Let's start by talking about sneakers and, in particular, Nikes. For me, exercise footwear is merely what I put on my feet in the morning before going on the treadmill or walking the dog. My interest in the brand type was low, so I was not overly excited to start reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, Phil Knight. I expected a slick raise to success; everything just fell into place biography. Instead, what I would discover is Phil Knight screwed up, messed up, made many (serious) mistakes and was not a particularly good leader or businessperson, and he is the first to admit all that.
In 2020, Nike's net worth was valued at an impressive $34.8 billion, not too shabby for a company that in 1964 got off to a $500- start under the rather uninspiring name of Blue Ribbon Sports.
As business owners, we tend to think the other guy is doing it all way better than we are. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, feeling the weight of too many decisions, wrong turns, and what we think are stupid mistakes. The story of someone like Phil Knight reminds us this is part of the process, part of the learning curve more importantly, that we are all treading the same path. We also read about Knight's many imperfections as a family man and friend. His often brutal self-honesty is refreshing. Whether you are a start-up or seasoned business owner, I recommend Shoe Dog.
Rebranding and restructuring are integral parts of any business; Nike's famous swoosh didn't emerge overnight. I have just completed this rather arduous process. A fantastic team and I chose fresh colours, fonts, and logos, developed a new business strategy and reworked my services. I hope you take a moment to check it all out at jbcrossland.com.
I had always considered myself a solo entrepreneur when in truth, I wasn't. For over 13 years, an Australian Shepherd named Mia was lying at my feet or by my side. Sadly, she passed on July 8th. The void in my life, both personal and professional, is enormous. I particularly miss our early morning walks. I would take in the morning peace going over my upcoming day in my head while she went about her dog business. During the workday, she made me laugh, relieved my stress, and shared my successes.
I encourage you to grab your sneakers, dog; if you have one and go out for a walk in the cool temperatures of the morning, you will be amazed how much better prepared you will feel for the business day ahead.