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Sacrificing money or success

Be careful about what you are sacrificing for money or success. Jordan Belfort became an entirely different person once getting involved in Wall Street. He hurt the very people that he cared about and who cared about him.

It can be tempting to make bad decisions for instant gratification. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that are able to avoid these impulses.

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Being friends with your employees

... means they will do anything for your company.

Belfort had strong individual relationships with his employees, outside of the context of work. This led to more respect for him and a higher willingness for employees to make sacrifices for the company.

... because of past issues.

Jordan Belfort took a chance on a handful of employees that were in dire situations. Despite past misconduct or lack of experience, he looked at personality and work ethic when making decisions.

As a result, he hired many of the "wrong types" of people. These people did great work for him, and felt indebted for the opportunity. It teaches to look beyond a resume or a few key signals when making hiring choices.

Social gatherings are a great way to build company culture. Stratton Oakmont was extremely creative about the events that they had. These activities created a stronger bond between people at the company and offered a fun, social outlet.

Company get-togethers do not have to be as morally wrong as Stratton Oakmont's were to accomplish the same thing. Rather, it takes extra creativity and effort from a company.

Sometimes it makes sense to quit while you are ahead. Jordan Belfort had an opportunity to step back and walk away from the negative company culture. He let the comradery and the instant gratification outweigh the right decision to let someone else take over as CEO.

Sometimes, the best choice is to take a step back. This could be due to personality clashes or you not being the right fit for the role any longer.

Belfort's employees worked extremely hard due to Stratton Oakmont's culture. This effort led to high output and a high standard of work. On the other hand, people made moral sacrifices for achievement.

When there is such a high degree of intensity, especially with money involved, people can make poor decisions. A balance is important when thinking about company culture.

Belfort and Stratton Oakmont made so many crazy decisions. While they paid the consequences for those choices, and this is by no means worthwhile, they also had a ton of fun.

Running a company is extremely challenging. Therefore, it is crucial to enjoy the journey. Constant stress just makes it more difficult.

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Top business lessons to take away
  • Have a vision in mind, and let that steer your decisions. Belfort didn’t get rich by accident.
  • Sell Yourself. Belfort acted powerful and wore fancy suits, and people saw him as confident and successful. 
  • Find A Specialty.
  • Adjust And Perfect Your Strategy, Then Keep At It. Belfort came up with a strategy that worked for his target demographic, and he tweaked it until it worked perfectly.
  • Train People Well. He was able to train otherwise clueless people to sound like knowledgeable and experienced stock brokers.
  • Try, Try Again. Even Belfort managed to bankrupt his own small business before he went to Wall Street.
  • Provide A Solution. As Belfort himself explained, “At a certain point, one of the questions I always ask is, ‘What is your greatest headache right now?’” Find out how you can help your customers and then do exactly that.
  • Keep Employees Happy.
  • Take Your Time if you’re offered a deal and you’re hesitant.

Although efforts for staff incentives by DiCaprio’s Belfort are not appropriate, he did aim to build camaraderie and reward success. 

In turn, this fostered loyalty in his team, which should be the aim of any business owner.