Image: Wolf of Wall Street Facebook page. That's right, nothing happens until someone sells something.
The Wolf of Wall Street is one life changing movie, depending on the way you perceive the situation. Having seen this film at the cinemas (as a gift) when it first came out; I'm kicking myself for not upgrading from V-Max (the lowest movie class I'll sit down and watch a movie in - business class version) to Gold Class (first class version, the ultimate in movie luxury). Then again, if I did watch this movie in Gold Class, I might have fallen asleep and not taken any of these insights in. A blessing in disguise.
Proud to say, Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street was not a movie I walked out of early in the cinemas for a change. It was also fun to re-watch it on DVD plonked on the sofa at home.
In order to achieve at least one breakthrough in your life, you'd easily get this from a personal development movie like The Secret or similar. Who would have thought that a normal box office hit would be a small, affordable personal development seminar in itself. Apart from Chocolat helping one get outside of her comfort zone, as well as Eat Pray Love in helping me find that inner self at the time; the key business and life lessons that people (including yours truly) have received from watching The Wolf of Wall Street now follows.
1. You are responsible for your own results
Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) achieved results, only to fall from grace due to many unethical business practices. He made his 1,000 stockbrokers under his employ accountable for their commissions on penny stocks and similar.
2. Nothing happens until someone...
Starts (and sells) something. A new business, a new project - anything. Jordan did not feel sorry for himself when he lost his fine position at Rothschild due to the 1987 stock market crash. He went out and kept his stockbroking work alive, to then establish and grow his own stock brokerage.
Business owners and sales people - you must pick up the phone and make some cold calls in order to get ahead financially and in your business. I know, the phone is scary. If you prefer to be unemployed and in bed all day than being a telemarketer, I do feel for you. Picking up the phone and making some cold calls is scary at first, but remember with rejection the prospect is not rejecting you - they are simply not in the market for your product and/or service right now.
As in the movie: "these phones do not dial themselves."
Getting on the phone and making some cold calls, and/or selling full stop solves many people's problems. Entrepreneurs solve their own (and other people's) problems by fulfilling a need, and in return they are awarded with time (and ultimately) financial freedom for doing this. I make it a priority to get on the phone (despite how busy I am) and make a few cold calls a week at least in my own business, and the magic trickles through.
Many business owners (including yours truly) have increased sales conversions by 50% from seeing this movie, and by applying and re-applying (as a timely reminder) such principles learnt.
In the movie:
"Are you behind on your credit card payments? Good, get on the phone."
"Is your partner about to leave you? Good, get on the phone."
Relevant to a leisure and lifestyle freelance writer:
"Do you want to stay in a top five star hotel for free? Good, get on the phone."
The latter is exactly what I did in the past, and quite recently my busyness did take me away from the few cold calls that are still essential to make in business. I did this about two years ago when I was invited to write hotel reviews in the freelance writing side of my business. One cold call set up a breakfast meeting with free food, and another visit with free coffee ultimately leading to financial awards from writing the reviews; together with another free nights stay in a posh serviced apartment.
Furthermore, another cold call allowed me to fly down to Melbourne on the house for a breakfast meeting with someone high up in another hotel group, and from that I enjoyed three nights free accommodation at three different five-star properties on the house with food included. This particular Melbourne trip also gave me extra work, which in turn I also made extra dollars on. To this day I am still earning CPM on these articles when they receive readers.
3. Take action
Although not always the right actions were taken such as money laundering in Switzerland and taking drugs, yet Jordan Belfort and his team of staff were strong action takers. This is why he was in business for as long as we was, before he had to co-operate with the FBI. His brokers were always on the phone, and he always showed up to work.
Taking action does not always mean getting on the phone and making cold calls. It is about doing other important tasks that help you get ahead in business and in life that you've been putting off.
In the business consulting part of my business, recently there were a couple of salespeople for an investment property firm client who kept making excuses as to why sales targets were lagging a bit. One of them said to me "the phones aren't ringing." Sure, this is true, yet I replied saying:
"Yes, however people still need to get their taxes done."
"Look at how many people you can call and help. Just get on the phone and make it happen. How can you bring more sales in, so that you receive your bonus at the end of the month?"
Then she blushed a bit, and got straight back on the phone and started talking to people again.
I said something along those lines, and also suggested that she can call previous (happy) clients and milk referrals out of them. That is one option out of many to get more sales in the door, even if the phones are quiet in terms of inbound activity.
In this world there are action takers, and on the flip side there are people who make excuses for not taking action. Be on the cause side of the equation, and not on the effect side. A cause causes a certain effect. Which leads to...
4. Learning from others mistakes
This movie is a timely reminder to not do the following:
Be unfaithful to your loved one
Drink to excess
Be full of ego
Do not be unethical and greedy in business
Sell, yet high pressure sales tactics is not cool.
5. Negative publicity...
Can be a good thing. Even if you receive two out of five stars for your service yet you're booked out, who cares! The attention you get will be incredible, and because of the law of attraction, people will flock to you!
There will be days when you're on the phone selling and making some cold calls that the sales will come through thick and fast. There are other days where I've made over 300 calls and no leads/appointments/sales. Persistence is everything.
Even though I was good at sales and marketing (sales experience, three years in my current business and a marketing undergrad degree under my belt) prior to seeing this movie; yet I knew that I could not sell Jordan a pen. After seeing this film, I can now sell Jordan a pen. After all, he needs to write things down, doesn't he?
What I really learned from your article was the importance of proactivity. You cannot definitely just wait and let things passively occur. You need to (ethically) be an instigator. As yet, I am one of those people who feel shy and idiotic on the phone, but yet, I am finding more is happening for me when I take action through writing. Thank you for your article.