It all started with a mouse
05 / 03 / 2017
During half term, we took our son to Disneyland Paris. This was a special trip as it was our son’s 7th birthday, but also because there was a big Star Wars event. Sammy (our son) loves Star Wars, those of you who follow me on social media will no doubt have seen his array of costumes. He loves dressing up and, given the choice, would always choose a costume over clothes any day.
With the car loaded up including Sammy’s very popular BB8 suitcase, for those of you that haven’t watched Star Wars, this is a character from the film The Force Awakens, we headed to the airport. Every time Sammy ventures out with this suitcase on wheels he is met with a variety of stares from those with eyes saying cute and those full of envy, well I mean who wouldn’t want a BB8 suitcase?
On the way, Chris (my husband) tells me about a guy he knows. He had been struggling to find work and things had got really tough and he was running out of money. Construction on Disneyland Paris had started, he packed his bags and with his last few pounds bought a ticket to Paris. He had no idea if there was work there but he turned up and went straight to the site office and said I’m here what can I do?
He was hired for a year, he told my husband about the painstaking detail in every building on Main Street that was created. Although the buildings look like they have been made by brick it is, in fact, plaster effects and his friend was on of the men who brought this magic to life.
As we headed through the gates and Main Street unfolded upon us, the whole place held a different meaning for me. Yes, I was captivated by the Disney experience but I looked closely at the design of each building, their colours and the attention to detail. As a property lover architecture is always a fascination as is history, but here I was at the heart of Disneyland Paris, a place of wonder and excitement and thinking how this placed changed the life of one man.
Whilst Chris’s friend worked at Disneyland everything was paid for, he sent as much of his wages home as he could and when the year was over he returned to the UK and bought his first home with cash. I’m sure when his friend was young he didn’t realise that Disney would change his life, and I wonder if Walt Disney ever realised how his lasting legacy would continue for generations to come
A few months ago I watched a film about the early years of Walt Disney’s life, he believed passionately about animation and how it had the power make people laugh and cry. Like all of us who own a business, he had incredibly challenging times, moments when those around him lost faith, and times when things went his way. One thing that Walt Disney knew how to do is tell a story, and his company still excels at it today.
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started with a mouse,” Walt Disney.
Whatever your ‘mouse’ is in business, however, and why you got started, the magic happens when you tell stories.