Pango POV – "Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike" Is the Perfect Book For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  Ever wonder how business empires and brands like Nike are built?  Sacrifice, risk, self-exploration, the right team and commitment along with drive to win can all be found in the “Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of Nike.” In “Shoe Dog,” Knight shares his story and the lessons he learned along the way to becoming a retail giant. His memoir offers insight for entrepreneurs and business owners at every stage of development. As he reminisces on Nike’s growth stage, he shares his own growth as a leader of people and manager of a fully actualized company.

  •  “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.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “I refused to even consider ordering less inventory. Grow or die, that’s what I believed, no matter the situation.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “The cowards never started and the weak died along the way. That leaves us, ladies and gentlemen. Us.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  Throughout the memoir, Knight reflects on the connections his brand and business have to athletics and his own athletic career. While the allusion of business and sales as competition or sport is not a new one, Knight’s personal experiences as a competitive athlete and building his brand on the values of sport give his insight a fresh feel.
  • “I thought back on my running career at Oregon. I’d competed with, and against, men far better, faster, more physically gifted. Many were future Olympians. And yet I’d trained myself to forget this unhappy fact. People reflexively assume that competition is always a good thing, that it always brings out the best in people, but that’s only true of people who can forget the competition. The art of competing, I’d learned from track, was the art of forgetting, and I now reminded myself of that fact. You must forget your limits. You must forget your doubts, your pain, your past.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “Like it or not, life is a game.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “Driving back to Portland I’d puzzle over my sudden success at selling. I’d been unable to sell encyclopedias, and I’d despised it to boot. I’d been slightly better at selling mutual funds, but I’d felt dead inside. So why was selling shoes so different? Because, I realized, it wasn’t selling. I believed in running. I believed that if people got out and ran a few miles every day, the world would be a better place, and I believed these shoes were better to run in. People, sensing my belief, wanted some of that belief for themselves. Belief, I decided. Belief is irresistible.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “What if there were a way, without being an athlete, to feel what athletes feel? To play all the time, instead of working? Or else to enjoy work so much that it becomes essentially the same thing.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  Knight does take time to reflect on his legacy and the wisdom he offers comes from not only a place of success but also from his search for his own sense of meaning.
  • “It’s never just business. It never will be. If it ever does become just business, that will mean that business is very bad.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “I’d tell men and women in their midtwenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “And those who urge entrepreneurs to never give up? Charlatans. Sometimes you have to give up. Sometimes knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop. Luck plays a big role… Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  The Nike of today dominates the athletic retail market and is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Daunting as it may seem, becoming the next Nike is a real possibility for any number of entrepreneurs and small businesses just now making their start. And when that success comes, Knight urges his readers to consider what it actually means.
  • “I turned out the light and went and sat in front of the TV with Penny. Neither of us was really watching. She was reading a book and I was doing calculations in my head. By this time next week Bowerman would be worth $9 million. Cale — $6.6 million. … Fantasy numbers.   Numbers that meant nothing. I never knew that numbers could mean so much, and so little, at the same time.” He continued that when he woke the next day, “The world was the same as it had been the day before, as it had always been. Nothing had changed, least of all me. And yet I was worth $178 million.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
  • “But that’s the nature of money. Whether you have it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, it will try to define your days. Our task as human beings is not to let it.” ― Phil Knight, Shoe Dog