Book Review: The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort
A few years ago I bought this product from Frank Kern called “List Control.” One of the bonuses that came along with it was an hour and a half training video from Jordan Belfort (JB). As I watched JB sprinting across the stage, slamming markers on a whiteboard, and bellowing words out of his mouth at 90 MPH, I thought to myself, “I like this guy’s style”
Now I don’t personally know JB, or claim to know the whole story, but I think JB and Frank Kern had a phone room gig together. Frank generated leads, JB’s closers closed them. After I watched the training video from JB a few times, I bought his book “The Wolf of Wall Street” to read his story.
From page one, I thought “Holy shit! This is going to be a wild ride.” It was page after page of hookers, drugs, thievery, and shenanigans. In other words, it was fucking awesome! The stories this guy had were nothing short of amazing. Yet, at the same time, they were disturbing as well.
About 2 months after I read the book, I heard that Leonardo DiCaprio and Scorsese were making a movie about it. I got a little excited! Most of us have seen the movie Boiler Room. The character played by Ben Affleck in Boiler Room is Jordan Belfort. Matter of fact, in the Wolf of Wall St Jordan even gives his famous “money doesn’t buy you happiness? Look at the smile on my face.” speech. Boiler Room was based on JB, and as far as I can tell, written before his conviction. WoW is JB’s side of the story. And it’s even crazier!
Take it from a person who’s read the book and watched the movie.
First off, of course the book is better. Isn’t that always the case? Books are always better because the characters and scenes are how we imagine them, not Hollywood. That being said, the movie was a pretty good rendition of the book. I have to say it was very close. Marty nailed it.
Leo did a great job of playing JB too. What can you expect? Leo’s a fast talking, badass, Bostonian. They go hand in hand. Word is Leo followed JB around for a while to learn his mannerisms etc… That’s dedication to your craft. Take notes. It’s shit like that which keeps Leo winning all these fancy movie awards.
So which movie was better: Boiler Room or Wolf of Wall Street?
I know I’m probably gonna catch flack for this, but I’m gonna have to go with WoW. Although Boiler Room is a kick ass version of what went down, there’s no hookers, crashed yachts and making it rain on FBI agents in Boiler Room.
Last part: The Take Away
Look, we all want to be badass salesmen, with fast cars, and fine ass women (or whatever you’re into) We want to make HUGE commissions and prove our worth to the marketplace. It’s the natural draw for a salesman. Because of this, movies like WoW and the likes draw us to them. We’re not drawn to them due to the evil side of sales. We’re drawn because of the end result that salesman earned for himself.
Stolen or not, 100 million dollars is a lot of money. So we want to watch and learn how someone sold their way to that sized commissions. The WoW will show you how not to spend your money, how miserable being a drug addict is, and how fast a woman will leaver your ass. (I’ve learned all three the hard way too) It will also show you how to get on a microphone and motivate the shit out of a sales force. It will teach you how to build a friggin cult following from your employees. It will teach you to not cut corners. But you usually have to learn on your own.
Go see the movie. It’s three hours and totally entertaining the entire time.