a Rags-to-Riches story for Entrepreneurs to inspire them to have a success in their Startups
Topics: Passion, Inspiration, Confidence, Sell yourself, tolerate Risk, Tech, Failure attitude, Leadership, Disneyland, Expanding Empire, Persistence.
Humble Beginnings. Our childhood would have been dreary without the genius of this man. Walt Disney started our drawing pictures for his neighbors for money. He used to be the Cartoonist for his High School newspaper, Disney went through the jobless phase where no one hired him, then he went from rags to riches by starting out doing advertisements, then going on to animating his own cartoons to become a success.
Now. The Walt Disney Company is a multi-national Mass Media corporation valued at $45 Billion. It is the 2nd largest Broadcasting & Cable company in the world and it has shaped the childhoods & pop culture of billions of people around the world. Quite simply it is the most well known company in the history of the world. Few people have changed this world to the magnitude that Walt Disney has. Here are a few of the Lessons that Walt practiced to have a huge success:
1. Pursue your Passion – the early yrs The first thing that we can learn from Disney (as an entrepreneur) is his love for communicating emotion thru his drawings. He devoted most of his life to his art and he was even willing to work other jobs just to fund his passion. Disney went through a series of odd jobs and even became an Ambulance Driver in during World War I along with his friend Ray Kroc (the man who made McDonalds what it is today); and throughout this journey, Disney found his irresistible love for drawing – that lead to his success.
2. Look for Inspiration in “unexpected” places. When Disney was penniless & living out of his office in Kansas City (while working for an animated advertising company), he encountered a lot of mice. He got the idea for Steamboat Willie from the mice that used to gather in his trash can. One of them was his “particular friend.” He named him Mickey. That was his door to success.
3. Confidence – Believe in Yourself. Walt Disney had a unique relationship with his brother, Roy. Walt would pitch an idea to him and Roy would say No & try to talk him out of it. Walt would continue anyway. When Roy would eventually give in, Walt got the project approved. Throughout his entire career Walt was told what couldn’t be done. He was told no one would sit through a full-length animated feature film (90minutes). He was told you couldn’t mix animation with real life actors. He was told his idea for Disneyland theme park would fail miserably. Someone even told him that Mickey Mouse was a bad idea because a mouse would frighten women. He proved that just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t make it impossible. Impossible is a word of a small minded person and Walt Disney dreamed big. He had an un-shakable belief in himself & what he was doing. That was all that mattered to make him a success.
4. You must Sell yourself & your Product. Sales gets a bad reputation (but make no mistake), selling is the most important skill you can master. And as Walt said, “Dreams can take money and money comes from selling. Walt believed in himself and his dreams and could convince others to believe in him also. Halfway through making Snow White, Disney ran out of money to finish the film that was termed “Disney’s Folly.” Even his own family begged him to give it up, but Disney was un-deterred. He personally traveled to different producers and showed them the raw footage and convinced them to finish financing the film. Snow White became an instant success as the first full-length Animation and initiated the Age of Animation.
5. Develop a high tolerance for Risk. Walt took a lot of risks in his career. Several times the future of the entire Disney Company hung on whether a film was a success or failure. A few times Walt even had to mortgage or sell his personal possessions. He never did this lightly. He would carefully weigh out both sides and make a decision for bold action and – once decided – never wavered.
6. Embrace new Technology. The 1920s & ’30s were a much more low-tech age, but they were also a time of innovations: New inventions like Movies with sound & color were seen as daring risks for filmmakers at the time. At first, actors, directors & even some audiences vehemently disliked “talking” pictures. People eventually adapted their ears — & their eyes — and Disney cashed in.
7. Change your “attitude” towards failure. Walt Disney failed, a lot. His first studio, never made a profit. But the most notable is the fiasco of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. He lost everything, his studio, equipment, animators & creations. But from the ashes of that immense failure rose one of the most beloved characters ever created. On the train home from learning he had lost Oswald, Walt created Mickey Mouse.
8. Leadership is Inspiration, Innovation & Focus. The key to Walt Disney’s leadership is that he was an incredible storyteller. It’s one thing to tell your employees to do something; it’s another to inspire them to action. Walt would tell them a story. He would go into extreme detail and make it come alive for them. He would inspire his workers and make them a part of that story and as a result he would get more creativity from them. Walt had a unique ability to hire people more talented than he was and to focus + coordinate their attention towards a common goal.
9. Disneyland – which begun his Empire (in 1955) was the biggest gamble in the history of American business. Walt struggled to find financing. His own family, including business partner, brother Roy, begged him to give it up. If Disneyland had failed, it would have bankrupted the company. Today, the Disney theme parks are 9 of the top 10 and bring in > $2B of revenue from >150 million of visitors each year.
10. Expanding his Empire, with Theme Parks, TV & Traveling Shows. After Disneyland came Disney World, and with those ventures came several Disney-centric TV shows used to promote the theme parks. Shows like “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” made kids fall in love with the Disney brand and demand trips to Disneyland. The only reason they were put on the air was, because Disney had made a deal with TV studios in which they financed Disneyland in exchange for original Disney programming. One thing built upon another, and the Disney Empire began to expand – more & more.
11. Persistence is on of the strongest traits of a successful Entrepreneur. It took Walt 16 years to get the rights to make Mary Poppins. In another example, Walt was turned down 302 times when trying to find financing for Disneyland, before striking a deal with the TV Studios.
Conclusion. Disney used a seemingly hopeless time in his life for inspiration and went on to wild success with Animation, Theme Parks, TV & Traveling shows.
from Get to Know Startup.com 01 Oct 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
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