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Squirrel suits, golf clubs, employees & entrepreneurs

Max Farrell is the co-founder of Create Reason, a firm that inspires entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship inside companies to drive employee engagement. 

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Squirrel suits, golf clubs, employees and entrepreneurs -- they don’t usually go together, but in the world of business they oddly can.

Squirrel suits (often known as wingsuits) are suits worn when one wants to “fly” as they skydive or jump off of a high cliff or building.

Golf clubs are used in the game many of us play for leisure and even for relationship building.

Both provide a good time and serve as enjoyment for a specific crowd. In addition, both cost about the same. However one comes with a much higher risk (skydiving) vs. the easy-going game of golf.

So why does this matter in business?

It helps define the experiences of entrepreneurs versus employees.

Entrepreneurs are the ones who strap on the squirrel suit for the high risk/reward of launching a new venture. Most will fail, but the rush will be a surreal one in pursuit of success.

Employees are the golfers. They want to enjoy the game, develop their skills (as we all do in our careers) and have a consistent game to go play.

Both activities are a blast and both cost roughly the same financially. But a key thing to think about, is that they both take up the same amount of time.

With time as a consistent variable as well, why don’t more people strap on the squirrel suit? Most would say it’s the risk. The uncertainty. The fear.

As of 2012, 13 percent of the U.S. workforce was launching or running a business.* The data shows that the majority of us will build on something existing.

There are a lot more golf players out there, but the rush of being around the entrepreneurial experience is certainly tempting for many of us.

It’s no secret there’s a rise in the number of startup companies, the number of entrepreneurs (or wantrepreneurs) and the number of people clamoring to work in a startup/innovative company. Millennials are demanding more from their work experience than any generation before and are wanting an active part in shaping their team and company’s future.

So how can you capture that entrepreneurial energy inside your own organization?

Engaging employees using innovation is a great start. Every employee can add value beyond their current role to better the organization. Many of these employees have the ability to be “intrapreneurs” - entrepreneurs inside the company or internal innovators, but they need the framework or “permission” to make it a reality.

Jumpstarting intrepreneurs inside a team, a business unit or an entire organization can seem daunting. Luckily, it’s not at all. Companies around the globe run simple innovation experiences where employees are asked to share ways to better the organization, flesh out new concepts and map out how to bring them to life.

These experiences can be in the form of brainstorming sessions, internal hackathons, code jams, creation jams or any other short-term experience that sparks a newfound approach internally.

The majority of us don’t put on squirrel suits, but it doesn’t mean we can’t experience the same rush when we work.

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Let's keep the conversation going: 

Email: max@createreason.com

Twitter: @MaxOnTheTrack / @CreateReason

Web: CreateReason.com

FB: facebook.com/createreason

*Babson Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013

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