The man who had one of the most fertile imaginations in history, who managed to turn his musings into a billion dollar company and whose legacy would continue to live on for decades after his death, was born Walter Elias Disney on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois.
The family quickly moved from the increasingly dangerous city of Chicago to Marceline, Missouri, where they purchased a farm.
Because he was too young to work, Disney spent most of his time on the farm playing with his four siblings and the animals. He would later reflect on this period as the best years of his life.
He created the world's first multimedia empire and he did it by making people smile. An entrepreneur with a natural flair for animation, Disney became one of the world's most well-known and respected entertainers, creating a company that continues to gross over $30 billion yearly.
What was the secret behind the magic?
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.
Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.
I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.
When we consider a project, we really study it–not just the surface idea, but everything about it. And when we go into that new project, we believe in it all the way. We have confidence in our ability to do it right. And we work hard to do the best possible job.
Biggest problem? Well, I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life. MONEY. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem. Getting the money to open Disneyland. About seventeen million it took. And we had everything mortgaged including my personal insurance.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. If you can dream it, you can do it.”