The Wolf of Wall Street film

The Wolf of Wall Street film
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, the infamous Wall Street stock market guru who built an incredible fortune selling penny stocks and laundering money, before facing the wrath of the FBI, prison time and millions of dollars in fines.

DiCaprio’s character can teach us a few things about the right and wrong ways to do business.

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Career

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Belfort's career started at a high-flying stock broking firm, but when it crashed he found himself at a dodgy local operation that sold worthless ‘penny stocks’ in companies unlikely to succeed. Not perturbed, he fearlessly built a livelihood from scratch.

DiCaprio’s portrayal showed how much Belfort loved his industry and was intensely motivated to sell and succeed. 

If a business owner channeled passion like this in a legal way, there would be no stopping them.

DiCaprio's Belfort could sell anything – from someone’s own pen back to them, to stocks in a company that barely existed. 

The art of building a rapport with a client, enlisting their confidence and making them feel positive about a purchase is a skill all business people can learn.

Donnie Azoff wanted to work for DiCaprio’s Belfort, despite having no experience, but Belfort spies his hunger for money and takes him on. He trains him to lead a ‘wolf pack’ of hard-hitting sales gurus.

This becomes his hiring technique – gathering people with potential rather than impressive CVs.

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.

DiCaprio’s Belfort had the art of a captivating monologue down pat. He revelled in showing his passion, motivating his team and twisting a bad scenario into something uplifting.

Being a polished public speaker, good staff motivator and being a face of a business are all elements a business owner can take away.

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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.

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IDEA

  • Sex matters. In all aspects of our lives, it's good to ask, "what does sex have to do with it?"
  • Sex can be as addicting as cocaine. "When our desire for 'more sex' interferes with our family or professional lives, we are looking for love in all the wrong places."
  • Many of us settle for sex when we're really looking for love.
  • There is a strong drive to be part of a male tribe.

  • The same forces that bring us together within a tribe often pit us against other tribes. "For humans there is always a selfishness at the group level. Humans nearly always put Us ahead of Them."

  •  The way we treat "them" is the way we ultimately treat ourselves. 

    Truly, what goes around, comes around.

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.

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