While the Wolf of Wall Street was a huge hit and not only nominated for a Golden Globe, but it was also mentioned in over a dozen publications for being the movie with the highest use of the F word (516+ times). However, there are actually very good lessons to be taught from it.
1. What comes up very fast, can also go back down very fast.
In the few short years, Jordan built quite an empire. His ability to drive his business forward with velocity was unprecedented even if at times unethical. While its admirable, he also fell hard and fell quickly. This was a great showcase of the reality that building a business too fast can lead to. We have seen it in the past with the rise of 360 Forged wheels as well. Growing a business by yourself at a rate where the owner can barely keep up can be a very real and dangerous threat to the business itself. The mistake is often surrounding ourselves with people we trust but people we don’t want to listen to. This was very obvious when Jordan Belfort brought in his dad to be his accountant and gatekeeper but yet ignored all his advice. When he fell, he fell hard.
2. Creating buzz is about doing what others are not willing to.
While selling stocks is what every stockbroker does, Jordan sold stocks that no one else wanted to sell and he did it in a manner no one else was willing to do it in. Taking such a unique approach and finding a niche enabled him to grow faster. But being who he really was and believing in people and the reality that money talks and bullshit walks, enabled him to have office manners that scared everyone but attracted the talent that was fed up with politics. Fed up but talented.
3. Sometimes its about your skill and how you apply it, not your title.
When Jordan lost his job and took on a sleazy job selling penny stocks, it wasn’t the office nor the concept that made his millions but rather his ability to apply his very high line professional selling skills to an industry governed by uneducated people who didn’t know how to sell. It was his ability to apply his skills to an existing platform that was run poorly.
4. There is no real loyalty in corporate America.
When it comes down to it, he tried to cover up his friends but at the end he gave up everyone to lower his very own sentence. This may seem awful to many but the reality is 9/10 people would do the exact same thing. There is no difference between throwing people under the bus to save your job and throwing people under the bus to help lower your jail sentence. At the end, it was a great demonstration that no matter how great things are in the good days, everyone is on their own during the bad days.