by Brandon Reiter
Part of maximizing your potential as an entrepreneur is to learn as much as you can from those who have traveled down the road before. A great and bountiful source of this knowledge are books. An avid reader and writer myself, I have read many books that have helped me launch my own business, and also provide insight for my clients. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, I strongly suggest reading some of these books to broaden your knowledge.
The first Skyview Book of The Month is the 2016 memoir, Shoe Dog, by Nike founder, Phil Knight. We are all familiar with Nike the brand, but Phil’s recollection of the company’s origin and his persistence over the company’s initial decades offer a strong perspective on the uncertainty and resilience required to create a successful enterprise.
Phil did not invent a shoe, but he he saw an opportunity and jumped on it. Upon graduating from business school, he borrowed $50 from his father to start his company that focused on importing low-cost shoes from Japan. At the time, the U.S. shoe market was completely dominated by ADIDAS, but over the next few decades, Phil turned Nike into the world’s most popular shoe brand.
What I love most about this book is that Phil faced so many different moments of adversity that seemed impossible to overcome. Despite the obstacles in his way, Phil somehow managed to work his way around them and keep his company afloat even by the slimmest of margins. A common misconception when it comes to starting a business is that you should know every step of execution for the foreseeable future, but that is simply impossible when it comes to entrepreneurship. Successful businesses don’t reach their heights because they had a great model or plan when they started out, but that they were able to pivot and execute swiftly when the times called for it.
Shoe Dog is a must read for entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding of the tough calls and decision making that come with running a business with large goals.