YOP038: Lou Mongello – Walt Disney Lifestyle

By July 7, 2015 Podcast Episode No Comments

Lou Mongello was among the first to experience Walt Disney World in November, 1971. Today, he makes a career as a Disney author, host, publisher, historian, speaker and trusted Disney expert and creates unique content via a variety of multimedia outlets. A former attorney and owner of an IT consulting firm in New Jersey, Lou left the practice of law and company to move with his family to Florida, pursue his passion, and follow a dream of sharing his love for Disney with others.
Beginning in 2003, Lou launched his first Disney web site, and had his first two Walt Disney World Trivia Books published. Lou started podcasting in early 2005 and has been awarded Best Travel Podcast for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He has expanded his offerings to include a continuing series of Audio Guides to Walt Disney World, as well as videos, events, and live broadcasts for WDWRadio.com. In 2014, he wrote and published his“102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World” book in print and digital formats. He founded the Dream Team Project to help grant the wishes children with serious illnesses to visit Walt Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and has raised more than $250,000.00 to date.
A social media pioneer and influencer, Lou connects with his loyal audiences (he prefers “friends”) via a variety of online social networks, and also hosts monthly meet-ups in Walt Disney World and around the country. As one of the leading authorities on Disney, podcasting and new media, Lou is frequently interviewed by the media for expert perspective and analysis. He has been featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Boston.com, VentureBeat, Bloomberg Business, WPIX 11 TV New York, CBS 46 News Atlanta, AOL.com, Parenting Magazine, Readers’ Digest, Fodors, Robert Scoble and numerous others.



Zephan: What’s going on, Year of Purpose podcast? This is Zephan Balxberg back again with another episode and today I’m joined by Lou Mongello. And Lou is widely recognized Walt Disneyworld author, expert, host, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the host and producer of the WDW radio show, which has been named Best Travel Podcast for 2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, and ’14. The author of the Walt Disneyworld trivia books, 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disneyworld, and the author/narrator of Tours of Walt Disneyworld. Lou is the founder of the Dream Team project, which send children with life-threatening illnesses to Disneyworld.
He was a successful lawyer and owner of an IT consulting company back in New Jersey before leaving them behind to purse his passion and share it with others. He is now an internationally recognized expert on Disney and is a featured speaker and consultant who shares with businesses, individuals and groups the magic of Disney and/or the power of new and social media, podcasting, entrepreneurship, and building your business and brand. He is also a youth motivational speaker who shared some Disney magic in school by bringing Disney into the classroom with engaging, thought provoking, and entertaining assembly programs designed to motivate and inspire students. Lou also enjoys helping others pursue their passion by using podcasting to build their brand and business.
Lou, how are you today?
Lou: Good, man! Thanks so much for having me!
Zephan: That is such a cool title to have. So you are basically the expert on all things Walt Disneyworld.
Lou: Uh, you know, I don’t like saying expert, but I’m—I was a total Disney nerd. Still am grown up. So it’s nice to turn something that you’re passionate about into your business.
Zephan: Absolutely. So this is something that I think we should dive right into. Because I know that most people probably love Disney or if they haven’t been there, they should go. How do you go from being a lawyer and having your own IT company to just saying “Well, I really love Disney, so I’m just gonna follow that.” because there’s so many people listening in. one in particular I can think of said “I really love doing this one thing, but I don’t know how I can make that a full-time job.” So where does that decision even come from?
Lou: I would love to tell that I sat down and wrote out a business plan and figured out all the numbers and did the five year plan, but it did not happen like that at all. Sort of—long version of a short—short version of a long story is, yeah, I was a lawyer and I had this IT consulting company and I was being the service business. I wanted to create a product and try to resell it just to see if I can do it. So the idea of a book came into being, and all I really knew about was Disney. I’ve had this love of Disney since I was three years old when we went to Walt Disneyworld. Got in the family truck from New Jersey and did it every year.
So the challenge was “Can I write a book and can I get it published?” I learned everything I could about the book publishing industry, signed a three book deal, and created a little two-page brochure website, which started to turn into articles, started discussion forum way back in 2004, pre all social media stuff. Saw podcasting coming down the pipe back in 2005, understood the power of the spoken word over anything that I could have written. And accidentally, this hobby started to turn into a business. I got a phone call one day from somebody who said “Hey, I love your show. How much would it cost to sponsor it?” and I was like “…Whaaat? Someone wants to pay me to do what I love,” and that’s what kick started an idea and at one point, I took the huge leap of faith—and I know you can appreciate this—where I left—I was the chief technology officer for a medical imaging company, I left the practice of law, I sold the house I thought I was gonna live in forever, packed up the Honda Odyssey and drove to Florida. And I’ve really been talking about Walt Disneyworld full-time since about 2007.
Zephan: So I have to ask you this: How often do you actually get to GO to Disneyworld?
Lou: So I literally live, as the crow flies, like a mile from the park. I can see the fireworks, I can hear the train whistle, but I’m not there every day. People think I’m just like walking around riding rides and eating food all day in the parks. But 97% of my business takes place right here. So it still is new and fresh and exciting, especially for my kids. It’s not like “Ugh, dad. Disneyworld again, really?!”
Zephan: So they haven’t added a monorail stop at your house yet to take you there.
Lou: Not yet, but that would be nice!
Zephan: That would be really coo. So your kids have obviously been there a couple times at least and got their fair share of experiencing all the different parks and the magic that is Disney. One thing that you do now is you’re teaching people the power of podcasting to build their brand and their business. Do you think that this is something that everyone looking to quit their job should look into their passion and what they want to go after?
Lou: So I won’t say “everyone,” because I don’t think the medium is necessarily for everyone. There’s a lot to it. You know, when you put yourself out there and you put your voice out there or your face out there, not everybody is super comfortable in doing it. That being said, I wave the podcasting flag very, very hard. I think it’s an incredible powerful medium. I love what you do in terms of doing the audio and the video as well. I think we all have the ability and almost should become sort of little mini-media companies, and producing content this way. But I think the intimacy of the medium, the immediacy of the medium, the longevity of the medium—there’s so much. I could give you a hundred reasons why I think podcasting is so very powerful and I think gonna continue to grow in the next twelve to twenty-four months.
Zephan; Yeah. It’s really crazy, because I saw it when it first came out and I thought “Oh, this’ll never catch on,” and I never actually listened to podcasts until Serial came out last year. And for me, I was just like “There’s no way. It’ll die out eventually.” Now it just looks like it’s making a huge comeback. Like last summer is when I first started looking into it and it just looks like this is gonna explode for the next foreseeable future. So I’m really excited to see where it goes. And for everybody listening in, Lou and I are both gonna be participating in a conference coming up in July called Podcast Movement out in Fort Worth, Texas. So that should be pretty exciting.
So let’s get into how you become this author, this speaker, this entrepreneur on all things Disney. Because we don’t know everything from the start, and we’re always learning. This is a constant thing. We’re constantly adding more to our library in our minds. Where do you start when you don’t know how or what to do?
Lou: Well, I think you need to start with—you know, and people ask me this all the time. “How do I figure out what my passion is?” I know the word is somewhat overused, but I am a firm believer in you need to, especially if you’re gonna podcast, do something you are truly passionate about. and the reason why is because, A, you gotta make sure you can sustain it, B, you’ve got to make sure that it all of a sudden doesn’t become—it doesn’t start feeling like work all of a sudden. Like “Ugh, I just left my job and all of a sudden, I gotta podcast!” And three—or C, most importantly, your audience can hear it. Right, they can tell, they can hear through the inflexion of your voice if you truly love what you do. so if I started a cupcake podcast tomorrow—obviously, I’m passionate about cupcakes so that’s a bad example—if I started like a podcast about something I wasn’t passionate about, your audience can tell if it’s not genuine.
So I think those three things are sort of the core, and then take that and then start not just podcast, but I think you need to create content. And this has sort of been my philosophy since day one. Create content in the way that people are most comfortable consuming it. So I do audio, I do video, I do blogs, I do live broadcasts, I have published books, audio tours, a print magazine. So however it is that you like to consume the content, I think it’s a great way to figure out what your audience likes and create is for them in a variety of different mediums.
Zephan: I think that’s really smart. And you brought up quite a few things there. So there’s books, there’s audio, there’s all sorts of things going on. And I think that you should be everywhere at one time when you start a business, as best of your abilities. But we often talk about the big successes. So everyone sees “Oh my gosh, he’s a speaker. He’s an author. He’s gonna all these things.” We rarely talk about the struggles or the obstacles to get there. It kind of always seems like “Well, he just kind of woke up the next morning and he had a book and he had this deal and that deal and he just goes to Disney all the time.”
So how do we—let’s maybe go into what was one of your biggest obstacles, maybe just when you were first starting to get this stuff off the ground? Because I know that, in all transparency, it makes sense to show our listeners and to tell them this was not something that happened over night. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And this is a process to get to where you are.
Lou: Yeah. And to that point, I’m very, very transparent, especially with my audience. They know me the same way your audience knows you. They feel like they’re a friend. I’m vary transparent, open about a lot of things. And I sort of use the tree analogy, right. People go outside and they see these big beautiful trees with all these leaves and what they don’t realize is they don’t look under ground, they don’t look in the dirt and see the roots and see how it sort of moved around the rocks to get where they go and how deep the roots go and how dirty it is. Because that’s sort of what being an entrepreneur really is. People see “Oh, wow, he’s got this great life,” but they don’t see the backside of what’s going on.
And, you know, the thing that sort of excites me and scares you and at the same time is that you don’t know what’s coming around the corner and there are struggles every day. Look, entrepreneurship and solopreneurship is not for everybody. It is a very difficult, scary, intimidating thing, because you now are sort of the captain of your ship. Maybe you’re the only person on the ship, right, so you are the content producer, the marketing, the sales guy. You gotta make sure that cash flow is coming in and that your kids are eating ramen noodles at least two or three times a week.
So there’s a lot of points along the way that you start to question yourself. “Oh, is this a good idea?” “Should I really do this?” “Can I take this leap of faith?” “Do I have a big enough parachute that I can quit my job?” “Do I have enough money in the bank?” “What happens if I fail?” And I think we as entrepreneurs go through that all the time. I don’t think you get to a certain point where like “Oh! I can just sit back and relax and enjoy all the successes.” I think the key really boils down to two words for me, and it’s a philosophy I follow in my business and clearly in my personal life, and its two words: Stay hungry. You’ve always gotta be looking to do what’s next. You can’t be satisfied when you reach a goal. You gotta start doing what’s next. And obviously, I love to eat too, so it has a nice double meaning for me.
Zephan: Yeah, and I worked at Apple, so Steve Jobs’ thing was always “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” And I absolutely agree with it. I think that you always need to be striving for more and this was something that I think a good friend of mine actually pointed out to me. She was like “You are always staying on the cutting edge of whatever is coming out marketing wise, and that’s why I like to hang out with you.” She likes “I want to know what’s next! Do I need to start a podcast? Do I need to do this?” So it’s a very resourceful tool to be staying hungry all the time and be looking at where you can go next.
And I always tell people about this analogy of, you know, I’m a rower and we row out in these boats three times a week. I’m actually leaving tomorrow for four days on a private lake with a coach, I’m super excited for it. We’ll be rowing three times a day. And when you’re in the boats, you’re actually going this way. So you can only see where you’ve been. You can see a little trail through the water of where you’ve come from, but you can’t see where you’re going. You can turn around for a quick second to kind of make sure there’s no big bridge or anything in your way, but you can’t really tell five miles out what’s gonna be out there. And I think that’s the best way to look at life. Turn around every once in a while and try to make sure there’s no bridge or anything in your way, but other than that, just accept where you’ve come from and be present in where you are in the moment in the boat, so to speak.
Lou: I love that. I love that analogy! I think that’s awesome. Because for me, and I say this all the time, the things that excite me most is what’s coming. The things that I don’t know are ahead. And I think that is very scary for people, having your back to the future. They don’t like looking in the past, they want to see what the—people say “What’s your goal?” I’m like “I don’t have a goal.” This goal is always sort of a moving target, so as long as there’s no waterfalls behind you, you’ll be alright.
Zephan: And just to add to that, another quick thing, there was this great TED Talk from this guy who was talking about how we think “If I just make this amount of money, I’ll be happy” or “If I just do this one thing, I’ll be happy” and the problem is we hit where we set that bar, and then the bar moves here. And you never get to that bar because you expect that happiness comes from achieving these certain things, when really happiness is something that comes from inside.
So just to ask you, what are some things that you like doing to keep yourself happy? You’ve got tons of obstacles as an entrepreneur. A family and people to take care of. So how do you kind of even out and balance life with work and play?
Lou: I’m a family first kind of guy. The things that excite me the most is I’ve got a nine year old and an eleven year old—well, she’s eleven going on thirty-five—but my nine and eleven year old and my family is the most important thing. And when I’m able to do something that makes them happy or makes them proud, like that’s the most rewarding thing in the world, man. And I know that is such a clichéd answer, but it’s true. But I wouldn’t be here, man, without them. I wouldn’t be here without that support system, which is another thing, as an entrepreneur, I think is—hopefully that you have because it’s so vital to have a support system around your that encourages you.
Like my wife bought into the dream. If you tell most women “Listen, you’re gonna marry a lawyer in New Jersey and then a couple years later, he’s gonna be like ‘Listen we’re gonna sell it all and move to Disneyworld!’” they’d be like, “Are you nuts?” My wife never said “Oh, you can’t do this” or “I’m not gonna”—that just doesn’t—it’s not in our vocabulary, and I’m forever grateful for that.
Zephan: That’s awesome. So there’s some great lessons here, just on entrepreneurship alone, but I have to start asking you about Disney. Because as a kind growing up, I was one of those kids who like what like…forget cartoon, I wanted to watch TLC and those crazy like surgeries and doctors and all sorts of craziness. So I used to watch Travel Channel and they had these awesome things like “The hidden gems of Disneyworld” like there’s hidden Mickey Mouses in the ground and in the architecture and all these sorts of cool secrets.
So what is your favorite, like, hidden gem of Disney?
Lou: Oh, man. That’s tough because that’s one of the things that I love doing, is letting people know that tree’s so much beyond the surface. You get to the parks and you’re looking at the map and you’re running from this attraction to this attraction, I’m like “No, no. Slow down” because there’s so many overlooked experiences and learning experiences and stories woven in and details and tributes throughout the parks and that’s really part of the reason why I started—that’s how I wrote my first book. I wrote the book I wanted to read. I wrote a book about the trivia and the minutia and the details because I want to enhance people’s understanding and appreciation and enjoyment of the parks. I think as you start to peel back those layers of the onion, you’re like “Oh, I see what the Imagineers did here.”
I’m a Magic Kingdom guy. I’m a nostalgic, and I will tell you, this is maybe a bad reflection on my education growing up, but I learned more about American history and my understanding and appreciation of what it was like in this 3D environment walking through Liberty Square and Frontierland in Magic Kingdom than I remember form me being in school. And I love being able to take families or kids now and point those things out and watch them sort of connect the dots, and they’re like “Wait a minute.” Liberty Square and Frontierland really chronicles the journey of the American people from the colonization in the northeast to the gold rush in the west and how they met. It’s fascinating the detail the Imagineers put in.
Zephan: Yeah. So do you think that, you know, when Walt originally set off to do this and to make these theme parks, I guess he couldn’t foresee the huge impact that he was going to have on the entire world fourth/fifty years down the road. Which kinda goes back to our rowing analogy, you can’t get what’s down the road. I guess, what do you think they originally set off to do? Because I don’t think it was just about “here’s some rides that a bunch of kids get to go on to have fun.”
Lou: Yeah, I mean, you know, there’s so many lessons we can learn as entrepreneurs from Walt Disney. Like, he was the consummate 20th Century entrepreneur because he was taking risks and he was always innovating and people were telling him that his ideas were stupid. Like “Walt, nobody’s gonna sit through a two hour cartoon.” When he was making Snow White, they called it Disney’s Folly. It changed move making for the future. When we was building Disneyland, everyone was like “Walt, what are you talking about? Amusement parks are dirty and dangerous and disgusting.” He’s like “Exactly. I’m gonna do something completely different.”
When they came to Florida, the idea wasn’t to build a copy of Disneyland. The idea was to build this experimental prototype community of tomorrow. A real, working city, which was the original idea for was Epcot Center was. He unfortunately passed away before they could execute on his vision, because they weren’t sure how to put all of his ideas into place, but that’s what he was. He was always innovating, he was always trying to do what’s next. And I think a lot of the people at the company still sort of follow that same mission from Walt and that’s why they are continuing to do some of the cool things they do.
Zephan: So, along the same lines of, you know, him finishing off his mission and what he set off to do—and maybe this is getting pretty deep here—but how do you think we, where we right now, can ensure that we see our mission all the way through? He lived a great and long life, but I think I would be so afraid that I would get to the end of my life and I didn’t get to do all the things that I wanted to do. How do we make sure that we do that now?
Lou: Well, it’s interesting, right. Because we’re, as entrepreneurs sometimes we thing about our legacy. Especially when we start having kids, we think about “what happens when I’m gone? What is my legacy going to be?” But to a point that your friend made before. She saw you and what you were interested in. she’s like “I need to be with you. I need to associate myself with you.” and I think that’s an important lesson for entrepreneurs too is the importance of team. You don’t see a lot of successful hermits, right. You have to have people around you that are likeminded that understand the journey and that’s what Walt did.
Walt, admittedly, was not a great artist. He was not a great animator but he surrounded himself with the people who were the very best at what they did. I think Bob Iger, who’s the current CEO of Disney, has done the same thing on a different scale, where he has acquired the companies that are the best at what they do. Muppets, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars—like, dude, he literally—Disney purchased my entire childhood and wrapped it up in a bow for me. Like it couldn’t get any better, but they are the giants of family entertainment, right.
So the way to ensure that your vision continues on is to have people around you that can carry that out if you can’t, when you can’t, or alongside you. So you can do the things that you are uniquely qualified to do, and have other people around you do some of the other tasks for and with you.
Zephan: And this is something that I think I probably made a mistake, just when I first got into business. I was like ‘Well, I’m going to be the website designer, the graphic designer, the videographer, the editor, the photographer, the cook and the maid.” Like, “I’m doing everything” and I think this is probably a lesson that you’ve probably run into as well. We’ve got to delegate things out and learn when it’s not something for us to do. And this was kind of a Tim Ferriss, 4 Hour Workweek type thing, but understanding that if you are the videographer, you need to pay somebody else to make your website.
And we’re actually even talking about it now. I have three roommates and we’re at a point where we’re so busy in our businesses and in our jobs that we’re looking into getting somebody to cut our lawn or clean the house, and it’s stuff that you have to accept that, A, you’re not good at, but, B, you either don’t want to do or don’t have time to do it because you’re trying to do things that are more important for your advancement. So understanding where you are and what your strengths are and just playing off of that, knowing when to give the rest out.
Lou: Right, and realizing that you can’t and you shouldn’t do everything yourself I think is key. Because we all want to sort of—it’s our baby. We feel like we have to touch everything, to do everything. And you’re right. Realize too that if you’re like “I need to make graphics and let me figure out how to use Photoshop”—dude, there’s somebody else, that’s what they do. They’ve got the eye, they got the experience. You’re better off just saying “Hey, can you help me with this once I understand the vision?” and then, like you said, all those different pieces of the puzzle will come together with help.
Zephan: Yeah, yeah. And that’s kind of how Disney was built. It took probably hundreds, if not thousands of people to make it happen. And I guess the thing I wanted to ask you is more of…we’ve noticed that Disney is not just from our childhood, right. Disney from your childhood is way different from my childhood, but it’s always stayed modern somehow. Even though it’s cartoons and it’s—it’s so interesting to me to see how they’ve kind of stuck with the times and they’ve always changed with it as it goes.
Could you maybe speak as to how they’ve done that or how they’ve kind of stayed with each generation as a new generation comes out?
Lou: Well, I think it’s interesting because the company, like Walt, it’s very, very technology driven. Walt used to sort of be frustrated by the limitations of the technology, so he had his Imagineers invent it for him. And I think that’s what Disney does too. They’re able to continue to appeal to new generations because they’re able to—they’re able to reach them in a lot of different ways. But I think the reason why everybody loves Disney is because we all have an emotional connection to it. Disney knows how to tap into your emotions whatever it might be, whether it’s music, whether it’s a movie, whether it’s a TV show, whether it’s a video game. Whatever it is. And that’s why the brand has such—I can’t even think of any other company that comes remotely close—maybe Apple, but in a different way—that has the same time of brand loyalty that Disney does.
Look, you’ve got dorks out there podcasting for ten years about Walt Disney World because we love it! You don’t see that—there’s no—for lack of a better example, there’s no Six Flags podcast. Nobody’s podcasting about Six Flags for ten years because they don’t have that same type of emotional connection, and that’s how Disney’s able to continue to reach new audiences.
Frozen, whether you love it or hate it or you can’t stand Let It Go one more time, that is this generations Lion King. It was another generations Mary Poppins. Whatever it is, they’ve reached these kids, these young kids and kids at heart because of the emotion, because of the music. All the things that made the Lion King and Beauty and the Beat and Aladdin popular one generation ago.
Zephan: It’s funny that you bring that up, because when I was—when Frozen first came out, I was like “I’m so done with this.” Like “The second this goes away, I will be a happy camper.” But I was traveling with a friend when I took some time off from my business in November. And we’re in San Francisco one night and we just—we didn’t want to go out, we didn’t want to do anything. She was like “Let’s watch Frozen.” In the back of my head, I’m just like “This can’t be happening. I’m not gonna do this.” And I did anyway. I’m like, “You know what, it’s Disney. I’ve always loved Disney stuff.” And, uh…wasn’t bad. And I think it’s because, like you said, that emotional connection, and it brought back the same sort of things of childhood and what it was like to be a kid watching these movies.
And I think that, at the end of the day, I think everybody wants to be a kid again. It’s the one thing that you can’t do or go back to, but in your mind you can always stay young. So I think that Disney does a great job of trying to keep the world young.
Lou: Yeah, and you’re right. Disney is an escape. The reason why tens of millions of people go to Disneyworld every year is because when you walk through the gates of Magic Kingdom or Disneyland, it’s a—and I hate to sound do fluffy about it—but it’s a transformative experience. Something happens to you. There’s something special about that place and all of a sudden, you forget about everything else going on in the real world. And it does allow you to be a kid again and I think that’s part of the reason why that place and that destination attracts so many people, makes so many people like me move here. Because you want to be close to it. You want to have that feeling as often as you can.
Zephan: Yeah. So to round things out here, what do you think we could do to almost create that escape in our own lives? I mean, obviously we can’t all go fly away to Neverland with Peter Pan every single day, because there’s this thing called bills and food we’ve got to put on the table. But is there a way that we can create a business or a lifestyle that allows us to live that escape every once in a while when we need it?
Lou: So I think that’s what entrepreneurship does for you. If you do it right and it works out for you, I think that’s what entrepreneurship does for you. because, look, man, part of the reason, like you, that I am where I am now—and I see that and I feel bad for people that get up and are like “I hate my freakin’ job! I hate my boss! But I can’t wait to go home and work on X” and their eyes light up and they can wait for nights and weekends. I’m like “You need to have a job where you don’t care about Mondays, man, because you’re doing something that you love.” So my job for me is an escape. Like I wake up every day excited and pumped and I dig Mondays because nobody else is working on Sundays. I’m like “I need to get somebody on the phone! I need to get this email answered!”
So I think, and I know that this sounds very sort of…dreamery-ish, but look, it’s 2015. We’ve got the tools and opportunity to create a life that you love. you don’t have to wait for somebody to give you a chance, to give you a TV show, to give you a radio show, to publish your book for you—you can do all those things by yourself. Today. Like, there’s no excuse why you can’t. You like Alf? Go start a blog about Alf. You like bamboo trees or doing a Mr. Miyagi thing? Do a video series about it with your iPhone and start a YouTube channel. You can podcast with your iPhone or a microphone right now for free or maybe ten bucks maximum. You can have a voice and there is a way. And I’m a firm believer, if you do what you love and you hustle at it and your work and you don’t quit and don’t get down on yourself, the money will eventually come.
Zephan: Yeah. And that’s something that I’ve had to live. I quit a job at Apple making only thirty thousand dollars a year, and I’m thinking “Alright…I’ve got rent, I’ve got food, I’ve got all these new expenses,” because along with a business comes a lovely thing called higher taxes, and more things than that, but I just think that we look at the obstacles and just get trapped. We get this paralysis. So it ultimately comes down to what I would say, or at least in speaking to you, I would think is we have to become our own Imagineer. We have to imagine the place that we want to be in and then figure out how to make it happen.
Because that’s exactly what Walt did. He got all these Imagineers together and said “Here’s what I want to do. I know the technology isn’t out to do it right now, so how do we make this happen with what we have right now?”
Lou: Yeah, and I think the other important element to going back to what you said before and the tree analogy, is if you really want it. Like if you really want it bad enough. You want it and say “I’m willing to take that risk,” also be willing to make the sacrifices. Because there’s a lot of sacrifices along the way. You know, your friends are out, they’re drinking or hanging out or whatever, and you’re like “No, I need to stay home and work on a video. I need to stay home and work on this.” I’ve made sacrifices that a lot of people don’t see, because they’re not monetary sacrifices, but it’s time with your family. It’s opportunities, but the goal for me, or the goals, plural, is worth the sacrifices along the way.
Zephan: Absolutely. And I think that every sacrifice that I’ve made has been worth it up until this point, so I’m excited to see where things go.
Lou, it’s been awesome to talk to you. I can’t wait to kind of pick your brain a little bit more about Disney and just kind of hang out when we get to the Podcast Conference in July. But thanks for spending some time with me. If you could share—I know you’ve got wdwradio.com and a couple other sites. If you want to share those with everybody to check out what you have that would be great.
Lou: Yeah, thank you. Everything—all the Disney stuff I do can be found at wdwradio.com, and my personal website and sort of the business side of what I do is over at loumongello.com. And I’m @loumongello on Twitter and Instagram and everywhere else.
Zephan: Awesome and we’ll be sure to post those links on our Website at www.yearofpurpose.com. Lou, it’s been awesome talking to you and enjoy the rest of your day!
Lou: Thanks for having me, man. I really appreciate it.

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