Blog Posts

Online Business Lessons from Walt Disney

What a crazy month January was. First, I headed to Orlando and then the Bahamas on a short cruise. And, after that, it was time for the NAMS Internet Marketing Conference in Atlanta (which I'll be posting about soon).

I got on a roll with life and wrapping up projects, so the blog had some drafts sitting in it for awhile, including this one. As I always say “don't be a content hoarder” so — here it is getting published. Yay me!

It was “literally” freezing in Florida when we were in Orlando. Seriously, lakes had ice on them. But, I couldn't let a Marketing Lesson Opportunity pass me by. Especially not when my MOM said “Oh, Nik, you need to post that on your blog. Let me take your picture.” lol!

So, I took off my gloves (seriously – it was cold) and my headband (which I was wearing to keep my ears from aching, NOT for stylin) and I pointed at this quote for you while my teeth chattered. (Yes, I love you that much.)

There are two major online business lessons to learn here.

First lesson:
Read the quote “The way to get started is to quit TALKING and to start DOING.” Dang, that Walt Disney was a smart business man. He knows that we get stuck in the details rather than just making our best decision and jumping with both feet. All of the greatest things in life take risk.

If it weren't for risk, I wouldn't have gone to college, traveled, moved to Oregon or Florida, had children, or started my online business. Those are all things that made and make me very very happy now. Heck, if it weren't for risk, I wouldn't get my hair cut and THAT would be scary (looking)! ๐Ÿ™‚ Repeat after me “Risk is good”.

Second lesson:
Disney is great at optimizing EVERY point of contact with people. This sign was on a wall where they were doing construction. Instead of having a big ugly sign that said “Wear a hard hat” or “Caution: Construction Zone”, they used the opportunity to connect with their visitors.

That's important.

But, are you doing that in your online business? Let's check.

What do the following areas of your websites look like right now?

– Thank you pages.

– About you pages.

– Error pages.

– Download pages.

– Shopping cart emails to affiliates.

– Help desk emails to customers.

I'll bet you're leaking opportunities (or as I say “bleedingย  money”) from each of those areas. And, that's just a list off the top of my head.

Optimize every single point of contact that you make with potential customers, customers and affiliates. It'll definitely be worth your time.


Today I received a little affiliate payment for $32 from a business name that I didn't recognize. I opened it to peek and see if it was something that I might promote more. Inside there was nothing but a code and the amount. Frustrating. Wouldn't that have been the perfect opportunity to give me a link to the affiliate center? (Answer: Yes.)

I always view my affiliate payments as an opportunity to remind my best affiliates about upcoming contests and offer content they can use to earn commissions. It takes about 30 seconds to do it. Who better to get my info in front of than an ACTIVE affiliate who just earned some cash? Makes sense to me. You?

I'll be talking much more about this topic soon. But, for now, just take a quick inventory of places that you could spend 5 minutes and improve how they're working for you. Tackle a few that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Then, of course, you know what I'm going to say… Get Back to Your Marketing! ๐Ÿ™‚

That's it for today. Have a great one.


I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Bridgett

    Nicole Dean – You are amazing! You can find opportunity everywhere you look. I learned so much from you at NAMS3, particularly how to use the standard everyday (somewhat mundane) pages to promote our business(es). You are a marketing genius!

  • mark Rayment

    Hi Nicole great post. I read another proverb โ€the 2 things that hold us back are 1)perfection and 2)procrastination. Donโ€™t keep looking to get it perfect (like you say in your blog) and just get on and get it DONE! Look forward to the update on the conference
    Best Regards

  • Scott Tousignant

    Excellent post Nik! I can’t wait to see the rest of them come out of draft and into publication ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I really love lesson #2 and taking advantage of every opportunity. Like the example, construction can be an ugly thing, but the end result is beautiful and magnificent!

    Arika Lewis reminded me of this when my Fat Loss Quickie page was under construction and I had a message saying “Coming Soon”… boring ๐Ÿ˜‰

    She told me, “Why not give them something for free on that page to get them excited. Maybe even collect their name and email address so you can update them on the progress of your program so they’ll be the first to know when it’s ready.”

    I know this stuff, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the construction that you often neglect the opportunity to connect and inspire your visitors.

    Thanks for this reminder and lesson. As usual… you totally ROCK!

    Scott Tousignant

    • Nicole

      “Like the example, construction can be an ugly thing, but the end result is beautiful and magnificent!”

      Love that. That applies to many things in life, I think.

  • Dan Reinhold

    How do you always say what I need to hear when I need to hear it, Nik?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Awww, geez…more stuff to work on!

    Of course, Walt himself also said, “Keep moving forward”!!


  • Andrea

    I love messages like that.. I swear the difference between success and not is ACTION..

    Your Mom is such a smart lady..

  • The Mom

    awww… thanks Andrea. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yup, it was FREEZING and Yup, we could have buried our faces in our scarves or hoods, but we chose to observe. I happen to absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE signs; funny signs, odd signs, easily misinterpreted signs.

    This sign struck me for all the reasons Nicole so succinctly puts together in this post. As a matter of fact, Walt’s sign might have started with “Hey Mom! The way to get…”

    Now comes the confession… I am not putting Nicole’s (and Walt’s) “call to action” to work for me. I have LOTS of blog posts to write. Nicole knows this and has been giving me gentle nudges. I guess this is my official kick in the butt! Thanks Nicole. See, I do listen… it just takes me a while to let the words soak in.

    All the comments were great, too. Thanks for giving me a lift (and a kick) via this post today.

  • Susanne

    I love that quote from Walt Disney and certainly can use the reminder. It’s so easy to get stuck in either continually learning new stuff without implementing it or making hundreds of outlines for content, products, email sequences etc. and then never finishing them (I’m certainly guilty of that).

    Great tip on using each point of contact to get your marketing message across as well. I love the way aweber does this with their affiliate checks. They include a one page letter in with the check that talks about what’s going on with the affiliate program and of course has login info in it as well. I’ll have to remember this when I sent out my next affiliate payments.

  • Arika

    You know I could write a long post as a reply to this but…I’m going to stop talking and take action instead! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ms. Liz

    Yes, stop talking, or reading, as the case may be and ‘just do it’!

    Such a simple concept but so hard for so many people to do.

    Thanks Nicole, so many folks will appreciate your inspiration ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Holly - The Work at Home Woman

    How often we forget about the simple things in business. Point #2 also applies well to email signatures and social networks. Now I’m off to take action and see how I can optimize my customer’s experience.

  • Doug Champigny

    Great catch on the Disney sign, Nicole! Another big lesson from Walt was that everyone around him thought his idea of the gigantic theme park was impossible – so he just persevered til he found the money to back it. When one is first trying to market online it’s common for friends, parents & sposes to belittle the idea, until there’s actually an income stream. Perseverence is a great and necessary quality for those chasing their dream lifestyle!

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