On the #1 Brain Training Newsletter
in the World

Email Address


From $0 to $1 Billion: The Successful Life of Walt Disney

Author:NeuroGym Team

Do you want to know the secrets to Walt Disney’s amazing life?

It wasn’t easy. He faced many challenges and experienced failure just like other entrepreneurs.

Walt never gave up! He persevered and used mental toughness which are lessons you can use in your own life.

Early Life

In 1901, Walt was born to two loving parents. They moved to a farm when he was six years old, and Walt soon developed a passion for drawing. It was a lovely childhood!

Four years later, Walt’s father became very ill and had to sell the farm, so the family moved to Kansas City. Walt was only 10 years old, but he was already delivering newspapers and helping his family to generate an income.

The family moved to Chicago several years later. Walt attended McKinley High School and drew pictures for the school newspaper, but in the evenings he went to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts to improve his illustrations.

Walt dreamed about a career as a newspaper cartoonist!

Going to War

World War I had been going on for several years, and Walt wanted to play his part. Instead of finishing school, he lied to the American Ambulance Corps about his age and went to France to serve his country.

Upon Walt’s return to the United States, he moved back to Kansas City and accepted a position at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio. It paid a meager $50 per month, but it was a start.

The Start of Disney

During 1920, Walt comes across Ub Iwerks, and they form Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists together. The company failed within a month, so both men got jobs at another company where they learned about animation.

Walt started Newman Laugh-O-Grams to produce cartoons and advertising while he still had his day job. By 1922, he incorporated the company with $15,000 from investors, but a year later, they were bankrupt.

A move to Hollywood was on the cards for Walt where he soon became a director. He then joined forces with his brother and established the Disney Brothers Studio to work on a new contract.

With the inception of this new company, Walt decided to focus on developing and directing stories instead of animation. He hired several employees, including Iwerks, as animators.

One of his hires, an inker named Lilian Bounds, would become Walt’s wife in 1925.

Walt Disney Studios Is Born

In 1926, Walt and his brother, Roy, changed the company’s name to Walt Disney Studios and moved the business into a larger studio. The Hyperion Studio would become known as the birthplace of several popular Disney characters and films.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Charles Mintz soon entered the picture and asked the studio to produce animated films for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt developed the character while Mints distributed the films.

It was a huge success!

Walt soon faced one of his biggest challenges. He required a larger budget, but instead of giving it to him, Mintz attempted to take control of Walt Disney Studios.

Walt wasn’t having any of it! He gave the character to Mintz and stopped working with him.

Mickey Mouse

Not one to be defeated, Walt developed Mickey Mouse who was soon featured in Steamboat Willie. The cartoon was an innovative first which used both animation and sound. It was the start of a new era.

Walt and Roy soon held the rights to Mickey Mouse and all merchandise relating to the character. The Mickey Mouse Club had more than one million members by 1931!

Changing With the Times

Walt was well on his way to having a successful career, and he still had many years ahead of him. His focus from 1932 onward would be technology and ensuring his company changed with the times.

Technicolor, a multiplane camera, and CinemaScope are just some of the innovations Walt used in his animations and movies in later years. He constantly tried new things like using two reels and combining animations with classical music.

New characters and movies continued to be developed, and Walt Disney Studios grew in popularity. Soon, the idea of Walt Disney World came to the forefront, and Walt purchased land to make his dreams a reality.

Even though he was a billionaire, Walt didn’t focus only on himself—he wanted other people to benefit, too. He combined two schools to establish the California Institute of the Arts and continuously invested in philanthropic causes. This would be his legacy.

Success Is at Your Fingertips

Walt Disney is one of the most influential billionaires in history. His passion for cartoons, animation, and entertainment continues to exist today.

Would you like the same to be said of your life?

Do you want to make your dreams come true and be successful?

Well, you can be!

Mental Toughness

Walt exhibited mental toughness throughout his life. Mental toughness is the ability to overcome your failures by using positivity and competitiveness. The challenges with Mintz are probably the best example of this in Walt’s story.

When you are mentally tough, you have full control over your emotions. You don’t allow upset (or happiness) to dictate your responses. Instead, you have full confidence in your abilities to make the best decisions.

You have to commit to your goals and create plans to achieve them. This requires that you set yourself milestones and start new habits to get you closer to your desired reality. Don’t be mild with your goals: Set yourself an attainable challenge.


Perseverance goes along with mental toughness. It means that you continue to work toward your goals even during difficult times or when experiencing setbacks. Walt had to do this continuously, as he faced many failures during his career.

You can persevere by training your brain to think in different ways. The brain is an amazing tool that can change as it learns new information. This helps you to improve a little bit every day and allows you to learn from your failures.

Brain Training Works

Do you want to learn how to use your brain better?

We heard your “Yes!” and have come up with the ideal solution.

Join us for our signature Brain-A-Thon where we explain how the brain works and how you can maximize your thinking. It’s free, so register now!

A Billionaire Mindset

Changing your mindset is essential if you want to be successful and get more out of life. Your mindset is the way you think about your career, money, and life in general.

If your mindset is rotten, then your results will be subpar. Walt never let his mindset be a negative one: He used his thinking to get him closer to his goals. This positive, productive mindset is the one you want in your life.

Your Mindset Affects Everything

What you think and believe about yourself is your reality and determines what manifests in your future. Your current thinking will affect what you become and where you are in five, 10, or 30 years from now.

Your mindset is the one thing that controls the direction of your life, but you control your mind!

Changing Your Mindset

Your brain’s neuroplasticity allows you to adapt your thinking which means you can change your future. This is powerful!

Start changing your mindset today by understanding your relationship with other elements in your life (think money, relationships, and career) and reflect on your value.

Use this knowledge to refine your skills and create an action plan. You will get closer to your goals one step at a time.

From Dreams to Reality

Disney was built on dreams. Walt Disney continues to inspire dreaming in children and adults alike. Use his inspirational story to make changes in your life for future success.

Your Brain Impacts Your Reality

Exercising your brain is the best way to add positivity to your life, as it enhances neural connections. This results in productive thinking, mental toughness, and perseverance with every challenge you face.

Train your brain using Innercise™ to take control of your life. Success isn’t determined by dreams: It’s a result of constant action.

Take Action

Take a few moments to think about your current reality and what you want your life to look like in the future. Write down what this image looks like and create goals that will help you to get there.

Close your eyes and take six deep breaths, then visualize your successful future.

Pay attention to the small details of the image. Identify where you are, the different elements of the picture, and who is with you. Add those details to your goals and ideas for the future and create a plan to get you there.

The power to be amazing is within you—all you need to do is use it!

Use Your Brain Optimally

Cognitive training has been around for centuries which makes it a tested and proven way to enhance your thinking and actions.

Maximize your skills, decision-making, and results through neuroplasticity. A panel of top neuroscientists will join us at our live Brain-A-Thon where we teach you to hack your brain. Sign up now!

About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

Sign-Up For The NeuroGym Newsletter And Join The Innercise Revolution!

    We value your privacy and would never spam you.

    You'll Like These Too

    Join the Conversation