A Review and A Decision
High time I am honest to my blog's title - Preeti Reviews.
I can't recall why I thought 8 years back that I would be posting reviews of anything on my blog, but I did. And so, I got stuck with this lame URL. What's done is done. After 8 years, I decided to honor that commitment and write a real review.
I don't think I can even call this a review. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is the story of Nike and for me, easily one of the most influential books I have ever read. Probably even the most influential book.
Everyone wants to know how Nike became Nike. What we don't expect is the story of a normal guy, with a normal background, a normal upbringing, to fight the worlds to make his "crazy idea" come alive. He makes us all root for him, cheer for him and in doing so, cheer for every person who has ever had a passion and fought for it.
I have often said this, that for many of us, careers have become an easy way to play catch. I like marketing. No, I think I want to business development. Maybe I should write. No wonder millennials have such low job satisfaction. I loved it that Phil Knight made a presentation in his final year of MBA on a crazy idea "to get good running shoes from Japan and sell them in the US." and he spent his whole life making it happen.
There's almost a romance associated with that type of dedication and passion. And it's infectious. You feel jealous of his crack team - all athletes and runners, now passionate about selling the right shoes. From selling shoes in his basement, to making it a $ 30 Billion worth business, the only thing that made it happen was that passion they all shared.
Nike had its share of problems. More than we can ever imagine. From lawsuits, to bankruptcy, to rivalry, to death. And yet, when Phil tells the story, you just know that it will all be ok, because these guys are out there trying to do something good, something they love. To think, to this date, Nike runs on the same principles - every ad, every product oozes that love for sports.
In the end, when Phil says, I wish I could do it all over again, you cry. You cry because you suddenly realize how truthful the story was and how real and scary it must have been for the people who were in it. You want Phil to be young again and do all this once again, because you are now in love with this guy's understated leadership.
I almost always deem a book great when I cry at the end of it. I cried for Shoe Dog and closed the book with a huge lump in my throat and a resolve to do something about it.
For the past few months, I have been fiddling with ideas. I wanted to quit, but I didn't know what I wanted to do. And then I went ahead and quit any way. So, yeah, starting June, I am on my own. For the first time in my life, I have taken a real risk.
If I had any doubts about it, Shoe Dog solved it for me. I will be ok. And I will figure out a way to do what I love. It maybe an year's work, it maybe two year's work or maybe even longer, but I will plough my way through it.
Because crazy ideas change the world. :)
Here's to more craziness and to Phil Knight!