20 Lessons from Walt Disney on Entreprenuership, Innovation and Chasing Your Dreams

From Forbes:

With the title of being the “Happiest Place on Earth” it amazing to think that it only took one year to conceptualize and create Disneyland before it opened its gates on July 17, 1955.

As a tribute to 57 years of bringing imagination to life, let’s see what Walt Disney had to say about innovation, entrepreneurship and achieving the impossible.

The following 20 quotes are just a small glimpse into the mind and imagination of Walt Disney.

Beneath each quote I’ll be take the artistic liberty to explain what his words mean to me. As for you, they may mean something else, but I’m sure we will both agree that they’ll be nothing less than inspiring.

1. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Yes, it did take money, employees and a large team of artists to create Disneyland, but it all beings with courage. It takes courage to begin the journey towards our dreams and courage to see them through.

2. “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.”

Notice Walt didn’t say, “Hang in there” or “You can get through it.” He instead says it might be the “best thing in the world” for us.

It doesn’t mean it’ll feel good, but when does getting stronger ever feel good?

3. “Disneyland is a show”

What kind of “show” are you putting on for your clients or customers? Remember that everything is communicating a message. Your clothes, your words, your voicemail, your smile – EVERYTHING!

Are you sending the right message?

4. “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”

There’s got to be more at play then simply making money. It’s not enough simply to “love what you do” – your work must be an investment of love. This means you’re ok with not getting a complete ROI on all you do. (Which is usually the “secret” for accomplishing the impossible).

5. “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

Your work is never finished. As a creator and innovator there’s always more to create or innovate. This means you’re job is to get your product into the market ASAP and then tweak afterwards.

If Disneyland was built in 1 year, I think we can finish our lingering projects a lot sooner than we think.

6. “I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.”

Don’t allow other websites or businesses to influence your unique idea. The moment you do that it’s no longer unique. No one gets the title of “innovator” by copying others or worry about the opinions of others.

7. “I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous.”

Don’t waste your time with arrogant entrepreneurs – no matter how successful they are. They’ve obviously forgotten their roots and will eventually pay the price for. Make sure you hand out with the right people.

8. “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

It’s great to innovate, but don’t forget why the market fell in love with you in the first place. Never neglect your core business.

9. “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”

A large part of Business success is being memorable. That’s YOUR job – not theirs.

Feelings trump facts.

10. I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life… it’s money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true.

Make no mistake. It takes money to fail AND succeed.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Forbes