I just finished reading Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. His story about the creation of NIKE is full of peaks and valleys. The way he navigated NIKE co. to become the most well known brand in the world is astonishing. What captivated me most about the book was the realization that Phil Knight was a regular guy no different then myself or you.
He was nowhere near perfect nor did he have life all figured out. He came from a middle class family and on paper their was NOTHING that set him apart. Along the way he made many mistakes and had setbacks that would have stifled anyone. What set Phil apart was a vision he had about creating a shoe; once he had this dream he NEVER let it go and was relentless in his pursuit.
This got me thinking, if the average man like Phil Knight can turn the NIKE brand into a global icon. Why do the rest of us ‘average’ folk so often fall short of achieving our own dreams? I believe the answer to this question is 3 fold and their are examples all throughout Shoe Dog. First, we often never set our hearts and minds on a clear dream or goal. If you don’t know where you are headed you will NEVER get there! Phil had a clear vision of a shoe company and that is what he dedicated his life to. Secondly, when times get tough you have to PUSH through. At some point you will hit roadblocks on achieving your dreams, the biggest difference is some people quit and some people keep going. Phil hit several roadblocks in his journey with NIKE. Their were many times where his company was on the brink of folding but he did not quit on himself or his company and managed to see it through. Finally, you have to have the courage to make challenging decisions. The worst decision is indecision. Not every choice you make will be perfect but sitting back and waiting for the PERFECT timing is the worst thing you can do when it comes to chasing your dream. At one point in Shoe Dog Phil needed to decide what the logo for NIKE would be. He wasn’t complete content with any of the options but ended up making a decisive choice with the SWOOSH and now that SWOOSH logo is known around the world.
I want to encourage you today to get a clear vision of what your dream is, push through any roadblocks that come with achieving it, and be ready to make tough choices and live with them!