Walt Disney – a man accused of lack of creativity.
Walt Disney – a successful man whose name is known to every person in the world who has never stopped trying.
He is the author of the words: “The way to start is to stop talking and take action. Admittedly, he undoubtedly followed his words.
You probably know him as the creator of Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck and of course Disneyland. It might seem “fairy tale”, but has it always been like that?
Walt in his life many times heard words after which he could completely surrender!
It’s hard to believe, but when he worked for a newspaper, he was quickly fired. Why? According to the editor, he lacked imagination and good ideas. I would like to see the editor’s face when Walt proved him wrong! But let’s start from the beginning….
Walt as a little boy took drawing lessons. He always had a train to draw. He often drew and sold his drawings. At the age of a few he earned his first dollar – he painted his neighbor’s favorite horse Rupert!
Walt did not have a fairy tale childhood. Maybe drawing was some way of reacting? He had a raw father who punished him for the slightest flogging error. The family had a sweat on their forehead. And all their savings and time had to be invested in the farm.
It was difficult…. In the Waltese family two brothers couldn’t stand the pressure and ran away from home!
Anyway, it was useless to engage all forces in the farm, which started to fall into debt anyway. The solution? You had to sell them!
Some time passed and Walt and his family moved to Kansas City. There, my father became a spreader of the morning Times. His most tenacious sons, Roy and Walt, remained to help him! No, stop. Roy rebelled and when he graduated from high school, he also escaped from home. Only Walt remained, and his father ordered him to get up at 3:30 a.m. every day and distribute newspapers to the houses.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s hot or cold, whether it’s Sunday or vacation…. The only 2-week “vacation” he got when he knocked a nail into his foot. It was hard to ride a bike and distribute newspapers. ..
I’m not saying it’s good. Absolutely not. Anyway, it was a lesson of life for Walta. Maybe it shaped his character? Who would have been able to make such a sacrifice? And Disney was maybe 10 years old then….
Walt, despite his commitment, never received payment from his father. His father believed that Walt earns a living and board in this way. What effect did this have on Disney? What boy was the future creator of fairy tales that brought up generations?
Merry. After work he went to school, just like all the children. He didn’t do well. He was only able to cope with drawing lessons, although not everyone liked it. Once he drew a vase in which instead of flowers there was a human head and shoulders as leaves. When his sister fell ill, he drew her characters in order to put her in a better mood. He bent them in such a way that they gave the impression that they were moving….
His passion developed – once he sketched funny hairstyles in a hairdressing salon, which the owner liked so much that he hung them in his factory. That’s how he got his haircut for free! He sold what he could in return for what he needed. This is entrepreneurship!
Walt has always had to do it alone. He worked hard, but did not get money from his parents. During the lunch break he helped in the candy shop for a warm meal. Then he could still find time to play football and…. he was a happy child with great imagination!
But what about his drawing? He studied at an art school in Kansas City. It was then that the first small success appeared. His drawings were published in a newspaper, and his father, who wasn’t keen on his passion, agreed to finance his drawing course. In the meantime, Walt found a job – he got a job on the railway and sold food on the train.
You can see for yourself what it looked like then. These were not modern studies, during which the kids get almost everything from their parents, and still complain about the need to learn. Walt was a teenager, he learned to draw, but he also worked in a factory and as a night caretaker. When did he sleep?
Later he wanted to be employed at the post office, but he gave the real date of birth. He came back in a while and lied saying that he was of legal age. He got a job.
He always did everything he could to achieve his goal. When he earned some money, he had a choice: to buy a small boat or a camera. The girl he met persuaded him to take a boat, but Walt bought a camera. He wanted to experiment with film.
He recorded films in which he imitated Charlie Chaplin, his idol.
“Having a mentor is the shortest way to success. – Bo Sanchez
At the age of 16, he dropped out of school to volunteer during World War I in France. He was not yet 17 years old, so together with his colleague he faked his birthdays. And as he wanted, he did it.
Walt as a volunteer during the war had no job. That’s why in 1918, when the ceasefire was announced, he started working as a taxi driver – he drove American officers around Paris.
After a year he returned as a self-confident, mature and optimistic man. His father offered him a good job in the factory, but did not agree… He did not forget about his passion for drawing. He still wanted to become a draughtsman!
Unfortunately, no magazine wanted to hire him. At the age of 18 he found a job in an advertising studio. He wanted to work for free for some time.
There he met Uba Iwerks, with whom he became friends. Together they founded a company in a garage, which…. collapsed after a month. They did not attract enough customers and went bankrupt. It was the first defeat of Disney’s Waltz.
Did Disney give up? No. He returned to his previous job, earned enough money, then resigned again and reopened his own business.
“Failure is a success if we learn a lesson from it” – Malcolm Forbes
This time he thought it would succeed. He created “Alice in Wonderland”, but once again failed. His studio was still in debt, and he found himself not in Wonderland, but in the land of bankruptcy….
However, it was not strong at Walt – he still tried to sell “Alice….”, and finally surprised. He did it! Then he quickly created a new character – the rabbit Oswald, but…. he was deceived (couldn’t he just do it that well in this story?).
It turned out that the film studio, which agreed to cooperate with Disney, took over the copyrights to the character of Oswald. They started to set conditions. Disney wasn’t blackmailed, and his decision led him not only to lose the rights to his characters, but also to the majority of his employees. Only a friend, Ub Werk, remained on the sinking ship. Walt Disney did not give up and created a new character – Mickey Mouse.
‚,Bear defeats often so that you can succeed faster” – Tom Kelley
It was a bull’s eye. Eventually it was successful! Disney’s productions were becoming more and more popular from month to month. Everything went perfectly well until the time when the company with which Walt signed the contract also behaved financially unfair – what’s more, they dragged Iverk to their side!
A friend passed away and other people went away thinking that the company would collapse anyway. Walt Disney suffered a nervous breakdown… he couldn’t get together.
It wasn’t until four years later that he signed another big contract. It was that! Mickey Mouse was quickly gaining popularity all over the world, not only in the USA. In addition, Disney did something that no one had done before him – he added full colour to his cartoons and made them sound! He gave Mickey Mouse a voice.
It was a breakthrough. The character of Mickey Mouse met with a great reception. More than 800,000 letters were sent to her!
Over the course of the year, Disney earned $300,000 from the Mickey Mouse character itself, which was for the time, 1931, to put it mildly, with a huge sum of money, especially as it was money for a virtual character that cost him nothing but his own imagination to create it.
Then another success! Oscar for “Flowers and Trees”. – the first colour cartoon in the history of cinema. Then he also received an honorary statuette for the figure of Mickey Mouse!
Walt Disney, however, dreamt of one thing – recording a full-length animated film. That’s why soon after the first success it was time for “Snow White and seven dwarves”. Many experts foretold his bankruptcy at that time. Some people said that he was crazy….
“A man with new ideas is a madman until he is successful” – Mark Twain
There was not much missing and they would be right. During the production Disney ran out of money. The bank took the risk and granted him a loan. And that was a good decision!
“Experts” said that it wouldn’t work, and what happened? The “Snow White” produced for 4 years turned out to be a hit – it set a financial record. Immediately after the premiere, the film earned $8.5 million!
Walt did not settle on its laurels. As he said himself: “We don’t make films to earn money. We earn money to be able to make more films. That’s why his production company has made 50 such classic animated films. Thanks to Disney’s rich imagination, characters like Donald Duck, Golf Wolf and Pluto Dog and many, many others were created. Walt has achieved great success! He deserved what he had achieved, but to his full satisfaction he still lacked….
The time has come for a cake. Disney began planning to build a huge amusement park for children and adults.
“Welcome to all of you who are entering this happy land: Disneyland is your land. Here the elderly can remember a beautiful past and the young can enjoy the promise of a beautiful future…. Disneyland was created to fulfill the dreams, ideas and plans that created America and which, I hope, will be a source of joy and inspiration for the whole world”.
He said these words on July 17, 1955 in California, where he opened the world’s first Disneyland! On the opening day, crowds gathered in front of the entrance. Tens of thousands of people inspired by the Waltz vision! It was that day. Disney made its greatest dream come true!
Walt Disney received a total of 26 American Film Academy Awards (including 4 honorary ones) and 46 nominations, making it a leader in all Hollywood lists of the winners of these most prestigious film awards in the world.
Shortly before his death, Walt prepared an animated film for the directors of the Disney Company. In the film, he spoke by name to each member of the board of directors. He gave them his last vision of the future of the company and ended by saying so: “I’ll be seeing you”.
How many people doubted that they would succeed?
How many people in his time really believed in his actions?
How many people supported him in difficult times?
Many people doubted his success, few really believed in him and even less supported him in difficult moments. Nevertheless, determination, commitment, persistence and stubbornness have made Walt Disney one of the greatest visionaries in history!
Who knows what fairy tales we would have watched if Walt Disney had surrendered after the first few failures….
I want you to think about your life for a moment. People often give up their dreams after one failure. They stop believing that they can achieve something great. They think they don’t deserve or don’t have the right skills. They give up and do not realize their full potential.
“Not what you achieve, but what you overcome defines your career. – Carlton Fisk
And yet failures in life are inevitable. It’s normal for you to encounter obstacles on your way. It also works the other way round. If you consistently pursue your goals, you will eventually achieve success. Learn how to deal with failures. Realize that failure is one of the elements that lead to success.
Now draw as much as you can from this story! See that the way to success is not easy. But if you create a vision of what you want to achieve, start working hard, remain determined and focused, you will finally do what you only dream of now.
Fear of failure can paralyse, but that’s the way to go if you think about success in your life!
Write in your comment what this story has taught you. Let me know if you liked the article. Your comment motivates me to describe more inspiring stories like this one!