Fired, Failed in Business, Bankrupt? So was he.

His name was Walt Disney

(1901 – 1966). American cartoonist, film producer. In 1928, he created the character Mickey Mouse, in “Steamboat Willy,” pioneering the concept of animated cartoons. In 1938, he introduced his first full-length animated cartoon, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Walt Disney himself did the voices of both Mickey and Minnie in the early cartoons, including “Steamboat Willie,” the first cartoon with sound.

To read the remarkable history of how Walt Disney started, see The Unofficial Disney Timeline and read the

Not Walt Disney?

Maybe not, but who’s to say you can’t be? You can certainly be successful if you want it enough. Take the story of a very shy Girl Scout named Markita Andrews. Her father left the family when Markita was eight. Markita told her mother that some day she wanted to take them both on a trip around the world. They each enjoyed this fantasy, but her mother worked as a waitress and wanted very much to save enough money to eventually send her daughter to college. She told Markita that if she went to college, then Markita could make enough money to take them on that trip they dreamed about.

When Markita was thirteen she read in the Girl Scout magazine about a contest for the girl who sold the most Girl Scout cookies. The winner would win an all-expense paid trip around the world – for two.

Markita decided she would win that contest. With coaching from her aunt, she developed a plan and went door to door saying “Hi, I have a dream. I’m earning a trip around the world for me and my Mom by merchandising Girl Scout Cookies. Would you like to invest in one or two dozen boxes of cookies?”

There were a lot of cookies to sell, but Markita kept at it. Every day after school she knocked on doors asking the same question. Her aunt told her to smile and to always ask for big orders. Markita learned that she made more sales when she wore her Girl Scout uniform. She also learned that Friday nights right after work was a good time to sell big orders to her neighbors in the tenement buildings.

Not only did she sell the 3,526 boxes of cookies needed to win the trip, but she went on to sell an additional 42,000 boxes, more than $80,000 worth. Winning that trip around the world was just the beginning. Markita was asked to speak at adult sales conventions. She appeared on television. She even starred in a Walt Disney movie about her quest. Then she co-wrote a best selling book entitled “How To Sell More Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers…And Everything Else.”

That’s the kind of persistence it takes succeed in business. But persistence alone is not enough. You also need the right information and a plan. That’s where Video University can help by giving you the tools for success.

If you’re persistent and willing to learn, the sky’s the limit.

For more general business help in starting a business, there are many government agencies whose sole mission is to help small businesses succeed. In the U.S., start with the Small Business Development Center nearest you. You’ll find these centers in every state. They’re free and they can provide a wealth of business information. Here you can find a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your area.

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