There are books and then "Shoe Dog", by far the best book I read in 2022. It being the year with so much of struggle I can not express how much of a learning and an inspiration this little book was to my life. It is a memoir by Phil Knight, the co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Inc. The book provides an inside look at the company's early days and the challenges Knight faced as he built Nike into one of the world's most recognizable and successful brands. Here are seven of the most interesting quotes from the book, along with an explanation of the context in which they were said:
"I wanted to build something of my own, something that would outlast me."
This quote comes from the opening chapter of the book, in which Knight describes his desire to start his own business. He had been working for a number of years at a large accounting firm, but felt unfulfilled and wanted to create something that would have a lasting impact.
"To me, business wasn't about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It was about creativity, independence, and a willingness to take risks."
This quote comes from a chapter in which Knight describes his approach to business. He felt that traditional business practices, such as wearing suits and focusing on pleasing stockholders, were stifling and uninspiring. Instead, he wanted to focus on creativity, independence, and taking risks in order to build something truly special.
"I was too busy building Nike to worry about building Phil Knight."
This quote comes from a chapter in which Knight describes the early days of Nike. He was so focused on building the company that he didn't have time to think about his own personal brand or image. Instead, he poured all of his energy into making Nike the best it could be.
"I wasn't trying to build a company. I was trying to survive."
This quote comes from a chapter in which Knight describes the struggles he faced during the early days of Nike. The company was constantly on the brink of failure, and Knight had to make difficult decisions in order to keep it afloat. He wasn't thinking about building a long-term, successful company at this point - he was simply trying to survive.
"I'd seen too many people build something great, only to lose it because they weren't willing to make the hard choices."
This quote comes from a chapter in which Knight reflects on the lessons he's learned during his time at Nike. He had seen many entrepreneurs build successful companies, only to lose it all because they weren't willing to make the tough decisions that needed to be made. He knew that in order to build something truly great, he would have to be willing to make the hard choices when they came.
"I wasn't in business to sell shoes. I was in business to help people achieve their potential."
This quote comes from a chapter in which Knight reflects on the purpose of Nike. He believed that the company's true purpose was to help people achieve their potential, whether it was through running a marathon or simply feeling good about themselves. He didn't see the company as being in the business of selling shoes, but rather in the business of helping people.
"I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain."
This quote comes from the final chapter of the book, in which Knight reflects on the success of Nike. He had started the company with nothing and had faced many challenges along the way. But despite the risks he had taken, he had ultimately succeeded in building something truly great. He had nothing to lose at this point, and everything to gain.
In summary, the book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, business, and the history of one of the world's most iconic brands. It not only tells the story of Nike's rise but also the story of an entrepreneur's journey and the mindset of a successful business leader. The book serves as a great inspiration for anyone looking to start their own venture, as it shows that with perseverance, hard work, and a willingness to take risks, anyone can build something great.