The Wolf Of Wall Street is a movie about success and what comes after it. It focused on Jordan Belfort and his investment company, Stratton Oakmont. Belfort was regarded as “the wolf” following his escapades on Wall Street, hence, the title of the film. Here are 8 business lessons from Belfort & The Wolf Of Wall Street. But first, a bit more about the movie
The Story Line
This is simply a story of a small stockbroker who eventually becomes rich and runs wild. Thanks to his lifestyle of partying and drugs, he couldn’t maintain his wealth.
The movie became a huge success from the outset, taking a good spot at the box office. It focused on the unlikely rise and dramatic fall of the controversial stockbroker. Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 movie.
One popular scene early on in the movie had Belfort having lunch with a successful broker named Mark Hanna. Mathew McConaughey who played the role of Hanna was seen beating his chest rhythmically and humming at the same time. Mark Hanna was a real figure on Wall Street who influenced Belfort’s drug intake.
There are lots of lessons we can take from good movies. A lot of details go into the making of such films. The Wolf Of Wall Street was based on true events. It’s safe to say we are not just learning from the motion picture but also from the man behind the real story.
So, what are the 8 business lessons from Belfort & The Wolf of Wall Street?
8 Business Lessons
1) Find Your Specialty
Jordan Belfort was a stockbroker on Wall Street. Belfort traded with his investment company known as Stratton Oakmont.
He knew he was good at stocks and he stuck to it. But even though Belfort traded stocks he specifically focused on penny stocks. Penny stocks are shares from small companies. Belfort knew he had to have a niche and if nobody was focusing on penny stocks, it should be him.
Businesspersons need to understand the power of focusing on a niche market. Carving out your space where you are most needed, doesn’t only give you control but also customer dependence.
If you are the most popular person trading penny stocks then it is only natural that people who need that service buy from you. So any business you are thinking of starting, always focus on a specialty in that area. This gives you control of your market.
2) Learn To Sell Yourself
If there was one thing Belfort knew, it was the ability to “sell yourself”. Belfort was in the stock business, and the stock business is a rich game. He knew he couldn’t convince people to buy if he didn’t look like he could sell. The point is even though he wasn’t rich yet he acted in that manner.
Belfort was always seen wearing fancy suits and had nice hair. He acted powerfully, so people saw him as confident and successful. Learn to imagine how you want people to view you and present yourself in that way.
A business person needs to look ready for business. Though it’s not always about wearing fancy suits, Belfort’s selling strategy was based on how stockbrokers dressed. So figure out ways that people would want to do business by just coming in contact with you. Always remember that looking good is good for business.
3) Train Employees Well
This lesson is for businesses that have gotten to the stage of increasing their staff strength. Human capital is as important as money. Humans when shown exactly what to do can come in very handy. Business owners need to understand that it’s not a problem if their employees know what you know.
Some business owners fear that employees will be better than them if they show employers what they know. On the contrary showing employees, the right way to do the business helps your firm. Your staff can now sound like knowledgeable and experienced persons in that line of business.
Belfort knew how to train and turn clueless people into almost perfect stockbrokers. His staff made calls to clients as if they had a bit of him in all of them. In a way they did and that helped Stratton Oakmont.
4) Keep Employees Happy
Belfort knew how to party. He perfectly integrated his employees into his success. If you worked at Stratton Oakmont you would know there was never a dull moment with the boss. Belfort threw parties and brought his staff to the show. Even at parties, he gave speeches of encouragement as a way to celebrate victories.
Not everyone can be like Belfort in this regard; you do not have to throw outlandish parties. Business owners just need to learn how to keep their employees happy, and in return, employees would work even harder to keep the ball rolling.
5) Don’t Give Up
You might have started a business that did not go well in the past. You might even have gone bankrupt once… or even twice. This shouldn’t stop you from working towards achieving the goal. Belfort went into Wall Street after his small business was declared bankrupt. He never stopped until he became filthy rich. This goes for business owners, to never give up.
6) Do Not Do IPOs You Are unfamiliar With
Initial Public Offerings are done when a company goes public. This lesson is specifically for stockbrokers. The reason stockbrokers are advised to stay away from initial public offerings is that a company that just went public might not be able to cope with the market.
If a company is not able to cope then it means your money is gone when the business dissolves. Belfort always stayed away from company IPOs he wasn’t familiar with. You too should stay away from such IPOs.
7) Build a Great Company Culture
At Stratton Oakmont social gathering was used to build the company’s culture. Belfort wanted employees to feel comfortable working for him. He used unique and fun social gatherings to drive home the point of his company’s culture. This refers to values and norms the firm abides by in its running of the business. Business owners need to build a company culture, so their employees know what they stand for.
8) Learn To Manage Success
Belfort was a good stockbroker. Belfort was also a party starter and knew how to have fun. This crazy lifestyle led to the dramatic fall of Jordan Belfort and his business. The Wolf of Wall Street’s desire to be wealthy was negated by his inability to manage success.
Many of the film’s outrageous events actually happened; Belfort sinking his yacht in Italy, crashing his helicopter on his lawn, & the company once paid a secretary the sum of $10,000 to shave all of her hair off. All these showed that Belfort was bad at managing success. In this regard, do not be Jordan Belfort.
The life of Jordan Belfort as portrayed in the movie “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is factual. A stockbroker with so much money and a controversial businessman that went to jail for fraud. Mistakes made by Jordan Belfort should not be made again by anybody especially business persons. This starts with knowing these 8 business lessons from Belfort and The Wolf Of Wall Street.