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President, Fresh Start Capital and founder of the MCA Broker Bootcamp.

It’s an understatement to say that Wall Street is an intimidating place, especially when you’re first starting out.

I emerged on Wall Street in 2017 in the private equity sector. With a background in building corporate credit, product distribution and sales, I didn’t have fancy connections to get my business rolling overnight. My journey on Wall Street has been a relentless pursuit of success. People kept shutting doors in my face, but I kept banging on them until they opened. My first two years in business, I had a tough time closing deals, but I never gave up—and kept learning by trial and error.

Those tough business days are behind me now, but had I known several tips early on in my journey, things would have gone much smoother. Here are the six pieces of advice I think every budding Wall Street entrepreneur needs to know.

1. Get Started Today

If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, I have terrible news for you: You’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.

Conditions will never be perfect, and it’s essential that you get started as soon as possible. To succeed on Wall Street, or anywhere else, you need to learn how to be adaptable and strategically jump from opportunity to opportunity until you reach your goals. But you can’t learn those things until you get started. So start now, because every moment you waste is a moment you’re losing time, experience and money.

2. Think Positively And Stay Laser-Focused

It’s easy to get discouraged as you try to make your place in the hustle and bustle of Wall Street. I was frustrated and down countless times when I first got started.

But I understood the power of having a positive mindset and staying laser-focused. Whenever I got a “no,” I kept pushing forward until I finally got a “yes.” I chose to believe in myself and never let setbacks discourage me. That’s not to say you won’t have bad days. Believe me, I’ve had plenty. But I learned how to pick myself back up from those bad days and brush my shoulders off. To this day, my wife and twins help me stay positive and laser-focused, keep faith in myself and never give up.

If you ultimately want to start your business on Wall Street, don’t back down the first time you hear the word “no.” I’m a firm believer that the fifth “no” is a “yes.” Look for all possible routes you can take to where you want to go and opt for the best “yes” you can get.

3. Build Win-Win Relationships With Peers And Customers

In her book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth: Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age, Porter Gale dives into how people can build a strong network in this day and age.

The title of her book is on point. Your network is your net worth. Who you know matters, and specifically, how you nurture those relationships is paramount. I’m of the mentality that you should create what Sharon Michaels, writing for ForbesWomen several years ago, deemed “win-win relationships,” where both you and the other person benefit from the interactions.

In other words, create win-win circumstances where you give the person on the other side of the table, be they an industry peer or a customer, something back in return. Bring added value to people, beyond the product or service you’re selling them. Remember author Napoleon Hill’s words: “Those who do more than they are paid for will sooner or later be willingly paid for more than they do.”

4. Pay Yourself First

When you’re getting yourself going on Wall Street, you might be tempted to take on projects or roles for very little pay, or take the pay you do get and immediately funnel it back into your business idea. It’s kind of similar to the “starving artist” mentality some people in the creative world have.

I’m here to tell you to pay yourself first while you’re gathering experience. Search for opportunities that will provide you with a livable income, and don’t funnel every last dime into your entrepreneurial ambitions. Go on that trip, dedicate time to go to the gym, buy that new car. If you aren’t able to pay yourself first and invest in yourself as a human being, your motivation and energy won’t be where they need to be—and it’ll show as you build your business.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t put money into your entrepreneurial goals. Rather, you should do so in a balanced way.

5. Learn How To Close By Offering People Solutions To Their Problems

If you want to pay yourself first, you have to learn how to be a sales closer by asking the right questions that will give you an understanding of clients’ problems, so you can provide them with the solutions they are looking for. When it comes down to it, life is a never-ending series of sales. Who can forget the acronym ABC, “always be closing,” from Glengarry Glen Ross? On Wall Street, everything is a sale.

Read online tips on sales fundamentals, absorb conversations around you, ask for advice, and practice, practice, practice to become a solid closer. The more deals you close, the more natural closing will become. And whenever you don’t close a deal, use it as an opportunity to dissect the situation and figure out what went wrong so you can course-correct.

6. Become A Pro At Using Cutting-Edge Technology

The technology you’ll need to learn varies depending on which industry you want to enter, but you’ll find that successful companies use some of the most cutting-edge technology on the market. Remember: CRM systems are the most efficient way to scale.

Especially in my sector, private equity, knowing how to work with systems is essential. Before my sales agents start selling anything, I make sure that they understand the CRM which goes hand-in-hand with what they’re doing on my sales floor. If you’re working for someone else but dream of one day starting your own firm, first learn the technology in front of you. It may not be what you end up using when you start your own business, but it’ll give you a fundamental understanding. Eventually, you’ll probably have to build out your own customized CRM and always make sure you delegate tasks to competent admins.

Don’t make excuses. Make life easier for yourself and become as technologically proficient as you can as soon as you can. When you combine that skill with the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a force to be reckoned with on Wall Street.


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