“All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
I was fortunate to spend a week at Walt Disney World – Orlando, Florida last month. I made the best of my vacation days and visited every theme park at Disney. It’s hard not to be struck by the vision and innovation of the parks founder – Walt Disney.
Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was a film producer, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, international icon, and philanthropist. Walt Disney was more than that, he was a visionary, a dreamer and one of the world greatest creators – the creator of the largest theme park – Disney World.
Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America; with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. – Walt Disney
There is a lot to learn from Walt Disney and below are 7 life changing business lessons I picked up during my visit to Disney World.
Lesson 1: Anything is possible:
– Walt Disney and Disney World prove it that you can start with nothing, absolutely nothing and build it to your imagination. Walt Disney’s ingredient to success was to have passion and love for what you are doing and anything is possible.
Lesson 2: Adversity always gets the best out of you
– Walt Disney’s greatest ideas were inspired out of his struggles. Walt once said, “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.”
On a train ride from New York to California, Walt faced an uncertain future. He had lost nearly everything in his previous animation venture and was starting all over again. During the train ride, Micky Mouse popped out of his mind onto a drawing pad. Born of necessity, the little fellow literally freed him of immediate worry. The rest is history.
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all, started by a mouse – Walt Disney
For Walt Disney his greatest adversity bought about his greatest ideas
Lesson 3: Unleash your imagination
– Walt was the greatest dreamer ever. Disney World is an imagination turned reality. A place where dreams are made of, a place where cartoon characters are given personality. A larger than life experience.
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
Anyone can imagine a talking mouse or a castle in a park, but it takes hard work to make the dream a reality. He was never satisfied until they were built the right way, exactly as he envisioned.
Lesson 4: Be a magnetic personality
– “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality” – Walt Disney
The key to Walt’s success was his ability to attract people to his vision, inspire them and motivate them to work on his dream. He was a story teller, he sold people and they bought in and became loyal followers. He was on a mission and he inspired everyone to join his mission, he had a ability to create and inspire. No one felt used by Walt – they felt honored to be a part of his dream and vision.
Lesson 5: Be a sponge for ideas
– The theme parks continuously fed me with information and ideas. I tried to absorb and penned every one of them down. The theme parks are full of ideas and innovation. Some of the best ideas for business and life bubbled in my head during this visit. It’s amazing to see how Walt Disney implemented them and made it large.
“I’ve got lot of ideas. I haven’t worked them out and I haven’t proved them out. I carry ideas around my head for a long time – Walt Disney
Absorb inspiration wherever you go, that’s what Walt did.
Lesson 6: Try to envision the future
– This is one of the greatest traits of all entrepreneurs, Walt probably was the greatest futurist who ever lived. He not only predicted the future, he made it happen. He was a planner and a doer. He carefully studied trends and patterns of change, then acted on them. He made the future happen. EPCOT,the city of tomorrow (one of the theme parks)is an epitome of his future and vision about the possibilities of science, exploration of space and the expansion of new frontiers.
Always ask yourself, “How about tomorrow ?”, that’s what Walt did.
Lesson 7: Make family your priority
– “A man should never neglect his family for business” – Walt Disney. And that was exactly the way he led his life and business. Walt was a family man, and that’s why the name “Walt Disney” still means “family entertainment” to us all. Begin at home, make home and family your first priority that’s what Walt did.
Disney World was an awesome experience and a great vacation, the only vacation where I learnt a lot about business and entrepreneurship. And if you every happen to visit Disneyland don’t miss out on Walt Disney:One Mans Dream a short documentary on the life and making of Walt Disney.
Have a Happy Sunday and a great week ahead 🙂