“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse” Walt Disney
Think about it. It was all started with a mouse. When Walt Disney created “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, he had no idea that Mickey Mouse would be the beginning spark that would create an entertainment empire that has no equal.
In fact, in 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. How about that? Now, that is success!
But, it didn’t happen over night. It was a gradual build up of success coupled on top of success. That reminds me of a story that goes something like this.
There was a farmer who had a mule who fell in a well. As the farmer peered down the dark, deep chasm, he could see the outlines of the mule at the bottom. The mule appeared dead. He was just lying there with no movement at all. The farmer figured he was dead and thought of the only logical action. Bury the mule in the dry old well.
So, the farmer began to shovel dirt into the well. As the first sprinklings of dirt fell on the mule, he woke up. He wasn’t dead, he was only unconscious. Do you know what this stubborn old mule did? He shook off the dirt from his back and stepped on top of it. As more dirt fell from the shovels, the mule continued to shake it off and step up on top of it. He continued to do this until the well filled with dirt and then he walked up and out of the well.
Amazing! But you see, we need to be as stubborn as that old mule. When adversity hits us and knocks us in a dry old well, we need to shake it off and step up. That’s what Disney did… and it all started with a mouse.
You may be saying, “But Mark. That is Disney. I am just little ole me.” That is a terrible way to talk about yourself. You were created by God to be a champion. But, you have to choose to be a champion. That is what Disney did. He chose to be a champion. He chose to be successful and so must we.
Disney was not the only one who has done this. There are people every day who hit their stride and create huge successes. You start small and you keep building. Let me just mention a couple of those huge successes as examples of what you and I can accomplish.
First, have you ever heard of a little gizmo called a Post-it Note? Did you know it was a complete failure and then it was a flop and then finally a success. In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver who was a chemist at 3M was attempting to perfect a super strong glue when instead and by complete accident developed a very low stick adhesive. What do you do with a low stick adhesive when you are trying to create a super strong glue? You get creative and create a new product.
Post-it Notes (then called Press ‘n Peel) were launched in 1977 in four cities with very disappointing results. It was a flop. Or was it? When adversity hits, that is when champions get stubborn like that old mule. And, on April 6, 1980, Post-it Notes exploded into the US market and as they say “the rest is history.”
Second, in May of 1886, a pharmacist from Atlanta named Dr. John Pemberton mixed a drink in his backyard in a three legged brass kettle. John had become fascinated with the soda fountain that was in his store. So, he decided to make his kettle concoction. John mixed a unique blend of ingredients to make his brown, syrupy drink. To this day, the formula for this soft drink is one of the world’s best secrets.
This soft drink definitely wasn’t a splash when it sold its first serving on May 8, 1886 from Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. About nine servings were sold each day resulting in a huge loss. Expenses ran away with the profits. This ship was sinking fast.
Then, in walked Asa Chandler a year later. Asa was a fellow pharmacist and a businessman. In 1887, he bought the formula for this soft drink from John for $2,300. With assertive marketing techniques, Coca-Cola became one of America’s most popular soft drinks by the late 1890’s and today is one of the best known and most popular brands in the world. And to think… it all started with a three legged brass kettle in a backyard.
So, the questions are: What will you create? Who are you becoming? You were created by God to be a champion. Choose to be that champion. Choose to shake off adversity and step up out of your well. Because, it all started “… with a dream and a mouse.”
*Mark Bowser is one of the top Professional Speakers today and the author of several books including “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Sell Your Way to Success,” “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Nehemiah on Leadership,” and “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris).