[INTERVIEW] Conor Brown on Turning His Love for Disney into a Business

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This is an AI-produced transcription of episode 254 of the Purpose and Pixie Dust Podcast: [INTERVIEW] Conor Brown on Turning His Love for Disney into a Business.

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 Hey girl, welcome to the Purpose and Pixie Dust podcast, the podcast where we dive deep into our passions, our purpose and really unlock our potential with some pixie dust thrown in. What is pixie dust? You might ask. It's the fun and joy that gets unlocked when you're creating and owning your magic. I'm Lindsay, Dollinger dog, mama, Disney lover and high school Spanish teacher who has used my magic to grow my businesses while also working full time. I'm on a mission to help other women create and own your magic by building not only the business of your dreams but also the life of your dreams while still juggling life, your full time job and all the things. So if you want more than this provincial life, let's use our glass slippers to break those glass ceilings and Sprinkle lots of pixie dust into our lives and businesses. Let's do this.

Hey, hey friend, I am popping in here to make sure that you know about the best kept secret membership that exists for women entrepreneurs and shocking, the name is the magical membership for women entrepreneurs. So what is this magical membership you might ask? Well, it is a super fun place that I have curated. There's a facebook group component to it as well as a website, portal. So if you're not on facebook, no worries, you can still be a part of the membership. But there is amazing community accountability challenges training templates done for you, social media calendar content, all the things, literally all the things in and I don't talk about it nearly as much as I should. So here is your open invitation to join the magical membership for women entrepreneurs. The information is in the links or you can definitely send me a DM and I can get you all of the DEETs. I hope I just realized that right. Oh my gosh! Well, I hope you go out there creating on your magic and I will see you inside the magical membership for women entrepreneurs. Hello! Hello everyone! Welcome back to another purpose and pixie dust podcast recording. I am Leslie Dollinger and I am super excited for you guys to get to hear from our guest today. Conor Brown, Connor Brown is the creator of https://www.wdwopinion.com. Oh my gosh, that was W W. Um and Connor and I got to meet this fall at Momentum Mastermind weekend, which you guys have heard me talk about a lot on this podcast with Lou Mongello. So anyway, Conor, tell us all about who you are, what you do, how you got started doing what you do and we'll go from there.

Thank you so much for having me. Um yeah, that is world wide Web dot WDW opinion dot com. Um how I got started. So I'm a lifelong Disney fan. I always say I was born with Disney in my blood because my mom did a thing called the Disney college program back in the day, which basically means the work study opportunity kind of like an internship of sorts. So she got to work in the Magic Kingdom. She became a lifelong Disney fan and I grew up going to the parks all the time. I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps. So I got to participate on the Disney College program as well. After I graduated college, I worked front desk at the yacht and Beach Club resort and I also worked on the seven dwarfs mine train, which is a rollercoaster in Magic Kingdom. So two very different roles but very very fun nonetheless. Um After that I went back home to just outside D. C. Put my degree to work in marketing. But I knew I always wanted to have something Disney related to hold on to. That's where I started W. D. W. Opinion, which is a blog and podcast where people can share their perfect Disney experiences and I help people plan for and daydream about their next Perfect well, Disney World Disney Cruise line Disneyland vacation. So it's a great outlet to do that. It combines my love of Disney with my marketing chops, I guess you could say. And that's where we are now.

I love that. Um I know a few people who have been through the college program. Um and I always kind of have this like, like envy that. I didn't really know about it. I don't think anyone from my school or like at least from my immediate friend group ever talked about it. I'm like, I totally would have done that if I had known, which is really cool that you knew.

Yeah, because I mean, so I knew through my mom of course, but then heard throughout their um and my mom found out about it because they were, you know, back in the day campus reps, they would just go to campuses and do career fairs and stuff like that, which they still have, but now it's all internet based and and all that.

Right. Right. And I do think I heard about it, like, I had just graduated, but it was like too late, and I was like, uh because I'm like, that could have been so cool. Like, I wonder if like my trajectory would have been different, had I done that? So how long were how long were you there? Was it a semester for you?

So I chose to do it after college. You can basically to get into it, you have to apply and you have to be in college when you apply, you don't necessarily have to be in college when you participate. So that's why they let in recent graduates. Um I wanted to study abroad, which I got the opportunity to do, and because of that, I knew I couldn't take off another semester. That said you can go participate on the Disney college program and receive college credits that's based on your school Disney at the same time. They also offer weekly classes that you can take in addition to whatever your your role is. Um Again they might transfer to your school, they might not. Um But since I did it after um it's still semester based, so I did the fall program which was August to about January. Um And then I just extended for another program from January to May. Um They also have, it's called like fall advantage which just means the summer plus fall and then spring advantage which means spring plus the summer. So is that how you got to do two different positions because you did it to different semesters. Exactly. So when you extend um you can only do it for a year. So that's as far as you can extend to, you have a couple of options, you can either extend to a different location and you get put where you get put you can extend to a different role which is a totally different category. So, like front desk is a different role from attractions. Or you can just stay where you're at at that time if they have availability. Um I chose to do something totally different because I figured might as well this is the only opportunity to do and that's where I was able to go from in the resorts to in the actual theme parks, which one did you like better or is that like kind of a loaded question it they're so different and I think that that's really the super interesting part of it was Yacht and Beach Club as the crow flies is only a couple miles away from the Seven Dwarfs. Mine Train in Magic Kingdom, but they feel like worlds apart and, and every little thing is totally different, including how you arrive, how you clock in, how your shift goes, what you do during your shift, you know, on the mind train on the roller coaster. It's broken up more into 30 minute increments. You're doing this role this task for 30 minutes and then you're moving where front desk was, You're on the front desk the entire time. Yeah. What I liked about mine train was seeing people come off that immediate joy, right. But you didn't have a whole lot of time to interact with them because you were getting them on as fast as you could so that as many people as possible could experience it verse at Yacht and Beach Club. You could see them come back each and every day of their vacation. You could build a relationship with them. Um, but also when there were issues, you had to resolve that and you had a long time to resolve that. So pros and cons with with both. I'm glad I did both. Yeah, that's really cool and I feel like you get to meet so many different people and again, like you said, like people in different parts of the experience at Disney, like the rides is a very different experience in the hotel and you know, there's such a robust international program too. I was working side by side with people from brazil Spain, the United Kingdom um all over the place, china japan, so that was really cool to experience those people that I had never interacted with in my day to day life. Yeah, that is really cool. I like how they do that for sure. Um Where did you study abroad? Just curious Prague in the Czech Republic and I absolutely love if you've never been, you have to go, it's so cool, it's so different than any other part of europe, it's very affordable and a really cool thing is for whatever reason, during World War Two, it was just a a no fly zone basically, so it's like perfectly medieval intact. So cool. I took students in a World War Two themes tour Summer of 2019, right before it was my last time, actually brought in Europe until this past um winter. But anyway, we did Prague for a couple of days and I loved it, it was beautiful. Um The Jewish part was my favorite I think probably. But anyway, yeah, yeah, it was really, really neat um so I could definitely talk about Europe with you. Um But I want to talk a little bit about how you got started with WDW Opinion, like what did that look like? Was it just like I'm just gonna do this and see what happens is you have kind of a long term plan. Tell us a little bit about that. So I had a grand plan my whole life before I even knew where I was going to go to college. I knew I was going to work for Disney, right? That was the goal and the goal for me was simple. It was to do the college program where you're more working in the front lines, right? You're you're working on the roller coaster, you're working in the hotels. And then from there I was going to apply and parlay that into a professional internship and the Disney professional internship is much more either in the corporate space or in the management space. So you're like you're a manager at one of the hotels or whatever. I wanted to do professional internship in marketing, communications, advertising, something like that. And then the grand plan was to take that internship and roll it into a full time gig with Disney company and work there for the rest of my life and I got a third of the way there, I did the yeah, that's what I'm like, okay, so then what happened then after my first college program stint, I applied to all these internships and and just got denied from all of them. Um So that's when I chose to extend two, extend my college program to go over to the senator's mind train and stay in Fantasy land for a little bit longer, right as that was winding down, I realized, you know, I could stay here and and continue to work on a coaster and attraction or in the hotels or I just have to be true to myself and I have to try to put my degree to use my degree that I worked so hard for in marketing, basically strategic communications. So I made the decision to leave Florida, go back home to Maryland just outside D. C. And work in the corporate world. And I said you know if Disney ever comes calling back I'll drop this immediately, I'll drop this like a hot potato and I'll go back to them. And as I was working I was really enjoying my job. I I was loving it. The people I worked with were great. Uh It was very interesting but at the same time it dawned on me of this thing of like you're waiting for someone who's never going to reach out to you right? You have to go out and make your own opportunities. And when I realized that I said well let's start putting some things into action, how can I, you know share my passion for this and do it on my terms. And that's where a blog kind of started um kind of just building something to give yourself opportunities rather than sitting on your heels and waiting for them to come to you because that's not how it works, you know, you're not gonna get presented with this, this opportunity out of nowhere, you have to put some things into motion and and see what it is, and so that's where it started and as far as long things go, it just kind of started out as something fun and and I think the more work you put into it kind of determines where you're gonna go with it. So I never really had a long term plan with it. I just knew I was going to continue to work and work and work at it and it just naturally evolved.

So when did the podcast come into play?

It came in um kind of a couple of years after the blog. Um I think I didn't know anything about building a website, I didn't know anything about, you know, content creation like that. I started learning some pieces of it from my job and from my degree and stuff like that, but um that just seemed like the first kind of outlet, the first way to do that. Uh and then I realized, you know, this medium of podcasting was so strong and you could build such a connection and I realized of all the podcasts that I listened to.  I had a stronger connection with with those hosts and and and the likes of that than I did with someone who wrote a blog or something, so once I started to realize that I said, well let's give this a shot. I started the podcast with my my one of my very, very, very good friends, one of my best friends from college, um because I knew starting it alone, like, that was just gonna be very difficult for me, so I started with with a partner with a co host, um and then eventually it kind of morphed into to just me, um but it was a couple of years after the blog where I introduced the podcast aspect to everything, 2017, so it's been a while, it's been a good a good chunk of time. Yeah, it seems like, I don't know. So, yeah, you start counting on your fingers when 1003 was, and you're like, oh my gosh, it's been a while, Well, I feel like 2020 and on has just kind of been like one year, one year, or like 100. Yeah, it's gone really quick, but at the same time you're like, man, um and so how did you start monetizing it to actually make this, your, you know, your thing. So, I think with, when, you know, you're setting out to build something online, I think a lot of people think they look at the mr beasts of the world, these, these huge Youtubers, right? These huge influencers, and they think that's what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna build a huge audience and then I'm going to get sponsors to pay for my stuff and that's how I'm, I'm gonna start doing it. I think that, that is, especially now, so, so, so difficult to do. So rather than again waiting for people to give you that opportunity, you gotta go out and make it. So I realized, how do I monetize this? I can do it by helping people plan their vacations one on one, specifically travel agent side. So with that, um, I became a travel agent and offered those services. Again, I had a couple of years built up of building relationships with people. Um, but once I rolled that in, that was an opportunity to monetize it to have them who already trust me, reach out and say let's partner together, let's, let's work and I'll help you with that. Um, and then additionally affiliate marketing, which is a more, I think organic way, uh, to monetize things, there's, there's less call outs that you have to do. Um, but at the same time you can be very, very beneficial in, in what you're doing amazon affiliate. I think it's great, especially when you're coming at it from a travel planning side, you send them a list of, of stuff, Hey, here's what you need for your next Disney vacation before you come here. These are things you have to buy and it's useful stuff. It's not just someone reaching out saying, hey, could you, could you sell our product when you have no idea what the actual product is. Um, so those avenues were what I started to explore and, and what I kind of went full in on monetization.

Yeah, Yeah, that makes sense. And I love that. I mean, I don't think it always has to be done this way, but I love how you started with the value and your website and adding all that content and then you were adding in the monetization.

Because I have a ton of friends who are travel agents and I definitely think one of the things that could help them is like you're doing is giving that value. Like you're like, hey, I'm the expert. I'm giving you the packing list. I've been to the parks a million times, you know, like, because then when they're getting ready to plan their trip, who are they going to think of? They're gonna think of Connor because he's always posting about it versus someone else who maybe has never even been to Disney, right? Even if they know them. Exactly. And I think, you know, for every thing that you quote unquote cell. So every time you mention that, hey, I can work with you booking your vacation or whatever, you have to give five things before that. So that's where you start to build those relationships. You give, you give, you give, you, give, you, give, you ask and then you give, you give, you, give you give, because at the same time, Disney vacation. It's not something you do every month, right? It's not like, you know, uh it's not like Dunkin donuts, like they have to be everywhere all the time because you always need your coffee every single day. You need your coffee when it comes to Disney vacation. That's, it's something that you might do once a year, once every other year, once in a lifetime, right? If you give and you give and you give your staying top of mind so that when it is time and you can't make that choice for them, I think that that's where a lot of people stray. They try to force people like now's the time to do it now is the time to take this vacation. It's way too big of an investment for you to put that on someone. You have to kind of step back and say whenever you're ready, I'm ready to rock as well and you do that by giving and giving and giving and staying on top so that when they're ready to make that decision, they think of you first.

So what do you do to almost like help your mindset when you're feeling that impatience or even like at the beginning of your business, where you're like, I'm putting these blog posts out as anyone seeing that, you know what I mean? Like how did you keep going?

Because you know, I think you had a great point. it's not an overnight success and so many people think it's going to be an overnight success and then they get frustrated and give up. So what would you tell that person who's like, I feel like I'm doing all the things and like it's not here yet. You're trying to change your life, you can't change your life overnight. So if if you're putting yourself on a path to whatever it is, financial freedom, doing it on your terms, that's something that you're doing to change your life to set your life up for the better for the long term. So, if you think about setting yourself up better for the long term, how can you accept the fact that, oh, it's going to happen really quickly? That doesn't make any sense. You know, everything leading up to our lives is is long term. We go to school for 12 years and then we go to college for four and then we work, you know, uh below management level for so long to get to these levels. So you just have to trust the process, right? And and know that the good times are gonna come, but it's gonna take a while to get there as long as you're providing the correct value. Um, I think there will come a time where if you're not seeing the results that you want rather than give up. Maybe it's how you're you're framing it, what you're offering, what you're putting out there. You can pivot and adjust and go from there. That's gonna take a little bit of time as well. But I think too many people just want to do it one way and when it doesn't work quickly that way, they stop again. When it's for this long term success, you're thinking in the long term, you know, points of view, then you should be comfortable with the fact that it's going to take a long time to get there as well. Yeah. And I love how you mentioned that earlier when you were like, I just came to the realization that me working at Disney actually at Disney was probably not gonna happen. So I need to create my own path and take it from there.

Exactly. It's so weird. But I think when you do that and you do it right, and you put in the time things just start coming your way, you know, and and it's not luck because when things do come in your way, you have to be prepared and you have to capitalize and you have the value that the person is seeking in that regard. So just keep going that that you're going to start attracting stuff, right? Yeah, I love that. So do you um at what point in the game did you build up your instagram? Like start taking your marketing outside of your blog and put it on social media, it was immediate for me. Um especially, you know, in the, in the age that I've lived in, in the age that I've grown up in? Um that's always been a, been a part of it, you know, even in, in college for me, I took many a social media class on marketing on, you know, including it in in everything. Um so I knew, yeah, I knew once I launched something that that had to be a component immediately, um I think the difficult part is finding that balance because when you're launching all these things and you're learning how to do a podcast and how to write a blog and publish a blog and build a website, those are all new skills and like anything like shooting a basketball or, or swinging a golf club. Those skills are gonna come with muscle memory. So it's going to take a lot of time in early stages to really get, you know, comfortable with, I can knock out a podcast like that easy, but in the interim, that's taken a long time. So what's kind of fallen by the wayside wayside, posting the social, you know, coming up with strategy for social. Um So I think that I kind of neglected it a little bit early on just because I was producing so much, but once you kind of get it up and running, then you can start focusing more on the marketing and then optimizing that so that everything is kind of going along at it and you're, you're on this track where you're working hard, but you're not going crazy. Yeah, I was just thinking, so do you repurpose your content a lot and not as much as I should, but I think, I think repurposing people think of it as um you know, seeing it on instagram and on facebook and on Youtube and in your podcast. But I think what repurposing can also be is you have these talking points in your head and you know that all these topics are always going to come up in whatever the context might be. So if you have, it's almost like an elevator pitch, you have your elevator pitch is memorized in your head. You open up Instagram, you do a story, you're on a podcast where you're asked the same question or you're doing a podcast where you ask the same question or you're on alive or you have another blog, you have these, this information already in your head, you're just quickly turning because you never know where these people are gonna come from. If it's gonna be the first time that they're listening to you or the 100th time, it might have not stuck with them the 1st 99 times, but now that 100 times it's, it's going to stick. So I think repurposing, you can think about it in a lot of different ways. Yeah, Yeah, that's really good um alright, before we hop off of here, tell us a little bit about your Disneyland trip because I was obsessed following following in your story and I was like, oh my gosh, he's living the dream life right now as I am sitting at school watching his land. That was a wild two weeks. Uh because I went on a Disney cruise and then three days later I went to Disneyland. Yes, please feel bad for me and my miserable life. I had never been to Disneyland and it was it was really like, you know, it was like mecca, it was like this is the Holy Land. Um and for me it was always, I wanted the trip to kind of be perfect right? Like I wanted the right number of days. I wanted to go at the right time of year. I wanted this, that and the other um one time in, in I just graduated college in my family. We took a trip out to California and we're driving back, we're driving from san Diego to L. A. And my mom and I were like to my dad, hey maybe we stopped at Disneyland. He's like, no, it's the way like it's it's not gonna work, drove right past on the highway like we saw all of it and at the next place we stopped, he was like, yeah that's my bad, I totally forgot that it was that close. But in actuality I was fine with it because I didn't want to just stop there for a couple hours and then go from there, but then the same thing happened to me, like, like working for Disney, I realized, you know what? I'm hyping it up way too much in my head, I can't wait for it to be perfect, can't wait for the perfect opportunity. I just gotta, I gotta go. And this, this opportunity did come to me in the form of an Ap, which is an agent education program, which Disney invites travel agents on to train them to introduce them to different products that they sell. Disneyland is a product that Disney sells. So they invited my agency out there, I got selected to go on behalf of them and it was awesome because I got a lot of really cool stuff. So not only was it my first time in Disneyland, um but we got to do some stuff, like a private viewing of world of color, private viewing section for the christmas parade, it was also christmas. It was, it was december when I went, we got to be the first ones in California adventure one day before anyone else was the first ones on web slingers, which is the new Spiderman ride. Um so it was really, really, really cool um and the one takeaway from Disneyland is, I just can't wait to go back now. How many days were you there, remind me? four. we had, so we had, yeah, we had some training um on on basically 2.5 of the days, but our final day, we were, we were able to, it was whatever we wanted to do. So I got a super late flight out, but additionally, we had a morning to ourselves, we had afternoons to ourselves, evenings to ourselves. So we had a lot of time to go into the park um because we were staying at the Disneyland hotel, it's so easy, you just, you, you bounce back and forth between the two parks. Um, if you ever use genie plus in Disney World, it's so much more complicated here than it is out there. It works fantastic out there. It's just a delightful, delightful place to go. It was awesome. Nice. I love that review. I haven't been, I've only been once and it was in 2017 I think. Um it was like a day, like it was just like a full day. I'm like, I definitely need some more time to explore and do all the things out here, but it was really cool. Remember it was neat things to that that you got to experience and more things coming to that resort as well. Yeah, I know, I keep getting like email updates about and I'm like, what is going on out there? I heard the world of color show is really awesome. The new one. Yeah, so now that's all Disney 100 the 1/100 anniversary of the Disney Company. So they have New World, color, new fireworks, the parade magic happens is coming back, there's a whole lot going on at Disneyland, so cool. Maybe this will be the summer, I need to head off all the fun stuff going on. Um okay, super quick question. Do, what's your favorite? And I know everyone asked this and you probably are like, I don't have one or maybe do, but what's your favorite attraction at Disney World? My favorite attraction walt. Disney World is the people mover because I love because the people mover is the attraction my mom worked on and from the people mover you can see the attraction that I worked on train. Oh, that's very nice answer. Everyone's usually like Flight of Passage or you know, that's why I was like, maybe you don't have one. Um what about favorite park? I love Hollywood Studios, I love Hollywood Studios, not be of the attractions per se, but I just love that old school Hollywood vibe, 1925 and I loved it through its dark times when you know, park was behind walls, I stood by her and her darkest hours and now she's shining star, Love it. What about favorite hotel in the Animal Kingdom lodge. And I think the cool part, Adani probably more specifically, um just because of how secluded it is it is, but for that reason it's not very close to anything other than Animal Kingdom, so it really has to up the ante or something. So from the theme, the animals, the vibe, the uh dining options, I think it's, it's it's the best by far. Yeah. Yeah, that's my favorite too. I haven't stayed there in a while but we just ate there sometime october maybe or some other time I was down there and I was like, this is the best, reminded again why this is the best. Yeah. Alright. And um okay, favorite restaurant, favorite restaurant, Homecoming. Disney Springs, love it. Pro tip the to any and all. So even though it's really hard to find a reservation or it can be, there's ample seating at the bar inside and outside, full menu so you can order whatever you want there and you can just walk right up. Nice, nice good tip. Alright, so where can everyone connect with you and I will put this in the show notes you guys so that you can find Conor, but tell us all the places and all the ways they can work with you. All the ways you can find me, you can go to W. D. W. Opinion dot com. You can email me Conor, [email protected]. And across all the socials facebook instagram, TikTok I am at W. D. W. Opinion, awesome. Thank you so much. Oh wait, how can they work with you? Because you said you're a travel agent. Yes. So if you want to plan your next perfect Disney vacation, whether it's Disney World, Disneyland Disney Cruise Line or Universal, I do Universal as well. You can reach out to me again, Conor Conor at WDW opinion dot com. Just let me know when you're thinking of going, how long you're thinking of going and we can start working together. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate this. Love hearing your story. Thank you for having me. So welcome. And that's a wrap on today's episode. I hope you're leaving today inspired Princess to create own and spread your magic to the world. If you found by you in this episode or no, a girlfriend who needs to hear it, would you screenshot it and send it to her and if you're feeling really generous, pop it up on your I. G. Stories and tag me at Lindsay Dollinger so I can see you loved it and tell you. Thank you. I appreciate you. Now let's go do some amazing things by, by


Connect with Conor: https://www.wdwopinion.com


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