My family just returned from a week of spring break where we spent three whimsical days submerged in Disney mania at every turn.
From the moment we were greeted and welcomed at the park entrance, to the high five good-byes with our attendant’s Mickey-gloved hand, the experience was nothing short of, well, “magical.”
We’ve been to Disney before, but, each time seems to be this new and surprising experience that gives me a deeper and greater appreciation for the small stuff. The intricate details on every sign, ride, or path to the never-ending green spaces of perfectly trimmed animated hedges that can be missed among the explosions of color, song, and dance.
Disney World must be doing something right if more than 17 million people visit their parks every year. In fact, they open their doors on average to 46,500 people every day with an estimated 2.2 billion dollars in profit each year. Don’t miss what I just said … That’s billion with a “B” and “profit” NOT revenue.
Wow! Nothing short of spectacular when you consider that just one man started this phenomenon.
As a serial entrepreneur, I was completely humbled by the magnitude of Walt Disney’s success, that I started to absorb and internalize his messages that decorate the pathways as you meander through the parks.
For example, on my way to the blood-tingling ride Dinosaur, I noticed an engraved placard perfectly placed at eye level for all to see. It read: “All of our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney.
Shortly after that, another sign: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”– Walt Disney.
And yet another: “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable” – Walt Disney.
And lastly: “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future” – Walt Disney
I believe Walt Disney's philosophies can teach entrepreneurs valuable business lessons.
Here are four business tips based on his views that you need to know!
1. Courage to Pursue
“All of our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” I love this quote because in it he is revealing two very important qualities of an entrepreneur.
a) Courage. This means you are willing to take risks and in order to take risks, you must push past your fear to get there.
b) Pursue. Pursing is not an act of trying or thinking about doing it. Pursing is a word that describes a relentless action. To pursue is an action in motion, not a thought in your head that can easily dissipate and disappear into a black abyss. Another famous quote for this idea is from Nike – “Just do it”!
2. We Need Others for Success
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” As entrepreneurs, we can be fiercely independent creatures and an inability to work with others can limit our potential for growth. It takes many minds with a single vision to bring about change and movement. Don’t be afraid to network, partner, and find synergistic relationships that will help move you forward with your vision.
3. Your Passion is Essential
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” This rings so true with me personally. I love being my own boss, but over the years I have dabbled in different things. Just the fact that my head could be easily swayed to the next big opportunity meant that I had not yet found my true passion or calling. If you don’t have 100% passion and belief in the business you are building; it will be practically impossible to sustain your commitment and joy throughout the toughest building years. It will take a tremendous investment of time, energy, money, and passion to get your business going.
Question: If you knew you needed to work harder than you have ever worked, and wouldn’t make any money in the first 2-4 years of your business, would your passion for what you are doing sustain you through this start-up time?
4. Be Open to Change
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” Wow. Yes. Right on. Is your business venture a timely idea that solves a unique problem? Is it a product or service that can adapt easily to coming change such as addressing the aging population, technology advancements, or health crisis issues? We can’t all predict the future, but we can immerse ourselves in today’s culture through social media to keep our fingers on the pulse of what people are saying, thinking, and wanting. A successful entrepreneur can make tweaks and changes steering their ship in the right direction, and stay on course with changing trends.
I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful, inspired and in amazing awe of Walt Disney who started it all. Even through adversity, he continued to pursue his dream. And with that thought, I will leave you with this one final quote of his: “All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me … You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney
Want more success and business tips? Check out Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service from the Disney Institute.
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Jan Pinnington is a Nutritional Consultant, wife, mother, and “consummate foodie.” She specializes in teaching nutrition and healthy recipe preparation to kids. In an effort to fight childhood obesity, Jan’s company, Healthy Hands Cooking, teaches other women across the U.S. to do the same. Her philosophy? Love what you do, do what you love, and share your experience with others.
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