The psychological transition from entrepreneur to intrapreneur can be a complex process. It involves adapting to a new corporate environment and potentially relinquishing some of the autonomy and decision-making power entrepreneurs typically hold. While this transition may have some benefits, such as personal growth and development, it also comes with drawbacks, such as the loss of control and the need to conform to established corporate norms. Both positive and negative implications take a significant toll on an individual’s mental ability.

Opportunities for personal growth and development are among the most notable benefits of this transition. An entrepreneurial role requires a high level of independence, self-motivation, and the ability to take risks and make decisions (Bigos & Michalik, 2020).  By transitioning to an intrapreneurial role within a larger organization, an individual may have the opportunity to learn new skills, develop unique expertise, and gain valuable experience working within a more structured environment. This opportunity can be particularly beneficial for individuals looking to expand their professional skill sets and advance their careers.

Besides that, transitioning from entrepreneurship to intrapreneurship comes with a sense of security and stability by working within a larger organization (Nowakowska, 2022). Entrepreneurs are often responsible for all aspects of their business, including finances, marketing, and operations. This pressure can be stressful, especially in the early stages of a business. By transitioning to an intrapreneurial role, one gains access to a more established support system with excellent resources and infrastructure, which helps reduce some of the stress and uncertainty of running a business.

Even so, there are potential drawbacks to this transition. One is losing control and autonomy, which may adversely impact an individual’s mental health. As an entrepreneur, one has a high level of control over their business and can make decisions and take risks to pursue their goals. By transitioning to an intrapreneurial role, individuals may have to adapt to a more hierarchical structure and may have a different level of control over their work or decision-making power. This adjustment can be difficult if someone is used to being in charge, which may lead to frustration or resentment (Joseph & Gaba, 2020).

Communication may also be more formal in a hierarchical structure and follow specific channels, which can be difficult for individuals who are used to more informal communication styles. They may feel they need to be heard, or their ideas have yet to be considered. Another potential drawback is the loss of identity and purpose. Entrepreneurs have a strong sense of identity and purpose, as these individuals are driven by a passion or vision for their business. By transitioning to an intrapreneurial role, one may feel that they have lost some sense of purpose and struggle to find meaning and motivation in their work. Notably, this transition can be particularly challenging for individuals with a strong self-identity tied to their entrepreneurial pursuits.

To wrap up, the psychological transition from entrepreneur to intrapreneur can be a complex process with both positive and negative implications. On the positive side, it can provide opportunities for personal growth and development and a sense of security and stability. However, it can also involve the loss of control and autonomy and a potential loss of identity and purpose. These challenges can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. Therefore, it is important for people considering this transition to carefully weigh the pros and cons and be prepared for the potential challenges they may face.

Amanda Dukovich, M.S.

Amanda is the Marketing Director at Wilke CPAs & Advisors