Jordan Belfort: Character Analysis

The great French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying, “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts” (“Ambition Quotes”). Ambition can be seen as both good and bad motivation through the way ambitious people treat others in acquiring their success. People such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet acquired there wealth by working their way up the financial ladder to become the richest men in America. On the other side, men such as Jordan Belfort who cheat the process and look for shortcuts to get to the top, end up falling to the bottom because they did not follow the proper ethics and looked to swindle the system.
First off, Bill Gates shows positive ambition
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To start off, Jordan Belfort was like a lot of ambitious people. He wanted to make money, and make it fast. Before Belfort’s fame and fortune however, he suffered from a string of bad luck due to the failure of his meat business and the Black Monday of 1987 ("Jordan Belfort"). Belfort then began working the penny stocks and started a business called Stratton Oakmont. Belfort had a hunger to be rich, and to do this he began selling fraud penny stocks by smooth-talking people who did not know any better. Belfort then grew his company into a brokerage giant. Due to Belfort’s hard work and dedication to business he grew Stratton from a 6 person business into employing more than 1,000 brokers in Long Island, New York ("Jordan Belfort"). Belfort shows us his strong ambition by saying, “The year I turned 26 I made 49 million dollars, which really pissed me off because it was 3 shy of a million a week” ("Jordan Belfort Quotes & Sayings"). This shows how Belfort was never satisfied with his work and always wanted more money. Belfort also can be seen as having negative ambition through his cheating of the system, and the ‘Pump and Dump’ scandal of Steve Madden Ltd. In this case, Belfort sold all his shares of Steve Madden brand at a premium just before the Steve Madden stocks plummeted leaving him with 23 million dollars and his buyers with nothing (“Jordan Belfort”). Belfort’s ambition got a hold of him, and he became addicted to money, drugs, and sex. Because of Belfort’s fraud he was forced to spend 2 years in prison. One can see how Jordan Belfort’s ambition got the best of him, and though motivated, he ended up unhappy and in

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