As a The book itself is a very easy read, showing a personal side of Phil Knight and his life journey. What captivated me is his detailed and fascinating description of people he met or worked with and the nerve wracking experiences. For example the meetings he had with his local bank to secure financing. Or the moment he opened a letter stating he owed to the government (customs) $25Million! It really is like watching an action movie on one of the most successful entrepreneurs/dreamers that exist.
One of my favorite biographies/memoirs I have read and would recommend to anyone looking for inspiration or just simply a good read. Who doesn’t love a well written success story?
“So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy . . . just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”
To start off, lets see the meaning of shoe dog: An industry slang name given to a veteran of the footwear industry. Someone who has dedicated their life to selling shoes is sometimes referred to as “an old shoedog”. Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike Inc. is indeed a thorough bread shoe dog and so much more than that.
A dreamer, a winner at all costs, result oriented, inspiring with a huge work ethic, Phil Knight put together a team of ex – runners and athletes so that all employees of NIKE shared his philosophy. To create a Company for athletes, made by athletes. Today, NIKE is so much more than that. A household brand, sponsoring so many talented individuals such as Rafael Nadal, Tiger Woods, Neymar Junior, Lebron James and many more who wear the famous SWOOSH with pride.
At 24 years old, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business – a business that would be dynamic, different. After borrowing some money from his father and after discovering TIGER brand in Japan, he put up $500 each with his legendary coach, Bowerman to create Blue Ribbon Sports. Blue Ribbon Sports was just the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey of Mr. Knight. A winner at all costs, he told a white lie that Blue Ribbon Sports existed before he even formed a Company so he can seal a deal with Japanese makers of Tiger Shoes! (Tiger shoes were the first Japanese manufactured sports shoes before they created the Nike brand) And that was the beginning of a beautiful, chaotic and ever inspiring story of NIKE Inc.
In the book he says that not much has changed, more so himself.. Even though couple of years after his trip around the world as a 20 year old he would be a multimillionaire. In the heat of it all and the non stop working hours he put in it, his journey is as inspiring as it gets for all self made business men.
Phil Knight, you are the personification of “JUST DO IT!”