FLYING on the tail feathers of an entrepreneurial boss will probably be the most exhilarating career experience of your life. For those of you lucky enough to find such a position, uncomfortable though it may be, I can promise you that it will be many other things too: challenging, rewarding, thought-provoking, difficult, infuriating and vastly time-consuming.

You will be given responsibilities beyond your years and be expected to make a difference, to change the world. You will grow as a person, learning more from your leader than you could ever imagine and ultimately become exceedingly attractive to your bosses competitors.

It sounds glorious, but it is far too good to be true. You must beware. There are enormous disadvantages, of which little is usually revealed. So here it is, the dark side, what you’ve always wanted to know about entrepreneurs.

An entrepreneurial boss is usually selfish, single-minded, totally driven to the exclusion of all other things. That’s why he or she is so good at what they do. They will tell you this. Often.

He will be helplessly and remarkably un-annoyingly eccentric: he will wear silly clothes that don’t match and fail to remember meetings, he will turn up late for most everything and dispense countless promises he will forget he ever made. He will be mercurial in demeanour. He will make a decision and then turn it on its head a day later, if you’re lucky: some will change their minds on a sixpence at various times during the day.

You will be expected to read his or her mind, know what they’re thinking and be able to articulate it for them – I’ve found most entrepreneurs know what they mean, but struggle to communicate it. Most are in such a hurry to succeed they speak so quickly you can’t actually pick up what they say at all. Many don’t finish their sentences, some speak in thingummyjigs or whatsits, almost all say frequently “oh, you know what I mean anyway, don’t you?”

You will be required to give up your life and devote it instead to making your bosses visions become a reality.

You will also have to lug around a huge shovel, metaphorically that is. Entrepreneurs are successful because they have a great idea and then focus on it until it is a whopping great success, or until they get bored with that particular idea and move on to something else. At either stage you will need to do what is known in the trade as “backfilling”. Backfilling is an art; once you’ve got it you’re made.

Entrepreneurs all have someone they rely upon with total trust to do all the things they forget, don’t have time to do, aren’t interested in, or just never thought about. The entrepreneur will have an idea and in essence, the back filler will “make it so” – a bit like the genie in the lamp.

Business guru Tom Peters described entrepreneurship is “unreasonable conviction based on inadequate evidence”. I would add “by irrational individuals with unrealistic expectations of other people”.

But there’s a very simple way to get your own back. Play them at their own game, see how they like it. In short, become an intrapreneur. An intrapreneur is someone who doesn’t necessarily have a great idea from which to grow a successful business, but they are particularly good at coming up with great ideas to improve an existing business.

If your boss is an honest to goodness true entrepreneur, he or she will like it a lot. You will win their admiration, possibly even promotion. Ultimately, if your idea is good enough, they might even offer to set you up in your own business.

If they’ve got a bit of a chip on their shoulder, however, perhaps not quite in the Tom Hunter/Jim McColl circle of entrepreneurs but circling like a peckish although not quite brave enough bird of prey on the outside waiting for a failure to let them in, then they might feel a bit threatened by your sudden change of character – so let them believe it was their idea in the first place. They’ll never remember it any other way, than that you are able to deliver it for them: backfill so to speak.

Business needs entrepreneurs. But entrepreneurs need support. So why not get a shovel and start digging?