12 Quotes on Leadership, Passion, Hard Work and More from the Entrepreneur Behind Nike Phil Knight Nike's Phil Knight can teach you a thing or two about entrepreneurship.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“Play by the rules, but be ferocious,” advises Phil Knight, the brains behind one of today’s most popular sports brands, Nike. There’s even more to learn from Knight, too.
Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You
After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, Knight enrolled in Stanford Graduate School of Business where he discovered his love of entrepreneurship. Soon after graduation, he found himself partnering with his old track coach Bill Bowerman to launch sports shoe company Blue Ribbon Sport in 1964. By 1971, the co-founders saw much success and renamed the company Nike.
Related: 12 Upbeat Ellen DeGeneres Quotes to Put You in a Good Mood
Today, Knight is recognized as not only a top business magnate, but a philanthropist and bestselling author, too. He’s donated more than $2 billion to his alma maters, as well as to the Oregon Health and Science University.
To learn more from Knight, here are 12 quotes on leadership, rule-breaking, growth and more.
On mindset“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” -- Phil Knight
On leadership“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” -- Phil Knight
On empowerment“The cowards never started and the weak died along the way -- that leaves us.” -- Phil Knight
“Let everyone else call your idea crazy... Just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” -- Phil Knight
Related: 20 Motivational Quotes to Inspire Your Next Business Idea
On the future“You are remembered for the rules you break.” -- Phil Knight
On hard work“The art of competing, I’d learned from track, was the art of forgetting... You must forget your limits. You must forget your doubts, your pain, your past. You must forget that internal voice, screaming, begging, ‘Not one more step!’” -- Phil Knight
On experience“How can I leave my mark on the world unless I get out there first and see it? Before running a big race, you always want to walk the track.” -- Phil Knight
“Life is growth. You grow or you die.” -- Phil Knight
Related: 20 Leadership Quotes From the World's Most Influential Leaders