4 top business lessons you can learn from Walt Disney’s career

Mickey Mouse, one of the most iconic characters in film and television, celebrates his 100th birthday on 18 November.

The world-famous mouse was the brainchild of Walt Disney, the American animator, film producer, and entrepreneur.

And while many are familiar with Walt Disney’s loveable characters and movies, few know much about the man behind the global brand.

Though Walt Disney is famed for bringing delight to people of every age, his ideas weren’t always successful. In fact, he faced several challenges along the way and used these as motivation for his future success.

So, read on to discover four lessons you can learn about running a business from Walt Disney’s career.

1. Never give up

Disney started several companies that went bankrupt. He also started a commercial art studio, which failed.

However, he never gave up and had confidence in his own ability. He once said: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realise it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Running a business doesn’t come without its challenges but take a leaf out of Disney’s book. He didn’t give up even when faced with failure, so try to take any adversity you face and challenge it in the right way.

2. Surround yourself with talent

Disney himself admitted that he was not the most skilled or talented at animation or drawing. However, he was adept at understanding his strengths and weaknesses and knew he needed to hire the best animators and artists in the world.

Similarly, when you’re running a financial advice firm, it’s important to surround yourself with the very best talent by hiring well.

3. Be a problem-solver

Having faced various challenges during his life, Disney was always looking for ways to solve a problem and how doing so could create an opportunity.

In fact, the premise of Disneyland spawned from a horrible trip to a theme park with his daughter. The rides were dirty and in bad shape and the people operating them incredibly rude. Unimpressed, he decided to build a place that was clean and safe – one that parents would want to visit with their children.

Take inspiration from Disney. Next time you face a problem, identify and define the difficulty, assess all possible solutions, and evaluate your options before choosing the most suitable solution.

You could also talk to peers and colleagues. Learn from the mistakes they made, or ones you can see them making. You can also learn plenty from the success of others.

4. Grow and diversify

Even after building a successful animation studio, Disney had the drive and determination to expand into documentaries, television, live-action movies, merchandise, and amusement parks. Rather than settling, he wanted to grow and diversify even further.

Disney once said: “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”

As the owner of a financial advice firm, identifying and developing new services that appeal to your customer base could help set you apart from your competitors.

Get in touch

If you’re the owner of a financial advice firm, there are many valuable lessons you can learn from Walt Disney’s story about perseverance and a willingness to adapt and develop.

While Disney is unlikely to be sold any time soon, if you’re looking to sell your firm, seek help and support from experienced exit specialists. We’ll look after you through every step of the exit process, so email hello@melo.co.uk or call 0113 4656 111.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.


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