How to Think Like An Entrepreneur in Your PR Career

Graphic by Ben Butler
Graphic by Ben Butler

I’ll be the first one to tell you that being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. The philosophy behind the lifestyle, however, can help anyone advance his or her career. Think like an entrepreneur in your growing public relations career with these concepts:

Take Risks
Entrepreneurs are comfortable being uncomfortable because the lifestyle is full of uncertainties and risks. Yes, taking risks can be scary, but life is too short not to. 

As a public relations student, there are plenty of opportunities to take measured risks that can yield generous rewards. For example, instead of using the online application for an internship or job, consider calling the president of the company and taking them out to lunch. 

Another example is when people say, “there aren’t any internships in my hometown.” Rather than sitting back and doing nothing about it, take a risk. Pitch your skill set to a local business that isn’t offering an internship. You might be surprised with what happens.

Be a Sheep with Sabreteeth
This strange mental picture depicts two ideas.

The first is likability. Trust me, no one wants to work with a blood-thirsty wolf who walks around in sheep’s clothing. If people don’t like you then you’re going to have a difficult time advancing your career, especially in public relations (where everyone knows each other).

The second is toughness. Be likable, but when life gets tough—and it will at times—be sure to get tougher.

Understand Business
You’ll be doing your future employers an injustice if you don’t at least understand the basics of business. Take a business principles class. Ask your business professors—or other people in your network—what their perspective is on a variety of topics and where they see communications fitting in.

You have to be able to approach communications with a business perspective and doing so will make you much more marketable than someone who doesn’t.

Know How to Move Ahead
Finally, use the entrepreneur’s ATSO formula to assist your journey forward:

  • (don’t be afraid to) Ask
  • (be) Trusted
  • (be) Skilled
  • (be) Owed

How will you think like an entrepreneur?

This is a guest post by PRSSA Vice President of Public Relations and President of Top Hat IMC Ben Butler. Follow him on Twitter @BenButlerPR

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