Wall Street

Last week I posted a story that I get asked about pretty often. The story is about how I connected with, then became friends with Jordan Belfort, the infamous Wolf of Wall Street. In PART ONE of the post, I talked about the struggles and hopelessness that we feel when we’re ‘stuck’.

You know what I mean? I mean those moments in life where you feel like you’re totally asleep at the wheel, going through the motions and generally not living any kind of fulfilment or purpose.

It’s my personal story about struggle and meaning, but most importantly – how it turned around and became a life of abundance and gratitude. And it’s about what happens when we decide that there’s only one possible future – the one I choose. Read “PART ONE: How I closed The Wolf of Wall St” here

Here’s PART TWO: What if Jordan Belfort is your business coach?

So where were we? Oh yeah – we were talking about how I closed this guy:

DC & JB at Straight Line Training

David Cervelli with Jordan Belfort at a sales training facilitation.

My unlikely hero – Jordan Belfort – The Wolf of Wall Street. The guy who artificially inflated stock prices to the tune of 200 million while taking enough drugs to kill a small nation, went to jail, got clean, wrote a book, got out of jail -saved my life- built a speaking career, had a movie made about him with Leo DiCaprio playing him, and has inspired millions with the message that, “no matter how bleak your past, there’s always time for redemption and to make a positive impact on the lives you touch”.

As I said in Part One of this post, I have no interest in defending my opinion of this guy. Do your own research, have your own opinion – please do not debate it with me – your opinion is none of my business. What I can tell you is that Jordan, at least for me, has been a world-class business strategist, advisor, coach and friend.

But how did that happen? So…

There I was, a room full of successful executives, most of which wearing suits that cost a month of my salary. It was one of JB’s early sales trainings in Australia. There were CEOs, business owners, investors, shakers and movers – and me. I’d just cold-called four family members from my address book to scrape together the $3500 (promising a return of 20% in a month – I later found out that that was an interest rate of 240% per annum) to attend this event and I was feeling determined.

Have you ever had the sense that you are exactly where and when you’re supposed to be? I’ve learned that this ‘knowing’ comes when you follow your intuition when it’s talking, despite the logical or emotional risk in front of you. For me, it was that I’d stop noticing the other people sitting next to me in the training room. In fact, I forgot that any of these suits were in the room at all. Because Jordan’s training over those three days resonated so much for me and where I was at – needing to step up, needing to take action, needing to learn from the people who’ve actually done it – as far as I was concerned, he was speaking directly to me.

But I knew the end was coming. In a day or so, I’d take this new knowledge back to my shitty job and use it to improve a company I had no connection with. I’d be back to being an unhappy nobody, meanwhile, these suits with all their resources and reach would use this gold to change the world. No f’n way.

Distinction one: First you need to capture attention, and that means doing things differently.

So now it’s day three – the last day of the training. For three days I’m watching suit after suit go to Jordan during the breaks, shake his hand and tell him what they did for their $700k, and what great content he had (as if he didn’t already know). And for three days I watched Jordan fein interest, shake their hand back with a, “that’s great, mate,” before dismissing them from his thoughts as quickly as they’d come in.

Watching this process, I worked out where the the suits were all falling short: they didn’t actually have anything interesting to say. Not that they weren’t interesting to anyone, it’s just that they weren’t interesting to Jordan. So I committed to not shaking JB’s hand until I had something really interesting to say. The problem was, the training was going to be over in two hours and time was running out.

Then an opportunity presented itself. As a last minute value add, the audience was offered an email address that we could contact JBs team with and ask any question so as to support us in our adoption of the training. It was also all I needed. What I knew so far:

1. Jordan had been ‘around the block’ a few times, and he knew that most people don’t TAKE ACTION, even when a golden opportunity presents itself, and he knew to take notice of the people that do take action;

2. He’s just spent months preparing this training and it’s success was dependent on the success of the attendees, so he wanted to see them using it, and;

3. Training sales was something he was good at, but investments was where he was going to rebuild his empire.

So after the three long days of training, I went home and crafted the perfect letter and sent it to his team.

Distinction two: Know what curiosity and value means for your target, not for yourself.

Now it’s Thursday after the training, and life-as-normal had kicked back in. But not really. See, now that I had my strategy for communicating and creating the business that I wanted, all I had to do was master the steps. I started running mini sales workshops for anyone in my company who wanted to attend. It was free to attend and I would be running a 2 hour session each day, once before work and once after. We had a full class every session.

But on this Thursday session – mid flight – I get a call from an American number. Naturally, I’m anticipating the call from the JB team – I was confident that I’d nailed the email and it had done its job.

I pick up, “hello, David Cervelli speaking…”

“Hey David, Jordan Belfort here – how’s it going mate?” (the über Aussie phrase clashing hard with the Long Island accent)

Distinction three: Persuasion is 428,967 times easier when you create enough intrigue that your target chases you.

I excuse myself from the training, and go into a private meeting room.

“Hey mate, I got your email – so tell me more about yourself…”

At this point in the narrative, you might be wondering, “well, what did you say to make him give you his $25k course” but I want to make a very clear – it wasn’t what I said next that did it. If anything, the progression of how we even got to this point was more than enough, I just had to hold my intention clearly now.

After ten mins of chit-chat and work experience: “look Jordan, I appreciate your call, but the reality is I’m doing everything I can to pay back what I borrowed to do the course last week, and I don’t have access to the kind of cash that would put me in your $25k program for months.”

Jordan: “How long do you realistically think it will take you?”

Me: “This week I booked out my first full training, if I do one a week every week – by December at the latest.”

Jordan: “Ok, I can tell from your energy that you mean it, so I’m going to give you a loan to do my full program and I’ll give you until Feb to get it back to me – do you think you can do that?”

Me: “Nothing in the world will stop me.”

By November that year (6 weeks later) I offered the money back to Jordan. A month later I’d made $50k back just by using the engagement techniques I was developing. After 6 months I’d sold around $500k in personal sales and had brought a potential BILLION dollar investment to the table for JB. He was now my coach and we were looking at businesses together. What a difference just a couple of months can make with the right education.

Distinction four: The difference between ‘impossible’ and ‘guaranteed success’ is your level of certainty and focus.

Since meeting JB I’ve pursued a lot more study. In building 3 international education training and delivery companies, I’ve worked with the world’s leaders in every behavioural science I could find. We work with the latest sales, leadership, quantum linguistics, social dynamics, multiple brain integration and other neuro-programming strategies to help people master their communication. Our programs have come a long way since its origins, but the most valuable insight I ever learned still comes from JB himself. He said:

Dave, there are 3 things that all successful people do:

They recognise a unique opportunity standing out from the noise
They back themselves to reach out and grab hold of it before the window closes
They work their asses off in the short term to make sure they get the full value before it’s gone.

I hope this advice serves you as it’s served my team and me, to build our empire around the globe.

To Your Success,


(NOTE: Want to become a master at handling buyer resistance? Download our Ultimate Guide to Handling Objections and learn how to uncover the real reason they’re resisting so you can design your conversation to speak to their fears, desires and reasons to buy now. Download it here.)

Learn how to handle customer objections elegantly and with integrity

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To your success!

Discover Coaching Coaching Programs are tailored to each individual and align tactical, strategic and visionary leadership styles to reach both Professional and Personal milestones. DC is fully certified for the use of both proprietary (Neuro Linguistic Programming, TimeLine Therapy ®, Straight Line System) and authored custom programs (How to Boil an Egg, Million Dollar Sales Pitch, Mass Persuasion – Complete Sales Mastery, Coaches Collection).

David Cervelli is a certified NLP Master Practitioner, Coach and Hypnotherapist with the ABNLP and ABH.

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