My Highlighted Quotes from Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog.

I just finished reading the memoir, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. It’s a very brilliant, very entertaining book full of insights not just about business, but also about life in general.

I don’t make a habit of breaking down the books I read on my blog so I won’t. But I do want to share some of my highlighted quotes from the book for readers to think about. I highly recommend reading the whole book. It’s beyond excellent. 


-Like it or not, life is a game. 

-Let everyone else call your idea crazy…just keep going. Don’t ever stop. 

-Front runners always work the hardest and risk the most. 

-Linear thinking is nothing but a delusion, one of the many that keeps us unhappy. Reality is non-linear.

-The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. 

-If you grasp simple beauty and nothing else, you grasp just about the greatest thing God invented.

-Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

-A tiger hunts best when he’s hungry. 

-Life is dangerous. We must be prepared.

-Happiness can be dangerous. It dulls the senses.

-To study the self, one must forget the self. The foot feels the foot by feeling the ground.

-Competition only brings out the best in those who can forget the competition. The art of competing is the art of forgetting. 

-Fighting, not to win, but to avoid losing is a surefire losing strategy.

-Hayward was hallowed ground, steeped in tradition, but Bowerman didn’t believe in letting tradition slow you down.

-Business is war without bullets.

-Life is growth. You grow or you die. 

-Beating the competition is relatively easy. Beating yourself is a never ending commitment.

-Business is no more about making money than the human body is about making blood. Yes you need to make the stuff, but only to serve your higher aims.

-Cowards never start and the weak die along the way. That leaves us: the brave AND strong.

-If you’re successful, or a rebel/innovator you have a Bull’s eye painted on your back. And the better you get, the bigger the bull’s eye gets. It’s not an opinion, it’s a law of nature. 

I want to end on that last quote because it spoke to me most deeply. If you’re someone who wants to do something different, don’t be so naive that you assume people will just roll with your good intentions. You will be fought, and targeted and maligned and lied about every step of the way. You will feel like giving up and quitting all the time. If you don’t think you can handle this, if you expect pity or graciousness from people, then don’t even bother. If business is war without bullets, you must commit to being a warrior. Win, even if it kills you. 


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