3 Life Lessons from the “Wolf of Wall Street” movie

What “The Wolf of Wall Street” can teach you in business

There’s much to learn from “The Wolf of Wall Street” in real life and in business. When you get to watch the movie starred by Leonardo DiCaprio, you’re awed not by the explicit scenes I hope, but by the adrenaline- pumping stock trading and nerve-wracking life of the brokers and businessmen.

Not to mention, the moving leadership and vision of Jordan Belfort, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, that capture your senses to the bone. His words, vision, and excitement pulls you into the screen, and leaves you hanging on to the next scenes unfolding before your eyes.


You kinda want to work for this guy or be the next Jordan Belfort who started from scratch and practically out of nowhere, to become one of the richest men and prominent figures in America.

Indeed, Jordan Belfort’s life and career might have ended up tragically since he practically lost all his hard- earned money. But come to think of it, only some gets to experience what it feels to be like at the top of the world and at the top of his game.

The movie graphically shows the highlights of the life of stock broker Jordan Belfort who founded a brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont Inc. It’s a true-to-life movie about a real person whose climb towards business stardom is a movie- worthy kind. His life has almost all the ingredients for a Hollywood box office movie!

With Leonardo DiCarprio as the movie star, you can never go wrong. The movie lives up to expectations- high life, investments, stocks, money, and yes, girls and explicit scenes.But, there’s more to it than what meets the eye of viewers, spectators and gossip- mongers.

The movie can be applied to the world of business.

Here’s three business lessons from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”:

1. Leaders have a vision.

Businessmen especially startup founders have the vision of where the company is heading in the next five or 20 years. Ask yourself, what’s your vision for your company? Do you have the stamina to make it a reality? In the movie, Jordan Belfort started his own company from scratch, after his short stint in Wall Street. He had guts to start from the ground and up.

Armed with self- confidence and greedy ambitions, Jordan believed in himself and his company. He trusted his gut that he can pull his company up by being the best at what they do- getting people to buy stocks. Leaders also lead through example. Jordan Belfort was one of the best in his field- sales and stocks. He is passionate about his job and for his part, he inspires employees to sell and make money.

2. Develop the best out of your employees.

The founder of brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont Inc. did not make it “BIG” on his own resources. He started his company along with some of his friends. Mind you, his friends were not MBA or Harvard graduates; they were ordinary people from all walks of life. Yes, it is important to hire the best employees. But one of the most striking lessons in that movie is that you don’t need to have top college graduates; you need to develop your people by letting out their potentials and pushing them to be the best that they can be.

Give talks, training, seminars and generous rewards to employees; watch and hear how Leonardo DiCaprio motivates and pumps up the brokers to sell stocks and make money. His acting was epic! He even gave scripts for his brokers to familiarize and practice. That means, he does not hesitate to invest on his employees so that they can effectively perform at their jobs. As a result, the employees walk their talk and bring money to the table, and in business, that’s what really matters.

As seen in the movie, you need people to keep your business up and running. Work with people who can see your vision and are willing to work with you and deliver the kind of work that will get your business to the top.

3. Have the ambition to succeed.

True, starting a business has its risks. But when you have that dream to make it big, no risks are too high for you not to take. When you have the guts such as Jordan Belfort, you’ll have what it takes to be at the top of your game. Whether your dream is to have a mansion, a Ferrari, or a tropical vacation in the Carribean, keep working on your dreams to make it a reality.

Conquer your fears by enlarging your vision, build your team, and dream big!

That way, you might just be the next “Wolf” that every one is talking about.

FG Business Writer
Wordsmith, PR/Marketing writer for the print media, and later on, shifted to the online media. She writes about business, startups, and successful people.