Shoe Dog is an unusual book. It’s not quite a biography, covering a limited portion of Phil Knight’s life founding and running Nike. Nor is it a traditional business book, because it doesn’t foist bulleted lessons onto you. The best category for Knight’s book doesn’t exist: “Learn From My Experience.”
And what experience he has to share.
As the founder and longtime CEO of Nike, Knight presided over the explosive growth of a shoe and, later, full-featured athletics apparel company. Nike’s sales are now about $31 billion, but it all began in his childhood home in Oregon.
My apartment during my college years at Texas A&M looked like something from the show “Hoarders.” I had to step over piles of stuff just to get to my couch. When friends wanted to hang out, we went to their place. I was way too embarrassed to have anyone over.
My car may have been worse. Things would get lost in there and I’d find them months later. Oh, there’s that old bill, way under the pile of unread newspapers. Seriously.
In college I owned a retail business and most of the time, its files were a mess. I did numerous “spring cleanings” over the years before eventually selling it, but always drifted back to disorderliness. It wasn’t a mere habit. It was a sickness.
Then, several major life events forced me to reexamine my life. Changes needed to be made.