Content Contributed By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
Disney has managed to hit a home run with “The Mandalorian,” owing to its appeal for both longtime Star Wars fans and new converts. The plot itself is pretty straightforward: Hardened bounty hunter Din Djarin accepts and completes a job that entails capturing an “asset,” which turns out to be “Baby Yoda,” and turning him over to the client.
After collecting his bounty, though, the Mandalorian has second thoughts and makes an altruistic decision. One which goes against the Bounty Hunters’ Code. Once this pivotal decision is made, life is never the same for the bounty hunter. While it’s a classic tale told with a Star Wars twist, there is a lot more to “The Mandalorian” than meets the eye.
Here are six lessons we can learn from the Outer Rim and apply here on Earth:
1. Know your competitors
The Mandalorian has a knack for understanding his competitors, especially how other bounty hunters operate. For instance, when he took on the high-paying job to pick up and deliver “the asset” to the client (a loyalist for the former Empire), he quickly gauged how to handle assassin droid IG-11 when it planned to terminate the asset. Mando’s client specified that he preferred the “asset” alive. Mando promptly put IG-11 out of commission and secured Baby Yoda himself.
As a small business, to stand out among the competition, you’ll need to make an effort to research your competitors, understand how they operate and predict their behavior. If you can effectively accomplish this, you’ll be able to better position your company and bring your brand to the forefront of the industry.
2. Use the art of negotiation
After the Jawas stripped his ship for parts, the bounty hunter’s immediate instinct was to use violence to get the parts back in his possession. Kuill urged the bounty hunter instead to take another approach by negotiating a deal. Negotiation did not come naturally to Mando, but eventually, he heeded Kuill’s advice and agreed to exchange his services (acquiring a mudhorn’s egg) for the parts to his ship. As a result, Din Djarin discovered there’s more than one way to get what you want.
In business, knowing how and when to negotiate is an important skill. It’s not always easy, but it’s very effective. Whether it’s selling to customers, partnering with other businesses, or dealing with vendors and suppliers, you’ll be routinely faced with financial decisions, collaboration opportunities, and even disputes. Skillful negotiation can go a long way.
3. Know when to take risks
If there is one thing Mandalorians are good at, it’s taking risks. They’ve learned if you want to survive in the Galaxy, you’ve got to sometimes give it your all. For example, when Mando battled the angry mudhorn to get the egg for the Jawas, he almost died until The Child jumped in and used the Force. Mando also turned his back on the bounty hunters’ guild to rescue Baby Yoda from the client — another risky move.
Risks are an important factor in marketing. If you plan them strategically, you can obtain a huge payoff. From launching a bold new marketing initiative to renting a dumpster for cleaning out and renovating your storefront, or even to rebranding your logo, taking calculated risks can result in measurable growth and profitability. The key is to be able to determine the right time and type of risks to take.
4. Cultivate patience
Mando severely lacked patience during his adventures throughout the Outer Rim. In fact, he often used the phrase, “I don’t have a lot of time.” However, thanks to his new friend Kuill, he eventually learned the importance of patience. For instance, his newfound quality allowed him to successfully ride a Blurgg, which helped him complete his missions. He even gave Baby Yoda a knob off his ship’s lever to play with (even after taking it away from the child earlier and insisting “the ship is not a toy”).
Your work isn’t going to be an overnight success, so patience is essential to growing your business. Patience can go a long way toward helping you meet your marketing and business goals. You have to take care when seeding, nurturing, and growing it — and this takes patience. With slow and steady encouragement, you can turn your company into a success.
5. Always be prepared
You never know what might happen or what problems you’ll face. Setting an example for this point, Mando consistently preps his weapons before facing a potentially dangerous situation. He always carries explosives and restocks as needed, and assesses each situation according to the response it requires. In our world, that might look like having first-aid or CPR training to handle a life-threatening situation can prove to be just as valuable in your world as it did in season one of "The Mandalorian."
Statistics indicate businesses that fail to proactively prepare for a potential disaster often end up shuttering their doors. On the other hand, you can significantly strengthen your chances of survival if you understand your risks and outline ways to mitigate them in the event that a disaster occurs.
6. Always do the ethical thing
The Mandalorians live by a stringent code, expressed as “This Is the Way,” which helps them stay focused on what’s important. Whether it’s saving a green, big-eared foundling from evil assassins or helping one another — and even if their initial instinct is to take another course of action — they always come back to their core beliefs.
The reason the concept resonates with viewers is this: Character matters. Your code doesn’t have to be as rigid as the Mandalorian lifestyle, but you need to operate your company ethically. This includes practices such as maintaining and building your creditworthiness, paying your debts on time, applying honesty in advertising and honoring your return policies. These actions can go a long way toward positioning your brand as one consumer can trust.
Disney is clearly telling a specific story with “The Mandalorian.” However, if you read a little more closely between the plot lines, you’ll discover there are also plenty of lessons we can learn and benefit from — for business, marketing, and life in general.