World Book Day meets business

Once a year, in the UK we celebrate something called World Book Day. It’s a promotional holiday aiming to get kids to read more, run by the charity World Book Day. It’s a fabulous premise that sees kids foregoing their usual school uniforms and turning up dressed as their favourite characters from books. But why should the kids be having all the fun – there are so many lessons to be learned from books that we thought we’d take a trip through some of our favourite books and see what we can learn from them.

Lessons that we can take from some of our favourite, popular books

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The book series starts off as a gathering of a fellowship, a group of people headed on an intrepid adventure, one that some of them might not be coming back from. The overarching point of the series is trying to destroy the one ring in Mordor – not a small feat by any means. They set this goal in the first book and the rest of the story is them executing a multifaceted plan which leads them off in a ton of different directions – this obviously correlates with a lot that we do in business. The most striking lesson that we took from Lord of the Rings is the relationship between our two main heroes, Frodo and Sam. Frodo, as the ringbearer took the weight of the world on his shoulders to try and help but Sam was the one that really saw the goal through execution to success. Without Sam, Frodo may have given up at a much earlier point, fallen into traps laid for him or simply succumbed to the ring. His dedication to Frodo was heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. So, the business lesson to learn from this series is that having people around you who can help, or people that you can lean on is worthwhile – you shouldn’t have to take on everything by yourself.

“I made a promise Mr Frodo, a promise. Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee. And I don’t mean to, I don’t mean to.” – Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins.

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This is another one that is full of different morality lessons that can be learned but there is one that dances through all seven books that might be of use to someone starting up a business. Harry Potter was born into a world without magic, he spent his formative years in an abusive home before finally finding a place where he belonged, sadly for Harry (not for us, the books would have been fairly boring) this was just the beginning of his trials. He spent much of the next seven years fighting off death from many different angles. As with LOTR, the Harry Potter books also talk a lot about the need for friends in times of hardship, however – the best lesson that we can learn from the book is that fighting is part of life’s journey. In order to make it to your goals, you will come across struggle and hardship, but fighting through that and not giving up is the only way that you will reach your final goal!

We want to mention another book in here that has many similar themes and is a really fantastic read. The Magician by Raymond E Feist. Similarly, this book shows us that perseverance is key. That the route that gets you to your goals isn’t always the one you think it will be, there’s no gain without pain and it is never all happily ever after

“It is our choices Harry that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter.

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Blimey, this list seems full of epic adventures. Again though, this series has a lot to teach us about pride, duty and honor but those aren’t the lessons we are looking at today. This lesson needs all 5000+ pages plus the books that haven’t even come out yet. The houses of the great lords and ladies of the seven kingdoms spend most of the books playing the “Game of Thrones”, caring very little for the impact they have on the land and ignoring issues that they need to be dealing with. Close to the end of the series, we start seeing a shift in attitude, many of the characters stop worrying about playing the game but look towards defending the land from the night king and his army of undead wights. It doesn’t matter who holds power over the seven kingdoms if the land is all but destroyed. Sometimes, the things that we think matter at the start turn out not to matter in the end. The lesson to be learned from this is that it’s truly okay to take a different direction, you don’t need to stay stuck in your choices. Hopefully you won’t have to stop what you’re doing to defend a wall from the hordes of undead… but you never know.

“You tell him this M’lord, You tell him he’s bound on marching the wrong way. It’s North he should be marching his swords, North, not South. You hear me?” – Osha the Wildling, to Bran Stark.

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Hunger Games is a little bit trickier to find lessons in, much of the content is centred around politics which isn’t usually a great subject for blog posts. Katniss Everdeen was plucked from her life in district twelve where she spent most of her time providing for her family. The time period they lived in saw the inhabitants of Panem living in different districts and varying states of wealth and comfort. Those on the outer rings had little or nothing to live on whilst those in the central districts had more. Katniss had to fight her way out of the battle arena in which she was placed to return back home as the victor to her mother and sister. Throughout the three books, we get a distinct feeling that things are not going to go well for Katniss and much of the time she fights back against those around her who would make her the Mockingjay (sign of the rebellion) as she only wants to return to her previous life. It’s a story about dealing with loss and the deep stages of grief and most likely PTSD. The story is very much based around the idea of standing up for what you believe in. Katniss was simply a catalyst for the districts to rise up and at times she resented it but sometimes we have to do things that we don’t like for the best outcome. Those that stood up as part of the rebellion lost their lives in the hope that others would have a better outcome. Now, in business, you don’t need to be quite that dramatic but there are times when it’s important to make a stand, either as a brand or as an employee of a business.

“Fire is catching, and if we burn, you burn with us!” – Katniss Everdeen to President Snow.

Overall, there are some great lessons to be learned from the book, we decided to look at some of the most popular today but there were others we had in mind that would have fit in very nicely. What books do you love and what are some of the business lessons that you’ve taken from them.

We will soon be embarking on our own adventure with much less chance of death, we will be starting work on our SEO coaching course in the following weeks, if you are looking to gain more traction with your website then we’d love to have a chat with you. Reach out to us on our social media channels or contact us using our contact form.

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