According to Blackstone Group co-founder Steve Schwarzman, young Wall Streeters should not be following in his footsteps.
Schwarzman co-founded his own firm in 1985 at age 37, which now has more than $US290 billion under management. At the 21st Annual Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference, Schwarzman told Harvard Business School students that launching their own firms too early could ruin their careers, the New York Times reported Monday.
At the event, Schwarzman said, “The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make with their careers is, when they’re good, after two or three years — and they happen to be smart — they announce that they’re going out to start their own firm. I have begged, literally begged — I’ve had people come over to my house on Saturday — and begged them not to do that, because they’re going to destroy their careers, because they’re not old enough yet, they can’t raise enough money yet, they don’t have enough credibility.”
“Every person who’s made that decision, in my view, has failed,” he went on. “Every one of them.”
Instead, Schwarzman said Wall Streeters should focus on apprenticeship, training and bringing something new to the market. When Schwarzman helped start the Blackstone Group, he already had years of experience under his belt. Not to mention a co-founder with a reputation and lots of contacts.
Without the right skills and circumstances, aspiring entrepreneurs won’t be able to succeed. And according to Schwarzman, that kind of failure can be devastating.
A failed firm can take years to bounce back from, Schwarzman said at the event.
“This is not Silicon Valley, where failure is an option,” he said.
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