7 Creative Insights from Walt Disney's Life: How to Apply Them to Business Now // Marla Diann

“A creative mind is an open mind – a mind that questions assumptions and seeks new ideas and new approaches. Sometimes creative thinking demands we put aside the rules of logic and make an intuitive leap to completely new range of ideas,” writes Pat Williams about Walt Disney.

As business owners, we are required to be innovative, resourceful and creative with solutions in our daily stewardship of running our companies. Being creative is not just the ability to pick up a paintbrush or guitar and weave your artistry. Creativity involves being a master at problem solving and seeing beyond all limitations. Walt Disney changed the world with his brilliant creativity and imagination.
As a passionate fan of Walt Disney and his fascinating life, I’m currently reading a remarkably inspiring book by Orlando Magic’s Sr. V.P. Pat Williams called “How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life.” Walt’s life represents one huge inspiration where imagination is as important as the air we breathe and passion is the food you feed your heart and soul. From the book I’m sharing 7 creative insights Pat summarized from Walt’s life that you can apply to your business immediately. 

I’d love to know how this ignites your creativity and imagination – it has been raising my standards to new heights with every word I embrace. Here you go! 
1. Draw on all your life experiences. In my branding strategy, I coach you how to use the power of your story – your life – to create an emotionally compelling brand that speaks to your core values and authenticity. Similarly, Walt’s imagination was packed with nostalgia and memories of his life in Marceline, Missouri which was the foundation of many of his cartoons, films, and theme park attractions. He shared his life in creative ways that turned into gifts of inspiration and entertainment for the world. What can you do to draw from your own life to inspire others?
2. Remove the limits from your imagination. You’ve heard this many times that our limitations are self-imposed. The moment we place limits on our imagination – our creativity shuts down. Solutions can’t be created. Free your imagination. Release the negative voices that were not yours in the 1st place! Don’t be afraid to go to extreme limits of your creativity. Push the envelope on what you think you can do and then push even more. You can always find a way to your goal. Walt never held back his imagination. He always required himself and others to go beyond their box. He inspired and influenced more people than any other man to be more than they can and live their dream. You can do that for your people, too. 
3. Consider all possible solutions to every challenge. Creative people look at all possible solutions from every angle. They don’t want one – they want hundreds. Get in the habit of coming up with plenty of options as a solution. Walt always required his artists to bring him dozens of renderings so he could choose. He pushed the envelope with his team so they would expand their imagination and grow. You can, too. 
4. Silence your inner critic. Oh that annoying little voice that tells us how unworthy or not capable we are to have the success we desire or achieve that long awaited goal. Stop. It inhibits your creativity. No progress can be made when we listen to that voice. “Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination,” said Walt. Do whatever you must to rid yourself of the habit of listening to the wrong voice. Your life depends on it.
5. To be creative, be courageous.  Be fearless and go for your dreams. Pull out all the stops and when the gremlins show up – tell ‘em to take a hike! Walt risked everything often to see his dreams come true – and thank goodness – I can’t imagine how our lives and culture would have been without him. Can you? Approach life creatively and courageously. Blaze a new trail!        
(Photo copyright The Walt Disney Company)
6. Work hard. “Some people are dreamers and others are builders says Tom Connellan author of Inside the Magic Kingdom. Walt didn’t just dream – he executed his dreams and made them real. How about you? Dream big and take consistent action all the time.
7. Ask yourself “What if?” Walt had an incredible way of drawing out the creativity in his artists. He’d question everything and require his team to come up with possibilities beyond their limited scope. By asking yourself and others”what if” you are igniting their imagination and resourcefulness. Make your great idea into an extraordinary idea and take action on it!
There you have it! When you come up against a creative challenge use Walt’s life lessons to steer you in the right direction and never, ever, give up on your dreams no matter how long it takes.
I’d love to know how this helps – post a comment below which one of these hit home for you!