Have you ever finished reading a book, closed the cover, held it close to you, and sat still. Reflecting on words you read and how they have forever affected your thoughts on the world, entrepreneurship, yourself, etc. If you love a good coming-of-age story, then I highly recommend the memoir by Phil Knight (the inventor of Nike) called Shoe Dog.
Knight’s memoir is one of the best reads of the year.. scratch that.. OF MY LIFE! Am I being too dramatic? Probably, but I sincerely mean it.
His journey started when he was fresh out of business school, having this Crazy Idea. At 23 he embarked on a backpacking trip around the world. It was a dream of his to experience, “what the Chinese call Tao, the Greeks call Logos, the Hindus call Jnana, the Buddhists call Dharma.” He emphasized throughout his memoir how his travels enhanced his Crazy Idea and intertwined his experiences with the names of his designs, fabrics, and how it helped him cater to athletes and customers around the globe.
There were quirky stories of his trials and tribulations that made me laugh out loud, hardships and setbacks that made me shed a tear or two, and most importantly, I now feel inspired x100 to keep passion alive and pursue the crap out of my goals.
I cannot recommend this memoir enough. It reads like a novel and every single page is extraordinary. Definetly have to give it a solid 10/10.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes:
“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way – that leaves us.”
“Of course I wanted to taste other foods, hear other languages, dive into other cultures, but what I really craved was connection with a capital C…Before setting out on my own personal voyage, I thought, let me first understand the greater voyage of humankind.”
“How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it.”
“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product.”
“The man who moves a mountain begin by carrying away small stones.”
“The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.”
“Fear of failure, I thought, will never be our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail; we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it, and be better for it.”
“Somebody may beat me – but they’re going to have to bleed to do it.”
“Economists, sociologists, not to mention our own hearts, tell us that, in many societies, young girls are the most economically vulnerable, and vital, demographic. So helping them helps all. Whether striving to end child marriage in Ethiopia, or building safe spaces for teenage girls in Nigeria, or launching a magazine and radio show that deliver powerful, inspiring messages to young Rwandans the Girl Effect is changing millions of lives, and the best days of my week, month, year, are those when I receive the glowing reports from its front lines.”
“Mothers are our first coaches.”
“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.”