Good Impressions Last a Lifetime
Phil Knight travelled the world for his business. He sacrificed his time, savings, and social life for the company of his dreams. Knight was an entrepreneur with more on his plate than anyone. Knight decided that he needed a flexible schedule to devote even more time to his business than he already was. He quit his day job for a teaching position at Portland State University. While teaching, he hired about 40 employees, started paying himself a real salary, and made two extremely important connections for his business and personal life.
Knight was a professor now. He loved it. He tried to lecture like his favorite professors to win over his young audience. The very first day of class, Knight met Penelope Parks. She was beautiful, quiet, and extremely bright but she was a student attending his lectures. Phil Knight didn’t know what to do about her. He couldn’t figure her out. One day, he hired her. He knew she was extremely bright and could be exactly what the company needed to keep running. He was right. Knight didn’t know how the company had ever run before they hired Penelope. He was enthralled by her. Of course, you know where this goes. Knight and Miss Parks started dating and got married. Penny was the perfect spouse for a young entrepreneur. Penny and Knight had huge impacts on each other and are married with 4 kids to this day. Their impression on each other will obviously last a lifetime or more. Knight considers his wife to be the best partner he’s ever had.
Knight’s company was finally taking off and he was able to hire more employees and finally pay himself a real salary. With Penny at home planning their wedding, Knight went back to Japan. While there, he met a man by the name of Fujimoto. Fujimoto and Knight instantly hit it off. They talked about how they got to where they were now and how their lives were. Fujimoto told Knight that recently, his home had been destroyed in a typhoon and most of his possessions were gone. His most prized possession that he couldn’t replace was a bicycle. After Knight returned home, he sent 50 dollars to Fujimoto. This small gesture meant the world to Fujimoto and would help Knight in his future endeavors.
I think the most important influence that Knight made during this period in his life was on the people around him. When you’re a small business trying to become a big business, you need a great following of people and a big support system. The influences that you make on people last a lot longer than you think and you need to make sure you always have good people helping you during huge endeavors. Influences you had on people can last their entire lives. If you make good impressions and influences, you’ll be more likely to have help down the road when you need it the most.