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9 Walt Disney Quotes for Startup and Entrepreneur Inspiration

Mustering up creativity each and every day can be draining, but what can you really do when that’s your job? Throwing in the towel certainly isn’t an option and neither is crawling into a cave to sleep for three weeks (even though you’d wake up feeling refreshed and energized).

Instead, you have to rely on good old perseverance to get you through those rough days. For many people, surviving these types of days means having an arsenal of quotes. And okay, maybe silently chanting to myself themselves to get me them off the struggle bus.

Walter “Walt” Elias Disney was quite possibly the greatest animator, producer and showman of the 20th century. He was an amusement park creator and owner too — we can’t forget about that. His life story is one that includes packing up and leaving everything he loved and moving to California to start a business from scratch, weathering The Great Depression, declaring bankruptcy on a failed business, and then pulling himself up and not just envisioning but creating one of the most iconic and beloved brands worldwide.

Because of his past, I consider Walt Disney to be quite wise and therefore a guy worth listening to when my creative juices are running on empty. I’m not trying to act Goofy or Dopey (couldn’t resist that), but  just take a look at some of his most memorable quotes and watch as you climb off the struggle bus and onto the productivity cruise ship.

Focus on manageable tasks. Step 1: Get out of Bed. Step 2: Coffee.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

We’ve all woken up to mornings where we have a to-do list longer than our arms. In 12 words, Walt sums up the best thing to do when we realize we’ve got a crazy day ahead. Stop focusing on each individual task you have to do and just start doing something. Before you know it that crazy long list will be a lot more manageable and will soon be completed.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

We all have that Debbie Downer person in our lives. While they’re great to have around to give a realistic perspective every now and then, sometimes you just want to daydream a bit. Go for it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something — you’ll surprise yourself by just how courageous you can be.

“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.”

You may bend, but you won’t break!

Even a little bump in the road can derail us and may be too much to handle sometimes. But believe it or not, you’re learning from this experience and are growing stronger as a direct result. Walt Disney faced so many hardships during his life including bankruptcy and back-stabbing coworkers and he came out stronger than if things had gone perfectly to plan. I’m sure whatever you’re going through is shaping you to be a better entrepreneur, a small business owner, and an overall better human being. Keep calm and look ahead.

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

A man created an entire empire based on a mouse.  I can guarantee that whatever dream you have isn’t silly or unattainable by any stretch of the imagination. You may not know exactly how things will end up or how you’ll get there, but it won’t hurt to roll up your sleeves and give things a shot.

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

The ultimate business owner quote to live by has to be this one from Walt Disney. It all comes down to not taking the easy way out. Try your hardest and keep the faith that people will eventually take notice and they’ll even bring new people into your life as well!

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Have a wonderful idea that you want your employees to implement and make happen? Don’t take them for granted. Small businesses can thrive and die based on their employee pool. Treat them right and they’ll treat you right in return.

“Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk.”

Sorry for the tough love here, but you’re nuts if you think you’re the only struggling small business. Statistically speaking, it’s amazing you’ve made it this far. You will stumble and you will make mistakes, but that’s okay, everyone does. Things will get better, maybe not today, tomorrow, or next Thursday, but eventually! Enjoy the ride and laugh and learn from your blunders; they’ll pay off big someday.

“A man should never neglect his family for business.”

Keep your priorities in line when things start taking off. Your family and friends were there through all the rough times and they’ll be there for you through all the wonderful, happy times too. If you always go on a road trip during the summer with them, don’t make that any less important once things at your small business start picking up. Taking a rest will not only help clear your mind and keep you stress-free but it will sure make your family feel appreciated too.

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.”

Think about why you got into the line of business that you’re in. Wasn’t it because you were tired of waking up Saturday morning already stressing out about work on Monday? If you truly love your job, then getting paid isn’t so much a reward for “getting through” but rather a bonus for doing something that you would be doing anyway. Getting to this point, though, takes hard work and a ton of patience. Don’t get stuck doing something you hate, get out there and do something you love! You may not be making the big bucks at the end of the month, but you’ll wake up every single day excited about work.

Walt Disney didn’t sit back and accept the cards he was given. He reshuffled the deck until he found a hand that he wanted. Don’t sit back and wait for things to fall together perfectly in your lap, it won’t happen without some hard work and dedication from you! Remember that all of our wildest dreams can come true.

Did one of these quotes speak to you? Do you have another Walt Disney quote that you love? What’s your “tough love” advice for small business owners? Sound off below!

Header Image Credit: Sam Howzit


Amy Swanson

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ content developers and social media coordinators. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can connect with Amy on

Comments

  1. Mandy Kilinskis

    Great round up of quotes, Amy! I didn’t know that Walt Disney had offered so many bites of tough love advice. When it comes to entrepreneurs, he’s definitely one of the best to grab advice from. Not many can compare to the size of the Disney empire!

    I think my favorite is “If you can dream it, you can do it.” It’s really encouraging that any idea you have might launch your business into the next big thing. :)

    • Amy Swanson

      Thanks, Mandy :)

      I wasn’t expecting him to so quick and to the point in his advice. Guess I thought he’d ramble on a bit more before getting to the meat of the issue. However, time is money and that man knows a thing or two about money, haha!

    • Finn

      “If you can dream it, then you can do it”!is wrongly attributed to Walt Disney. It came from one of the Imagineers during the construction of Epcot’s Horizons attraction, now sadly closed, where it was used. Unfortunately, even many within the Walt Disney Company don’t know this and their Archives department seems to be fighting a losing battle putting those flames out (it adorns a banner in the recently-remodeled NYC Disney Store).

  2. Alex Brodsky

    The best quote here is “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

    Anybody can talk a big game, but to make all your wishes come true, you actually have to take action. (Depending on who you know) Most people will NOT just have things handed to them in this world. Take steps to make big things happen, and if you’re persistent (and let’s face it, a little lucky), big things CAN happen.

    • Amy Swanson

      Excellent insight there, Alex.

      Luck is important, but you can’t just sit and blame your unluckiness on why you don’t have the job you’ve always dreamed off or why you’re unhappy. Taking the necessary steps to achieve your goals is the only way it will happen.

      Thanks so much for the awesome comment!!

      • Amanda

        I like that quote too. It’s in the same line of: “You may not be able to do what someone else can do, but you can do something.” That is motivating to me, because, so many times people get to thinking that if they can’t be the best, or make the most money doing something, they shouldn’t do anything at all. When really, if you’ll just start where you’re at now, you’ll get to where you want to be sooner than if you don’t do anything….kind of like compound interest on a bank account, or the story of the slow and steady turtle….

  3. Rachel

    All these quotations are great! I think the first one speaks to me the most: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” This is so important! I get caught up in the “wouldn’t it be great if I …” daydreaming all the time, without working to make my dreams a reality. Gotta follow through! I might have to put that quotation up on a wall somewhere. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration, Amy!

    • Amy Swanson

      You’re more than welcome, Rachel! :)

      That’s an awesome quote to have pinned somewhere you can always see it. It applies to so many different things that there really isn’t a wrong time to apply it to a job or task you have to get done.

  4. Eric

    “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

    Was reading an article in one of my favorite blogs, maintaining a person’s need to establish his routine, and – literally – emphasizing the best way to get an early start on something is just that: start early. Wake up, shake-off the grogginess, and get something done even BEFORE you go into work. It means, regardless of how crazy the rest the day went, you got something done, and you can go to bed feeling accomplished, with one less thing on your mind.

    Makes sense. A long while ago I stopped writing to-do lists and instead of writing about getting them done, would run that errand, do that chore, fix that thing I needed to.

    That said, I’ve seen some tremendously productive weekends, although Ive yet to figure out how to apply the same mentality to my weekdays.

    Great post, Amy!

  5. Amanda

    What an awesome blog here, Amy! =) I love inspiration stuff like this. The two that speak to me are:

    “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.” It’s like my grandpa always says, “It’s ok to be hungry for a while.” The hard things in life are what make us stronger, and appreciate the good in life.

    “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” I love this one too!! People today get too caught up in what they do, instead of who they are. I’ve always heard that what you do is not nearly as important as the attitude you do it with. So true!! Walt Disney was a smart man, and these quotes are awesome! Thanks for the pep blog, Amy. =)

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