Beginning my adventure- Schafer Solutions

I’m beginning my adventure in blogging nine months into stepping into the world of intrapreneurship. For those that feel like that’s a funny word, believe me you aren’t alone. If you type the word intrapreneur in Microsoft Word, you will get the little red line telling you that you misspelled entrepreneur. In my LinkedIn summary I used that word, and my own mother called me thinking I made a mistake that made me look terrible to potential clients.  Just like entrepreneurship is beginning to take off in America, so too is the idea of intrapreneurship. So what exactly is an intrapreneur?

Long story short, I work for a company of approximately 350. We’re a 100% employee owned ESOP located in Southwest Iowa. Last November I moved into a new position where I was tasked with taking our newest company into the future. Within a few certain parameters, I was given free license to build something from basically nothing. I’m starting a business, but with the stability of working for an established company. That’s an intrapreneur, in a nutshell!

I have had the unique opportunity to work my way up in our company. I started working for Owner Revolution Inc. out on the production floor in our rotational molding division. Then I transitioned into our accounting department as an accounting clerk. While in that position, I spent some time working with the sales staff of our lottery company. Finally, last fall, I was given the opportunity to head up our youngest company. I accepted that position a few months shy of my 5th anniversary with the company.

It is my belief that there is only one way to make that kind of progress. You have to have a willingness to step up. It doesn’t matter what level of a company you are in. For me it was coming to the realization that I wanted something more for myself. I didn’t want to spend my afternoons working in a factory that would reach temperatures of 130 in the summers. I love the company that I work for, but at that time I knew I wanted something more.

I started to absorb as much knowledge as I could. Asking questions, keeping my eyes open, and trying to build a network that could help me along the way. I joined our employee ownership committee and began networking with people outside the company. These were all opportunities to step up and show the potential that I had.

When you step up, people notice. Some people tend to notice negatively. That reaction is most generally from jealousy or fear. The people who matter, though, they notice differently. They will challenge you to be better, and give you the opportunities you desire. This requires that you do the most important thing you can do if you want to step up: follow through.

Reed Gibson

Sales Account Manager

  • Schafer Solutions Inc.
  • 1000 Flag Road
  • Adair, IA 50002

Reed Gibson


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