How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here? : The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO

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The most famous skateboarder ever shares the business secrets to his success! He's the man who put skateboarding on the map. He's the first to land a 900 (two and a half full rotations). He's also among the richest pitchmen in any sport. And, in a sport that's especially youth-oriented, Tony Hawk, a 40-something father of four, still connects with his audience by staying true to who he is. Moving easily between the ramp and the boardroom, Tony currently runs one of the most acclaimed action sports companies, a clothing line, and video game series bearing his name that has sold over $1 billion worldwide, making it the biggest selling action sports game franchise in game history. He has secured endorsement deals with major brands such as McDonalds, Intel, T-Mobile and Kohl's; started the Boom Boom HuckJam action sports tour; and achieved worldwide acclaim from the ESPN X Games. Filled with Tony's typical modesty and humor, How Did I Get Here? tells the amazing story behind Tony Hawk's unprecedented success from skateboarder to CEO, and the secrets behind his lasting appeal. You'll find out how authenticity has served him well in all his achievements. You'll also understand how his story has shaped many of his fundamental values, including his huge desire to win and his strong sense of realism. Get the inside story of Tony Hawk beyond the skateboard as he answers the question: How Did I Get Here?

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  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 408.23g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • ChichesterUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations (some col.)
  • 047063149X
  • 9780470631492
  • 268,913

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Review quote

‘…entertaining review of his entrepreneurial endeavours.' (Business Life, December 2010). This is no sham celebrity business book…packed with lessons for entrepreneurs.' (Director, December 2010).

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Back cover copy

How Did I Get Here? PRAISE FOR TONY HAWK "Hawk, like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, belongs to that rare breed of athlete-entrepreneurs whose names and brands have transcended their sports and become mainstream icons in the popular culture." --"USA Today" "Hawk has also pulled off the near-miraculous feat of being as popular with parents as he is with their offspring." --"Bloomberg Businessweek" "Hawk drives the sport harder than anyone else, having transformed himself from cult hero into a richly compensated pitchman." --"Forbes" "Hawk rules an empire. He is the world's highest-paid action sports athlete." --"Entrepreneur"

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Flap copy

When Tony Hawk got his first skateboard at age nine, he had no intention of ever making a living at it--even as he rocketed up the sport's amateur ranks. And of course he had no idea he would become the most famous skateboarder of all time, let alone the head of several successful related businesses. The same focus that drove him to pick himself up off the pavement again and again, that kept him riding through skating's lean times, and that fueled his celebrated ten-year quest to land the elusive 900 (two-and-a-half midair rotations), also helped him build his brand into a worldwide empire. From skateboards to clothing to sports tours to video games to online media, Tony Hawk has dominated markets with a laid-back style that masks his formidable business sense. Now, in How Did I Get Here?, Tony reveals the convictions that enable him to navigate between the skateboard and the boardroom. How Did I Get Here? takes you back to Tony's first business, the still-thriving Birdhouse Skateboards, which he and a friend started long before he had mainstream fame. He describes the lessons he learned (some of them hard) building Birdhouse on little more than a home-equity loan and the street cred he'd gained within the tight skating subculture of the '80s. You'll also find out how, by staying true to his passion and his instincts, he's been able to build his businesses into a global juggernaut. Whether working with tiny skate shops or national chains like Kohl's, Tony found long-term success by insisting on authenticity. You'll see how he very consciously brings skating's homegrown style, DIY ethos, and underground heroes to each of his enterprises--from start-up Web sites to mega-selling video games. True to Tony's twisted sense of humor, How Did I Get Here? also doesn't flinch from what didn't work (pink backpacks, anyone?), recounting his entrepreneurial mishaps in gruesome detail. Tony Hawk is living proof that you can stay close to your roots while going big in business. Discover the secrets to his success--everything from brand strategy to the real meaning of "Boom Boom HuckJam"--as Tony answers the question How Did I Get Here?

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About Tony Hawk

TONY HAWK is the most famous and influential skateboarder of all time. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was instrumental in skateboarding's transformation from fringe pursuit to respected sport. He is the founder, President, and CEO of Tony Hawk, Inc., which he continues to develop and grow. He is also the founder of the Tony Hawk Foundation, which works to create skateparks and empower youth in low-income communities. PAT HAWK is Tony's older sister; she began working with him in 1995 at Birdhouse Skateboards. In 1997, they created Tony Hawk, Inc. Pat has been Vice President and COO of Tony Hawk, Inc. since then and continues to manage its day-to-day operations. Pat is on the Board of Directors of the Tony Hawk Foundation.

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