There has been so much attention on the banking industry in the last few weeks that MenStylePower just couldn’t ignore the message. Finally, we are seeing the crooks in the investment banking and retail banking institutes pay for their misguiding and abusive ways that tear hard earned money from the hands of everyday people. Let’s hope that the examples that are being set in the UK as well as the USA, will be warning signs to any other country who are duplicating these hideous acts.
But…we are still not in the clear. Top bank chief executives are lobbying politicians and officials to water down or quash a European Parliament initiative to set a maximum ratio of salary to bonus, inserted into a draft law on capital rules for financial institutions. They argue that the proposed restrictions would drive up base salaries, increasing fixed costs in cyclical businesses.
It is certainly a tough situation, where in a world where money talks, that many men feel the pressure to impress their mates, colleagues, bosses, clients, etc with their wads of $$, or perhaps, in the case of some misguided belief system, to attract the opposite sex (WARNING: gold diggers on approach).
Despite our featuring of designer labels and menswear, MenStylePower is committed to reminding our readers that what constitutes being a great guy and living a successful life means always being humble about it.
Material stuff – iPhones, cars and toys come … and then they can go, sometimes disappearing faster then they did coming your way.
The main reason we can’t seem to get a hold on the real value of material things is usually because our inner man character has NOT been tried and tested. We’re so hungry for success, we look down on qualities such as humility, integrity and modesty on our fight to the top. I’ve done it. I’ve watched many of my friends do it. Even Jordan Belfort’s done it.
“I was a capital criminal, probably an arch criminal. I played the game, I covered my tracks with zest and zeal.”
Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street and the Pin-Up Boy for ‘Turning Greed Around’
Jordan Belfort made a couple of a million dollars in bull market of the 90s, and lived the ultimate flash and cashed up lifestyle: girls, uber luxury homes, yachts.
How? In the 90s he built Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage firm that employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and raised over $1.5 billion by ripping millions of people of their well earned cash; becoming the source material for the pump and dump movie ‘Boiler Room’ starring Vin Diesel.
Popularly known as the Wolf of Wall Street, Belfort, and his pack of rogue traders were the ultimate white-collar felons, caught up in a tangled web of conspiracy and fraud. The rush of pushing stocks at high volume to gullible victims, while making huge profits was a heady mix, and Belfort described his life then as ‘complete insanity … fuelled by drugs and greed” as he ripped off people with ‘”zest and zeal”*.
Belfort’s tale is a modern cautionary fable that typifies how one can take small, imperceptible steps in the pursuit of wealth and notoriety, towards crossing the line between what’s right and wrong.
“One day you turn around and you’re so over the line, everything seems normal.”
A few years later Belfort’s tango with crime was over. His self-made world crashed down around him, as he was incarcerated for securities fraud, found guilty of his misconduct and sentenced to a 22-month stint in a federal jailhouse. The good times were over.
Today the reformed Belfort, humbled by the lessons learnt from the mistakes he made, has re-emerged as a globally recognized business trainer who empowers entrepreneurs and individuals on how to create success, without sacrificing integrity or ethics.
I’ve been watching a TV interview Belfort gave recently in Sydney, Australia and it’s clear the man is keen to communicate how much he’s changed, for the better; a little wiser and a lot more cautious after his spell with hardcore greed.
Belfort hands out advice to Australia’s Melbourne Storm Rugby League Team
His story is yet another example that proves chasing after money, for its own sake, always leads to a dark and often disastrous road.
And while most of us may never resort to crime to make big bucks, there’s growing evidence that lots of people are chasing wealth for wealth’s sake.
What it leads to, (as Bernie Madoff’s victims as well as all the countless families over the years who’ve suffered for wealth’s sake) would testify to is untold misery, embarrassment and deep shame, for both the perpetrator and the people s/he climbs over on their way to the top.
Renowned English author and poet Samuel Johnson said this very wisely – “When … the desire of wealth is taking hold of the heart, let us look round and see how it operates upon those whose industry or fortune has obtained it. When we find them oppressed with their own abundance, luxurious without pleasure, idle without ease, impatient and querulous in themselves, and despised or hated by the rest of mankind, we shall soon be convinced, that if the real wants of our condition are satisfied, there remains little to be sought with solicitude, or desired with eagerness.”
Money is more than paper and coins, it’s energy. It’s a concept. So many of us are running around chasing money and looking for the easiest and fastest way to make a buck. Go to Google and search “making money” – and there’s over 3 million results/per month globally. Don’t get me wrong, we all need money. We all need to make a living.
However, the more you chase money, the faster it runs or flies from you. You may be able to catch it now and then, but it can be very slippery. You can only hold on for a very short time unless you have a mindset that’s more purposeful and when what you do to make money is what you love.
Cash, Crash, Burn … OR Love what you do?
Ask yourself this: Do you enjoy what you do to make a living or do you absolutely hate going to work everyday?
More and more people I talk to today absolutely hate their job, or at least find it boring or un-stimulating. Too many people are stuck in jobs they hate in order to make a living.
It’s time to stop chasing money and start doing something you love in order to create your dream life. When you do something you love, and when you do it in service to others, chances are you will be successful and you lose yourself in the work. Your work will become more like play, whether you’re working for someone, or for yourself in your own business.
Start by exploring your talents:
Find out what you’re good at – that’s the first step in making a great living. Then think about what you would do with your talents if money was not the reason for working. Everyone has things they enjoy doing and would love to be able to achieve success and pay the bills doing it.
Identify what is important to you in order to live your dream life that serves a purpose bigger than yourself:
Family, friends, community, sports, travel, a beautiful home, etc. Then match those dreams to your talent – how can the two meet? How can you best use your talent to serve the greater good?
Remember, service is the rent you pay for living:
If there is one thing that will guarantee you success and happiness, it is the power of giving back. Giving back sets into motion the power of the principle that states that what you give out will come back to you tenfold. In essence, the more that you give, the more that is going to come back to you. Renowned author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar sums it up well: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Make a plan for the path you need to follow to accomplish your dream life:
Identify and write down a critical path that is defined with key accomplishments along the way. Stephen Covey said, “All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation of all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. Begin with the end in mind.”
Stick to the plan and review your overall progress regularly:
Make sure you are making progress. If you’re not making progress, hire a coach, tap into the support of loved ones, analyze why the goal is not being met. Don’t allow your dream life just fade away. Figure out what you need to do to accomplish it.
These steps may seem simple, but they are amongst the most powerful you will ever find for achieving your dream life, one that keeps the KEY things in life (family, friends, community, a stronger society) at the heart of your pursuit in life. You just need to do it.
Best wishes and good luck.
NOTE TO SCOTT DISICK: Love your threads and wardrobe man. Here’s hoping that as you move forward you continue to be a great dad to your son, by teaching him one of the greatest lessons on earth: How not to compare but to become content, no matter the season, no matter the reason.
FYI: Jordan Belfort’s extraordinary life story is currently being turned into a major motion picture, with Leonardo DiCaprio to star and Martin Scorsese set to direct. No surprise there; Self-indulgence doesn’t pay but it certainly will get the attention of LaLa Land – one of the most self-indulgent postcode on the planet … Woohoo …
*CNBC Original – The Wolf of Wall Street, CNBC TV on Youtube.
Jordan Belfort Corporate Training – www.jordanbelfortglobal.com
The Financial Times Limited 2012