I recently went to see a film at the cinema called ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and for those of you who haven’t seen it, the film is based on a true story of a man called Jordan Belfort who was a stockbroker in New York during the 80’s, 90’s & 00’s. He made millions of dollars from criminal activities scamming investors and lived a life fuelled by drugs, alcohol and women, owned yachts, multi-million pound properties, holiday homes and fast cars, and in a nutshell had a lifestyle most of us can only dream of.
Despite all his greed and toxic behaviour the film portrays him as a self starter, a likeable rogue and a man with the ability to achieve and succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.
I loved this film because underneath all the obscene excess, lack of respect for others and general bad behaviour were some key strategies for success and I thought they were worth sharing with you, so here are 5 key principles that we can all learn from Jason Belfort’s story:
1. Passion and motivation are key to succeeding
Without these two driving forces it is almost impossible to make the changes and accept the sacrifices that you will need to make to succeed. The passion and motivation come from knowing your ‘ big why’ in other words what makes you want something so badly that you are prepared to; work long hours, give up family time, maybe re-mortgage your house or whatever else it takes to get you where you want to be. Jordan Belfort wanted to make money and live the American dream – that was his passion and motivation.
2. Total immersion and becoming the absolute expert in your field
If you talk to successful people they will all tell you that you have to live, breathe and eat your dream or aspiration to make it a reality. When you’re an expert in your field and talk with passion about it people will believe in you and your abilities. Knowledge and mindset are king! Jason Belfort is quoted as saying “I believe in total immersion, if you want to be rich you have to program your mind to be rich. You have to unlearn all the thoughts that were making you poor and replace them with new thoughts – rich thoughts.” I think that just about sums it up.
3. Adapting and flexibility
If things don’t go right for you the first time try doing them another way. There is never just one way of doing something, so make yourself flexible and adaptable when you need to be, it’s a skill that will help you when you hit obstacles or the disaster of the day happens. Try to find 3 alternative ways of doing everyday simple habitual tasks such as; where you eat your dinner or the route you take to work or how you clean your teeth. If you can find alternative ways of doing the simple things in life then when it comes to the big stuff it won’t be such a trial to find alternative solutions.
4. Failing is part of the journey
I believe that failing is simply part of our learning curve. Rarely does something go perfectly first time around, we often need to practice, re-align, make adjustments and then try again. If it still doesn’t work we start over and do the same process, beginning to end until we achieve what we set out to do. Failure is when you give up, when you throw your hands in the air and say “I can’t do this, it’s too hard!” but how much satisfaction do you get from doing things that are easy? Staying in your comfort zone is okay for a while but then it becomes boring, so get comfortable with failure, see it as your best friend on the rocky road to success.
Never believe anybody that tells you that you can’t achieve something, the only person that can stop you from achieving your goals is you. You have to believe that your destiny is in your hands, that you are not a victim of circumstance but that you can create your own circumstance. Persistence and determination will see you through to your end goal so remember the old saying ” If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!
Another key message I took away from this film was that you don’t have to be defined by your past and whatever has happened to you in your life or career so far doesn’t prevent you from achieving great things in the future.
Jordan Belfort lived life in the fast lane, he crashed in spectacular style jail but rather than giving up he decided to pick himself up, brush himself down and reinvent his life to become the person he is today; a respectable businessman and one of the top sales gurus and motivational speakers in America.
Good Luck with your goals and ambitions in 2014.
Debbie Golec is a professional career coach and gender diversity specialist. She helps people to fulfil their potential by significantly increasing their career trajectory, enhancing their confidence and leadership skill set and improving their internal and external profile. She specialises in gender intelligence and facilitates training and coaching for groups and individuals in professional sector and corporate environment. To get in touch please contact her on:
Tel: 0772 786 9919