How Scotland is Acting Like an Entrepreneur

Scottish Flag

The day is nigh. An historic vote is being taken today in Scotland to determine whether the country will secede from the United Kingdom. While the situation may seem purely political, surprisingly enough, the referendum can be thought of in a business context as a discussion on entrepreneurship.

As a struggling entrepreneur, do you really need independence? Do you need to break away from your organization or would you be better suited to stick with your job and rely on your larger partner (your company) and benefit from their economy of scale?

All too often we’re eager to break off on our own and prove our worth. We feel we have greater value as an independent player. We feel our employer is not recognizing our value. We feel mired in bureaucracy. We feel that if we break away, we can better capture the value we add to an organization. Most importantly, as an independent party, we can do things how we want, untangled by the responsibilities of big brother.

While entrepreneurs decide whether or not they want to break away, they have to ask themselves whether they are better off as part of the “larger picture”. Being part of a larger network holds certain distinct advantages. Whether it’s a company, organization, or country, an established partner has proven its worth. At the end of the day, a steady job means a paycheck, benefits, and general stability.

Some entrepreneurs are not meant for independence. They’re better off as part of a larger organization. There is an area of entrepreneurship called intrapreneurship that may be appropriate for this type of personality. It’s a sub-segment whereby you stay within an organization and understand how to persuade your employer to take advantage of your ideas. Rather than working against your employer (and going off on your own), you can work with your employer to better utilize your talent and pursue your entrepreneurial endeavors under the umbrella of your corporate parent.

Every human resource has its own talent. The trick is to understand whether your talents are most valuable as part of a larger ecosystem or whether you can grow and cultivate your talents better independently. On the one hand, its appropriate to heed the advice of the Queen of England, who suggest its important to “think very carefully (about the future) when voting in the Scottish referendum.” On the other hand, Scotland’s own Sean Connery put the vote in pure entrepreneurial terms when he stated, “Simply put there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation”.

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