Forget that stack of books by your bed with such soporific titles as “50 Ways to Change Your Mindset For Business Success” or “8 Weeks to A Better Business” or “Secrets of Highly Effective Billionaires”. These book might be good for something, but staying awake past 8pm is probably not one of them.

The truth is, if you want to know how to succeed in business you do not have to look any further than that box of children’s books your mother has in her loft or the stack next to your kids’ bed. Better still, they come with pictures to keep your attention at the end of another 13 hour day. 

Here are a few of our favourites and the lessons we’ve learned:

1. If You Give A Moose A Muffin 

One of the most important things you learn in business is the Law of Unintended Consequences. You might not think that if you give a moose a muffin he’ll want another, and another and another. Or that he’ll ask for some of your mother’s homemade blackberry jam. Or that when he eats all the muffins and you have to go to the store he’ll ask for a sweater which, as it turns out, has a loose button that he’ll want to sew back on or that his efforts will lead to a sock puppet play. But it does. 

You never know what impact your decisions may have but when they produce unintended consequences, sometimes the only thing you can do is roll with it and see where you end up. Being flexible (and good natured) will take you far in business.

2. The Gruffalo 

In business there will always be predators – competitors, colleagues, clients, who will try to intimidate you. However polite they may be, do not mistake their words for anything other than what they are – threats. 

Instead, maintain your composure and remember that outwitting predators is just as effective as bringing them down, eating them up, or getting rid of them in general. Only it’s a lot more satisfying.

3. Where The Wild Things Are 

Sometimes you screw up and there is a price to pay and time to serve. You may even find yourself exiled for a while. But with the right attitude, wherever you are, you can create your own new reality. You can find ways to lead and to thrive. And you can find your way back.

Attitude is everything.

4. Green Eggs & Ham 

We’ve all said it – I don’t like it, I don’t want it, get it away from me. And no matter how many times someone tells us how wonderful it is (whatever “it” is) we are convinced we’ll never warm to it.

And then we find out how wrong we were. In fact, we LOVE it!

Be open to new experiences. In business we are often presented with new opportunities that take us out of our comfort zone and extend us in ways we find challenging. But it pays to take a risk from time to time.

Like the saying goes, she who dares wins.

Or at least finds a new way to eat an old favorite.

5. The Little Engine That Could 

Sometimes fate walks into your life in a big way and offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something epic. But you’re afraid – maybe you don’t have the right skill set, you lack experience, and it’s way above your pay grade.

But with a willing heart and a can-do attitude, great things can happen. And the truth is, a lot of the barriers we face often have to do with our mental attitude. As industrial giant Henry Ford once said, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right. 

And if that’s not one of the most important lessons in life – as well as business – we don’t know what is. And you didn’t have to read 350 pages of gobbledygook management/self-help jargon- filled clap-trap to learn it.

You can thank us later.