You STILL don’t want to mess with the Mouse: more success lessons

Success can start anywhere.

Last week, I explored some success lessons to be learned from Walt Disney’s use of a cartoon mouse to build one of the world’s great entertainment empires.

The creator of our trusty rodent friend Mickey has more wisdom to share this week.



“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.”

When you’re up to your adenoids in unexpected obstacles, having something go smoothly and easily looks really tempting.

But there is good news about those obstacles: Very often, dealing with them leads to more effective, more creative, and overall better results than a quick-and-easy path would have created. All (!) you have to do is remind yourself of that in the midst of the frenzy.


“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

How many times have you heard people who dealt with horrendous circumstances say, in retrospect, that the challenge was one of the best things ever to happen to them?

Dealing with painful adversity – whether professional or personal – often causes you to dig deep for resources you might otherwise never have realized you have.

Like a mother who says (well after the fact) that the birth of her healthy baby was totally worth the 27 hours of labor, you’ll very likely realize that dealing with a kick in the teeth probably produced results you couldn’t have gotten any other way.




“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”

No, worrying won’t make it better, but it will stress you out, undermine your confidence, and suck your energy dry.

Curiosity + confidence + courage + constancy = success.

So maybe the best thing to do is be brave enough to take action, do your best without obsessing about perfection, stick with it, then trust you’ll get a payoff either in the form of desired results or feedback that will enable you to improve.


“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.”

Such a great reminder to:


“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a [wo]man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy, and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

When you think about the people you would like to serve, one of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is, “What do they need that they’re not getting elsewhere?” That kind of curiosity can start you down the path to building a very nice business around those unmet needs.

Doing your research and due diligence ahead of time will build your confidence.

Preparation and plenty of deep breaths will enable you to find your courage to move ahead.

And by keeping an eye on what you’ll experience as a result of achieving your desired outcome, you’ll be more willing and able to take consistent action and deal with the inevitable setbacks or bumps in the road.

Not a bad formula for success.


“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.”

Are you willing to be as curious, playful, and faith-filled as a child? Are you willing to practice being brave as the proverbial lion? Then you’ve got some great raw materials for creating your own magic kingdom. Here’s an example of how it can work.

Several years ago, I learned of an amazing-sounding conference called Quest for Global Healing. I decided I was supposed to attend this with Joseph, my husband. I was enthralled with the idea of visiting this exotic locale and excited by the line-up of speakers. Deciding to go was the easy part.

The less-easy part involved one small problem: between the first-class air fare (Did I mention Joseph is somewhat claustrophobic and would not have handled a 19-hour flight very well in coach?), the conference tuition, and the fact that we wanted to add on some extra vacation time after the conference, such a trip would cost us around $24,000. Not an amount we had sitting around the house. Undaunted by the fact that we didn’t have the money, I started searching for ways to find it.

Now, I had inherited some prime Florida swampland a number of years previously, although I didn’t really want it. In fact, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I stopped paying taxes on it in the hopes that the county would simply repossess the land and take it off my hands.

So the parcel was just sort of sitting there in the background, neither hurting nor helping me…until the Quest conference.

Out of the blue one day, a man called me. He’d seen in the public records that I owed some back taxes on the land [blush] and asked if I’d be willing to sell it to him. His offering price? Twenty-five thousand dollars.

I decided that this was a clear sign from the Universe that Joseph and I were supposed to go on this trip. The buyer got the land he wanted to build a house on, we received money for the trip, and we had a truly magical time in Bali.

A willingness to dream and believe can create some pretty fabulous outcomes.


What are your thoughts about these lessons from Disney? What other success strategies have you developed over time? Share with us in the Comments section below.

Or are you’re huffing and puffing to deal with some major spoke in the wheel of your business, and wondering how in the world to apply some of these approaches in real life? If you are, I’ll bet I can help.

My specialty is un-sticking entrepreneurs who are either caught up in frenzied motion (that’s not getting them anywhere) or are paralyzed by overwhelm. Although the methods differ for the two versions of “stuck”, the end result of my working with the right client is the same: They finally get the traction they need to start producing results.

Am I the right consultant/butt kicker for you? Are you the right client for me? There’s an easy, no-risk way to find out: get acquainted by phone.

If you’re curious about whether we could do good work together – and courageous enough to explore the possibility – just grab a spot in my calendar. We’ll ask and answer some questions and, by the end of 30 or 40 minutes, we’ll know whether we’re a fabulous fit or not.

That get-acquainted call might be your cartoon mouse. Are you willing to see where it could lead you?

(Thanks to Forsaken Fotos for posting the image of the mouse message in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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