3 Lessons Every #GirlBoss Can Learn from Walt Disney // GUEST BLOGGER BRITTANY J

Yesterday you got to know a little more about the gorgeous Brittany J! Today she's taking over with this fabulous guest post just for you! Enjoy!


“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me…you may not realize it when it happens but a good kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

When we think of Mr. Walter Elias Disney, we think of a multi billion dollar corporation with subsidiaries in not only animation and media such as television and radio, real estate ventures, and a legacy that keeps on giving years after his death.

Now, I get it. He isn’t a #GirlBoss, because he isn’t a girl. But this man changed this #Girlboss (that’s me) in so many ways.

Something that annoys me is that as a society, we are told that we should follow our dreams and passions. That same day you’re told you need to do what is going to make you successful. You need to go to college and then grad school. You need to settle down in a safe marriage and then find a job that will support you and your endeavors with your family.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and that typical life is a life that some people dream about. Some people dream of that, but not all of us. If you don’t agree with that life scheme then you’re met with weird glances and constant naysayers. You’re told that your life, business, and lifestyle is wrong and you should quit while you’re ahead. We are told that we cannot fly by people who never had the courage to get off of the ground.

I was the person who never felt right with a traditional lifestyle and career. I imagined that I would find solace with picking a singular job and marrying someone who loved me because that should be enough and that’s what was likely in today’s society.

What wasn’t likely,  was creating a job and lifestyle where anything goes and my imagination is the only boundary that exists. What wasn’t likely was working in a career that was creative yet structured and reflected what I believed in— love, beauty, and empowerment. What wasn’t likely was me finding pure and unbridled happiness and magic in the mundane.

Well, it happened. I found what I was looking for and I can easily say I’m living out my happily ever after evert day. The road to get here though wasn’t particularly smooth. At certain points in my life, life didn’t kick me in the teeth. It left me cold and bloody on the ground countless times.

Failure was such a huge part of my journey, and it’s not something people show often in business. I feel that when people tell their story we see so much of the success and we see what worked, but we never talk about what didn’t.

It’s very easy to feel unsuccessful because we never see that, but what we have to keep in mind is that everyone fails. Whether or not they show it is another topic completely.

One man’s failure helped and inspired me and that is Walt Disney. He was someone who so openly talked about his failures in business, money, and mental health and I think that’s something we should all emulate.

I’ve compiled three of Walt’s many failures to show you that sometimes that most successful people were down on their luck more than once in their lifetime.

  1. Sometimes you need to lose everything you have to gain everything you dreamed of.

A very famous story when it comes to Walt Disney is that of Mickey Mouse’s birth. 

Many people are under the impression that Mickey Mouse was Walt’s first cartoon. That’s actually not true. Before our favorite mouse stepped onto the scene there was a very lucky rabbit named Oswald. Walt’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons would be one of his early productions in the animation field and Oswald was a success. Sadly for Walt Disney, he didn’t own the rights to Oswald directly and that means if the parent company went down, so did he. 

After a minor trip away from the animation studio he had worked for, he came back to find that not only all his animators had been sold away, but Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was gone as well. As soon as he started gaining some traction, everything he had then worked for was no longer his.

I know we’ve all been there. We’ve all had moments where we worked on something for ages and right when we started seeing success, something happened that brought it all crashing down. 

This is a moment that will define you, #GirlBoss. You have two options. Option one is to give up. It didn’t work out so what’s the harm in giving up and going another route. Option two is get back up and keep going and keep pushing. 

If you give up, you’ll never know how far you could have gone. You’ll never know what break throughs could have been made. 

What did Walt do?

On a train ride away from that unlucky incident, he sat down and started doodling. Moments later a small mouse with pants and big shoes stared back up at him. He named him Mortimer, but thanks to a suggestion from Walt’s wife Lillian, then Mortimer Mouse became Mickey Mouse and the rest is history.

2. You cannot continue to work if you’re pushed yourself mentally beyond your limit.

As someone who battles clinical depression and general anxiety disorder, I know how rough it can be sometimes. When you’re trying to build a business or brand, you can let it consume without your knowledge.

This happened to Walt early in his business. 

He was pushing himself too hard and wouldn’t take time out for self care. He was apparently horrible to work with at this point because he was constantly snapping at people and giving off horrible vibes.  He didn’t recover until he picked up his suitcases, grabbed his wife, and went on his first vacation.

#Girlboss, you need to take time for self love and self care. How are you going to run a business if you can’t run yourself?

Don’t wait until you break and don’t wait until you’re sleep deprived. You will create the best business ever, but only if you sit back and take care of yourself. 

3. Taking risks. You have to do it.

Does anyone else remember the time that Disney filed for bankruptcy?


That happened, but then he fixed his company by creating Mickey Mouse and his new animation studios based off of a loan he received. 

Things were going well, but then he got the idea for a feature length animated movie. Enamored with the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, he started working on his first movie. Sadly, he didn’t have the funds to support this venture and he was close to filing another bankruptcy.

This is tricky because I do believe you should live within your means. The more debt you have the harder it is you build a business and see profit right away. However, sometimes spending your last penny on something that has potential to bring back major money is worth it.

Remember, #GirlBoss. You can make back money. You can’t make back time. 

Walt didn’t end up filing for bankruptcy, but I think this goes to show that he wasn’t the best at money management in the beginning and really, who is?

Failure is redirection, and without failure we wouldn’t know what works and what doesn’t work and which way we should go. Don’t believe the fallacythat some successful people got exactly where they are without a bump in the road or some form of challenge. If you are going to be successful, #GirlBoss, you’re going to fail. When you fail, don’t let it get you down for too long. Take time to reflect, but get back up and keep moving.

Sometimes your biggest success will come from your biggest failure.

Let's make magic happen,

Brittany J.

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