“Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way” – Abraham Lincoln
All things are created twice. Vision is the first creation. For a house it’s called the blueprint, for a day it’s called a goal and a plan, and for a life it’s called mission. And in such vision believed a man we know as Walt Disney.
Walt Elias Disney spent his childhood in unusual company. The disparity in ages between him and his three brothers meant that he had no companions on the farm where his family lived, one hundred miles north-east of Kansas City. So he took to slipping off to seek the company of the farm animals – Skinny – the piglet, Pete – the family terrier, Charley, the buggy horse, often contriving games of his own and playing by the rules, which even the companions understood and responded. Little did Walt’s parents realize that the animals were the toys and friends that Walt never had, and the farm itself was the first of his magic kingdoms.
As an artist that he was, Walt’s initial job was at the Kansas City Slide Company, which made one-minute commercials to be shown in local movie theatres. It was Disney’s first step into the world of cartoon animation, an art which at this time was primitive and the animation jerky and unrealistic. His brief stint here was successful, although his perfectionism often meant that his methods were often costly and time consuming, even though the end result was much more realistic and closer to the effect of illusion which Walt was seeking.
In his struggle to keep going, Walt decided that the one place where a man of destiny might see his dreams come true was Hollywood. Here his series ‘Alice in Cartoonland’ and ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’ ware extremely popular with the audiences, but again his perfectionism was driving the studio out of business. It was these turn of events which prompted an angry Walt to say, “I’ll never work for anyone else again as long as I live”. And with this resolve he began envisioning that cartoon character which would forever change his life.
He began scribbling furiously – tearing off sheet after sheet, crumpling it, scribbling afresh. A sleepless night followed. Then the next day, Walt’s star was born: a mischievous and undaunted mouse, wearing red velvet pants with pearl buttons, with a friendly name – Mickey. Daily Mickey came to life. His head was a circle, which was easy to draw, and no matter which way he turned, his ears were circles too. A pear shaped body, tapering tail, pipestem legs set in oversized shoes and four gloved fingers in each hand, which were cheaper and easier to draw than five.
The visionary then decided to try his unprecedented yet desperate inspiration. “We’ll make Mickey Mouse with sound” he decided, so as to woo the ninety-five million a week audience that flooded the over one-thousand theatres wired for sound. Walt himself, fingers clamped on his nose, spoke for Mickey in a boyish falsetto (a role he undertook for the next eighteen years.).
Overnight Mickey Mouse became a world-wide sensation. Mickey’s success tapped a spring of creativity, and a host of new characters poured from the Disney Studios. Pluto, Goofy, Horace Horsecollar, Donald Duck, all of them modeled on Walt’s barnyard friends.
Unsophisticated and uncomplicated, Disney’s films all pointed to the gentle but inescapable moral. Courage and Virtue vanquished wickedness and fear; industry triumphed over sloth; false ambition produced only defeat.
Years later, when in 1965, sixteen miles southwest of Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney Productions purchased an undeveloped wilderness twice the size of Manhattan, ordinary observers saw only swamps and groves, Walt Disney could see a the beckoning future – an unparalleled vacation kingdom called Walt Disney World……an experimental community of tomorrow, where people could live without traffic or smog or slums. And when a reporter asked him when the project might be completed, Walt’s reply was simple, “Never, not as long as there is imagination left in the world!” All his life Walt Disney dreamt such dreams and successfully went on to achieve them. He was a whole industry in himself.
Vision not only helps us spot present opportunities where others might not see them, but it also points us toward the future that inspires us to ask, “Where do I want to be five years from now? Ten years from now?” To answer these questions it takes time – it even takes some dreaming.
This January Consortium’13 we present the event ‘Entrepreneur’. An event for any budding entrepreneur, any visionary, and anyone who takes challenges head-on. Creating a feasible blend of idea, capital and marketing will be your motto but at the same time not losing sight of your goal will be pivotal to survive the ruthless competition you will face. Register yourself for the event at
and see your dreams come true just like they did for Walt Disney!