What I Learned From The Wolf of Wall Street (aka Jordan Belfort)

You see I heard the Wolf of Wall Street himself, or Jordan Belfort, was going to be in town. 

I had the pleasure of going with a few of the team members here at Digital Triggers and two other great friends.

I was pretty excited to see the ‘Wolf‘ himself.

Last Wednesday we took off to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft Lauderdale. The Florida rain and bumper to bumper traffic couldn’t dwell our excitement.

We walk into this beautiful theatre and already I appreciated the business acumen he had. It seemed like every row of seats
was different. VIP, Platinum, Executive.. they all had names.


So he could charge you more per seat of course.

Anyways it was a great experience to see the ‘ultimate pitchmen’ tell his story and pitch on stage.

I’ve shared some of the takeaways and notes that Ben, Joe and I had.

Warning: Any of the videos in this post probably include some cursing.

The Movie Almost Never Happened

Wolf book

The $392 million dollars grossing movie started out as a New York Times Bestseller.

Jordan Belfort, the real man behind the story, spent 22 months in prison.  During that time he shared a cell with Tommy Chong.

With nothing to do in prison, they would swap stories back and forth.  After nights of Tommy being shocked and amazed at the stories, he suggested that Jordan write a book.

Jordan put pen to paper and started writing.  First rough draft handed over to Tommy and his reply.

“This really sucks”.

So what Jordan did was dissect the writing style of his favorite book, The Bonfire of Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Then he went on to write a New York Times Best Seller.

The big take away here?  Even a story as great as he didn’t magically work on paper without some of the technical training of being a writer. He didn’t let that stop him but instead learned how to write.

People Follow Vision Not Goals

He provided insight on his famous speeches and motivating his team.  At first, they couldn’t sell anything but he turned them into the hungry wolves that they became.

One quote that stuck from that was “people follow vision, not goals”.

Also around this time, he mentioned intentions.  You can have the best intentions and never do anything.  It’s taking action on those intentions that turn them into reality.

4 Reasons Why People Aren’t Successful

Jordan had a few big sticking points about success.  He had his 4 reasons and then his inner game principles and outer game principles.

Lambo problems

Does your current success feel like this?

He listed them in a backward order which I’ll stick with here.

4. Overwhelm

Many people are simply overwhelmed and because of that, they end up doing nothing.

That’s why following a system is so important.

Now, this might feel like an NLP pitch for his course, The Straight Line System, but I think there is truth to it.  In this day and age information is so overwhelming it’s hard to keep up or even know where to start.

That’s one of the reasons I hand-curate the Friday Reload every week to keep our readers up to date without being overwhelmed.

3. Shitty Plan

Most people have a shitty plan.  Or even worse they want to have the perfect plan.  Their strategy isn’t good.

This is where following others who have HAD success is so important.  A shitty plan isn’t getting you anywhere and a perfect plan is never gonna happen.

He recommends modeling and mentors.

2. The “Why”

He related this to inner game principles.

It’s not just about YOU, it’s about the people you love.

This is how you get yourself to do the things you don’t want to do. With a fully integrated vision, you’ll become more self-motivated.

1. People Aren’t Closers

Successful people are closers.
People simply don’t have the persuasion skills or gusto to close.

Also, remember that closing isn’t just sales.  It’s just not the glorified phone call. It’s employees, relationships, customer service and more. Closing is a mentality baked into everything you do.

You’re always selling someone something.

This also reminds me of the ‘fear of success’ idea that gets brought up.  People lack the self-belief and don’t think they’ll succeed thus sabotaging their efforts.

Comfort Zone

You know what else successful people do?

They move OUT of their comfort zone.

So much of success is playing outside of your comfort zone.

He included what may be my favorite quote from the entire talk.

“You don’t win by playing defense, you win by the offense.” – Jordan Belfort

You’ll never achieve success or get ahead by simply reacting.  You need to be proactive with your actions to get ahead

Two Types of People

There are two types of people.

1. Ducks

These people have reasons and an impossible notion.

2. Eagles

These people get results and have a can-do attitude.

He also went to say that there wasn’t a single duck in the room, only Eagles who got their wings clipped.  This part was a little more quasi-motivational but hey I get it.

Your Inner Game – Mindset

You must have your Inner Game right in order to succeed and move onto your Outer Game.

1. State Management

Getting in the zone and managing your mental.

2. Your Beliefs

Who you are.  What you think is true from your perspective which includes empowering or limiting beliefs.

3. Vision

Your vision of the future.   You need to have bifocal focus.

Not laser-focused but not tunnel vision either.

4. Standards / Thermostat

Basically, he said that we all have our standards or a thermostat which we will always get every month.

You can raise the standard by anchors of pain and pleasure. In life, we get our musts but not our shoulds

Also is the set point congruent with your vision?

Your Outer Game – Real World Strategies

1. Business & Entrepreneurship

Fail elegantly and succeed wildly.

Part of entrepreneurship is failing but make sure you do it gracefully.

2. Marketing

There are so many channels between offline and online it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  Hence where a good strategy anda good system are very important.  You need to be able to find the RIGHT buyers for your products.

3. Sales and Influence

You need to turn those leads into sales of course.  Make sure you’re a closer.

4. Multiple Streams of Income

This holds some truth but it was also a hook into his real estate training.

Good to Bad

He talks about positive emotions and outlooks as well as their counterparts.

  • Certainty – uncertain
  • Clarity – overwhelm
  • Confidence – fear
  • Courage – self doubt
  • Compassion – cruelty
  • Love – hate
  • Patience – impatience
  • Happiness – sadness

Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs can hide in your head while thwarting your chances of success.  He listed the 5 major ones.

  1. If I get rich I’ll become greedy
  2. I’m not entrepreneurial
  3. Selling is evil
  4. I’ll have to sacrifice everything
  5. The world happens to me

You Only Have 4 Seconds In A Call

Jordan started realizing his employees were getting objections he wasn’t.

Why?  Because he was establishing the ‘Essential 3 in 4’.

There are 3 things you need to establish in the first 4 seconds of the call.

You need to establish that you’re…

  • Sharp as a tack
  • Enthusiastic
  • Expert in your field

5 Core Elements of Human Influence

  1. Love your product or Logical Certainty
  2. Trust and connect with you or Emotional Certainty
  3. Trust and connect with the company
  4. Action threshold
  5. Pain threshold


Looping and deflection (deflect the first objection and re sell the 3 tens)

People buy on emotion and reason the purchase with logic.

Tips To Handle Objections

  • Tonality
  • Body language
  • You give me one shot and you’ll see if your gonna be impressed
  • Does it make sense? Yes?

What I Learned From His (Bad) Pitch

The show started at 6pm.  Regardless of what you do, you’ve probably spent the day working and built up a little bit of an appetite.  Jordan finished around 9pm and our whole group was already antsy for food and drinks.

Then I saw maybe the worst pitch I’ve ever seen in my life.

He brought up an associate to pitch on real estate.

leonardo dicaprio animated GIF


We ended up leaving at 9:30 because we couldn’t take anymore.  That’s how bad it was.  I think they turned what could have been their best sales day into their worst.

The Wolf of Wall Street surprisingly taught me a few things about how NOT to pitch

1. Don’t Forget Outside Factors

Sales aren’t all black and white.  Outside factors can directly influence a prospect and determine a sale or not.  Part of the reason we left is that we were getting hungry after being there so long and we didn’t even make it through the whole pitch.

2. Be Careful Who Closes

Jordan had just spent 3 hours telling his story so why would he have someone else close?  Be careful bringing in someone else to close because they haven’t spent the entire time building rapport.

3. Keep the Offer Congruent

They tried to weave in how real estate and multiple streams of income made sense but no one wanted to hear that.  We wanted to hear about The Straightline System that he had just built up over the past 180 minutes.

4. Lead With Your Headline and Proof

The real estate pitcher didn’t get into his ‘headline’ until about 8 minutes in.  First, you need to sell us on WHY we should even listen before you even consider pitching the effort.  He also keep saying just 5 more minutes which become 30 plus.

5. Know When To Test

Part of the reason they wanted to ‘discuss the opportunity’ is because Real Estate Invest is so big in South Florida.  BUT in doing so they completely killed their main pitch.  The Straightline System is a 3 day event to be held in Orlando which isn’t a bad drive from South Florida PLUS South Florida is a wealthy demographic.  What could have been one of their best sales day was probably their worst.


It was a fun experience and definitely worth going to.

It’s worth remembering that even the King of Closing can sometimes learn a trick or two.  Don’t let your ego keep you from a learning and open mindset.

That being said he’s a man that was on top of the world, got cut down to the bottom and is getting back on top.

Perseverance in all.

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