Business 101 ~ The Real Pixie Dust Inside Disney Social Media Moms

Visiting Walt Disney World is like coming home for me. A proud Alum of the WDW College Program, I cherish my days as an attractions hostess at Epcot’s Universe of Energy and get goosebumps every time I return. That’s just the magic that Disney has for me. While we served our internships, we were required to attend Disney University, Business 101 inside a 10 week series of classes that taught us business by pixie dust. I’ve often said its that simple set of classes that formed my business world view for the rest of my life, teaching me that above all else, a customer centric business built on being kind, thoughtful, and professional at every turn is truly the recipe for long term success.  I’m proud to say that I still have the entire curriculum, typed, xeroxed copies and all!

Earlier this year, I was so very honored to attend the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and while there, we had the chance to learn from some amazing thought leaders about how to find our inspiration, pursue our dreams with blinding commitment and passion, and never lose site of the priceless value of positive, loyal customer relationships and why they are where your success begins. As you might expect, for me, the most captivating speaker of the day was Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World Resort. She has to have the greatest job in the world, leading an incredible organization full of phenomenal people rooted in creativity and full of endless possibility. Their single most cherished value is helping families around the world make memories big and small that will last a lifetime. How insightful to hear her share how they hold people, guests, and memories first in everything they do, not being in the destination business, but in the business of experience.

Take a look…

I will be completely honest…I was unfamiliar with Amy Jo Martin of Digital Royalty prior to “meeting” her live at Disney. Well, I almost met her sitting just to her left at a table almost at the front. That counts, yes? She is brilliantly wired to think outside the box, working hard with laser focus, and to take risk when its worth taking. As she shared her fairytale of success, I was amazed to hear her so wisely note that much has been learned at a tremendous cost personally and its the pursuit of life balance that has clearly defined her future. As a fellow entrepreneur who has taken a few jumps off my own cliffs, it was her words about risk that resonated most for me. Take a look…

And then there was Ramon! Talk about owning a stage and making it yours ~ Ramon DeLeon is the essence of energy, the master of motivation, the Donald of dynamic! What I loved about Ramon is he is super engaged in everything he does. There’s only one way…the right way…and the way you get there is by working twice as hard as everyone else making sure your customers understand that yes, whatever it takes x10 is just how you roll. Focused on video, Ramon shared how valuable his tactics are in helping customers get to know the face behind the logo and how profitable that can truly be. Take a look…

Throughout the day we had a series of breaks sprinkled with the pixie dust that make for all kinds of sparkle and as the afternoon proceeded, one very special break was full of magic. The day was emceed by comedian Mary Ellen Hooper ~ always hilarious and full of great laughs. Check out how she even made things fun as she shared the stage with Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother to choose one special attendee to award the gift of a magical stay that very evening at Cinderella’s Castle!

Nothing compares to being seated at the feet of the company you most admire in the world and learning best practices for your industry while being fully challenged to take control of your professional (and personal) future. If you know me and we’ve talked Disney, you’ve heard me say it more than once I would move heaven and earth to be engaged in an event with Disney where all attendees learn directly from both Disney staff (more Gary Buchanan please!) and The Disney Institute on how “it” is really done. The fine art of excellence in business isn’t for the faint of heart. But to succeed, it has to be all about your heart, hook line and sinker, so completely a natural extension of who you are that it makes complete sense to all who know you that you are in for the win and it makes sense without a second thought.

When I interviewed with the College Program, I asked if I could work as a Main Street balloon girl. When the cast member asked why, I said I couldn’t think of a happier place to be, greeting everyone as they started their days and sending them home with a smile at the end.  My cast member worked at Epcot where there wasn’t a Main Street staffed by ballon girls so it was off to The Universe of Energy I went.  To this day, I still think I’d have loved every minute of  being a balloon girl.  Equal parts hostess, greeter, and master of all answers for key information, those exact qualities are intricately woven in my role with brand partners today.   Its true, if I’d not met my husband summer before senior year, like so many of my WDW College Program peers, I’d have returned to Disney to work for the best company in the world at the happiest place on Earth.  And…I would have entered the actors guild so I could be cast to join The Main Street Singers and do this every single day…

You can totally see it right?  I’d be perfect in one of those swell dresses and dancing my days away!

Now tell me…

What defines excellence in business to you?

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!

Disclaimer: Included in my paid registration for The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for myself and my family discounted accommodations, part tickets, meals, and attendance to special events. I was not asked to share my experience and my opinions are entirely my own. I am a proud alumni of The Walt Disney World College Program and consider this company the standard for excellence. I am honored to have an opportunity to share their pixie dust with you now. Thanks for indulging my lifelong love affair with a brand that promises to wow you at every turn

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  • Jendi September 12, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Oh Molly, This is right on: “Equal parts hostess, greeter, and master of all answers for key information, those exact qualities are intricately woven in my role with brand partners today.” And I think you would have made a great greeter, dancer – or both! You have such a great smile.

  • Amy @MommyMentor September 13, 2012, 9:13 am

    Molly, This is so awesome! You would have been PERFECT for this! But you are perfect at what you do…so looks like it all worked out pretty well. 🙂

  • Deb @ Focused on the Magic.com January 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

    And the best part is you have become all those things you aspired to.. except maybe wearing the fancy dresses and dancing all day;)

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