3 Eccentric Lessons we can learn from Walt Disney on how to turn your vision into a Business

By on Jul 26, 2016 in Blog, Creativity | 0 comments

When I was on my vacation at Disneyland, I went on a tour called Walking in Walt’s Footsteps. It was a fascinating journey into the history of Disneyland, but it was also an excellent example of what happens when you define your vision and stick with it, in order to turn it into a viable reality. Disneyland, and really just Disney in general is still operating off the systems and practices that Walt first put together, which is an amazing accomplishment, especially so long after the life of the founder of the company. So here are 3 lessons I got from my visit to Disneyland that I’m applying to my business and that you can apply to yours. 1. Your vision for your business is defined by the systems you build to support it. Walt Disney had a vision for what Disneyland would look like and how it would run as well as who it would be for. But he also understood that his vision needed systems and what he did was design those very systems to make the experience of Disneyland fun for the people visiting it. Even now those same systems are in place in order to make it easier to run the park, but also insure that people get the experience they are looking for. At the same time, the systems are designed to engage people and get them to spend money. Whether it’s special scents used at specific places or just the positioning or the experience of meeting characters, everything is designed to engage and draw people into an alternate universe. Do you have a vision for your business and is so what systems do you have in place to support and manifest that vision? Disney understood that creativity had to be balanced with process and he combined both to create his empire. 2. Know what to present and what to leave in the background. When you’re in Disneyland, you are onstage. But there also places reserved specifically for the cast members (employees), which are known as backstage. The backstage isn’t open to the public. In your own business knowing what to present and what to leave in the background can be very important. Your...

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The myth of the Great idea

By on Mar 19, 2014 in Blog, business, Creativity | 0 comments

  I’m reading Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The authors make an insightful point when they note that successful businesses aren’t built on a great idea, but instead are built by focusing on how to build a great organization. The great idea is sold as myth of great business, but while a great idea can be useful, as the authors point out it only has so much currency and only lasts so long. A company that is focused around a great idea will eventually fail because the great idea won’t support it. When I work with clients, a lot of the work we do is focused on the infrastructure of the business. What I help them realize is that without the right infrastructure in place, a business won’t thrive. Working on your business isn’t about working on your great idea…it’s about working on the business and helping it be great so that regardless of what ideas you do or don’t have, what you do have is a business that can last. The authors of the book made an interesting that many successful businesses started out without a clear picture of the services and products they’d offer. They had to find their way toward success when it came to services and products. However what each successful business had in common was a desire for the company to be great. A successful organization is built to last. It lasts through the economic chaos of the times and if created right insures that the right type of leadership is always present. The company, as an organization, has a life of its own and its understood that it will last long past the life time of the original founders. the authors also pointed that such a company doesn’t automatically have or need a charismatic leadership. What it needs are people who are dedicated to the good of the company, placing the success of the company over their own egotistical needs. In my experience, this is really an attitude of service, where the person leading focuses on serving the people and company they are apart of. Such a leader recognizes that genuine service will achieve a successful business and makes...

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How to draw on different perspectives to improve your business

By on Jan 15, 2014 in Blog, Creativity | 0 comments

  I’ve been continuing to read the Necessity of Strangers which advocates for the importance of being open to working with people you don’t know, because of the fresh perspectives they bring to business. Throughout my own life, I’ve always been a curious person who has kept himself open to new experiences and people because I’ve recognized that they’ll always bring something I don’t have into the equation. Different perspectives help you become more open-minded and entertain possibilities you wouldn’t be aware of otherwise. Recently, for example, I’ve been working with a marketing coach, and one of the perspectives that he’s really brought into the equation is how important appearance is. Now, I’ve heard other people tell me that before, but he’s applied a different perspective that I haven’t heard and that fresh perspective has helped me get what he’s saying. By meeting different people and finding out about what they do and who they are, we open ourselves to different perspectives that help us avoid getting locked into a static and myopic perspective that keeps us locked into place. Indeed, I think that when you stop being open minded, you lose something essential to life as well as business. You lose your creativity and your sense of wonder. You think you know the answers and you get tunnel visioned, which leads to problems not being noticed because you only see what you want to see. To draw on different perspectives, its important to meet people and get to know them. Go to different networking meetings and get involved on committees. Ask people questions and get their opinion on what you are doing. Read books by different authors, especially ones where you are exposed to view points that run counter to what you know. By doing these things you’ll keep yourself mentally flexible and open to new ideas. This in turn will help you become more creative in your own projects because you’ll be inspired by the perspectives you’ve exposed yourself to. It’s important to remember that you don’t know everything and also that what you do know is limited by your own perspective. We all have blind spots and we need to be aware of those blind spots. We become...

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Why appearance really does matter in business

By on Dec 26, 2013 in Blog, Creativity, marketing | 0 comments

  When I was growing up, I held a belief that appearance (i.e. how you dress) doesn’t matter. I’d throw any type of clothing on and not really care if colors matched or if the styles worked together. But as I’ve grown up and gotten some experience in life, I’ve come to realize appearance really does matter, both in business and life, and its not as superficial as some people like to portray it. The fact is your appearance (how you choose to dress) is your brand and your marketing. Your appearance creates an impression for people. That impression may not occur on a conscious level, but on some level the person responds to you favorably or unfavorably and that helps to make a determination if the person will approach you or avoid you. Appearance can be subtle. You can wear a business suit, but if the colors aren’t matching, it can still throw people off. The right colors, the combination is essential because it establishes something about your appearance and marketing, but also something about you…namely that you are consistent in your messaging and consistent as a business person. Your clients, prospects, and people you network with want to know this about you, and while appearance isn’t the sole determinant factor, it does play a contributing role. Lately I’ve been examining my own appearance at business events. I evaluate what I’m wearing and I ask myself would people feel comfortable approaching me or if I would need to approach them. If I need to approach people consistently, chances are that I need to change something in my appearance, because on some level it is off putting to them. Likely its the color combination, but it could be something else as well. Regardless of what it is, if you make a point to be aware of your appearance and how people seem to respond to it, it can tell you a lot about what is or isn’t working. And in business, if something isn’t working, it can mean you aren’t getting the business you want to get. Does appearance automatically insure that you get warm leads or clients? No, but it certainly doesn’t hurt you either to make the...

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Why it’s better to focus on what you can be best at

By on Sep 17, 2013 in business, Creativity | 0 comments

  I’m reading Good to Great by Jim Collins, and one of the recent chapters I read focused on the principle that a great business is great in part because it focuses on what it can be great at, instead of trying to be good at everything. Or as a mentor of mind once put it, you can’t chase two rabbits at the same time. One of my struggles that business owners face is how to define what they do and how to focus on what they do. I know, because its a struggle I’ve faced several times over in my own business endeavors. I think the reason its so hard to discover what you can be great at is because the focus so often is on trying to discover what your potential audience/clientele want. The problem with that focus is that you aren’t necessarily honoring yourself or your talents by focusing exclusively on trying to determine what someone else wants. Indeed, I’d argue that you can never really know what someone else wants, because you aren’t that person. Yet so much of marketing is focused on trying to get inside someone else’s head so that you can appeal to what they want or need. We are told to focus on others and not on ourselves. It’s useful advice in some ways, but I think it also creates a problem which is namely this: You can be so focused on trying to discover what someone else wants that you forget to play to your own strengths and instead spread yourself thin by trying to be good at everything. So why not be great at something? Why not focus on what you can be great at, instead of trying to be good at everything? Now choosing to do this may seem to limit your clients, but what if instead it actually opens the door for you because you realize that by focusing on what you can be great you are letting people know how you can help them. What if, instead of trying to get into someone’s head, you instead focus on sharing what’s in your head, in a way that helps people recognize if they need what you offer?...

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Release, Reaffirm, Reinvent, and Renew

By on Jan 2, 2013 in business, Creativity | 0 comments

  2013 is upon us and one of the most important activities that you can do for your business is create a vision of what 2013 will look like. Developing a vision of the upcoming year helps you set your intent for the year and what you want to manifest into reality. In this newsletter I’m going to cover how you can create a vision board for 2013 that sets the intent for your business and focuses you on achieving measurable results for the new year. To do this project you will need a couple blank pieces of paper, old newspapers and magazines, scissors, glue, a lighter and an ashtray or bowl for the ashes. Release is the first part of this process. What is it that you want to release from your business and/or life? What memories from this past year, what feelings, what actions do you need to let go? Write them on a piece of paper, and as you write them let yourself feel those emotions, actions etc drain into what you’ve written. Then take that piece of paper and light it on fire with your lighter. Once it is ashes, take the ashes outside and scatter. Let those feelings, actions, etc., go. They don’t belong in your life or business any longer. Next, on another piece of paper write down what you want to reaffirm for your business and life. What relationships do you want to reaffirm? What actions do you want to reaffirm? What is important to you that you want to validate in this next year? On that same piece of paper, write down what you want to reinvent about your business and life. Do you want to reinvent your relationship with your body? Do you want to reinvent in your business plan? What do you want to do differently from what you have done? Now I want you to look through the newspapers and magazines and take your scissors and start cutting out images and words that appeal to you and represent goals that you want to manifest in 2013 for your business and life. Keep cutting until you’ve found everything you want to find or everything that feels relevant to your...

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