Arvid Ali, former Jordan Belfort company president, meets with MU FMA

Retired businessman Arvid Ali joined MU FMA for their Feb. 25 meeting to impart the most valuable lessons he’s taken from his career.

MU’s Financial Management Association welcomed non-profit founder and businessman Arvid Ali to a special Zoom event on Feb. 25.

Ali was the former president of the “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort’s corporations throughout 2020. Last year, he retired at 26 years old. He was introduced to business by philanthropist Tony Robbins, through whom he met Olympic snowboarder Shaun White. Ali later acted as the managing director of Shaun White Inc. from 2019-2020.

Sebastian Carpenter, FMA’s vice president of external relations, organized the event after he discovered Ali through his YouTube channel “Arvid the Insider.”

“I was hoping to learn more about how he was able to find so much success at such a young age,” Carpenter said. “More specifically, what steps he took in order to reach success and how others could replicate it.”

Ali’s business philosophy follows “5 Untold Truths” which he shares in an attachment on his website, arvidali.com.

According to “5 Untold Truths,” “Any millionaire or billionaire is still just one human-being with 24 hours in a day… What they have that most people don’t is clarity around how to best spend their time and resources.”

He preached this idea to the FMA through the importance of business relationships.

MU senior and FMA president Grant Robinson said he admired Ali’s ability to “leave [his] ego behind” when working.

Ali emphasizes the more value a business provides to clients unconditionally, the more it stands to personally benefit. To succeed, one must become “obsessed” with the notion and practice of adding value to their customers’ lives.

“He stressed the importance of waiting as long as possible to take money from someone if you’re helping them,” Robinson said.

One example of this principle would be providing a free trial. This allows customers to see if a product or service meets their expectations before committing their money.

“If you try to do it the other way around, you’re going to have to heavily rely on convincing someone for a long period of time, and that position just doesn’t allow for a good long-term relationship,” Ali said.

FMA members also took interest in principles Ali learned from his time working with Belfort.

“Another point [Ali] made is that most successful people find success by being able to go into a field and simplify [its content] for themselves as well as others,” Carpenter said. “One way Jordan Belfort was so successful was that he was able to turn people with no high school diploma or any sort of higher education into great salesmen and women.”

Robinson said he found Ali’s investment in developing relationships memorable — a trait Ali attributed to Belfort.

“Across the board with Jordan … he really cared about making someone feel like they got the bargain of a lifetime by the fact that he largely outdid himself in terms of expectations,” Ali said. “Over-delivering is one of the key things that I … have been able to learn quite well.”

Ali emphasizes the importance of forming reliable partnerships with clients who feel prioritized.

“Business is far less about wanting to do something crazy with the money,” he said. “In my case, I came from a very poor background, so I think I have more of an emotional element to wanting to give everybody the answers I found out early on.”

To see “5 Untold Truths,” visit: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5faa446f539a36489f3ff9dc/t/5fac745d24c06f537358d7c1/1605137512980/5+Untold+Truths+-+How+I+Retired+at+26.pdf

Edited by Sophie Chappell | schappell@themaneater.com

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