As portrayed in the Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort is an accomplished stockbroker with a taste for pretty women, yachts, Ferraris and all the fine things money can get you. He possesses fine telephone speaking skills and his ability to pitch a product or service is, for lack of a better word, ludicrously exceptional. He can sell you a product you have never heard of, and you are very sure it doesn’t exist, but you will still buy it anyway!
Belfort is indeed a man of many talents, and his blueprint to success is one that is not to be followed, unless you want cops hot on your heels! Nonetheless, the Wolf of Wall Street has a number of lessons for people who want to increase their earnings.
1. Start Your Company
It is increasingly becoming apparent that you can’t get rich working for someone. After working as a stockbroker for some time, Belfort partnered with Donnie Azoff and started Stratton Oakmont – a company they would later use to defraud unsuspecting investors and earn lots of money in the process.
If you want to earn top dollar, you will need to start your own company and grow it. Besides, it is not only Belfort who has done this. Just look at the success stories of the world’s richest people. Bill Gates founded Microsoft, Warren Buffet Started Hathaway Berkshire, Larry Page started Google and Mark Zuckerberg established Facebook.
2. Dress the Part
It is a materialistic world, this one. Even if you are a distinguished Harvard professor of financial securities, and you are dressed like a used agricultural equipment salesman, no one will give a hoot about what you have to say. When starting Stratton Oakmont, Belfort hired a tailor to make custom suits for his staff. On his part, Belfort always wore fancy suits. Since perception is everything, understand how people view you and dress accordingly.
3. Find a Specialty
Conventional business wisdom tells us investing in various industries is the ultimate way to reduce risk and earn more. But according to the Wolf, being a jack of all trades doesn’t really increase your earnings. Belfort found his way to success because he specialized in broking (or selling) penny stocks. He never switched his business model.
4. Train Your Employees
If you already own a company, invest time and money in training your employees. The more competent employees you have, the greater your chances of increasing your earnings. It matters not their academic background, but the quality and intensity of training you give them. When starting the company, Belfort basically hired people who had no training in stockbroking. But he nurtured them into stock-manipulating wolves.
Still on employees, strive to keep them happy and motivated. In celebrating his victories, Belfort threw pool-side parties for his workers, and gave Robert Kiyosaki-esque motivational speeches. A happy workforce means enhanced loyalty, too. So if the cops interrogated any of them, none will be willing to give you away! Remember the scene where Jordan, Ming and another guy called Welch are being interrogated by Securities Exchange Commission officials, and one interrogator says “Okay, you know we’ve talked to several of the employees at this firm and nobody can recall anything about the Steve Madden IPO. It’s...I think it’s odd” No, the interrogator actually thinks that’s f***ing loyalty!
5. Be Smart
This is the point where the movie stops being an inspiration. Almost all strategies employed by Stratton Oakmont are largely illegal. For aspiring stock investors, be smart about the stock market. Avoid investing in companies you know little about and be on the lookout for too-good-to-be-true deals. Jordan succeeded only so well in luring customers into IPOs of companies that never existed.
These are just some of the earning-increasing lessons you can take away from the Wolf of Wall Street. Watched the movie and think I missed something? Feel welcome to share in the comments section below.