MISSBISH Book Club | Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Author: Coco Marett
08.04 / Lifestyle

We know that choosing your next book can be a pain. I mean, where do you even start with millions of titles out there? Welcome to the MISSBISH Book Club. Each month, we select a book to read, review and share; to kick things off, we’ve selected Shoe Dog -- a memoir that illustrates Nike’s early days by co-founder and chairman emeritus, Phil Knight.

What surprised and impressed us most about Shoe Dog was its honesty and humility. Starting with Knight sheepishly asking his dad to loan him money for a trip around the world -- specifically to Japan because he was obsessed with this one idea of creating “Japanese sneakers.”

"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,” he writes.

Unlike a lot of books in its category, Shoe Dog isn’t an over-glorified memoir or success fairy tale. It’s kinda the opposite. Instead, Knight - almost eagerly - opens up about his insecurities and the seemingly endless series of downfalls and failures that he and his small riff-raff team endured during Nike’s formative years. It paints a very human picture of what it means to start, and run, a business, and serves as a humbling reminder that the path to success is, in fact, a climb.

But, in his own words, “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.”

Read on to see what the MISSBISH team thought of Shoe Dog.

Nicole | @nic0lefung
I thought the book was really inspirational and surprisingly relatable. It was interesting reading about Phil’s journey in the first few chapters and how he turned a passion into a legacy. I loved how transparent and open he was. There were some great quotes and takeaways, especially “don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

Marguerite | @margueritebb
Shoe Dog was a really enjoyable read. I loved learning about the start of Nike -- despite many hurdles and obstacles including one that most of us are familiar with: money. It was comforting to learn that it all sparked from passion and hard work, and continues to last because of that today. There were so many different people involved and the book proves that not everything can be accomplished alone. It was also surprising to find so much of myself in the book. Knight writes, “Don’t go to sleep one night. What you want most will come to you then.” I have always believed that everything you may not think you know about yourself -- you actually do; the answers are within. Your dreams and passions are all inside of you and with that, your goals come to light. Definitely pick it up when you get a chance!

Jana K. Hoffman | @janaisajournalist
I wasn't sure how I'd like this book, to be honest. I'm not much of a sports-related novel kinda gal. But I was pleasantly surprised. As a Nike brand loyalist, I now appreciate its humble beginnings and, quite possibly, like the brand even more now knowing Phil's story. No brand is perfect, but he truly created a living, breathing, diverse culture that has spanned generations and the globe. He wakes up grateful every day, and that's truly evident in his story.

Nav | @nav_x
I would highly recommend this book. I love how honest Knight is, and how he created a billion dollar company from nothing. Not only is the book relatable, as I work within the sports and footwear industries, but it also inspires me to never give up on what I believe in and to chase my dreams no matter how many hurdles life throws at me.

Angela | @angf_
It's such an eye opener to read about how a brand that I wear almost every day went through the ringer. It just goes to show how hard work really does pay off. Phil’s story is a huge motivation for any entrepreneur starting their own business, or any person stuck doing something that they don't love because they are afraid of taking that leap.

Our next book will be How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell. Want to join the MISSBISH Book Club? Find out how by joining our Slack Community.