Walt Disney once said, “The difference between winning and losing, is most often, not quitting.”
A man of action, persistence, dreams and dedication, Disney did win… but not before he went through endless bankruptcies, delays and failures, in which he never gave up. Every failure was an opportunity to start over. Every new opportunity was a chance to change the world of entertainment and animation. How many Disney films and cartoons have you seen? How many Disney characters can you name? Could you image where we’d be if, at any point, Walt Disney threw in the towel? For Walt, quitting was never an option.
Facts you may not have known about Walt Disney…
Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper company for a “lack of ideas.”
His first animation studio was actually a failure and went bankrupt. Instead of giving up, he moved to California and started another one.
The rights to one of his first successful animated characters, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was lost to Universal Studios, along with his entire staff of artists who were hired out from underneath him. Due to this loss, Disney was determined to create a new character to replace him, who went on to be come one of the most beloved and recognizable animated characters of all time. You know him as Mickey Mouse.
When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927, he was told that the idea would never work and a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women. To this day, there is not a cartoon character more popular with women.
Disney previewed Snow White to a large group of college students who left the movie screening halfway though the film. Disney was devastated… but what he didn’t realize was the students simply had a curfew. It went on to be one of the most successful animated films of all times and pioneer a golden age of animation.
Disney’s first few animated films, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, and Fantasia all either failed to generate much revenue, or lost a lot of money when they were first released. Disney stopped creating full length animated features for while. These same films went on to become some of his most cherished and profitable works, and his animation studio became the most famous animation studio in the entire world.
Disney’s theme park idea was rejected by the city of Anaheim , Ca. fearing it would attract “riff-raff”. Disney Land and Disney World went on to become the most famous and successful theme parks in the entire world.
Failure is not the end. Disney saw it as a chance to start over, to try something new, to move the same idea in a slightly different direction. We all know the legendary Disney brand, but few knew the obstacles he had to ever overcome to build up the empire we know it as today. What can we take away from his story? Failure is only final, if you stop trying, if you quit after you fail. But there is no rule that says you have to quit. And no rule in life that tells you how many times or how many chances you have to try before its over. As long as you follow your dreams, work hard and do your best, you will aways have a chance to win. Never give up, and you will succeed.