Be an Ethical Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Business Builder

Intrapreneur vs Entrepreneur… The 2 types of people every business has…

Every business is comprised of 2 basic types of people.

Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs… Those who want risk, reward, challenges, and the excitement that comes with that and those who want stability, direction, consistency and the security that may come with that. Of course there are also those who just want a free ride and try to skirt responsibility, cut every corner, and get away with the highest pay for the least amount of effort, responsibility, or risk – but we’re going to skip over that lesser type and focus on the positive parts of an organization.

Before we delve into these 2 types, keep in mind this is an exercise in simplicity. It’s helped me determine and target which individuals I need to hire for which positions and it’s also helped me tailor, structure, and respond to those already on my team. Probably more importantly, it’s given me a greater understanding of my own requirements, desires, and motivations so that I can keep myself passionate and effective.

So which are you and how do you identify those around you?

Intrapreneur – These are the 9-5ers. The team members who don’t want to come earlier than starting time or stay late (though sometimes they may). They want to know exactly what they’re going to do that day, and know that next week, next month, and next year their paycheck will be there. For these types of individuals it’s very important that your leadership is consistent, fair, and direct. They want detailed, specific training. They want all the right tools and they want to know how to address any situation. These individuals are risk-averse and generally prefer repetition in their tasks so they know they’re doing what they do best constantly.

Entreprenuer – According to, entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” Within your team, whether they are leaders or not isn’t significant. They’ll naturally gravitate to the leadership positions and get people to follow their lead whether they’re given the title or not. They want excitement and a challenge. They are proud of their creative talents and want a forum to showcase them. Responsibility and appropriate reward for their risk-taking is very important. They hate being stagnant. If you aren’t helping them get better, faster, and smarter constantly, they won’t stay. Appropriately these are the traits of entreprenuers who venture into their own businesses, however with an environment that provides them the benefits of self-employment these individuals can thrive within an organization owned by someone else.

So why understand these classifications? As I mentioned above there are 2 main reasons:

  1. To identify for yourself which one you are so you can understand your own strengths and weaknesses.
  2. To identify which your other team members are so you can structure your communications with them to meet them on their level.

Let’s look at #2 first. What would be the difference between an Intrapreneur and Entrepreneur as far as appropriate compensation? The following video discusses some science that helps us better understand how to answer that:

The ROWE work environment is GREAT for entrepreneurial individuals. The studies he mentioned demonstrated that with those type of individuals working in complex, changing, challenging environments where “thought” is the primary value of the team members, compensating based on performance is counter-productive. However, intrapreneurs, who value consistency, will respond much better to simple tasks with compensation tied directly to their performance. Which is why in my organization, I work hard to incentivize those simple tasks.

So let’s jump back to #1 so we can better understand how introspection and clarification can help us perform at our peak. This is broken down into 2 sub-categories:

  1. Our interactions with other team members.
  2. Our goals for ourselves.

Let’s take a scenario and see how it might differ based on the circumstances. Let’s say you’re the leader and you’re implementing a new, exciting product in your business. Since your team members are in front of customers all day every day you have to get buy-in from all of them so how do you present it to an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur?

The intrapreneur will require a LOT of hand-holding. They want instructions, scripts of what to say, Frequently Asked Questions with the appropriate responses and all the benefits listed out so they can reference and recite them.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, need excitement. If they believe in the product and are excited about how it can help them and the customers whom they interact with, they’ll figure out the rest. They’ll learn how to answer the tough questions and the best way to present it in a way that’s comfortable and yet effective.

How do I know this is true? As one example, in my business we just started Platinum Care Plans which are simply extended warranties including all necessary maintenance. My entreprenurial individuals ran with it. My intrapreneurial individuals, at best, have started mentioning it to customers but have not sold one Platinum Care plan. Why? Because I didn’t present the information that they needed in the way that they appreciated so that they were comfortable enough to sell it.

Now here’s the real kicker, considering that I’m the entrepreneurial type (squared), is it any wonder that I presented the information in a way that was more digestible for the entrepreneurial team members??? Of course not. Which is exactly why we must understand how we fit into this scope. Next time I’ll do a better job of helping my intrapreneurs right from the start of a new product.

More importantly, understanding our own basic tendencies can help us more fully understand how to structure our business and personal goals. For instance, if you’re exceedingly entrepreneurial, at some point you’re going to want to go out on your own. You’re going to want your own business or be in charge of your own team with minimal oversight and you’re going to structure your education, contacts, and career choices to get you closer to that goal. If you’re exceedingly intrapreneurial, you’re going to generally look for a skilled trade and a reliable, predictable business where you can work. Now that skilled trade can be computer programming, accounting, or plumbing. It doesn’t matter much, you just want stability and the comfort that comes along with that.

Since this post is getting long, I’ll continue my next blog with more clarifications on what BOTH intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs have in common and require from their leaders.

To your success, Bryan

The basics of NLP for your business

One item that I’m constantly trying to teach to my team is the importance and constant application of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). My simple definition for NLP is “Communicating in a specific way to maximize your chances of getting the desired response.” Ok, so what the heck does that mean? It’s probably easier to illustrate with a few examples than with a detailed explanation…

NLP encompasses 3 Main things:

  1. What you say. (I.e. word choice)
  2. How you say it. (I.e tone)
  3. Your body language and facial expressions while saying it. (I.e. posture, eye-contact, etc.)

The first NLP lesson is talking in a manner that puts the other person first and makes it easy for them to deal with you. A few examples:
“I’ve included a quote…” vs. “The quote you requested” or “Your quote is included…”

If you’re always starting your sentences in emails, proposals, or conversations with I, I, I – then chances are you aren’t being heard as well as you’d like to think.

“We won’t be able to get there until Monday, will that be OK?” vs “Great, it looks like we have an opening for you on Monday. Does that work for you?”

In the first scenario the tone and wording implies that, “we understand you need us today but the best we can do is Monday.” The second implies, “wow, we have an opening right away on Monday just for you, isn’t that great?” If you present the opening on Monday as a negative through your tone and word choice, you’re much more likely to get a negative response than if you present it positively. (Even if not getting there till Monday isn’t top-notch service, you don’t have to act that way if that’s the best you can do right now.)

Here’s another simple example when communicating with people:
“Do you understand?” vs. “Does that make sense?”

“Do you understand” means “Are you smart enough to understand what I just told you?” Whereas “Does that make sense” means “Did I explain that clearly enough that it is simple to understand?” Do you see the difference? In the second question the pressure is on you to explain it clearly instead of on the other person to understand it clearly.

Another one of my favorite questions to ask irate customers, disgruntled employees, or upset girlfriends after proposing some sort of solution:

“Does that sound reasonable?”
Even though (using effective NLP techniques) you’ve just led them to exactly the solution you want, by offering them the chance to accept that it’s reasonable they feel in control of the situation.

One of the best ways to diffuse a difficult situation is to ask a question.

Since we’re just reviewing the basics, let me keep the explanation as simple as possible. In essence, asking a question shifts the thought patterns of the person to whom you’ve posed the question so they aren’t singularly focusing on the object of their dissatisfaction.

By asking a question that requires a bit of thought, you’re shifting the person’s brain pattern from the left to the right hemisphere of the brain where emotions are stored and you will INSTANTLY see a difference in the person’s response (if you ask the right question).

So how do I teach my team about these things.

Well, first off, you introduce the concept and explain the basics above. Then you work with them to apply these concepts in all of your scripts. You also help them plan out their conversations before ever picking up a phone to ensure the best response. It takes months of positive reinforcement for someone to really start applying it, however once they do, it’s amazing how excited they get.

Keep in mind that learning NLP is something that can help someone not only at work, but also in their personal life. If you’re able to help someone indirectly communicate better with his spouse, children, or friends imagine how much more they’ll enjoy working with you?

Remember that a great leader should be able to lead so well that his teammates would be willing to pay to learn from them!

To your success, Bryan