Hello and welcome to FII Dust and Profits. I’m Yasmin.
And I’m Nicole
And just before we hopped on to record, Nicole and I were just talking about the fact that it is the end of the year. It’s December early in the month on the day that we’re recording this. And it just feels like there’s like a never ending pile of work to get done before the year wraps. And as much as we love what we do sometimes it’s kind of hard to find the motivation to finish it all. It’s a bit of a struggle us. Would you say that Nicole?
Yeah, definitely. I, I definitely have struggled with motivation this year. I know burnout’s a huge topic a lot of people have talked about. I think my challenge right now is that I had planned to be light duty in December. It’s a time of year where I really like to slow down. We’re traveling to different relatives houses and there’s always something else every single weekend. And so I went into the month planning to not have many projects and projects just seem to pop up, find me. Yeah. And they’re not the types of projects that are easily delegatable or they’re, they’re, they’re important and a little bit urgent too. So they’re not something I can wait till after the holidays to start. So it, it’s definitely feels like crunch time even though it’s very early in the month right now. I know that what’s coming the rest of the month with kids out of school,
. Yeah. And you know, as we were talking about this, we were thinking it’s not just small business owners who have this problem or really just everyday people like they’re big companies like Disney that sometimes also struggle to finish projects. So we thought we would talk about all the things that Disney has announced that have sort of
Been disappeared into the Disney Vault
. Yeah. Yeah. So obviously with the pandemic, Disney had to re-look at some of the projects prior to the pandemic. They announce a reimagining of Epcot. There was a DVC resort that had been announced at brand new one called Reflections. And now it’s kind of hard to find mentions of some of these things from the website because they scrubbed it. And that’s sort of Disney’s way of either canceling or postponing projects because perhaps they didn’t have the finances at the time with all of the uncertainty around the pandemic. And now that we’re sort of, you know, I’m using air quotes here, but coming out of the pandemic, we’re not quite, but things seem to have gone back to normal. Disney hasn’t really made any mention of those projects again.
Yeah, it’s definitely really interesting because when they announce a project, you can imagine how many drafts get left on the floor that don’t even make it to the public’s eye. Mm-Hmm. . And so when something does get to the public’s eye, it’s a huge fan affair. There’s, you know, artist renderings. In Epcos case there was actually a space in Epcot where they had like this 3D model of what Epcot is going to become. And it was really interesting to be in that room. I did get a chance to do that. And some of those projects have been scrapped. So they were supposed to be a Mary Poppins ride or experience of some sort that has been confirmed to not be happening anymore. There’s also a whole section of the park where they, right now it’s kind of like the, they have space and then they have future world, but future World was made so long ago it doesn’t feel much like the future anymore. So they’re really updating what all of that looks like. And they were supposed to have this like, play experiences area and we’re not sure if that’s beneficially canceled, but there’s really no word of it at all. Yeah. And
We should have heard something by now, like they would’ve either announced the progress. And again, mentions have been erase from all Disney websites. So that kind of tells us that’s probably not gonna move forward as planned. And it’s in the middle of construction so they’re abandoning ship like midway.
Yeah. And when we were talking about this, Yasin actually brought up such a great point that, you know, sometimes you need extra time to get things done or you know what, you announced something and you realized when you’re getting into the nitty gritty of actually creating it, that it doesn’t work anymore either for financial reasons or you don’t have the right team, or you don’t have, in Disney’s case, often you don’t have the technology for this to exist yet. It’s okay to kind of silently move away from it. You don’t even need to make a big announcement. For small businesses, people probably aren’t paying attention as hard as you are to your own business. And in Disney’s case, you know, they’ll, they’ll have another piece of news coming out the next day so it, it doesn’t go unnoticed for Disney. But they’re willing to admit by not sharing updates that, you know, this wasn’t going to happen right now. I mean, they have other things too, like the tron rollercoaster in Magic Kingdom.
Something done already.
Yeah. This is something I think they wanted done for the 50th anniversary. For point of reference, the 50th anniversary started in October, 2021. Mm-Hmm. and went to, it’s gonna end in January, 2023. And so Toronto is still not open. I have heard that they’ve been testing the cars, but it won’t be open until this spring. And that ride actually already exists at a different Disney park in the world. So it took them that long to build something they already know and have you
Have the blueprints for and everything.
Right, exactly. So, you know, it’s okay that it didn’t meet the deadline and they’re, you know, still very excited for this project to come. And I don’t know this, it, it’s very interesting being a Disney fan cuz you think when you see it on hard paper the 3D rendering, like this is something that’s going to happen. I was excited to see those models of the Reflections DBC Resort. I have no intention of purchasing anymore dbc, but it looked like a very pretty resort. And knowing the Riviera resort, which was their latest one is absolutely beautiful. Maybe not this taste I have when I’m going on a Disney vacation, but beautiful, loved staying there. We spent a night there, it’s gorgeous reflections. Just had a feel that felt more like home to me. Mm-Hmm. , I was really curious to see what that would be. So maybe it’s something we’ll be working on in a few years, maybe it’s just completely gone from the potential list of projects.
Yeah. And like Nicole, just to echo sort of what you said, that it’s okay, like if Disney is able to give themselves some grace and either take longer to finish a project so it’s done right or you know, move away from a project that’s not working altogether, that’s okay for you to do too. In a previous episode, I think it was our last episode, we talked about how Disney is going away and doing away with the Star Wars Galactic Cruiser experience, which costs a ton of money to build and maintain. And it brings me back to, talked about this business school Nicole, but your son costs fallacy. It’s when you put so much money, time and effort into creating something and you don’t want all that money to sort of like be a waste of time that you continue investing in a project that’s basically a money pit.
And you know, we think that maybe Star Wars Galactic Cruiser didn’t pan out because it was like cost too much in terms of like the price for the experience and it was a one and done thing and we’re not in the boardrooms discussing why it basically failed. But, you know, good on them for at least realizing that this isn’t going to continue to make them profit. And rather than continuing to sort of air quotes like waste money on a project that wasn’t like fulfilling the needs, they’re cutting it and reallocating hopefully that budget to other experiences and other projects that are coming up. So if you spent a long time billing something and it’s not working sometimes like throwing more money at it doesn’t necessarily fix the problem. And sometimes you just gotta like walk away and, you know, chalk it up to a learning lesson and understand what didn’t work. So the next time you do a similar project, you get it right. The fir on the second go I was to say get
Right the first time you probably do some surveying of your audience to see tolerance level is, and you know, with Galactic Star Cruiser in particular, like they still have that asset. They still have that building mm-hmm. , whether they turned it into just a themed Star Wars hotel that maybe doesn’t have the live acting cast or the special experiences, or they completely re them it into another value resort. Like who knows what they’re going to do with that property. It it has prime real estate being right next to Galaxy’s Edge. So there might be something they’ll do with it, but like you said, they could be sinking costs every single day into paying like actors and chefs and you know, these are specialized roles. They’re not the traditional role that they have in their resorts. So it’s almost like a cruise ship on land. Mm-Hmm. .
So having that specialized crew was, you know, costing quite a bit of money when the rooms were only half full. And I think that also probably played into how the experience was experienced by people who were there. Right. You know, if you only have half a crew for an experience or an event that was meant to have 40 people there and you only have 10 people show up, it also takes away from the fun of being a participant mm-hmm. in it. Absolutely. There’s, there’s probably a lot of factors as to why that failed, but you know, just in terms of your projects, like it’s, it is interesting to look at these things because, you know, they’re cutting something like a Mary Poppins ride but they green lighted the building of the Star Cruiser hotel and that was being built during the pandemic. They could have, you know, used that construction staff elsewhere maybe.
So just really interesting to look at the choices and how they all, you know, panned out. You know, but to like bring this back to the small business world, right? So sometimes we have too many things going on, we have too many projects. And so to that I always say like prioritize, it could be a simple exercise of what’s important, what’s urgent, what needs to be done today, what can wait, like, just to get that first level gut check of like, am I doing this one thing because it’s the easiest thing on my list. It’s really easy to ignore the big important giant red flashing lights because you know, they’re, you don’t know where to start sometimes getting started is the hardest part.
Absolutely. And one thing that we frequently do when we wanna get started is either a, look back on previous work or b honestly, sometimes we buy templates or we buy you know, swipe files or something. And it’s not necessarily something that will completely use in its entirety in the finished product, but it’s enough to give you a jumping off point that it sparks the flow of work. So a great example is like, I will often like buy graphic templates. I’m not a designer. It will take me hours and hours and hours to put something together for a simple project where may not make sense to hire a designer, but, you know, spending $97 on a bunch of Canva templates will literally save me hours in work and make the finish product a lot nicer too. So I’ll go that route.
Yeah. Even for something that you’re, I wouldn’t say expert, like I don’t know where you hit expert level, but even something you’re proficient in and feel like you’re experienced in, it’s still really helpful to buy a template. I I think this was like this summer or last summer, I had a client who needed some copywriting done for our project and we just couldn’t find someone who was able to do the job that we needed in the timeframe that we needed. And so, you know, I have an English degree, I worked as an editor for a while. I don’t write per se anymore as a way of making money. And I was like, you know what? I have the skill set. Let’s figure this out. Let’s do it. We just need to get it done. And so I knew what it needed to be said, I knew how it needed to be said, but I’m not the best at starting from zero.
Like if you’ve ever taken the strengths finder assessment, I highly recommend it just to understand your work style a little bit better. But one of mine is a maximizer. I like to take things that are, you know, pretty good and bring them to like amazing. So I’ll take something that’s, you know, at 50% or 75% and you know, bring it to 110, but starting at zero is very difficult for me. And so I knew that about myself and I started like kind of investigating a couple of things and I found someone who had email templates and they were not like full blown sales page length emails. It was just enough framework and guidance for me to be like, okay, yes, this is the cadence I need, this is, this is the type of language I need to be using. And it helped me get that project done in two days and I think we had to write like 30 emails.
It was, it was a huge, it was a huge undertaking. So there’s no shame in starting with a template, even if it’s something that you feel like you’re very experienced in. I have a shop that has templates on it, and I can tell you that my procedure template that started with a project when I worked in corporate 15 years ago, I was tasked with figuring out a standardized procedure format for an entire department. And so me and my team were working on this and you know, after research we came up with something after 10 years of using these in some form or other, in both the corporate world and in a small business world, they still get updated and changed when I have new ideas or new ways of using things and I open up that template every time I need to make a new procedure for someone. It just makes sense to use tools that already exist instead of starting from nothing.
Totally, totally. Sometimes it’s just helpful to see it laid out in front of you, even if all the information’s in your head just makes the process easier.
I do this with my kid too. He, he struggles with writing and so we actually have some templates and tools and so sometimes it’s like, go back to what it’s like to be like a second grader, right? He has a paper that says, who are the characters that are gonna be in this piece that you’re writing? What’s the setting going to be? What’s the first thing that will happen to them? What’s the second thing and what’s, what happens at the end? That’s it. It’s like five boxes that are really easy questions to answer. And by doing that he can write so much better than if he just had it all jumbled in his head and he is trying to write this story and ends up running it out of order or forgetting what character he wants to talk about. He just has that like planner next to him.
So, you know, use, use tools, invent tools, leverage other people to, to get what you need. And speaking of other people, like sometimes one of the best things just to get started or to flush through a project is talking about it out loud. It can be with your spouse, a partner or friend, if it’s with someone who also is in the same type of business. I wouldn’t say it has to be like same industry or anything, but it, it’s really helpful for me to just like tell a friend who works in this online business space, like, here’s what’s going on. Like, can
We talk about even if they are in the same industry, that can be okay. Like we’re big believers in community over competition. Nicole and I frequently talked about the fact that we can do each other’s job, but you know, we specialize in things different enough that makes it great for us to like work together on teams. But before we hopped on this call, we were also talking about some of the projects that we’re working on and Nicole was, you know, talking about something she had to do and I gave her like, Hey, this is something that I did that really helped me and it helped her out. So, you know, talking something through with a biz bestie or like a peer mastermind where big believers in those can be really beneficial and just getting another perspective and getting out of your own head a little bit to, you know, get guidance on how to either about your project or even just get started with it.
Yeah. And that group of like Pure Mastermind or other people who kind of, they might not even sell the things you sell or do the things you do. Yeah. But we all, at Essence, businesses are there to make revenue, probably reduce expenses and, you know, deliver a product or have a customer experience. They all have operations. So when you like look at business from that perspective, we can certainly all learn from anyone. That’s one of the things I love the most about our community membership program. The party, you can find that at pixiedustandprofits.com/party. We have women who do different types of jobs and we can all learn from each other. So it’s a really great place to be to just have that accountability check in or know that, hey, I can talk about an email marketing platform and talk about tags and automations and it it, it won’t sound like Greek, like when I’m trying to tell my spouse about it.
And, you know, we’ll get some ideas from other people about how to, how to do something a little bit differently or an idea we haven’t thought about before. You know, you can easily copy and paste by right clicking or by using shortcuts, but you can also write a program to do that for you too. So there’s a lot of different ways to get things done and you won’t discover if you don’t talk to other people about it, so. Exactly. Yeah, I think, I think those are all like great tips. Like use a template so you don’t feel overwhelmed with starting, you know, don’t start from scratch. It’s okay to delay a project or cancel a project and not make a big fan fair about it. Make a fan fair if you’d like, but don’t
Have to, that’s optional.
And, you know, have someone to bounce ideas off of or, you know, talk about your business projects with.
Thanks again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, we highly recommend that you do. We’re @pixiedustandprofits and you will see real soon.