When you think about Walt Disney, you might immediately assume that this legendary entrepreneur had “the Midas touch.” Most likely, the masses believe that Mr. Disney immediately came up with Mickey Mouse right out of the gate and then made a straight path to staggering success and wealth. In fact, I think average people believe this is how they can become successful because when they or someone they know fails, they call them a failure. What is the truth about Walt Disney’s journey to success and is there an MSP business lesson to be learned?
Walt Disney’s Failure
Far from having a clear and instant journey to an amazing heights of success, Mr. Disney was, instead, laid off from his first job as a cartoonist and then started his own creative shot called Laugh-O-Gram. This venture started off without making profits and then ending up tanking as he handed out worthless checks and couldn’t pay his bills. He ended up declaring bankruptcy and became homeless for a time and had to resort to eating out of the trash.
He then picked himself up from his bootstraps and headed to California where he started up another business again by capitalizing on his last creation from the Laugh-O-Gram. He got the attention of Charles Mintz and launched the Alice series of live action blended with cartoons. Of course, this episode only led to more failure as Walt lost the rights to his characters to Mintz and eventually lost most of his best animators and cartoonist as Mintz poached them one by one!
Walt Disney’s Success
Only after experiencing all those horrible failures as a businessman did Mr. Disney finally start hitting some high notes with success. After losing what Walt thought was his best character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, he convinced his brother Roy that it was time to create a new character. It was then that Disney came up with the idea of Mickey Mouse, along with Ub Iwerks and his wife who change the name from Mortimer to Mickey. The Walt Disney Company finally cut ties with Charles Mintz and the rest of the Disney path was paved with gold.
The MSP Business Lesson
It’s important to realize that, most likely, your first MSP business venture will not become your greatest success story. In fact, if your career path is anything like Mr. Disney, you will fall on your face several times with one venture after another before you discover your path paved with gold. The important thing is to not equate temporary failure with being a failure. Hopefully, you don’t end up broke and homeless like Walt Disney, but even then, he felt the pressure from relatives to give up his dreams and settle for stability. Later, Charles Mintz tried to steal Walt Disney’s dream and turn him into an employee in exchange to stability. Disney’s greatest moment happened when the reality he faced was bleak, but he refused to settle for stability at the cost of greatness.
It’s critical that you never give up no matter what type of obstacle you may face while running your MSP business— from losing important staff, losing a key client, running into debt, etc. You never want to fold up and settle for stability. The key is to not see your failures as mistakes, but rather as a learning lesson, like Walt Disney. He made mistakes but learned from them and never repeated the same mistake twice. Keep the dream of running a million-dollar MSP business alive and never settle for mere stability when greatness awaits you like it did Walt Disney!