This is not another ingenious idea from COVID-capitalizing Chewy.com, but rather one of the most impressive business books I have read ever, not just during this pandemic. Do not let the word “business” be off putting because the book is much more. It is inspirational in a time we all can use some encouragement. If you are a recent college graduate, an athlete, a sports fan, dealing with loss, in a career funk, a provider, parent, or a son or daughter, Shoe Dog will cause you to reflect, laugh until you cry, sadly cry and then remind you keep going forward.
No spoiler alert here, so read on if you like. Shoe dog is an inspirational story of overcoming challenges in a brutally but relatable fashion. The book is told from the lens of Nike founder, Phil Knight. Five lesson topics to get you warmed up:
– Start something before you are ready
– Do not seek a career
– Conformity is overrated
– Grow or die
– An interesting life is a challenging life
Is today’s world not interesting enough?
Knight is in constant search of a spiritual connection between people, the universe and fairness, though from self-admission, he could not always play completely within established rules. The chapters on how the Nike name was decided on and the origin of the Nike “Swoosh” give us an insider view that even the most famous brands can have humble beginnings.
Perhaps like me, you are taking more strolls outside to clear your mind from back to back Zoom calls. Try something new. Sprint (sorry!) over to Audible.com by Amazon to sign up for a free 30-day subscription and listen to a book while out on your morning stroll. Speaking of the growing or dying lesson reference above, who remembers Amazon started out in the mid 1990’s as an online bookstore? It is always OK to reinvent your business or yourself. And that is what being a Shoe Dog is all about.
Sports, politics and COVID have collided in a manner that make some wish for times when a baseball game was always (at least) nine innings, no bubble trophy’s, fans in attendance and watching sports represented escapism from current events. The post-Phil-Knight Nike is clearly engulfed in controversy from pulling the “Betsy Ross Flag” sneaker to embracing low paying overseas jobs. I encourage you to separate the two and read (or listen) to an inspiring journey. It may offend, it will generate a tear, and it will definitely enlighten.
Nike’s iconic slogan “Just Do It” happened to be inspired by the final words of a notorious killer in the 1970’s. Maybe there is no true escapism after all but give it a try.