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How the Book 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' Changed My Business Lessons from this French novel keep me grounded and focused when times feel uncertain.

By Catharine Dockery

This story appears in the December 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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Seven years ago, I was in a dark place. I had left my job in trading — a career I'd spent all of college preparing for — and I was trying to figure out what the rest of my life would look like. I was so depressed that some days I could barely get out of bed.

Related: How a Historic Book of Textiles Inspired a Forward-Looking Garment Factory

One thing that brought me joy was my rescue dog, Zeus. He not only served as a comfort during this time but also inadvertently brought me to the book that changed my life. It happened one day when I was at BookCourt, a beloved, since-closed bookstore in Brooklyn. As I stood waiting to check out, Zeus began licking the cover of a book on a nearby shelf. A store employee saw and reprimanded me, so I felt it was only right to buy this "damaged" book instead of the one I had chosen.

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