Though his lavish Wall Street lifestyle got out of control and he made bad decisions, Jordan Belfort mended his ways, changed his career path, and is now a popular public speaker who devotes his time to helping people succeed the RIGHT way…
Check out this week’s blog post and read the full story..
Jordan Belfort, of the famed Wolf of Wall Street memoirs and movie, is a former stockbroker turned author and motivational speaker. His business endeavours began during college, when he and a childhood friend set up a business selling ice cream at a local beach one summer. This took off for them, and the business made $20,000! Belfort decided to spend his earnings enrolling in dentistry school.
He left after his first day, however, as the school’s dean said to him ‘the golden age of dentistry is over. If you’re looking to make a lot of money, you’re in the wrong place’. Belfort knew exactly what he wanted, and he wasted no time going after that!
After this, he began working as a door to door salesman selling meat and seafood around New York. This went well for a while, but after a major downturn in profits, he became bankrupt at the age of 25. Later, things were looking up for Belfort when a long standing friend secured him the opportunity to become a trainee stockbroker in the highly successful Rothschild firm, but unfortunately faced another setback following a stock market crash in 1987.
When things picked up, Belfort became very successful, and it was not long before his lavish lifestyle started to revolve around partying and drug use, which spiralled into an addiction.
In 1999, he was convicted of fraud and money laundering, after his greed got out of control and he became engaged in scamming stock buyers out of large amounts of money. This resulted in a stint of nearly 2 years in jail, followed by being forced to pay back millions of dollars to those he had cheated. In jail, he made friends with a man called Tommy Chong, who told him he should write down his experiences as a stockbroker. This idea impacted him greatly, and stuck with him. He attributes his change of career direction to Chong. Following his release, he wrote The Wolf of Wall Street and its sequel, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. In 2013, a film based on the books was released, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort himself.
On reflection about his past, Belfort stated once during a speech, “I got greedy...greed is not good. Ambition is good. Passion is good. Passion prospers. My goal is to give more than I get. That’s a sustainable form of success.
Since his release, Belfort has continued to pay restitution. He is now a prominent and prolific motivational speaker. He has run live speaking tours as far away as Australia, and also runs seminars on sales, as well as ethics, motivation and general business and entrepreneurship skills.