Disneyfy Your Business Plan

I was literally caught off guard, trapped in hypnosis at the kitchen counter, as the lyrics that I knew so well since my childhood sang out from the living room TV. Aladdin is #2 on my favorite classic Disney list, and even at the ripe old age of thirty-something its music leaves me tingling inside. That’s called nostalgia. But it’s also called efficiency at its best.

Riff raff, street rat

I don’t buy that

If only they’d look closer

Would they see a poor boy?

No sirree!

They’d find out there’s so much more to me.

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There are only 30 words and 30 seconds in the song above, and I don’t think it even has a name (I may be wrong). It comes at an important-ish part of the Aladdin movie, but there’s no way my kindergarten self knew enough about plot sequence to notice that, or to identify the philosophical questions of humanity lingering within.

What I do know is that whoever wrote the song was a beast at marketing, and understood how to embed those lyrics in my hippocampus for decades.

And that’s how all business marketing should be. Most importantly, that’s how any business pitch should leave listeners feeling — engaged, entranced, and enamored.

You’ve got to Disneyfy your business plan when you’re an entrepreneur. Family and friends might give you brownie points because they (hopefully) love you just the way you are. But a complete stranger isn’t going to grant your wish of a five, six, or seven figure investment to your company just because you think you have “a plan”.

They need to be caught up in the rapture of you (another GREAT song). Don’t just think about why it’s so logical to invest in you, but how good someone’s going to feel once they do. Buyer’s remorse is real, and anyone with a shrewd financial mind is avoiding it like a plague.

Sit down, click on your favorite film (or pop in the dusty VHS if you’re really feeling nostalgic) and take notes on what it means to Disneyfy your sales pitch. My consulting firm Karfi led a skills training session on this, called Affective Communication, and the foundational tips were these:

Pitch: learn how to “hit the right notes” with a healthy level of prediction, observation, emotion, and succinctness.

Tempo: set the cadence of your messaging with an emphasis on tone, substance, and accuracy.

Intensity: make sure what you’re saying speaks VOLUMES: volume in significance, volume in relevance, volume in revenue!

Of course, there’s still a lot more that runs the machine that is Disney, but start with those and you’re on track to producing a 30-second hit that’ll live in our heads for a while, if not decades.

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