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How 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Helped Me Increase My Sales by 50 Percent The movie seems like an odd place for business inspiration, but there's one important takeaway in it.

By Stephen Key

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I never watch movies expecting to be inspired professionally, but one scene in The Wolf of Wall Street struck me like a lightning bolt. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I couldn't wait to implement what I had been reminded of: The dire importance of selling. And, I'm proud to say that just weeks after watching The Wolf of Wall Street, I increased my sales by 50 percent.

In the one scene, the lead character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is on the phone selling penny stocks. I'm not going to debate the merit of selling penny stocks, but the way he worked the phones was a sight to behold. He was amazingly dedicated. He spent a ton of time making sure he made the sale. Later in the movie, he lectures his employees about the importance of getting on the phone. If you're not on the phone, you're not making sales, he explains. And if you're not making any sales, you're not making money. That's it. It's that simple!

Related: Monster or Mastermind? 3 Business Takeaways from Wall Street's 'Wolf'

I know this to be true. But over time, I had made getting on the phone and making sales less and less of a priority for myself and my staff. Each day, I think about what my objectives are. That's a good practice. But I had started to think too small -- only in terms of what I should get done for the day, instead of how to move my business forward and create opportunities for sales. It's so easy to get caught up in the little things -- but more often than not, the little things don't add up to much at the end of the day.

So I made some changes. First, I reassessed my long-term and short-term goals. You can never check in with yourself about your goals often enough. I began to review how I was spending my time. How much time was I spending on different tasks? I evaluated how each of these tasks contributed to my bottom line. Were the things I was doing each day actually helping me to achieve my vision? No, not all of them were, I discovered. Was I spending too much time on a task that wasn't doing much for me? Yes.

Related: What Not To Do: Lessons From 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Hopefully, doing this kind of critical analysis will help you eliminate activities that don't move your business forward. My staff and I shifted some of our tasks around and eliminated others completely.

I quickly realized I wasn't leaving myself enough time to make sales calls. You must carve out space each and every day to make sales. Truly -- put it on your schedule! Don't let it be a vague objective.

So I made it my priority to spend more time making sales calls. And lo and behold, our sales skyrocketed! I had forgotten that selling isn't passive -- it's very much an active, driven activity.

If you make sales and getting on the phone a priority, you will see results.

Related: The Anti-Capitalist Bigotry of 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Stephen Key

Co-Founder of inventRight; Author of One Simple Idea Series

Stephen Key is an inventor, IP strategist, author, speaker and co-founder of inventRight, LLC, a Glenbrook, Nevada-based company that helps inventors design, patent and license their ideas for new products.

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