See if you can guess…
First Clue –
I was born into a family where everyone was expected to pull their wait. At the age of nine, I was forced by my father to rise at 4:30 am and deliver newspapers. After completing my morning rounds I went to school for six hours. At days end I resumed my paper delivering. Exhaustion soon set in and I found concentrating on my school work difficult. I ended up slipping behind.
Second Clue -
I started an animation studio that went bankrupt in less than a year.
Third Clue -
I was rejected over 300 times by the banks to finance my business ideas and although I was repeatedly told how silly my endeavours were, I never gave up.
Fourth Clue -
I was laughed at for wanting to create a featured length animation film.
Fifth Clue -
I worked for the United States government during World War 2 to create propaganda cartoons.
Sixth Clue -
The idea of a large scale amusement park came to me while sitting on a bench watching my daughters on the merry-go-round.
Seventh Clue -
I bought my parents a home in North Hollywood. Sadly the furnace proved faulty and my mother died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Her death haunted me for the rest of my life and I never spoke about the incident to anyone, not even to my own family members.
Eighth Clue -
My ghost haunts the apartment above the post office at Disneyland. The light in the room is always kept on (in honour of me). Once an employee turned it off as she was going out the door. When she came back, she found the light switched on again. My spirit spoke to her saying , ‘I’m still here.’
Okay I admit that last clue was a dead give away, but I felt compelled to add it, just because I found it interesting…and amusing.
Walt Disney is the answer for those of you who did not already guess.
I read, Walt Disney An American Original, by Bob Thomas, some years ago. I found his story fascinating. Destined for greatness, Walt never gave up on achieving his dreams.
His story prompted me to think what skills are needed to become a entrepreneur. Besides being a hard worker, innovative, smart, and a risk taker, what else is needed? Good luck, sure that comes in handy, but that will not keep you at the top. What else is needed?
Could it be a hardened spirit?
Walt Disney wanted to be a nice guy. He wanted others to think of him as Mr Nice. There were many however who will tell you about his ruthless personality. He demanded hard work, perfection, 100% loyalty. He did not tolerate fools, and those who did not make the mark, found themselves looking for another job.
Here is a question I want to leave you with. Can you be a successful business person, and still be warm and fuzzy?
Let Bob Thomas share Walt Disney’s journey with you.