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Six business lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street - remarkably there are some - SmartCompany

Eat your pride and start from scratch

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.

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Six business lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street - remarkably there are some - SmartCompany

Six business lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street - remarkably there are some - SmartCompany

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/leadership/six-business-lessons-from-the-wolf-of-wall-street-remarkably-there-are-some/

smartcompany.com.au

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Key Ideas

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.

Eat your pride and start from scratch

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.

Have passion

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.

Nail the sale

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.

Hire on potential

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.

Staff incentives help loyalty

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.

Give a winning speech

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
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 p...
The Wolf of Wall Street

The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, a New York stockbroker who runs a firm that engages in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street in the 1990s.

Life lessons
  • 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.
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...

Do not rule someone out

... 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.

Building a company culture

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.

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