DREAM BIG DREAMS
As you do, I’d like to encourage you to dream bigger dreams and adopt the unstoppable achiever’s mindset.
To help you, let me tell you the story of a young boy starting out with a lot less than you have going for you right now.
You wouldn’t think this is the kind of upbringing, nurturing, training and development that would produce one of the most creative minds in history–winning 22 Oscars and 7 Emmy awards from 59 nominations (more than any individual in history) and being honored with the highest civilian award the United States government bestows—the Medal of Freedom.
I think these not only eliminate any excuses you might have, but it will inspire you to consider your own greater potential and go after your dreams.
Let’s call this young boy with the dreams Walter.
Walter was born in Chicago in 1901 to a large Irish immigrant family. His father struggled at work and took out his anger on his wife and children.
At only 8 years old, Walter went to work delivering letters. In any weather, early morning or late at night, he ran through the streets in his worn-out shoes, hurrying to deliver the mail on time. Any money Walter earned was then seized by his father.
At age 16 Walter attempted to enlist in the army to participate in the first World War. He was refused for being too young so he volunteered in the Red Cross and was sent overseas, where he worked as an ambulance driver.
Walter kept the troops in good spirits by decorating his ambulance with amusing drawings. Walter learned he liked to draw.
When Walter returned home from the war, he worked various jobs in creative fields. He worked as a night watchman, which particularly suited him because it gave him an opportunity to study and practice his art. Later, he got a job at a small studio working on an advertising campaign, where he was paid a meager $40 a month but soon unemployed.
Walter wanted to work for a newspaper as an editorial cartoonist but lacked the satire to do so.
Walter decided to start his own commercial art company, but it was short lived and ultimately failed to sustain. Still not deterred he decided to start yet another company, which this time was met with some success and he was soon hiring a vast number of his friends.
Unfortunately the profits were not enough to cover the high cost of salaries and he mismanaged the money straddling the business with loads of debt, ultimately ending in bankruptcy.
Even his success ended in failure. Certainly this should be a final lesson for him.
But not for Walter.
He recruited his brother to pool some more finances together and they started another business. They didn’t have enough money between them, so they brought on an investor named Mary.
Once again Walter found success and he rehired many of his friends back. One year later, Mary married a man named Charles, who came in and strong-armed Walter. He told Walter if he didn’t comply to budget restraints he would lose his funding for all his now successful productions and all his employees.
Walter refused to be controlled and was once again on his own.
By now you’ve got to be thinking, just hang it up Walter and get a job, entrepreneurship doesn’t seem to be in your cards, right?
Walter would refuse that thought as well. This time Walter decided he would start a Mickey Mouse sort of business. Literally. Walter drew, animated and became the voice of Mickey Mouse.
Walt founded the Walt Disney Company and went on to produce additional characters that have been loved and squeezed by hundreds of millions of children such as Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland, Popeye the Sailor, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi and many more.
Walt’s achiever mindset doesn’t stop there, of course.
On a flight to Chicago in the late 40s he sketched ideas for an amusement park where he envisioned his employees spending time with their children.
Even Walt’s brother Roy thought it was a terrible idea and convinced the Board to disapprove of the funding to build it.
What does Walt do now?
His own company won’t go along with building his dream?
Well, Walt has a ceaseless achievers mindset.
Walt went out on his own and raised the money by himself. Walt also inspired a dedicated team called Imagineers… something we all should aspire to be… and together they created and opened The Happiest Place on Earth on Sunday, July 17, 1955.
He built it on ground where only an orange grove existed before. Disneyland is now visited by more than 5 million people every year.
Okay, you create the happiest place on earth, that should be enough right?
Not for the achiever.
In early 1960 Walt conceives of Disney World and EPCOT, this time on top of where only alligators go—in the swamplands of Orlando, Florida.
You have to remember, in the 60s, where the Magical Kingdom resides today, there was nothing there, I mean nothing. The World of Disney, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, known as EPCOT was imagined and built on a full-fledged swamp.
While Walt Disney’s life journey ended on December 15, 1966, when he was 65, the power of his achiever’s mindset lives on to this day.
According to statistics, annual cash flow from Disney films (not including sales and rental of videos) exceeds more than $1 billion dollars. The Disney conglomerate includes amusement parks in California, Florida, Tokyo and Paris, 535 international Disney stores, hockey and baseball teams, a number of newspapers and magazines and a cable television network.
Annual turnover of the consortium is $21 billion and stock market capitalization is $42 billion.
Not bad for a poor Chicago kid from an immigrant family equipped with only one thing, but as you can see, the most important thing—the dream big dreams, achiever’s mindset.
As Walt said himself, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
That’s what I want to help you do, find the courage to pursue your dreams, your BIG dreams.
Share your big dream with us in comments below. Share this post with others to encourage them to dream big too.
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