Entrepreneur is a person who starts an enterprise for his own accounts. He should have the skill of managing, organizing and actualizing the dream. An entrepreneur should have the personality traits such as self-confidence, a high level of drive, readiness to learn from experiences, the ability to make the people together to work under his leadership, being realistic in achieving goals, a long term vision of the future plan and problem solving skill. Walt Disney is a good model for the people in entrepreneurship since he fulfils all the traits that should be in an entrepreneur. He is famous in many fields of life but as an entrepreneur he brought tremendous change in the field of movies. He is successful in this field for many reasons. The company which is established by Disney is still a prestigious company after many decades of its establishment. The flourish of this company is due to the fore vision of the founder towards the future. It is an entertainment for the people especially the adults and children. So also the company shows corporate social responsibilities working for a good environment and helping children and the common people.
Entrepreneurship has different faces and the entrepreneurial psychology has got significance in the success of the enterprise. The personality characteristics of entrepreneurs are risk taking, motivation, creative and innovative nature, problem solving style and perception. “Entrepreneurship is often studied and analyzed from the perspective of how an entrepreneur can undertake business or social ventures and build them into a flourishing enterprise. Equally important is the amount of psychological stress an entrepreneur endures to sustain his or her focus and commitment in the course of the roller coaster process of building a business.” (Sinha, 2008). The entrepreneur has to face a number of challenges in his way of actualizing his dreams. He should have an intense desire to start an enterprise, he should have self confidence, he should have a clear idea on function, he should be realistic and he should have a long term vision for the future.
Concept of entrepreneur
There are different views on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship. The word entrepreneur has got its meaning as we use now from 1913. The meaning of the concept “entrepreneur” has undergone different changes since the term has begun to use. At the time of origin of the term, it came to be known as the person who creates a thing on his own account. But there was an ideal conflict on the explanation of this term as a person who produces a thing on his own account. There emerged a question on how can we call a person as entrepreneur when he just makes a product on his own account. Therefore, the critics started to explain the meaning of entrepreneur in some other way. It is sounder to call an entrepreneur as one who establishes his own business. Now it is a word used in different fields of business which has been moulded through various thoughts. There are three key principles involved in this term. They are: take up of initiative, reorganization of social and economic mechanisms in view of practicability and the acceptance of failure or risks of the initiative.
Definition of entrepreneur
“For individuals who starts a new business, venture capital is often used to finance the start up costs in return for an equity share. Once the business is established, an entrepreneur may choose to raise additional capital by selling equity shares to the public through an initial public offering.” (Definitions of entrepreneur on the web, n.d.).
“A person who organizes and manages a business, but usually only applied to people who have shown exceptional ability and imagination in launching and succeeding with new business ventures.” (Definitions of entrepreneur on the web, n.d.).
These are two definitions of the same term entrepreneurship. These are two different definitions from two perspectives. First definition is from economic perspective while the latter is from the perspective of management. But both definitions unanimously give an emphasis on the ability of one person in the management of his own enterprise. Therefore, we can say that an entrepreneur is a person who has the ability of starting a business and managing it well.
Leaders and entrepreneurs
“A leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, and creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team but, instead, the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of the Venture. Below are some qualities a strong leader may possess.” (What is a leader?, 2009).
There are similarities between leaders and entrepreneurs in the way that they are committed to a group or enterprise. Both persons show similarities in the management of the group or enterprise they work for. The management is the ability to lead a group towards success. Both of them must have the ability to manage the group that is working under their leadership. The main difference between the entrepreneur and leader is that entrepreneur possesses the enterprise while the leader does not own an enterprise. The leader is committed to the development and growth of the enterprise but he does not share his possession with the enterprise. But the entrepreneur is a person who shares his own account with his own enterprise.
Walt Disney as an entrepreneur
Walt Disney was one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world. “Walt Disney was an entrepreneur and cartoonist who eventually found his fortune in the moving picture industry of the 1930s.” (Thompson, 2001, p.524).
Personality: Walt Disney is a versatile person who contributed enormously in various fields of life. He was known in different names such as entrepreneur, American movie producer, animator, screen play writer, director and philanthropist. He was born in Chicago on 5th December, 1901 and died of lung cancer on 15th December, 1966. The Walt Disney Company which was founded by him is one of the popular companies even today. He has received a number of awards, such as 59 academy awards, 26 Oscars and 7 Emmy awards. He is not a person who was born with a silver spoon at his mouth. His hard work, commitment and confidence made him a person of honour. At first, he opened a studio and it was a flop due to his immature financial management. Then he turned his attention to the cartoons like the Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But he lost the authority on these cartoons since he made a contract with an ad company. The animation of Mickey Mouse gave him more popularity and a universal recognition. Then he came to be known as an entrepreneur in animation and he started to direct and produce animated movies also.
Entrepreneurial spirit of Walt Disney: The entrepreneurial spirit came to him when he drew a silent cartoon known as Plane Crazy. There the advent of sound made him think to give sound to the character in the cartoon. In view of this he gave sound to Mickey Mouse and then he produced Steamboat Willie which is an animated film giving sound. The Mickey Mouse gave him universal popularity. Then his effort was to give colour to his cartoons. He used the newest technology for the film at that time.
Growth of the company: The small drive in drawing cartoons grew as entrepreneurship and he established a company. Walt Disney identified and recognized his ability by that time. He started to design stories other than animating the cartoons. He established a studio and more than a thousand people were employed in this studio.
Diversification of view: He started to produce movies other than making cartoons and animated movies. The popular Mickey Mouse was released as series in Television in 1955. Then he built WED enterprises as a separate company and he established a technically equipped theme park in 1955.
Profile of the company
Name of the company: The Walt Disney Company
Founder: Walter Elias Disney
Status: Cartoon Studio
Year of the foundation: 16 -10-1923
The recent work: The Pacifier
About the company: The Walt Disney Company was established by Walt Disney at Burbank in 1923. It was established as a cartoon studio in the initial time. Today, the company is one of the famous names in the animation industry entertaining children and adults and it has “international theme parks and a world-class animation studio and business franchise, the company nearly dominates the industry. Famous names such as Mickey Mouse began with Disney, and were the foundation of a company that has now branched out into several entertainment studios, theme parks, products, and other media productions.” (Sanders, 2009).
History of the company
The Walt Disney Company is a prestigious company in the film industry and it has 86 years long history. It was established on 16 October 1923. After three years, the company started to produce movies. The company received its fist award in 1932 for the best cartoon. The company released “Snow white and the seven dwarfs” in 1937. Then the production of the company was hampered by the Second World War. Despite hard time after the Second World War, the production of two movies Treasure Island and Cinderella were the turning point.
Disney theme park was opened in 1955. The death of the founder in 1966 was a set back, but after some time it survived. The vision of the company still continues in the chairmanship of Michael D. Eisner.
Vision of the entrepreneur
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing – Walt Disney.” (Mohan, 2009).
It is the famous quotation of Walt Disney about his vision on his enterprises. He was an active entrepreneur with a zealous vision and mission. That is why he could survive the setbacks in the initial stages of the entrepreneurship. He was zeitgeist of the time and still the children and adults are interested and attracted to his animation after many decades. It is an example for his vision on the future. Walt Disney had a long term vision on his entrepreneurship. “Walt Disney was a true visionary whose desire for escape, iron determination and obsessive perfectionism transformed animation from a novelty to an art form, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films–most notably Snow White, Fantasia, and Bambi.” (Gabler, 2007).
Integrity of the entrepreneur
The integrity of an entrepreneur is the confidence in self about his skills and talents. Even in the depressive days he did not leave his faith and confidence in himself. “Disney always believed that the real secret of his success was his ability to use his imagination and creativity to do things that had been done before, but in different ways. Disney once said, “There are no new ideas. You just take a good one and improve upon it,” and used this philosophy to continually reach for intangible qualities in his creation.” (Tayanes, 2009). Once he told that the biggest problem in his life was money and enormous money needs to be spent for realize the dream. In spite of popularity, he wanted not to lose the hope of his first work, that is of Mickey Mouse.
The mission of the entrepreneur
The mission of Disney was to make people happier. It entertained each and every person especially children and adults. Even after many decades, still he is remembered as an entertainer. He was asked how he could succeed in his life and he replied “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.” (Williams & Denney, 2004, p.83).
Success of Walt Disney
Walt Disney is a model for all the entrepreneurs for success in their enterprises. The life history clearly states that how an entrepreneur should organize things to be successful. He is a person who conquered everything with his self-confidence. Some of the important qualities in his life that helped him to be successful in his entrepreneurship are given below:
A high level of drive: there was an ardent drive in Walt Disney to continue his work and he was ready to survive and overcome any hardships and difficulties in the profession. He was hard working and he had an immediate desire for doing things. He was very active, conscious and responsible throughout his work. His curiosity for seeing the unseen things led him to the world of animation and cartoon.
Strategist: He was an excellent strategist in formulation of workable plan and this practicable plan helped him to be successful. He was a gambler but when he was doing a work, he was completely committed to the work. Nothing could bother him at his duty time. He has instinct in the management and business and it was the reason to stick on his vision even at adverse times.
“Can do” attitude: There were a lot of struggles in his life and he faced every thing very direly and with a “can do” attitude. He never took rest; he was keeping on growing and keeping on doing things. Every new project brought enthusiasm to him. He was not happy whenever there were no challenges for him to face and it shows the intensity of his drive to do some new and creative things. He enjoyed competition but it is a fact that more times there was no apt rebel for him; so he competed against himself. It indicates higher potentiality of Walt at that time. Even though he was more proactive, he showed much patience and self discipline in all works.
Attainable goals: He fixed only attainable goals. Despite being an artist, he dreamt only the attainable goals and it is why he was separated from other artists. He was very serious about attaining the goals, focusing on the single objective in his life and nothing could alter his mind. Self control and self denial were the two important factors that could be observed in him and it helped to accomplish his desires. Above all, he was a philanthropist. He donated a lot of amounts for charitable works. These also helped him to be successful in his enterprise.
Self confidence: According to Walt Disney “Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” (Disney, 2003).
From this statement of Disney we can understand on how higher he placed self confidence in achieving his goals. He had the curiosity to see the invisible things and to make actualize the unreal things. This curiosity made him to be creative and innovative in his life. He had the courage to go forward in the midst of struggles and that is why he actualized the unreal things in front of the eyes of the people. He had the ability to be constant always. But there is a problem with many of the artists that they will not be stable at their ideas. The ability of stability made him special to run his enterprises successfully. He speaks that there are four hidden things to actualize the dream and among them confidence is most pertinent.
Long term vision of the future: This is one of the special abilities that Disney had in his life. The vision of the enterprise should be focused on the future. The enterprise is going to exist for centuries. Therefore, the entrepreneur should have the ability to read the time after many years. This is what is observed with all successful entrepreneurship. Disney was a forerunner of the time. He could foresee what will happen in the future. He understood the enormous possibilities of advanced technology. He wanted to entertain people moving the cartoon pictures and this dream was accomplished and he was admired universally.
Corporate social responsibility of the company
The company has a special emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility is a business model that ensures the ethical standards and international norms. The Walt Disney Company addresses important issues such as environmental problems, community, work place issues of the employees and product developmental problems. “Disney’s enhanced corporate responsibility efforts make our brands and products more attractive, strengthen our bonds with consumers, make the company a more desirable place to work and build goodwill in the communities we operate,” said Disney president and CEO Robert A. Iger. “All of this contributes to shareholder value.”” (The Walt Disney Company announces significant long-term environmental goals, 2009).
Disney has taken a number of steps to protect the environment. The long term environmental goals suggested in the report are “Zero waste, Zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions from fuels, Reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumption, Net positive impact on ecosystems
Minimize water use, Minimize product footprint and Inform, empower and activate positive action for the environment.” (The Walt Disney Company announces significant long-term environmental goals, 2009).
According to the report of the corporate social responsibility of the company in 2008, it tries to bring more comprehensive and transparent policies to meet the needs of the employees and various stakeholders. It works for the welfare of its employees, stakeholders, business partners and ultimately for the common people; that is why it is stated as a model for various entrepreneurships. Charitable works are done by this company for the community and also it does children related programs, such as nutrition program and program for guiding principles. The work place programs are very effective as per the international labour laws.
Success of the company
There are many factors that lead to the success of the company. They are authority, membership, procedures, responsibilities, internal control and annual performance review. There is an authority which is responsible for funding, unlimited access to the authority and financial audits. There is membership in which three or four persons will be appointed. The committee will come together four times a year and in the urgent needs. The executive management of the company is primarily responsible for all the reporting. Evaluation in different levels is also going on systematically. Therefore, all these cohesive factors work for the success of the company.
One who starts an enterprise at his own expenses is an entrepreneur. Walt Disney is one of the prominent entrepreneurs in the world. He was successful in entrepreneurship for a variety of reasons. All personal qualities which are required for an entrepreneur were observable in Walt. This paper is presented on how he became successful in entrepreneurship. Besides that, he was known for many other roles, such as producer, director, screenplay writer and philanthropist.
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