July 02, 2019
Biggest Lessons From My Trip To Disneyland
After years and years of telling my children the same lie about how the next year will be a better year for us to go to Disneyland, I did it.
I finally did it.
First, it was that the kids were too young or too short to do most rides.
Then, it was that Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade was canceled.
Then, of course, if was the money. Next year, we'd have more of it that would make our trip so much better, right?
Then, it was time. I was just so busy working on building the business.
Then, I learned about how you can pay a VIP guide $500 something dollars an hour for a minimum of six hours for an exclusive experience—and immediately I had a new excuse that there is no reason to come see Disneyland until we can easily afford a VIP guide for a few days.
Year after year...
This year, I've had enough of this bullshit.
The topic of Disneyland got me emotional every single time.
Not just because it always reminded me that I haven't yet built Trademark Factory® to the heights I've been dreaming of.
But also because of my backstory.
As you know, I came to Canada from Russia, where I started my career as an intellectual property lawyer by helping my father, a famous Russian composer, defend his copyrights against a radio station that made his song into an ad for Samsung.
What you may not know is that my admiration for my father also led me to study and write music from a very young age.
So picture me back in 1987 in Soviet Union, if you can.
When my parents left the house I sat down at my dad's piano and wrote a song to a poem I found in a book that happened to be next to the piano.
I thought it turned out pretty good and showed it to Dad when he got back home.
He said he liked the music but didn't feel the lyrics matched it, so he suggested that he could ask his long-term coauthor to come up with something else.
I said, "Sure!"—and a new song was born.
The song took the shape of me writing a letter to my imaginary American friend about how I dreamed to visit the U.S. and see Disneyland.
Remember, this is 1987.
It was as close to the reality back then as flying to Saturn today.
But the tune was catchy, so we went with it.
It just so happened that the poet was about to have a concert to celebrate his birthday on Soviet TV.
And he wanted me to sing my song there.
They even came up with a funny way to announce it.
The announcer came out and with a very serious face said, "And now, I would like to ask on stage, composer Mincov!"
So I jumped onto the stage.
If you think I'm short now—back then, I was probably half my today's size! :)
I sang the song, got a massive applause, and went home.
Nothing really changed for me—until a few days after they broadcast the recording of the concert.
I heard a phone ring and when I picked it up, a stranger's voice asked me if I really wanted to go to see the U.S.
I immediately passed the phone over to Dad but it turned out to be for real.
Long story short, I was invited to take part in Soviet-American concerts to promote peace, which meant that I went to the U.S. for a month to rehearse with instructors, among whom was the choreographer for Michael Jackson, and also to sing my song that got me there. They had to change the script to make it a part of the show!
I stayed with an amazing family in Monterey, California, whom, to this day, I call my American family.
And one day, my American father, Ron, asked the organizers if it would be OK for me to bail from one of the rehearsals to see Disneyland.
The original answer was no.
Ron then said, "Come on! He's here because he wrote a song about how he wanted to see Disneyland; we're a few hours away; and you say he can't come?"
So my American parents smuggled me to Disneyland for a day I will never forget.
In fact, that whole trip to the U.S. is probably one of the biggest reasons I decided to move to North America 12 years ago.
I had never felt more free than during that summer of 1988.
Anyway, back to 2019...
After years of coming up with excuses why it was not the right time to go see Disneyland, I said to myself, "Enough of this crap! I have my mentor Dan Lok's retreat in Los Angeles on June 23. I have a birthday coming up on June 15. I want to make myself the best birthday present ever by being able to treat the whole family to 5 days of Disneyland."
One of the things that Dan teaches is why humans love to make plans for "some day."
According to him, and I completely agree, we tell (lie to) ourselves that we're going to do something "some day" because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
It makes us feel we are (potentially) caring and successful.
It makes us feel we're really close to just taking a couple of tiny steps—and we'll be right there, where we always knew we are supposed to be.
It makes us feel that all we need is just some external event or validation.
Well, guess what, "some day" never comes.
If you look at your calendar, there is no day marked "some day" there.
I got honest with myself and realized that it was exactly what I was doing with my Disneyland plans.
So we just went for it.
And guess what?
It was a LOT less expensive than I thought it would be.
It was a LOT less crowded than I feared it would be.
It was a LOT easier to accomplish than all the horror pictures I'd painted in my mind.
We just did it.
I didn't go broke.
My business continued just fine with me not checking emails every 5 minutes.
My kids were absolutely happy and so was I! Even my wife wasn't complaining as much as I had feared she would (that's her specialty) :)
This just another confirmation that instead of dreaming about doing something some day, we should make concrete plans about getting it done and actually do it.
This is not just about Disneyland.
This is about everything.
It's about the things we know we SHOULD do but end up never doing.
Some day never comes.
Oh, did you know Disney makes $162 Million in revenue EVERY SINGLE DAY?
By the way, I've uploaded the official recording of the song that even has a verse in English, which I recorded before I knew a word of English. It was all written out in Russian letters for me! Check it out here. It's very cute. Oh, one last thing. You may recognize that same tune in the background of many of my videos. Now you know this is not an accident!
P.S. On the way back, we made an unannounced stop at my American parents' home. I hadn't heard from them for quite some time, so I wasn't even sure they were still alive. To my relief, they are both doing well. Seeing them again after all these years was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Let me know what you think.