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The Four Business Lessons I Learned from Watching Moana with my Daughters

When the pandemic slammed our economy and shut down businesses left and right, I too was severely affected. Due to a decrease in work and the inability to go into the office, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at home with my three daughters. We often played games such as hide and seek and also watched quite a few movies, specifically Disney films.


I watched Cinderella fall in love with her Prince Charming, Maleficent engage in vengeful battles, and talking, inanimate objects play matchmaker in Beauty and the Beast. As entertaining and fun as these movies were, I found myself particularly drawn to Moana because of the valuable business lessons I drew from the movie.




Build a Strong Mission Statement for your Business

While Moana embarks on an important adventure, she’s faced with many obstacles and challenges. Each time a challenging moment arises, she repeatedly tells herself, “I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat, sail across the ocean, and restore the heart of Te Fiti.” This is her mission statement, and she constantly reminds herself of what she’s trying to accomplish each time she faces a hardship. This repetition ultimately helps her accomplish the mission she set out to finish. Two important keys to writing a good mission statement are to be clear and specific. Moana’s above mission statement achieves both of these objectives, setting a good example for what your mission statement should look like.


Identify Good Business Partners to Work With

Maui, the demigod that accompanies Moana on her adventure, brought along a different skillset that filled in Moana’s weaknesses. While Moana fueled their voyage with curiosity, grit, and determination, Maui sailed the boat and navigated the lands to avoid potential dangers. Together, they balanced each other out and both brought important skills to the table, leading to eventual success in their endeavors.


Sometimes It’s Important to Jump Head First into the Unknown

When Moana started her quest, she knew what her mission was but did not know what lay beyond the reef of her island nor did she know how to sail a boat. However, she did not let these things hold her back from jumping head first into what she needed to accomplish. Sometimes in business, we spend too much time prepping and analyzing our every move, when some circumstances require getting your hands dirty before finding success.


Have Faith in Yourself

To some, Moana was only meant to run a village of people. But to the ocean, Moana was chosen for something much more powerful and important. She was called by the waters to restore the heart of Te Fiti to its original place. And though she lacked some of the initial skills to make that happen, she eventually succeeded. To an extent, the ocean acted as a Godlike force in Moana’s life, continuing to encourage her and push her forward on the long journey ahead of her. Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we can lose faith in ourselves and our business; but press forward maintaining faith in yourself. There is often something bigger guiding you in your endeavors, and as you recognize that, you will be more successful at running your business.




Extracting these principles from the movie Moana reminded me that we can draw inspiration and guidance from all parts of life. And by building a mission statement, partnering with strong business associates, occasionally jumping head first into the unknown, and maintaining faith in yourself, you can reap a whole group of unexpected benefits and successes for your business.

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