The Day They Laughed at Walt Disney for His Dream

Walt Disney had a movie executive laugh out loud at his dream. Early on in his business to bring cartoon animation to the movie theaters, Disney had what felt like an opportunity of a lifetime. Through much hard work, he had negotiated an appointment with one of the largest movie industry executives at the time.

Walt’s plan was to show him his seven minute Mickey Mouse cartoon in hopes that he could secure a contract and have his short films shown in movie theaters across the United States. Walt was especially optimistic about this special meeting in the movie theater that day. He just knew that he had invented something revolutionary that everyone would want.

What happened next surprised him. 

The movie executive didn’t laugh at the cartoon, he laughed at Disney’s dream. The executive went on to tell Walt all of the reasons why his dream would never work. “Kids are afraid of mice and moms don’t love them all that much either. No one is going to pay to watch a silly mouse. This would never work,” said the executive. With that the executive laughed and stormed out of the theater.

Has anyone ever laughed at your dream? Has anyone ever given you the blank stare when you told them what you were going to do with your life? If we ever hope to keep the dream alive, we need to develop fortitude to move forward anyways.

Not everyone will understand your dream

Most of the greatest accomplishments in our lifetime once seemed impossible to many. Yet, there were a few who believed in the dream. They believed that a man could walk on the moon. They believed that you could hold a device in your hand and talk with anyone around the world. Don’t allow one person’s opinion to shut down your dream. Not everyone will understand your dream.

Believe in your dream even when others don’t

What if Disney had given up on his dream that day? What if he would have allowed one person’s opinion to become his reality? There would be no Mickey Mouse and there would be no Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Who can imagine a world without that? Getting negative feedback should not be a reason to pack it up and go home. You are going to need to believe in your dream even when others don’t.

Focus on those waiting for your dream to become a reality

What then gets us through the valley when our dream takes a direct hit from others? Your dream survives when you place your focus on those waiting for your dream to become a reality. You have people waiting for you and your dream. They need your advice, perspective, solution and product. Whether you change someone’s day or change someone’s life, you need to make your dream a reality. We are waiting for you. There is a dream that only you can fulfill.

Surround yourself with other dream catchers

While it seems noble to charge ahead alone with your dream, the truth is you’re going to need dream catchers along the way. These are people who catch the vision of what you are trying to do. For Walt Disney, he had his brother Roy. Roy’s talent was in the financing of the business. He was in the background, helping to finance the dream while Walt focused on the creative side.

There were also employees of Walt who caught the vision. In the early days, he had animators work without pay because they believed in the dream so much. They worked nights and weekends in an afford to get the cartoon done. They were lost in their passions and Walt had inspired them. Eventually, it paid off for these animators, but in the early days they were there in total support of Walt’s dream.

How about you? Are there dream catchers in your life you’ve taken for granted? Take a moment today and thank them for being a part of your dream.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.