One of the most exciting aspects of being an entrepreneur is seeing your vision come to life.

Honestly, there is nothing quite like it.

You spend countless hours planning, even more executing, and eventually, you begin to see your idea become a reality.

It’s a remarkable feeling and one that comes with an equal mix of strategy and doing the work.

The time you carve out to think deeply about your business is just as important as the hours implementing your new ideas.

You can’t have one without the other.

Legendary entrepreneurs like Walt Disney knew this as seen in this sketch some thirty years after the original founding of his iconic company.

The Walt Disney Synergy Map
The Walt Disney Synergy Map

Wow, that’s a lot of arrows and lines and boxes and what is going on here…

At first glance, this drawing known as the “Synergy Map” can come off a bit confusing. But when you examine it closely, it’s quite simple.

Sitting dead center of this beautiful glimpse inside the visionary mind of Walt Disney is their motion picture studio. A content engine that pumps out fascinating characters and storylines continually capturing the hearts of generation after generation of American moviegoers.

And that alone is quite the accomplishment. Disney and his band of creatives could have easily stopped there with a successful studio. But instead, he thought deeper.

With a loyal audience at the center of their brand, he leveraged the stories they created by developing different ways to monetize the consumer’s attention.

They didn’t just make a film and call it a day. Each one became an experience at Disneyland, merchandise, books, toys, comics, TV shows, and more. And every asset promotes each other.

The result is a magnificent orbit of revenue streams that are all connected. It’s pure genius and why Disney is the global entertainment empire we know today.

So what are the takeaways?

For me, diving into the famous Walt Disney Synergy Map brought some valuable lessons to the surface.

The first is that there are always ways to create new revenue streams for your business. You might not see them immediately, but by giving yourself the chance to step away from the day to day grind and think bigger about what you do, new ideas can present themselves when you challenge your own creativity.

The second is that having a media engine at the core of your business provides an abundance of opportunities.

You see it in our digital era with brands like Gweneth Paltrow’s media/eCommerce empire, Goop. They start as a blog/newsletter and instead of just relying on advertising dollars, they get creative and develop different products and experiences that their robust audience is already craving.

We may not all end up like Walt Disney, but it doesn’t hurt to study the greats and potentially find some inspiration along the way.