Shoe Dog: The Entrepreneurial Journey of Nike’s Phil Knight

shoe dog review

I just finished reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight and it was great. The book primarily focused on Phil Knight’s journey of building Nike from zero to where it is today, with an emphasis on the early years.

What I enjoyed so much about the book was it’s easy to assume the creator of Nike just snapped his fingers and built one of the most iconic companies in the world. As the book shares, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Phil Knight’s entrepreneurial journey was filled with tons of risk and uncertainty, something that 99% of people wouldn’t have been able to overcome. Regardless of what obstacle was in front of him, however, he always kept pushing forward.

Here are 5 quotes from the book that really stood out to me.

  • 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.
  • Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results
  • The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
  • Belief, I decided. Belief is irresistible.
  • Leaning back in my recliner each night, staring at the ceiling, I tried to settle myself. I told myself: Life is growth. You grow or you die.

I encourage you to pick up a copy and read Shoe Dog. You’ll gain a greater appreciation for Phil Knight, Nike, and what it takes to be someone who has unwavering belief in what they are doing. The book was an inspiration to me and was definitely a positive influence for the journey I’m on.


Check out my Ultimate Entrepreneur Reading List: a list of over 100 books I’ve read and recommend on entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, and sports. 

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