Delighted to have another guest post by the multi-talented Jillian Godsil, journalist, broadcaster and former European Parliament candidate. She has gone viral several times. She has worked all over the world – UK, Australia, Singapore – and has written for business and technology publications globally. See more on her blog here. Jordan Belfort is the author of ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’ and all that that entailed, Jillian was able to listen to, and report back on how it was when he came to Dublin.

Jordan Belfort is shorter in real life than in his promotional photographs, or perhaps he is just shorter than Leonardo Di Caprio who played him in the thumping block buster film The Wolf of Wall Street. At his appearance in Dublin talking at the RDS last week he eschewed the Suited and Booted look for a more casual getup of jeans, trainers and a loose teeshirt. He has been working out recently and his neck has that thick look of a gym bunny who consistently skips the legs’ day. And his accent is forcibly dry and harsh.

Yet three hours later I am hanging on his every word, guttural or otherwise, and while I feel no urge to throw my knickers on stage, I would implicitly trust him to turn around my business. He is worth every cent of his €100,000 daily corporate fee. And I know I am not a duck, just an eagle whose wings have been clipped.

Motivational speaking is a funny thing while good motivational speakers are a rare breed. To motivate an audience takes energy, empathy and eloquence.  Belfort came on stage with a panther-like energy. He quickly got the audience on side by his honesty. He totally ‘fessed up to his criminal downfall, caused by his avoidance, indeed total absence, of ethics. He quickly spoke about his prison experiences, grounding his narrative. And then he pulled a few heart strings when he acknowledged the ‘why’ as crucial to everyone’s success. For him, it was the rehabilitation of his reputation with his young children.

Then he moved into his core message about why some people were ducks and some were eagles.  No one wants to be a duck, not even the ducks. Belfort told some funny stories about the duck mentality and in a move splendidly focused for the Irish audience, spoke movingly and compassionately about how a lot of the eagles in the audience had taken a beating in the recession. How we had been flattened and lacked certainty. How we had begun thinking like ducks but that was okay because it didn’t mean we were ducks. The very fact that we were here today meant we were so.not.ducks, oh no, but eagles about to get a new lease of life. And everyone clapped.

Belfort wasn’t the first speaker, he had a number of very fine fluffers on before him, warming the audience to an Irish-white heat, which is pretty low key compared to American audiences but still pretty participatory all the same. We had jumped up and down a bit, called out yeah a lot, raised our hands for more reasons than made sense and some had even parted with hard earned cash along the way.

The earlier speakers had two roles; the first to raise the temperature of the vast hall and the second to sell their product. They were at a distinct disadvantage to Belfort who could give without selling; he was the main course and didn’t need to ply his wares. JT Foxx, the number 1 wealth coach in the world, (yes, I didn’t know such a thing existed before I arrived) did an amazing high-energy show. He had rubbed shoulders with celebrities and stars, and had even paid good money to meet with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. In fact, he had paid $30,000 to meet the man but used that leverage to meet other high ranking CEOs. And guess what? Part of the number 1 wealth coach’s financial package was to meet with JT himself for a one-on-one. Learn from the experts, pay the fees and become wealthy too. There was no shortage of people rushing over to snap up his financial packages when his talk drew to a close.

It is easy to doubt but JT has an impressive hit rate. He also uses his students as testimonials. Watch this space as he converts his newest Irish students into wealthy men and women and then parades them on stage when he returns to Dublin. I did not buy a package but I did believe he could do it. I await his return with interest.

I sat next to a young man, a young boy of fourteen. His name was James he told me. He wanted to be rich like Jordan. I asked him, for I am a mother, if he thought wealth could be equated to happiness.  Yes he said. I tried briefly to tell him that I was bankrupt but I still was happy, that money and happiness were not necessarily entwined. He swatted away my bankruptcy with the same ease he might dismiss a fly. I liked James but I worried.

Then the man himself came on stage. Early on he said he wanted to teach us how to close deals. That was to be his gift to us. Belfort said he was amazing at making money and we were to follow him. He added however, more than once, that he was crap at happiness and relationships and we were not to follow any of his advice in these areas. I gave my young friend a significant look but he gamely ignored me. Irish Mammies are no comparison for Hollywood stars.

Belfort’s three hour theatre built up to his patented sales and closing technique. It boiled down to three simple things: To be sharp as a tack, enthusiastic as hell and an expert in your field.

He folded his talk shortly afterwards. His exit from the stage was hurried as if he feared multiple ladies’ knickers might be launched in his direction. My young friend hurried over to intercept him before he left but no selfies were taken in his haste to leave the room. James did not meet my eye afterwards and I hope he was not disappointed. On stage Belfort was everyone’s friend and dynamic powerhouse but off the dais he was small man with a muscled neck wearing casual clothes. A bit like the Wizard of Oz.

But then I’ve always though the wisdom of the Wizard of Oz is much underrated. Sharp as a tack, enthusiastic as hell and am expert in your field. Clipped eagle no longer, I look forward to soaring soon.

Jillian Godsil is a journalist, broadcaster and former European Parliament candidate. She has gone viral several times. After reading History and English in Trinity College she was hired by JP Morgan as a systems analyst. She has worked all over the world – UK, Australia, Singapore – and has written for business and technology publications globally. She blogs at www.JillianGodsil.com and can be found tweeting @JillianGodsil.


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