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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

What Businessmen Can Learn From Disney

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

The following is an article “What Businessmen Can Learn From Disney” by Marc Primo.

Walter Elias Disney suffered setbacks prior to becoming a successful entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, and film producer. He was laid off at a commercial art studio early in his career, and his first venture into business after that was short-lived as it failed to attract clients. Few also knew that Walt at one point in his life could not pay rent and lived off eating dog food to survive. Despite all the challenges, Disney remained determined, fueling his passion with a rich imagination and good business sense that carried him all the way to success.

Now known as the man who established a multi-billion dollar media empire, Disney had recognized his passion for art early and gave us some of the most memorable animated characters and stories that we love even today.

In today’s world of business, creativity is one of the factors that can keep you ahead of your competitors. Modern entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the man who started with nothing more than a vision, and eventually turned it into the second largest broadcasting company in the world.

Here are three of the most valuable traits that Disney applied to business which can help you grow your own into a successful one:

He followed his passion. Passion plays an important role in all business ventures and the level of Disney’s for animation was one that can’t be denied. Disney made his life’s work by drawing and conceptualizing cartoon characters with substance and were destined to be classics. Regardless of his many failures, he moved forward, believing in his work and capabilities until he was able to put his vision into motion. Most of the time, doing the things you do for the sole reason of earning money tends to end in mediocrity if not failure. But if you really love what you do and have a long-term goal, you should not give up that easily. Like Disney, you can overcome your own challenges if you put passion ahead of financial gain.

He took risks. Disney took a ‘trial and error’ approach during his early years, taking bold risks even when it seemed that no one believed in his work. Distributors rejected his cartoon production of the Three Little Pigs before becoming one of the most successful animated features in theaters, and he lost a million dollars during the first release of his version of Pinocchio. Disney relied on faith for every new venture he took especially when his brother Roy advised him not to pursue plans for Disneyland. Today, Disneyland continues to reap large profits as one of the most successful theme parks in the world. Don’t be afraid to take big risks. As long as you believe that you will gain favorable results from them, it’s just a matter of time before you really pull things off.

He did the impossible. Every businessman can experience failure and rejection at some point in his career and Disney had his fair share. His first animation studio did not make much money and he eventually lost his studio and equipment. MGM did not want to take his idea of a giant mouse on the screen thinking it might scare off female audiences. Disney’s willpower and resolve allowed him to rebound from his losses and rise to the top. As for Mickey Mouse, he went on to appear in over 130 films and became one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time. In business, not everyone may share your good idea at first. There are some insights that you alone can understand and if you push hard and hone your powers of persuasion as you go along, people will eventually believe that what you offer has its own merits.


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