If you don’t get a little excited, at least once in awhile, about a wild and crazy brainstorm you’ve just had, you’re probably not going to rank very high on the imagination scale for entrepreneurs. Think of the most outlandish idea you have ever had, and then ask yourself if you had persevered in promoting that idea if you would have succeeded.
Example: In 1923 a young entrepreneur had a wild and crazy idea to explore human imperfections as a means of entertainment. The vehicle he would use to examine the foibles of humanity would be drawings of animals, and this he believed would be incredibly delightful to an audience.
Yep! That was precisely the brainstorm Walt Disney had when he arrived in Hollywood in 1923. He had little more than a pencil to start with, and a vision of creating cartoon characters. He wrote, produced, directed and animated everything himself. In the early days it took hundreds, if not thousands of separate drawings to create a moving cartoon character. Walt rented an office for $5 a month and lived on baked beans. He was an entrepreneur with an imagination! He believed he was onto something incredible and no one could convince him otherwise.
My daughter spotted a mouse in the middle of the night and in her consternation awoke the whole family. After the mouse was trapped, dad disposed of the creature, because no one else in the family wanted to get close to it. My point: people in general do not find mice particularly appealing. Yet, this was the particular cartoon vehicle Disney would use to entertain the world. Who but an entrepreneur with an incredible imagination could have come up with that idea.
Mickey Mouse was the biggest star in the world in 1933, in which year Micky received over 800,000 pieces of fan mail and Walt’s one man operation was transformed into a company employing over a thousand animators. Then Walt envisioned a full length animated movie. At that time black and white was the norm; but, Walt wanted the movie to be done in color and he wanted it to be art in motion. Three years in the making and released in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs became an instant success.
Disney followed up with: Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi, afterwhich his theme park became the fantasy destination of every child, since its opening in 1955 until today.
Take away for the entrepreneur: Imagination which leads to “brainstorms”, which leads to an unswayable conviction in the viability of said “brainstorms”, which in turn leads to organized perseverance, ultimately leads to success . . . no matter how “mousy” the idea.
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