We’ve looked to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford for inspiration in our quest for becoming a successful entrepreneur. Those men were giants of industry, and contemporaries, back in the late 1800’s. Let’s now fast forward 25 years to a young man growing up in the midwest. Bouncing around from Illinois to Missouri to Kansas, young Walt took what jobs he could, like delivering newspapers, and did what he could to make ends meet. He took night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and initially wanted to create cartoons and drawings for the papers.
But no one would hire him.
But he kept at it. He landed a job creating advertisements for a bank, and then when his first startup with his brother was struggling, he worked for the Kansas City Film Ad Company.
You see, Walt Disney wasn’t going to wait for some investor to come along and hand him a check. He knew that he was going to have to figure things out on his own, and be ready for whatever opportunities arose.
In 1920, while working at that same company, Walt was allowed to take home one of their film cameras to experiment with. Disney had been reading about how animated cartoons were made and wanted to try some things out on his own. The result was the creation of a series of animated cartoons that were wildly popular in Kansas City, and launched the rest of Walt Disney’s animation career.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” —Walt Disney
While many of us may lack Walt’s creativity when it comes to cartoons, we can all take a page from Walt’s stubborn resolve to keep working and trying, no matter what. He never lost sight of his dream to be a successful animator - and to make people laugh - and we can all agree he was incredibly successful.
If you’re waiting for angel investors or a business loan or a Kickstarter campaign - consider whether or not that’s really necessary for what you want to accomplish. Think back to our last conversation about perfection, and the need to first do market research, and then bring a Minimum Viable Product to market as quickly as possible.
“Stay self-funded as long as possible.” —Garrett Camp, founder of Expa, Uber and StumbleUpon