Taking Risks

“Taking risks can make dreams come true.”

The only way I can think to respond to this true quote, found at the beginning of the Thirteenth Edition Management textbook by Bachrach, is with another: “Without vision, the people will perish,” Proverbs 29:18. These are two quotes that inspire me to carry on as an entrepreneur. This area of management intrigues me on an emotional, functional and inspirational level. I function at best when I allow myself to dream and bigger! I tend to feel very accomplished and purposed when I simply try to make a dream come true. I am inspired to be like the great Walt Disney himself, as I face hardships, exhaustion, road bumps and bad lemons (bad-for-me business partners or relationships). I would like to lead that legacy of the other dreamer that did.

Growing up, my Dad dreamt and did. He raised me to believe that if I could imagine something, I was that much closer to seeing it become my reality. This was how I learned how to perform a cartwheel, by fully embracing my imagination. The execution did not have to be perfect, I simply needed to be willing to try and to work at the excellence through practice and adaptation. I found the strength and mind power to perform the Olympics of crooked cartwheels. I felt successful when I was able to have arms strong, my body light and legs straight in the air on hilly surfaces, gravel, cement, grass and carpet. I watched my Dad pursue such faith and large dreaming as he imagined our home to be large with a bar in the basement, large bonfire pit in the backyard and a hot tub patio above that basement bar. I watched as he built a successful auto-body shop from our backyard, attracting transportation owners from state to state and even oversees. He simply did not give up. This is just the mind I grew up around. Believe you can and so you shall.

When my Dad chose to give into sexual temptation through his affair, then sexual abuse against my sister and I, this drove my belief that I could do something extravagant cripple for a while. After more years of hardship yet to be experienced between age 10 and 24, I fell into a wild and beautiful default; where I could actually find drive, compassion, will power and mental health toward helping people in an extravagant way! Some people saw this as foolish and “too good to be true.” Some dared call me a dreamer and not a doer. This only ignited my fire. Having been raised by a relentless and creative dad, regardless to his sickness and mental illnesses, I was born and raised to allow my dreams to carry me and feed me.

My story can compare to that of the author of Mary Poppins, Pamela Lyndon Travers, and Walt Disney. We were raised with the company of at least one other person to fan the flame that kept our extravagant imaginations. Sometimes, we were caught off guard and our creativity felt abused when people who couldn’t see as we saw; they tried to rupture it. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart nor is it for people who do not learn to sharpen their discernment.

People need people, and P.L. Travers, Walt Disney and I needed our “get-it-gang.” Who could see our visions, understand them, respect and support them? Who could give us room to hold true to our stories and ideals while adding to them helpfully?

P.L. Travers wrote of a beautiful story that expounded on her relationship with her father before he became a sick alcoholic dying to his home-made tragedy.

She wanted to keep the beautiful memories of him and share them with everyone and so writing this story was her way of keeping a peaceful mind and wonderful memories in tact, so that others would struggle to see her father in any other light than a fun and creative man. The exciting and enriching memories she chose to carry on beyond his passing, that saved her from forever feeling fatherless and terribly depressed.

Walt Disney’s brother and Uncle supported his creativity expressed by chalk and on his father’s horse barn walls. His father, however, could not understand art and how it could possibly make anyone a financially fruitful person. Following suit by respect, his mother stood by Walt’s father and never financially nor verbally supported Walt’s artistic adventures. Walt Disney grieved this lack of support by enlightening people on true world problems and issues with Laugh-O-Graham’s Studios down on 31st Street in Kansas City, Missouri. This was only the beginning of his journey in making a lack of support into his $1 billion dollar dream. In most of his stories and animations, Walt filled the roles in film production, directing, screenwriting, voice actor, animation, entrepreneurship, entertainer and philanthropist. He became an international icon simply by continuing to press on regardless to who and how people spoke down about his dreams to bring light into the darkness, or Tinkerbell into Cannibal Cove.

Walt saw P.L. Traver’s story as an opportunity to visually share her story of making the world a better place through imagination and color all while being childlike by creating “Mary Poppins” the film. (See the film “Saving Mr. Banks”) Walt had already learned how healing this process could be for a person (See “Walt Before Mickey”). From then to now, people seem similarly skeptical of a dreamers ability to do.

I’ve studied Walt Disney for years now. Here is a list of his greatest advises for new entrepreneurs:

Nurture your ideas: Protect your dreams, they are not for everyone to understandShare your ideas with your “Get It Gang”: You can’t do this alone. At least have emotional support by like-minded people who offer helpful feedback!Test your ideas: Ideas that stay ideas aren’t taken seriously. Get it to work! Experiment out of your head and into sight.Prove your ideas: Show your ideas bare weight. People need evidence before they can believe.Detach from your ideas: Not everyone will understand or see your vision as you do. That’s ok! The vision is not for everyone to understand. Be okay with being the barer of the magic and keep going!Never stop dreaming!

When I watched the two films mentioned, Saving Mr. Banks and Walt Before Mickey, I reduced to tears. I felt empowered, encouraged and had changed my mind about quitting this game. Like most entrepreneurs, my desires were instilled at a young age and with great examples. Like the legendary author and animation film maker and more, I decided to put color in a black and white, harsh reality by making the impossible possible. This means strategic thinking, risk-taking behaviors and constantly creating something ahead of our time.

When my Dad was released from prison, he had a job in the first two days of release. By family connections, he worked in a welding company. Less than one month later, my Dad started up an auto body shop again. Regardless to his own setbacks (mentally, physically, emotionally and more) he stepped back into his default: A dreamer and a doer. It is in the blood. Self-confidence, risk-taking, self-reliance, flexibility, passion and a high need for achievement is just fixed into our blood stream. While world-views, rights vs. wrongs differ, entrepreneurs are one of a kind and most often with a high energy level to bring impact. This is me. This is why I find entrepreneurship to be the most impactful and intriguing chapter throughout my Management course at Avila University.

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