Would Walt Disney have survived the Shark Tank?


My family recently took a trip to Walt Disney World. With 2 teenagers in tow, one disgruntled and one thrilled. off we went the magical land of Disney. I had a myriad of emotions that passed through my brain on our week long sojourn that included 5 days seeing all the parks, shows, fireworks and a shocking amount of food. 

It struck me that Walt had a real gift for incorporating technology with the ideas that flooded his brain. I have always been a bit fascinated with Walt Disney, the man himself and all he accomplished in his relatively sort lifetime. This led me to ask, if Walt needed funding (which he did often in his career) would he survive the Shark Tank?


Would he be able to stand before a set of wealthy venture capitalists and convey his vision(s) and secure money? 

Walt was quoted as saying “Biggest problem? Well, I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life. MONEY. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem.”

I could just picture them grilling him with questions and making judgements about how he was handling his business, especially in the early stages when it  really just a mouse and some new technology.

They would ask:

What exactly was propriety in this deal, a mouse?


 Is it patentable? Did you create this technology or are you just applying  ideas? (Walt did hold the patent for a multi-plane camera although Walt did not invent the camera himself.)

You did WHAT with the rights? (Walt lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in an early deal with Charles Mintz.)

You are living on canned beans!? (insert Mark Cuban’s large grin and chuckle)

So what? So now someone can watch a cartoons with synchronized sound? (Silly Symphonies) Who cares? (Can’t you just hear Kevin O’Leary aka Mr. Wonderful saying that?)

What do you mean you had a contract for exclusive Technicolor use, that’s the real deal here, you botched it! I’m out! (Walt was approached by Hebert Kalmus to use a new 3 color animating process and he jumped on the opportunity signing a 5 year contact to exclusive use which was later shortened under pressure from major studios stuck using a one color process)

Nobody in their right mind is going to want to watch a FULL length cartoon that is taking you 3 years to make! (Even Walt’s wife warned him that audiences would not sit through a full length animated film. Walt borrowed largely to create Snow White, his first full length feature, that had an eyebrow raising $1.5 million to make)

Even after success the responses might look like this:

You mortgaged EVERYTHING including your home, stock holdings, life insurance and even your furniture to build a THEME PARK? I don’ want to invest in someone who is at risk of losing everything!! (Disneyland costs $17 million dollars to open, big money in 1955. Yes, Walt did mortgage everything.)

Would the Sharks see through all the common complaints they have for people looking for investors and seen Walt as the visionary he was?

Would someone (most likely Barbara Corcoran or Lori Greiner) say, “I think you are crazy but I like who you are and I think you’ve got something!” 

I think in the end the Sharks would see Walt’s spark, his innovation and his extraordinary vision and entrepreneurship and that they would help fund him and his magical and seemingly far out dreams. 

The real question is, would Walt Elias Disney have given up a percentage of his little mouse to get the deal?

I would love to hear your thoughts!


My favorite Walt Disney quotes:

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”

“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret 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 these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Don’t Dream Small!!




Here is  a little something modern Mickey has been up to via artist Damien Hirst (in collaboration with Disney, of course.)

Did you know Walt Disney holds the record for the most nominations (59) AND them most wins (22) for an individual in Academy Award History?

I ended up doing  fair amount of research on Walt while waiting in lines at Disney World (gotta love a smartphone!) This was an interesting look at overlooked innovations of Walt Disney. 


Who and What I am into this Week: A heartfelt transformation

This is a repost from Heatherlee Chan over at Lady Poppins Art. When I read this post I actually cried, when I put the style course together, I asked myself “What do people need?” While how-to’s in marketing and branding are good and paramount when you own your own business, it all comes together based on what we know about ourselves. I asked Heather if I could share her post because truthfully, I don’t think I can market the course any better than how she does in this heartfelt post! Thank YOU, Heather for writing this!  Smart Creative Style is coming up in August! Get on the list so you don’t miss out because “there is no one else like you!”


What I learned from taking the Smart Creative Style Course by Monica Lee

Monica didn’t mean to change my life.

But she did.

I was browsing Pinterest and came across a cute illustration. I followed the link and it led me to Smart Creative Women. MIND BLOWN.

I perused. I bookmarked. I came back the next day. And the next. And soon it became an addiction. 

I cleaned dishes, folded laundry, and painted while I listened to Monica interview some of the most awesome and creative women. 

After I finished listening to all the interviews I wanted to hear more about her. So I listened to her pep talks and read the blog posts. 

In this blog post she encouraged her readers to try a technique she was using in her Smart Creative Style course. You make a Pinterest board and pin only the images that speak to your heart, the ones you must always be able to find because they are so special. And when you are all done you take a step back, minimize your screen, and analyze. 

So I tried this exercise and discovered that I like light blue the most, not turquoise. I loved the images of feminine and sweet 20s girls, not the 50s girls. How could this be? My house has turquoise everywhere! I loved it before it was cool. I love Doris Day and her fashion in her movies. But this is what I pinned, and this is what I felt was part of me. 

This SIMPLE exercise was enlightening. So then Monica announced that the next round of Smart Creative Style Course was enrollingand that there would be two opportunities to win a scholarship. I knew I MUST take this course!! I didn’t know how it would happen, but I felt like I belonged in this class. I prayed. And I hoped. 
And I lost. 

Sarah Jane Studios (the cutest and sweetest children’s illustrator) gave away the first scholarship and I lost. But alas, there was one more!

Jeanean Morrison, the darling, friendly, fabulous fabric designer and artist, was giving away a scholarship. So I entered.  AND I WON!!!!!

 Holy moly, it was amazing. I received a notification on my phone that an email just came in. The title said “You Won!” I knew exactly what it was! I screamed, I danced with my 3 year old daughter for ten minutes around our house, I called my husband with a voice that sounded as if we had won the lottery. 

But really, I had. 
Because this was the catalyst for change. 


I still don’t even know what is going to happen because of this opportunity, but I know deep down in my soul that God blessed me with this with His perfect timing. After YEARS of thinking I was mediocre with nothing new to bring to the world (so why bother trying?) I was beginning to see that what I loved and what I could put on paper had not been done before. And then we began the class.

Monica sent each of us the cutest journal that she had made especially for us. I filled every single page. 

I have taken one other online course and that was in college for Educational Technology. Now THAT was a snoozefest. But Monica’s intro video had music, a dance, and sparkles (I am NOT kidding—she wore sequins, which made me love her even more)! 

There was a video from Monica for each lesson (two times a week). In addition, she had amazing, knowledgeable, and famous guest teachers, links to relevant articles, PDF downloads, and knowledge that took her years of acquiring summed up and shared with us in ONE course. 


 So I first off, I learned. 

I was such a good student. I read everything and did all the assignments. 

But what makes Monica a talented teacher is how she posed questions and really made us reflect on our answers. Oh and this gal has a way with words! We would make Pinterest boards on a particular topic (i.e., nature, art, fashion, etc) and then post a link on the private Facebook page. Everyone would click through, look at it, and then comment on the things they saw and felt. While most of us would come up with a line or two of analysis, she would see things that no one else saw and relay it in such an encouraging and in depth manner. I would always have to go look at the board again so I could recognize what she had pointed out. 

Because we were encouraged to comment and post questions, there were even friendships that were formed. The Facebook group that is created for each class remains open forever so that any time we feel like posting something there are our classmates ready to respond.

So now the class is over. The dust is finally settling. I had a crazy breakthrough. I was in the shower and I realized my perspective was heavily influenced on my LOVE of literature. Dare I say obsession? A child that plays Librarian? That was me. 

This is what I realized was true for me: we are all heroines in our story. 

My view of the world is skewed and is seen through the eyes of written words where time doesn’t exist. You can spend pages describing ten seconds. The heroines are your friends, yet they are also you. You can go wherever within the confines of your bed or backyard. 

This is ONE aspect of the many things I learned about myself. 

I could go on and on. 

But most importantly, I learned that there is no one else like me. Yet, there are so many others that feel the same. And maybe, just maybe, my art will speak to them. Maybe I don’t create exact replicas of still life setups (and I could if I worked hard at it—but do I find it enjoyable? No.). But I do paint things from that corner of my mind. 

That place where imaginary is real. 

 I like that I KNOW what I like and I know WHY I like it. I can see new images, feel excited by them, and I can also trace it back linearly to the reason. 

For example, looking at pins of brides in nature in their white dresses enchants me. Why? Because I like femininityàromanceà1910sàsimplicityàthe solitude before change

But MY thinking will not match ANYONE else’s. We might be similar, but yours is going to come from a completely different place, thus a different order, and a few different words that completely change the outcome. 

Monica has given me the tools to discover what I love (and I can do this continually!). She is the ultimate cheerleader, the mentor, and the friend. I have never met her, nor have I even spoken to her on the phone, but I know that I adore her. She is completely transparent, honest, and authentic. I know that who she is in her videos is who she is while at Target, cooking dinner, and at a party. She creates an online classroom that is full of love, encouragement, and self-discovery. This class is truly priceless. 

 I don’t care who you are, you need to take this class. Even if you think you completely know yourself (which I thought I did!!) you will walk away surprised and left thinking about it for months, but touched forever. The addition of all the practical and helpful business advice blends in beautifully and will enhance any creative person and business. 

 And so I close with a heartfelt thank you to Jenean Morrison for being my fairy godmother. Your generosity has changed me and inspired me. And thank you to Monica Lee for blessing people with your talents as a teacher and artist

 Thank you will never be enough. 

You can see some of  Heather’s boards and more of her art here. 

VP of Creative at Midwest-CBK, Margo Tantau is in the house!

You are going to eat this one up! Margo Tantau is so creative and has an eye for talent! Wait until you hear how I first “found” her.  Her story is a terrific example of how your life’s journey sets you up for where you are supposed to be, you just have to be open to it! In this interview she shares what she loves and doesn’t love seeing in an artists portfolio! This chat will definitely inspire you to be yourself and forge your own creative path! Margo is the VP of Design and Creative at Midwest-CBK and could not be more down to earth and more “for you!” She is dying for you to show up as the creative person you are intended to be. Listen in as she shares her start and how she has developed her “eye” over the years.   I love love what she is doing in this position and so will you!

Audio Podcast:


LaDieh Rosenthal

BeautSoul_FrontCover_72  Susan Black

JessicaSwiftTS3_72  Jessica Swift


  Zoe Ingram

If you desire to hone your own talents into a “look” and style that is uniquely your own get on the Smart Creative Style list! It goes live in Aug! Join me for a journey that is all about discovering YOU at your very best!



Who and What I am into this Week: What to Wear to Disney

disneyoutfit_72 I am headed to Disney World! At the request of my 18 year old (yes, you did not read 8 years old) For Connor’s graduation, we are headed to his favorite place on earth! I am looking forward it, really. After all Walt and I go way back, he is one of my creative heroes! An empire coming from a hand drawn mouse, pretty impressive. I remember doing a research paper and speech on him in Junior High, what a visionary.

In the spirit of keeping my hand in my art, I drew what I think will be one of my favorite outfits to wear while I am vacationing.  I even googled what to wear to Disney World. I haven’t been knee deep in 100% humidity in sometime. Truthfully, I am illustrating a book with/for a girlfriend (big news) and my paints are out so I am forcing myself to paint something new each week. The book is due the week after I return (Ack! Heart palpitations)… but enough of stressful deadlines! Let’s keep this post positive!

Here are some things to look forward to when I get back! I have Margo Tantau the Art Director at MWCBK and she is dishing out some hard hitting advice for creatives! I also have Anahata Katkin owner and artist at Papaya Art! giving some sage advice about growing your business. Both of these guests are fabulous and you are going to get so so much out of these interviews!

In the meantime, check out the show page to see anybody you may have missed!

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Embrace your fears?

Befriending your  fear might just be the fastest way to move past it.  I figure if FEAR has so many other friends (like doubt and procrastination) why not embrace it so you can control its destiny?  In this video, I talk about some of my favorite tips on how to deal with fear and one specific TRAP that can keep you from moving towards your destination. Let’s avoid traps, please!

I also have a BIG announcement (when and why-yes there is a specific WHY!) about  my e-course SMART CREATIVE STYLE .  I believe HOW to show up for yourself  and how you earn money  COUNTS! This is not the time to be a cookie cutter creative! Authentic is NOT just a buzz word. As a creative we need to strive for originality and as entrepreneurs, we are the leaders of our own brands and our businesses! I agree with Tom when he says “Nobody knows your business better than you do!”  That means you need a course that helps you figure out what that looks like for you as an individual! No more batching and lumping everyone together. You are unique and so is your creative voice, it should be nurtured!

I had some fabulous help putting together this course and have had some incredible and humbling reviews. You can read posts by Gabriella Buckingham, Tory Higa from the last class, explaining what the course did for them. Chanel Christoff Davis even made a VIDEO montage  expressing her style!! How fun is that?

Part of the BIG news is that we are  planning on running the next course as a fundraiser for a dear friend and teacher from the course Khali Whatley.  Don’t miss this video!


Sign up for the Smart Creative Style email list of exclusive offers that I offer only to people on the list!


Who and What I am into this Week: What to Wear on Vacation

I am not QUITE there yetnext Saturday, so one more week and we head to Florida. Right now I am doing  the last minute hunting and gathering. I have this dress in my shopping cart and need to pick a color! Help! As you see I can easily of coordinate all three. Truthfully, this is one of my favorite things to do, pack up for a trip and make sure everything is interchangeable. All those years as a flight attendant finally pay off! I have this weird habit of picking a “summer” color and building all my summer accessories around it. (Don’t judge, I am flexing my creative muscles when I do this. That’s my story and I’m stickin‘ to it!) This summer I am leaning into navy, which will pick up last summer’s salmon choices. I also thought this dress looks cute in the chambray gray. Maybe should get all three colors!??


Boho sandal

TOMS Shoes

Birkenstock (can you believe these are so hot this season!?

Patagonia dress

Bags and scarves found in my Greatl.y Shop: I can’t resist this stuff!

 Blue and Salmon scarf by FashionABLE

Salmon Tote by Year Round Co.

Navy Tote by Year Round Co.

Japanese scarf bag by The Link Collective

Hallie Gray scarf

If you follow me on instagram , you may have seen that I have been buying a fair amount from The Art of the Accessory section of my Great.ly shop. Yup! That’s me, being my favorite customer (ACK!) BUT isn’t his bag cute AND lightweight?! AND it packs flat, a little folding and you are ready to go! Love it! I could do an entire blog on traveling and packing!




Meredith Walker on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Audio Podcast:

itunes_white What happens when girlfriends come together with a good (and SMART) idea? Magic! Meredith Walker and Amy Poehler (Yes, Amy Poehler  the actress and funny lady)  met while working at Saturday Night Live (which I am sure is a mixture of  wild torment and wild fun) They became fast friends and as they talked  about the lively free moments of their youth they wondered  when and why they  started “holding back”  their personalities as they became women. Then they got the idea to help  girls (ok and grown women) maintain their sense of selves, to laugh, explore and embrace who they really are.

These ladies want to celebrate individuals who are changing the world’s by simply being themselves. 

Well, YOU KNOW I am all over that, right? This is a really enjoyable (lots of giggling) conversation. Grab a cuppa and have a good time. You JUST might see yourself somewhere in this talk!

Amy’s Smart Girls, it’s a show, it’s a movement, it is something that you need AT EVERY AGE! You can watch their YOU TUBE channel here. Some of their shows are Ask Amy, Smart Girls at the Party, Operation Nice and a Google hangout #SmartGirls. This is a REALLY good show/website to pass on to any adolescent girl you know (or to a mom of one!)


Here is a PINNABLE!


I love their motto “You change the world by being yourself!”


“We wanted to celebrate the non-celebrity,” says  Amy Poehler. “We wanted to embrace and highlight the cool period in any boy or girl’s life where they’re just so full of possibility and ideas and passion.” 


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