This weekend I went to see the Martin Scorcese movie starring Leo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Although this film has been out for some time now, I reluctantly held back because I heard there’s 506 F-bombs peppered throughout.
DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors. After seeing him win the Golden Globe, I decided to trek through the snowy streets of Syracuse, and take in the matinee at Destiny USA.
‘Wolf’ is not for the faint of heart. The opening scene made me cringe. I literally squeezed my bag of $7.25 popcorn, squinted my eyes, wondering, why in the hell did I plunk down $11 to watch one sleaze moment after another.
‘Wolf’ is a three hour thrill ride down a debauchery highway without a governor.
The movie is about Jordan Belfort, the morally bankrupt sleaze from Queens, who founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. During the 1980’s and 90’s, he and his ‘Belfort Kool-Aid” drinking clones, pushed questionable companies securities, penny stocks, on investors looking to get rich quick. By his mid-thirties, Belfort had taken several dozen companies public and amassed a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 2003, Jordan Belfort was convicted of securities fraud, spent almost two years in prison (light sentence if you ask me,) and ordered by the court to make the clients he defrauded whole, by paying back over $100M. (At this writing, he’s reportedly paid a fraction of that amount.)
After seeing the movie, I was curious, wanting to learn more about what makes this King of Unethics tick.
I discovered, Belfort has gone the straight and narrow, globetrotting, teaching companies and their salespeople the art and science of selling.
Belfort knows sales. Anyone who can make $49M in his first year in the stock market knows how to convince and mesmerize people to sign on the dotted line.
The year I turned 26, as the head of my own brokerage firm, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week. ~ Jordan Belfort
I came upon a YouTube clip where the charismatic Belfort explains the four things everyone needs to do to be successful. He says you don’t need to be great at all four, just average.
What can we learn from “The Wolf of Wall Street?”
Jordan Belfort’s Formula:
1 – Create a vision
Simply having goals is not enough. You need a vision. An End Game (pun intended) of what you want your world to be in the future. Internalize your long term vision, and put your subconscious in charge to run an unconscious strategy.
2 – Mange your state
I call this having high emotional intelligence. Manage your feelings and physiological state.
We habituate on our emotions.This includes:
a- Be certain
b- Be clear
c- Be courageous
Be conscious at all times of what you’re feeling. Why? What you feel is a mirror to the world. Your mindset is critical. What do you want others to see? Feel it, walk it, and become it.
3 – Replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones.
Our beliefs act like governors on a car. People stop way too soon because of the stories they’re telling themselves. It’s just as easy to tell yourself a story that ends well to one that has the audience cheering you across the finish line!
Where your focus goes, your focus grows.
4 – Have a strategy and plan of action
Put down, in writing, your must have’s in life. What are the things you won’t settle for? Determine in advance what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, then hop in the car, turn on the engine, put the car in drive, put the pedal to the metal. In other words, get into action!
He goes on to say you’re not your past. Take an honest look at where you are and who you want to become.
Look at what’s worked, what hasn’t, and recalibrate. This is the foundation of all change.
Let’s face it. Jordan Belfort was a bad guy. He’d be the first to tell you the same. His behavior was lewd, bawdy, two-timing, corrupt, and unscrupulous.
After seeing ‘Wolf,’ you’ll feel better about your own personal peccadillo’s compared to the major intentional wrongdoings of Belfort.
Based on what I’ve seen and read, he’s in the process of change.
His values in the past were:
p.s. Although the film was three hours, I never looked at my watch. Not once. The movie takes you along for a wild ride. My first impression was, this was a good movie. I change my review. ‘Wolf,’ from an artistic perspective in the realm of moviemaking, is a great motion picture.
Hmmmm…. I’ve been on the fence about this one. Terrific post. Now I’m intrigued. I’m always interested in stories of personal transformation.
Karin, I was on the fence myself. No longer. We can learn from Belfort. What and what not to do.
Well written, my friend. Good lessons for all of us. Too bad that he has not been forced to pay back all of the money yet. And has he really learned his lesson or only learned that now that he is super rich, he no longer needs to be a shark, but can put on a friendlier persona?
I will see the movie based on your recommendation.
Only time will tell if he’s learned his lesson.
Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.
I’ve not heard of that movie but that’s only because I don’t go see movies anymore. It’s a hearing issue I have and I do hate missing things said at times.
Gosh, why would anyone want to make a movie about a jerk? I guess that sells right Steve and he did have some lessons to teach us even if he used them for dishonesty.
Thanks for the review and I like the new theme.
Adrienne, he was a jerk with a capital “J.”
It’s a cautionary tale on how not to live your life.
One a crook , always a crook.
Just a conman who got off lighltly. What about the victims
never portrayed in the movie, losing their life savings.
Greed, Greed. America never learns.
Time will tell if he has a happy life
Thanks Chris for your perspective.
He was a bad dude. No doubt. He said so in many interviews.
You’re right. The movie never showed the victims side of the story.
Belfort claims nobody lost their life savings. His clients were wealthy individuals. According to JB.
As you say, time will tell if he rights his wrongs.
I hope you come by again.
I loved this movie!!
Sooo entertaining until it all came crashing down on him.
I think you may have taken a lofty moral high ground on Jordan though. Yes, he was greedy. He worked on Wall St and greed is the name of the game. Greed also motivated his ‘victims’ to invest in the first place.
If Jordan was a jerk, what do we call Greenspan or Rothschild or any other high profile financial elite who operate without any scruples?!?!
I think Jordan was a boy scout in comparison 🙂 And he did his time which is more than can be said for all the others.
Nice review though. 2nd career in the making?? 😉
Great point David. Greed was on all sides. Unfortunately, greed will always be prevalent.
Time will tell if Jordan redeems himself.
Ha! Your comment on the review. I’ve produced eight plays so I know something about entertainment value.
Thanks for stopping by.
Give the guy a break, He was 26 years old..
a wise man once told me “Young, dumb and full of expectations”
I pretty sure every single young man wants what that man had. Even if they didn’t, being in his position with that amount of wealth i’m very sure it wouldn’t take them long to come round!
22 year old, Entrepreneur.
Most people would say his behavior was over the top. In fact, Jordan said this was a “cautionary tale.”
Based on the interviews I’ve read and listened to, he has many regrets.
This behavior is not the norm. He could have done better.
Thanks for stopping by Joshua. I appreciate your comments.