Jordan Belfort is the real Wolf of Wall Street. He’s the one who wrote the book that has been turned into the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Neither paints a pretty picture of him, but they do show that he was quite successful at making money, although not in legal ways. What he obviously fails to do is create lasting wealth in his life.
Belfort has put his past behind him and he’s now a motivational speaker. Whether or not you believe that he deserves a second chance (he still owes millions to the people he defrauded), he does have some interesting quotes about his life and how to be successful that are worth reading. Below you’ll find some quotes that are well worth keeping in mind, and they have the potential to help you reach the financial success that you hope to obtain.
“I was a very smart kid, I was a great salesman and I was driven to make money. Those were God-given assets. But I had some God-given detriments, mainly that I was emotionally immature, insecure and I had a predisposition to instant gratification.”
Everyone comes with both talent and detriments. The challenge to long-term success is leveraging the talent and learning to overcome the detriments. If you want to know three key issues that can be financially destructive to even the most talented individuals, Jordan Belfort possessed them: being emotionally immature, being insecure and always wanting instant gratification.
“Success isn’t only about what you do. It’s also about what you don’t do.”
When people focus on wealth creation and success, the emphasis seems to be on the things that should be done. Belfort points out that the opposite is also a huge determining factor in both of these. Anyone can get rich if they are willing to compromise their values and hurt others along the way. Success comes with knowing how to create the wealth while also deciding which things you aren’t willing to do just to make more money.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
Sometimes tough love advice is good advice. Goals aren’t easy, but there is usually a way of achieving them if you make them a priority in your life. You need to be willing to do the tough work to reach them. When you tell yourself a reason that you can’t do something, it’s usually nothing more than an excuse (or as Belfort so eloquently puts it, a “bullshit story”). Stop making excuses and commit to achieving your goal if you really value it.
“No matter what happened to you in your past, you are not your past, you are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.”
You are free to make a new beginning any time you want, and there is no reason that you need to continue to do the things that have gotten you into financial trouble in the past. Learn from your past to make yourself a better and more successful person, but don’t let it define who you are.
“People tend to give up. If you have persistence, you will come out ahead of most people. More importantly, you will learn. When you do something, you might fail. But that’s not because you’re a failure. It’s because you have not learned enough. Do it differently each time. One day, you will do it right. Failure is your friend.”
In many cases it’s not always the most talented that succeed, but those who are most persistent. Many people simply give up too easily or don’t have the stamina to continue when things aren’t going right. And in life, things won’t always go right. When they don’t, that isn’t an indication of failure. It’s an indication that you learned something that doesn’t work and the next time you try, you’ll do better having that knowledge.
“When you live your life by poor standards, you inflict damage on everyone who crosses your path, especially those you love.”
Many people fail to take into account that your actions can have a lasting impact on those around you. When you make poor decisions, you don’t hurt only yourself, but everyone that is part of your life, and especially those that love you.
“The easiest way to develop a strategy for success is to model someone else who is already successful.”
If you want to be successful at something, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Model yourself on someone who has already succeeded the way that you want, and take advantage of the learning curve that they have already gone through before you. Take advice from others who are successful.
“In the end it always comes down to your ability to communicate your product, your ideas and you vision for the future and to get someone to buy into that with either their time or their money.”
The one thing that you can say about Belfort, whether you like him or not, is that he is a salesman. And to be a successful salesperson, you need to be able to effectively communicate your vision in such a way that the person who you’re communicating with ultimately buys into your vision with either their time or money. This isn’t just for big sales in business. This applies to your life as a whole, as well as all the personal goals you have.
“The thing with great sales people, top-level entrepreneurs and business people is that they’re experts in asking questions and based on that they know how to offer a solution…What do they value? What are their beliefs about buying and making decisions? What’s causing them the most discomfort right now?”
Another important aspect to be a successful salesperson is to understand what the other person needs to be solved. This also applies to many other aspects of life. If you can help people solve the problems that they have, you’re going to be successful. A key component of doing that is to actually listen to what others are saying so that you can figure out what their problems are that need to be solved.