"As soon as you give up, you've definitely lost..."

Mark Bentley
June 2020

If you've read the book or seen the movie We Bought A Zoo — starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson — then you'll know some of the story of Benjamin Mee.

For those who haven't, let's recap: in 2006, Benjamin and his family bought a house, which "just happened to have numerous wild and dangerous animals living in the grounds". 

With precisely zero experience of running any kind of business, Benjamin and his team transformed Dartmoor Zoo into a multi-award-winning conversation project, and a flagship attraction in the South West. Just as the zoo was ready to open, tragedy struck: Benjamin lost his wife Katherine to terminal cancer.

Here is a man used to adversity in every sense. In this exclusive video, he discusses coping with change and turbulent times, and explains why it is important to keep your "internal motivation" as a business owner. In addition, he explains how the Zoo will adapt to reopening — with all the challenges of cashflow, red tape and social distancing measures that entails. Of course, these are issues that all business, in all sectors, will be addressing right now.

An inspiring public speaker, Benjamin knows the power of staying positive. "Look, it's not all doom and gloom. Now it's about catching the wave of what happens next."

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