Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Author:  Doug McCann
Forthcoming Book:  "So You're A Nice Guy and Want To Be In Business"

Walt Disney's Four C's: Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, Constancy!

“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a 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.” - Walt Disney

In today's world there is no shortage of advice and encouragement on how to think positively, be confident and forge ahead with courage and determination. While it's true these attributes help, it is not so easy for everyone.  We have all heard of 'rags-to-riches', success stories, and everyone likes a happy ending, but too many feel it could never be for them.  It's true some people have had more advantages, so called better connections, financial backing and it has been easier for some.  I especially like the 'rags-to-riches' stories because these are borne out of some who have had little or no opportunities to 'get their foot in the door'.  These are the types, only through their faith, determination and resourcefulness found their way.  Self-made individuals command a lot of respect.  I also like what W. J. Cameron had to say about money, "Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money."

Do you ever wonder why people can be so easily discouraged over their dreams of accomplishing great goals?  Personality attributes and traits notwithstanding, I believe it may have much to do with conditioning, perception and adaptation.  We see what we perceive to be the 'lucky' few who have had all the breaks.  We tend to compare ourselves to the endless images and accomplishments via multimedia.  We don't believe we 'have what it takes'!  Some feel it is the luck of the draw, like buying a lottery ticket.  Some believe they may win and so they buy a ticket.  But this is not a lottery.  This is better than a lottery without the overwhelming odds, for we do 'have what it takes' if only we would consider how to recognize our own gifts and resources. 

I find it interesting to read the biographies of those who started with what we perceive to be 'nothing' and became so influential and well known for their success.  As a boy and young man I consider myself to be more fortunate than many of those when they were young and starting out with nothing and making it to the top.  Coming out of destitution, poverty, single parent homes, the Great Depression, abuse, hunger and more, one would think an individual was doomed permanently.

Doug McCann Blog - Walt Disney - The Four CsNot so!!  Consider some of the following we may think have had all the breaks!  Ingvar Kamprad was born in a small village in Sweden and lived the farm life growing up.  To make extra money, he would buy matches in bulk from Stockholm and then sell them to his own neighbors. He eventually did the same with fish and Christmas decorations and pens.  He eventually developed a mail-order business.  That company today is known as IKEA.

Del Vecchio and his siblings could not be supported by their widowed mother and so he grew up in an orphanage.  He would go on to work in a factory making molds for auto parts and eyeglass frames.  He even lost part of a finger. He was only 23 when he started his own molding shop for eyeglass frames.  That company today is the world's largest maker of sunglasses and prescription eyeware.  The company, Luxottica, makes popular brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley, and by the way, Mr. Vecchio is estimated to have a net worth of over $10 billion!

Guy Laliberté, born in Quebec City, started out busking as an accordion player, and performing as a stilt walker and fire eater  He would become the co-founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil.  Laliberté had amassed an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion U.S. by March of 2012.

Sam Walton milked the family's cow, delivered the milk, delivered newspapers and sold magazine subscriptions to help out the family during the depression.  He managed to graduate from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in economics.  A cheque from the army for $5,000 and a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law led to the purchase of a Ben Franklin variety store in Arkansas. He expanded the chain.  His next step would be the founding of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

A common denominator seems to exist in most if not all of such biographies.  These people had a particular passion and found a path to it in a big way.  I wonder if in some cases the passion often outweighed the necessity, and there is no denying that in the Great Depression years the necessity to work and help the family was huge.

Walt Disney had a passion for cartoons and animation.  He found numerous ways to earn money doing what he loved. As his career and empire developed, Mr. Disney maintained that 'Curiosity', 'Confidence', 'Courage', and 'Constancy'. and especially 'Confidence' were and are prerequisites.

I've always been fascinated by the story of the baby elephant chained to a wooden peg in the ground.  Once or twice it tries to pull away only to find its efforts are sometimes painful and always futile.  It stops trying.  Meanwhile, the baby elephant grows to a full adult size, some ten to 13 feet in height and weighing possibly as much as fifteen thousand pounds, but still it remains chained to the peg in the ground.  The elephant grew up with the perception that it was not able to break away and never tried again.

I believe it's possible for humans to fall victim to self-destructive perceptions over their own potential.  The adult elephant was conditioned and as a result, adapted negatively.  We can fall victim to the self-perceptions garnered as a result of comparing ourselves and our situations to others.  This can be especially true

We should remember that it is generally the rule that these 'rags-to-riches' stories do not happen over night and we may be trying to compare where we are at a starting point, in contrast to where successful people have arrived.

If considering going into business, you must be positive and confident.  Like the adult elephant living up to its self-perception of weakness, we can run the danger of predestining our own doom.

Perhaps thinking and dreaming like a kid may be helpful.  I like to think Walt Disney did a bit of this!

I welcome your feedback!