Walt Disney’s Fundamental Business Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Learn


Everyone has seen Disney movies, knows Disney characters or has been to a Disney park. There are people who have also go on Disney cruises. So Disney doesn’t need an introduction. However, there are only few who know Disney the man.

Walt Disney is a faint memory for some people. And it is understandable as he died in 1966 which is 51 years ago. He was a staunch visionary, creative genius and an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur can learn fundamental business lessons from what Walt Disney was able to accomplish in his life.

Don’t ever give up

It might seem like Walt Disney was an overnight success however it is far from the truth. He launched many companies that went bankrupt. His commercial studio tanked. His attempts to create advertisements failed too due to lack of revenue. However, Walt continued trying the next big thing. He never gave up.

According to Walt, all the adversities only strengthened him. He says that we might not realize it but a kick in our teeth may be the best thing to happen to us.

Become a problem solver

Walt Disney was a skilled problem solver. He finally observed and was keen on finding solutions and find opportunities in it. Walt Disney once took his daughter to ride some rides where he noticed that the rides were dirty and in bad condition. The people who operated the rides were rude as well.

He observed the situation and started considering the problem and the solution turned out to Disneyland. He aimed for a place safe and clean where parents could happily bring their kids.

Always be ready to reinvent yourself

Many are unaware that Mickey Mouse was not Walt Disney’s first major cartoon. It was Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit. Walt signed a distributor’s contract for the short cartoons and he was delighted with their success.

However, they fired Walt when he went to renew the contract. And the distributor stated him that Oswald legally belonged to them and Walt didn’t as summarized in the contract. To worsen the situation, all the animator’s left Walt to work for the other company.

Walt lost his biggest success but he knew he had to start over. Walt shared that Mickey Mouse popped into his mind and onto a drawing pad when he was on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood. It was the time when Walt’s and his brother, Roy’s business fortunes were in the lowest state and they envisioned disaster.

Ensure to surround yourself with talent

Walt admits that he was brilliant at drawing and animation. According to him his first animated cartoon in 1920 was in their crude state and he used a little puppet things. He, however, was brilliant to know his capabilities and was able to hire the best of artists and animators in the world.

Walt was not the person who animated Mickey in the early it was an animator, Ub Iwerks. Walt had great visions and was an architect. He just knew what he wanted the outcomes to be when it is done.

Always be curious

He had an inquisitive soul, he forever wanted to learn new things. This led to some remarkable developments in animation in the early years. He is known for making the first sound cartoon, first full-length cartoon movie and the first live action and animation mix film.

The highlight is that he didn’t know how to do any of those things but his curiosity guided him to look into how to conduct these things and figure out to get it all done.


After establishing a successful animation studio Walt smartly got into live action movies, television, documentaries, tons of products and amusement parks. He did not stop with an animation studio and he aimed to grow which gained him the success his company had. Walt was very aware of the changing conditions of the market and aimed to focus on the future constantly. A business needs to know ways on how to grow and diversify.

(Photo credit: travelandleisure, waltdisney, theodysseyonline)