Entrepreneurship vs. Intrapreneurship: Big Company vs. Entrepreneurship

I worked for L’Oreal, where I began my career, and Estee Lauder, where I completed my “big company” phase. Working at a large corporation is, in my opinion, priceless. For me, it was like getting a second MBA. It was in an MBA program tailored to working in the beauty industry.

I was also gaining exposure to global markets and working with some of the best tangential organizations in the industry. I worked with the best:
* Manufacturers
* Fragrance houses
* Consulting organizations
* Digital agencies
* Strategy agencies

These opportunities provide a well-established framework for considering everything from business planning to management. How do you get a product to market, and how do you get the most out of your partners, whether they’re PR firms or creative firms?

Then there’s the strategy aspect, which involves exposing yourself to the industry’s best and brightest minds, both within your own organization and with your strategic partners.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I believe that background prepared me to work in smaller organizations later on. Discipline and strategic thinking are two things I attempt to impart to smaller businesses.

Take the best of what you’ve learned in larger companies and apply it to a smaller setting. Flex the structure as needed, but also be adaptable where necessary. You’ll need to consider the limited resources in a smaller workplace, the potential need to react quickly or function without comprehensive knowledge. I’d argue that all of my big-company experience prepared me for working in a smaller company.

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