048: From Lawyer to Disney Expert (Lou Mongello)

Lou Mongello

Have you ever wondered if that passion of yours might just be a viable business? Or maybe you’re planning a trip to Disney World in the near future? If so, then you’ll want to listen to today’s show and our guest, Lou Mongello.

Lou is an internationally-recognized Disney expert, author, podcast host, tour guide, speaker and entrepreneur who left his law practice, sold his house, and moved to Florida to pursue his passion for all things Disney.

In this episode, Lou shares his journey with us, and how his passion for Disney and his fear of missing out on what might have been propelled him to success. Join us as we talk about all of this and more on the 48th edition of How’d You Get Into That?.

MORE ABOUT THIS SHOW

Lou says his family was like the Griswolds; every year since Disney World opened in 1971, they would pile into the car and drive down to Orlando from Plainfield, New Jersey. He has had an interest in Disney because of those trips. That interest turned into a fascination, and soon, a full-blown passion. He continued to stay engaged with Disney year after year, taking his college friends to Disney World, and later, his wife.

From a career standpoint, Lou took a traditional path and decided to follow his father into law. Along the way, he also started an IT consulting company. But he was restless, and the idea of creating something and reselling it came to mind, so he decided to write a book. His wife said, “Well, all you know about is Disney.” So he went down into the basement of his house and started writing.

In 2003 he launched his first Disney website, Disney World Trivia. Shortly thereafter he completed his first book, The Walt Disney World Trivia Book, which struck a major chord with people. He started a podcast in early 2005, and his audience began to expand exponentially.

THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:

  • How to tell if you have an all-consuming hobby or a real viable business idea.
  • Taking a leap of faith vs. building a bridge: what’s the difference?
  • Why having a good support team around you is critical.
  • How to get clear on your path.
  • Lou’s top suggestions for saving money at Disney World!
  • And so much more!

To him, the book deal was pretty much the end of things. But one day, something changed. He got a call from a podcast listener; this person said he’d love to sponsor Lou’s show. And that’s when Lou knew he might actually be able to make a living from his love of all things Disney. The seed was planted but he didn’t drop everything to go into his Disney World biz right away.

At the time he was in court in the morning, and running his IT business in the afternoon. When that was done he would see more clients, then write his book, develop content and work on his website until 2am. Plus he was flying back and forth to Orlando several times a month! It was simply too much and it was not sustainable.

So clearly something had to give. Lou finally decided to make the shift to Disney full time. He didn’t want to end up regretting what might have been so he knew he had to go for it. And his timing was perfect: he had significant momentum because of the book deal, he had built an extremely loyal audience, and overall, he just had a good feeling about it. All of that convinced him to give it a shot.

But not without the support of his wonderful wife, his “…fire beneath the machine.” Lou could not have done it without her. When the naysayers thought he was crazy, she stuck by his side and handled things on the home front, which gave him the freedom to pursue his dream.

Today, Lou makes money from several different avenues: sponsorships, book sales, audio tours of Disney parks, magazine publishing, speaking engagements and more. And there’s no way he could imagine going back to work for anyone ever again. That feeling of being the master of his own ship is what gets his heart racing and fuels his fire everyday (besides his wife!).

Lou says life is too short to get up everyday and not love what you’re doing. We live in an age where you can and should find that thing that sets your heart on fire, and then do it. Lou’s mantra is: if you can dream it, you can do it. And those are some great words to live by.

Please join me in thanking Lou for being our DisneyWorld expert and sharing his experiences so we can learn from all of his ups and his downs. And thank you for being here – we’ll see you next time!

Tweetable: “Don’t live with regret, give it a shot.” Lou Mongello

EPISODE RESOURCES


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