We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – The Ultimate Business Book?


I look forward to going home and reading to one of my kids of an evening. Well, most of the time. Not because I don’t enjoy reading to them, but because not all books are that enjoyable to read after 50 or so occasions.

Most children’s books contain some kind of feel good story and one that stands out is “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

The premise of the book (no spoilers here) is about a family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest! It wasn’t until I realised that there’s a lesson on each page that is pertinent to all business owners.

The book starts with the narrator (a child) saying “We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. I’m not scared”

Business translation: “I’ve got an idea, I’m going for it and it’s going to be great”.

Then the family take on a series of challenges. For example, “Uh-uh! Grass! Long wavy grass. We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!”

Business translation “You’ve got a challenge in front of you and you can’t avoid it. You’ve got to use the tools you have and face it, head on”

And that’s the difference between this children’s book and my business translation: The “tools”. The family only have to wade through some grass, or negotiate some mud. They can support each other through that. Who supports you through the challenges you face? Where you do acquire the knowledge and skills to ensure you’re able to go through the problems your facing?

For the narrator of the book, it’s the family; for you, it’s all the other business owners in your area. You just need to get out there and meet them.

Once you build a strong network, you won’t need to go over your challenges, or under them…you’ll be able to go right through them.

Action Point

Try coworking, visit a networking group or get in touch with a business mentor.

5 Great Books For Start-Ups

One of the first things many people do when starting a business for the first time is to buy a book to learn more about it. But which one should you choose?

Amazon produced 419 results when searching for “Books for start-ups” and Google came back with a staggering 128,000,000. So, I’ve whittled it down to 5 great books based on thoughts from businesses who have referred to these during their navigation through the start up stage:

1. Start It Up. Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Thank You Think – Luke Johnson

start-it-upLuke Johnson, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, with an estimated personal fortune of £120 million. is a former chairman of Pizza Express and Channel 4 Television, and columnist for the Financial Times and Management Today. Arguably then, Start It Up is certainly a how-to book by someone who has been there and done it. He covers almost everything from the emotion of starting a business to investment, and communication to planning. He certainly doesn’t shy away from forcing the reader to be sure of what they’re doing and to be prepared for the unexpected.


2. Like A Virgin – Richard Branson

bransonbookAn easy to read book, which reads more like a series of short blogs, Like A Virgin contains over 75 chapters of tips and experiences from one of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs. Some of the tips may appear glaringly obvious at first glance, and can be a little repetitive, but when backed up by the reasons why Sir Richard has included them, they often take on a more beneficial meaning. Its breezy style means it’s less of a cover-to-cover and more of an open-at-random.




3. Business Gurus  – Various contributors

business-gurusIt’s easy buy volume after volume on the philosophy of customer service, marketing and more. Business Gurus is a bite size volume of global leaders’ major business theories and a perfect introduction to complex leadership ideas. It enables the everyday reader to easily understand these hugely influential management ideas and how they changed the face of modern-day business. Featured experts include Stephen Covey, Napoleon Hill, Charles Handy and many more.



4. Dear Entrepreneur – Danny Bailey & Andrew Blackman

dear entrepImagine contacting successful entrepreneurs such as the founder of innocent drinks, Pimlico Plumbers, AudioBoo, Urban Coffee Company amongst others, to ask them for their advice in starting a business. Actually, I’m not stopping you if you wish to do that, but Bailey and Blackman have asked these leaders to write to you and offer their advice. As Daniel Callaghan, founder MBA & Company, writes “The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step” and with the simple act of purchasing this book the first inch of your expedition has already been conquered”



5. The Start Up Kit – Emma Jones

start up kitWhatever your industry or budget, The Start Up Kit offers tips, case studies and templates to help either turn your business idea into a reality or take it to the next level. Another benefit of this book is that it’s released annually, so the case studies and advice are as up-to-date as possible.


Would you recommend any others? Would you like to write your own business book review for our website?  If so, or once you’ve read one of these, please email your thoughts to info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com.