This weekend I went to see the Martin Scorcese movie starring Leo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Although this film has been out for some time now, I reluctantly held back because I heard there’s 506 F-bombs peppered throughout.

Jordan Belfort, "The Wolf of Wall Street" photo courtesy of Ralph Zuranski

Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” photo courtesy of Ralph Zuranski

DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors. After seeing him win the Golden Globe, I decided to trek through the snowy streets of Syracuse, and take in the matinee at Destiny USA.

‘Wolf’ is not for the faint of heart. The opening scene made me cringe. I literally squeezed my bag of $7.25 popcorn, squinted my eyes, wondering, why in the hell did I plunk down $11  to watch one sleaze moment after another.

 ‘Wolf’ is a three hour thrill ride down a debauchery highway without a governor.


The movie is about Jordan Belfort, the morally bankrupt sleaze from Queens, who founded the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. During the 1980’s and 90’s, he and his  ‘Belfort Kool-Aid”  drinking clones, pushed questionable companies securities, penny stocks, on investors looking to get rich quick. By his mid-thirties, Belfort had taken several dozen companies public and amassed a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

In 2003, Jordan Belfort was convicted of securities fraud, spent almost two years in prison (light sentence if you ask me,) and ordered by the court to make the clients he defrauded whole, by paying back over $100M. (At this writing, he’s reportedly paid a fraction of that amount.)

After seeing the movie, I was curious, wanting to learn more about what makes this King of Unethics tick.

I discovered, Belfort has gone the straight and narrow, globetrotting, teaching companies and their salespeople the art and science of selling.

Belfort knows sales. Anyone who can make $49M in his first year in the stock market knows how to convince and mesmerize people to sign on the dotted line.


The year I turned 26, as the head of my own brokerage firm, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week. ~ Jordan Belfort


I came upon a YouTube clip where the charismatic  Belfort explains the four things everyone needs to do to be successful. He says you don’t need to be great at all four, just average.

What can we learn from “The Wolf of Wall Street?”


Jordan Belfort’s Formula:


1 – Create a vision


Simply having goals is not enough. You need a vision. An End Game (pun intended) of what you want your world to be in the future. Internalize your long term vision, and put your subconscious in charge to run an unconscious strategy.


 2 – Mange your state


I call this having high emotional intelligence. Manage your feelings and physiological state.

We habituate on our emotions.This includes:

a- Be certain

b- Be clear

c- Be courageous

Be conscious at all times of what you’re feeling. Why? What you feel is a mirror to the world. Your mindset is critical. What do you want others to see? Feel it, walk it, and become it.


 3 – Replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones.


Our beliefs act like governors on a car. People stop way too soon because of the stories they’re telling themselves. It’s just as easy to tell yourself a story that ends well to one that has the audience cheering you across the finish line!

Where your focus goes, your focus grows.


 4 – Have a strategy and plan of action


Put down, in writing, your must have’s in life. What are the things you won’t settle for? Determine in advance what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, then hop in the car, turn on the engine, put the car in drive, put the pedal to the metal. In other words, get into action!

He goes on to say you’re not your past. Take an honest look at where you are and who you want to become.

Look at what’s worked, what hasn’t, and recalibrate. This is the foundation of all change.


Let’s face it. Jordan Belfort was a bad guy. He’d be the first to tell you the same. His behavior was lewd, bawdy, two-timing, corrupt, and unscrupulous.

After seeing ‘Wolf,’ you’ll feel better about your own personal peccadillo’s compared to the major intentional wrongdoings of Belfort.

Based on what I’ve seen and read, he’s in the process of change.

His values in the past were:

  • Money
  • Power
  • Sex
Today and moving forward, Belfort’s values are:
  • Giving
  • Family
  • Freedom
They say America loves a redemption story? Let’s hope Jordan Belfort surprises us all, and emerges a better man.


p.s. Although the film was three hours, I never looked at my watch. Not once. The movie takes you along for a wild ride. My first impression was, this was a good movie. I change my review. ‘Wolf,’ from an artistic perspective in the realm of moviemaking, is a great motion picture.





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