Coming in, doing the work, and clocking out is the downfall of the traditional 9-5.

Making an impact on a business means pushing it further along with your unique capabilities and strengths. That means having the balls to act without permission (something that has really been conditioned out of us), taking ownership of your work (being your own boss), and injecting your unique experiences into what you do (every lesson you've learned or decision you've made can be used in context at your current job).

So here's my question. Do you embody all three of these mindsets?

Transforming work into a ‘hobby we’re paid for’ is a process.

For some it might mean quitting a suffocating job, but for the majority of us it’s taking on a new mindset even when those around us are coasting. Instead of trying to get away with doing as little work as possible, let’s choose to squeeze the most out of our jobs. In ten years from now, will you still be complaining about the same things?

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