The iconic American entrepreneur had some magical insights about success.
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Entrepreneur, producer and voice actor Walt Disney left a remarkable impact on the animation industry, and his business skills sparked the growth of what eventually became the massive Disney empire, which continues to expand and thrive. While Walt himself may no longer be here, his legacy lives on not only through innovations like the new Disneyland/Disney World experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and upcoming streaming service Disney Plus, but by way of his insights about running a business. Here are some of his more legendary quotes. Hopefully you can apply some of his wisdom to your own budding enterprise.
1. “I like the impossible because there’s less competition.”
When you set your sights on an unusual, challenging goal or make it your mission to do something truly different with your business, you probably won’t have to worry as much about competitors. The key is not being afraid to stand out and push the limits.
2. “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”
Starting a business or new project is intimidating, risky and undeniably challenging, but if you’re going to make your business a success, you have to fully believe in it. Don’t let anyone make you doubt your business or your success.
3. “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.”
It may seem weird at first to think about Walt Disney as a tough businessman, since he’s associated with positivity and happy endings. However, Disney went through many setbacks. Challenges often leave us feeling defeated, but the best business owners and entrepreneurs learn to use challenges to their advantage. An unexpected change in your business can be frustrating, but it can also lead to exciting innovation and opportunities you might not have otherwise discovered.
4. “One day I learned that dreams exist to come true, and since that day I do not sleep for rest. I sleep just to dream.”
This is the type of quote that really makes you stop and think. Every business starts with a dream. Disney held on to his and made it happen. What dream propels you to succeed at your business?
5. “When we opened Disneyland, a lot of people got the impression that it was a get-rich-quick thing, but they didn’t realize that behind Disneyland was this great organization that I built here at the studio, and they all got into it and we were doing it because we loved to do it.”
Here, Disney speaks to the importance of building a team that understands and believes in your mission. Starting a business takes significant time and energy, and you’ll invest a huge part of yourself into your work. When you (and your team) love what you’re doing, it can help to keep you going when you run into obstacles, when you’re tired and when the future is uncertain.
6. “Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.”
Sometimes the best breaks and the best ideas happen when you seem to be at rock bottom. When things get rough with your business, don’t give up. Get creative instead. You could be just around the corner from the success you’ve been working for.
7. “Money doesn’t excite me, my ideas excite me.”
While money is a definite perk in life and business, you’ll be more successful if you’re excited by the work that you’re doing, rather than just focusing on the profits you can make.
8. “I suppose my formula might be: Dream, diversify and never miss an angle.”
Every business starts with a dream, but the ability to watch for opportunities and strike while the iron is hot has been key to the success of many entrepreneurs.
9. “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing: that it was all started by a mouse.”
When you enjoy success, never lose sight of how you started and where your business came from. If you stay true to the principals that help you build success in the first place, your customers will stay true to you, too.
10. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
With a dream, some determination and a little drive, you can turn your dream for your business into a reality. Don’t let fear stop you from choosing the path you’ve been dreaming of.
Walt Disney’s wise words have inspired many entrepreneurs and business owners. Maybe you connected with a few of these quotes from the legendary animator and, like so many others, are inspired to devise big dream bigs and make sure they come true.