As someone rightly said, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” One such story is of the great Walt Disney. The Walt Disney Company is one of the largest media co-operations in the world in terms of revenue. But this success for Walt Disney did not come easy.
Walt Disney’s success story was full of painful events and failures. Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901, to Elias and Flora Disney. He had three brothers and a younger sister. Since the family was not well–off, Walt and his brothers worked as paperboys and didn’t have much time for school. When Walt did have a spare moment he could be found in the theater where he would study the vaudeville acts and memorize their gags. He loved Charlie Chaplin. He also enjoyed drawing cartoons for the school paper.
When Walt was 16 his life suddenly changed as America entered the Great War. A patriotic young man, Walt tried to enroll in the army but was rejected because of his age. He managed to forge his date–of–birth, however, in his application to join the Red Cross unit.
When he returned from serving as a Red Cross volunteer in World War I, he’d had enough time to think about his future. He wanted to make cartoon motion pictures. So in 1920 he started his own company at the age of 19, drawing cartoons of the creatures from his childhood.
At the same time he had so little money to pay the rent, being forced to live with friends and often going without food. He failed to sell a single cartoon.
At the age of 22, he went bankrupt after the brutal failure of a cartoon series in Kansas City. He went bankrupt several times. He also wanted to become a Hollywood actor but it never happened. He was once fired by a newspaper editor who accused him to be lazy and lacking imagination and creative ideas.
Three years later he left Kansas City for Hollywood to pursue his childhood dream. He set up a studio in a converted garage and, after five years – a long time when he is without an income, he struck little success with a short animation of ‘Alice in Cartoonland’ and ‘Oswald the Rabbit’.
But again in 1928 some of his cartoonists left taking Oswald with them. Disney was shattered. His success was short lived and he returned to having nowhere to live and little money for food.
But his secret of success was within him. Out of the disaster he created his first Mickey Mouse character and, suddenly, he was on the road to real success.
Rest is the history…!!!
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
- Walt Disney