Shoe Dog: A memoir by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight

Most inspiring. A must read for all entrepreneurs, leaders, professionals, and students.

“Life is growth. You grow or you die.”
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A client-friend strongly recommended this book (both of us have been basketball players!). And I picked it up. For books & movies, I prefer friends’ and family’s recommendations.

I am at a place today, five years into my entrepreneurial venture, after 21 yrs in the corporate world… maybe that’s why the book resonated a lot with me.

“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”

It is one of those books which I did not want to put down. 
- It is a beautiful memoir, autobiography. Story-telling, exceptional. 
- An athlete, sportsperson as a child — An athlete, sportsperson for entire life. How much I miss basketball, football, and badminton. If I could go back to school/college days, just to play more. Just as Phil says if he could do it all over again… 
- An athlete, Stanford alum, CPA… Phil chose to be an entrepreneur. Every step was a challenge and yet he clocked 100% growth year after year. Most inspiring
- Went around the world when he had just entered his 20s. That had a subtle influence on his worldview, I am sure.
“How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought unless I get out there first and see it?” 
- He was a great leader. He got normal, ordinary people and created a strong team. The workplace had a very empowering culture. 
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” 
- He reminds us of bucket-list, and life-purpose. Success is never defined in terms of money, but the number of people we have touched. 
“Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in faith. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.” 
- He was passionate, aggressive, focused, result-oriented, smart, street-smart (at times, pushing boundaries of ethics — whether hiring a spy or taking the folder from his principal’s bag!). 
“You are remembered, he said, prophetically, for the rules you break”

A shoe-dog indeed.

- ‘Nike’ came through Johnson’s dream. Phil still quotes Rūmī, “Don’t go to sleep one night, What you most want will come to you then’!
- He regrets not maintaining a #Journal. 
- The house they moved into was an exact replica of his charcoal image he had ‘visualized’ as a child. 
Power of #Vizualization #Journaling #Regal@60, #Passion, #Dream #HardWork

“The art of competing, I’d learned from the 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.” It is an art, not mere process, science. Or a beautiful, unique blend of them all!

Several takeaways… May go back to the book and pick up more inspirations. This will remain a strong guiding light, and maybe even define my style of working in the near future.

Throughout the book you feel the struggle of Phil. It was constant struggle, even while growing at a rapid pace. Then suddenly, post IPO, he is a multi-millionaire.

What caterpillar calls end of the day, Master calls it a 🦋 ‘

And today he is also known for his philanthropic work. Success is not about money, but about creating something as magnificent as ‘Nike

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