01 Jan Sales (And Life) Lessons You Can Learn From The Movie, The Wolf Of Wall Street
‘My name is Jordan Belfort.’
‘Sell me this pen,’ he says while staring at you with his x-ray-like eyes – even if you aren’t a salesperson, you somehow feel you are one. And that’s the real dazzle and spark of the movie.
Sex. Money. Power. Drugs. What not? This young stock broker chased non-stop thrills of life, where corruption is the king and more is the mantra for life. While watching this movie I had shivers down my spine: makes me think of only one thing – the desire to be more; the desire to win; the desire to fail – and win; the desire to outwit nature; the desire to have my voice; the desire to show my passion for my work.
This movie’s quintessential take-away is to never give up. Never. Some parts of the movie were a bit over-bearing; but you know what? The characters acted brilliantly well with varying intensity – a perfect balance of passion and quest for excellence.
I guess almost every salesperson has dream to earn that fat pay check, own a villa or a swanky apartment with all those luxuries you ever thought of; wear the most fanciful clothes, drive the likes of Rolls-Royce or BMW – and above all live your dreams in the most realistic yet imaginative way. So what is stopping you? Let me take a guess:
- You aren’t good enough. Well, Jordan never felt that way – then why do you? Working for Wall Street, he couldn’t make a dime as one ‘Black Monday’ smacked him in his face: stocks crashed. But he didn’t give up! His passion to make money got him to sell penny stocks and make 50% commissions – and he did. Lesson? Keep your eyes on your goal. He wanted to become a millionaire – and that is what mattered. Rest everything else is secondary.
- You aren’t passionate enough. Well, if you read Cal Newport’s book, Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in The Quest for The Work You Love – passion comes with hard work; in other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it. You’ve got to have some ‘mojo’ that revs you up in the morning. And if you don’t have it, create it! Jordan (though ignoring the cocaine pops he took to start his day), was deeply passionate to make those 500 calls pitching blue chip companies – just dialing and dialing and dialing – because he had a strong why. He started his own company that had beaten all the companies in America. He wanted to give back to his employees, help them meet their numbers, and realize their professional and personal dreams.
- You aren’t competent enough. Jordan read a book and scripted a pitch, which he gave all the so-called not so skilled people. They weren’t even in sales. On top of that they didn’t have the requisite skills to cold-call, present, and close the deal. But guess what? They were top class students with a fire in their belly. And after learning the game, they made some epic numbers. Lesson: Constantly upgrade yourself. Read. Listen. Get knocked down. And then rise again. That’s life. Topsy-turvy? Well, yes. Humdrum? Never.
While fame, power, drugs, and unethical ways to make money do spell some caution for you, unlearn these and pick up the meat of the message: Pivot. And persevere.