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Inspirational Success Stories: Walt Disney - The Man Who Believed in His Dream


“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”


The inspirational success story of Walt Disney which is shared in this article will inspire us to get up time and time again despite facing many failures and to stay true following the thing that we believe is the call of our life. He faced some early obstacles when doing his job as employee at company and also when he tried to build his cartoon enterprise of Disney from the ground up. Yet, he kept going to pursue his dream and eventually he got the success he deserved. All because he kept believing in his dream.

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois. He was one of the five children from the couple of Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney.

During his teenager days, he worked for a summer job at railroad, selling newspapers and snacks to travelers who happened to pass there. He attended night courses at Chicago Art Institute to learn about drawing and later on moved to work as a graphic designer in a newspaper publisher, Kansas City Star. In there, his first failure as a creative artist happened. In 1919, he was fired from the newspaper publisher company by his editor. The reason was because the editor thought that Walt Disney lacked of imagination and had no good ideas as a graphic designer (which surely most of us considered weird considering Walt Disney’s later success in his world famous company. Of course it is our benefit of hindsight)



He later acquired a studio named “Laugh-o-Gram”. The studio hired number of employees and it created a series of seven-minute fairy tales that combined both live action and animation. However, despite his best effort to develop the business of the studio, Walt Disney could not steer it out of debt. By 1923, the burden of the debt for the studio was too heavy and Walt Disney declared bankruptcy.

It was not the end of his pursue for his dream however. He later moved to Hollywood and found a new studio which called Disney’s brother studio. The studio later created its first success cartoon character called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which became quite popular and highly demanded by people. However, sometimes later, Disney discovered that his business partner stole the rights to the cartoon along with most of the Disney’s brother studio’s animators. It was really made him disappointed, but it did not stop him to create another work.

After this event, Disney with his animator who did not choose to go with the business partner created the first legendary Disney cartoon character, Mickey Mouse. But to produce the cartoon, Disney had to have money that he did not have in his company at the moment. Thus, he went to the bank to get money loan needed to realize the cartoon production. People say that he got rejected over 300 times by bankers who thought his idea of Mickey Mouse was absurd. This did not stop him however.

Eventually he got his financing needed for the Mickey Mouse’s cartoon and after the production, it went for a great success. Walt Disney and his studio later created other Disney’s legendary cartoon film: Treasure Island (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Sleeping Beauty (1959), 101 Dalmatians (1961), and many other cartoons production. For the excellent work of his studio, Walt Disney won 22 Academy Awards and 7 Emmy Awards in total during his lifetime. He later founded the famous theme park, Disneyland and Walt Disney World before his death in 1966. Today (and for much later time in the future), he is considered as one of the greatest creative legend and folk hero of the 20th century. His works in the studio he founded are considered legacy and became an industry benchmark for companies in motion-picture production area.

Read also: Inspirational Success Story: How Jack Ma Conquer His Success

Now let’s take a look more closely at the problems that Walt Disney faced during his journey to pursue his success as a cartoonist. The many failures which he faced during his life and during his effort to develop his business of creative studio maybe much more than the ones being told in this article. And yet if we look at those being listed, we can tell that some (maybe most) people will not go and do what he has done when overcoming his problem. What if Disney stopped his effort to become a successful cartoonist when he got fired at the newspaper publisher? After he succeed, it was said that he even can bought the parent company of the newspaper published and it might not happen if he stopped taking the road in which he believed in. What if Disney stopped his pursue for his dream after his first studio went bankrupt? What if he stopped when he got rejected during his effort to get financing for his Mickey Mouse cartoon production project? Well we cannot predict what might happen but we can be sure that there will be no Disney cartoon company and probably we will not remember the name and legacy of Walt Disney as we are now. Try to imagine what he felt when he failed hundred of times before he got the loan he needed from the bank. It must be a shame for him to even meet his relatives and families who see him as a failed person and people around him must have at least talked to him to give up. There should be much temptation for Walt Disney during his adversity time to take another road and abandon his dream for his cartoon company, as it was some years before he found Mickey Mouse, and yet he kept going. Why? Because he believed in his dream and made the utmost effort for it.

In this inspirational success story, he eventually created his success and legacy because he decided to pursue what he thought was important in his life and he managed to stay vigilant despite the rejections and failures that he faced during his journey to pursue his dream. Just as being told by Steve Jobs in his speech in the previous article, we should always have the courage to follow our heart and intuition as who we want to become in our life and keep pursuing the definition for our success in life. From there, we can set target keep faith, and push our determination to be there whatever the effort it might need. As the title of this article says, Walt Disney’s courage to pursue his dream is what I believe made him a legend for his success and a name which people keep on remembering years after years even after his death, for his legacy and work results.

For the closure of this inspirational success story, as always, I will leave you again with a quote from Walt Disney. This summarizes what his life story is all about, especially when creating his Disney Company.

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

I hope you as reader of this article will find, pursue, and achieve your very own success in your life!


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