For those contemplating hanging out their own shingle, Steve Schwarzman has a warning for you.
In a discussion at Harvard Business School, he discouraged Wall Streeters from leaving established firms and starting their own.
He’s right, Wall Street is different to Silicon Valley, and the cost of failure is greater.
He’s also right that to succeed as an entrepreneur on Wall Street takes an established reputation and a track record of success.
He’s even more right in suggesting that if you expect to build a me-too business, like the vast majority of buy-side funds that are started and shuttered, then think twice.
And, too he’s right that succeeding on your own takes a different set of skills, which is where most people fail.
With great experience and a solid track record many think they have what it takes, but unless they are willing to become expert at raising capital they will fail.
Many highly successful people believe they are excellent communicators and they think that with some half-baked pitch capital will flow to them.
They are wrong.
Not only will capital not flow to them, but they are likely far from excellent communicators.
At best having picked up a few books on communications and influence, even most highly successful people are unconsciously incompetent at communications.
They don’t yet know how bad they are, and, more importantly, they don’t realize how damn good they can be!
Almost everyone you meet believes communications is talking proper…but savvy people know that only 7% of your communication is the words you use.
That’s right, 7%!
All those fancy words and ideas and sounding smart, well, that is worth about one foot relative to moving an entire human being.
So, if you want to get damn good at raising capital (or otherwise influencing anybody), you want to get focused on the other 93%.
What is that? And how do you master it?