The Chad Shipley Show

The Chad Shipley Show is up and running. I’ve done 4 short podcast episodes thus far and am having a blast doing it. They range from 7-15 minutes and are focused on critical insights that I have pulled from amazing content / thought leaders, or developed myself.

If you do not have iOS, you can search “The Chad Shipley” show in any podcast app and it should appear.

The last episode “Restraint is Power” was so much fun it’s hard to describe. I am a super goofy person by nature and let my wild side loose a little during this recording.

Synthesizing insights from great content is something that I love to do, and this blog and podcast are amazing mechanisms for me to do that and to share it with the world.

If you enjoy, please leave me a good rating. If you do not, please just send me an email and let me know ( I cannot afford to get bad ratings this early in the game. I really love doing these and am improving with every episode.

Thanks to any and all who listen and share!

You have 1 last chance

Imaging that you are in the latest stages of life and lying still on your deathbed – essentially waiting for the last breath. Your fight is over and the joy of life is nothing but a memory.

You get to come back to the present for 1 day. What do you do?

“Open” – The Aftermath of a Savage Battle

People either loved him or hated him, but in the end, they all cheered.

Andre Agassi spent his entire life playing a sport that he despised. Working relentlessly to become the world’s best, and to go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

He was often criticized for his appearance and was seemingly misunderstood. He didn’t fit in with the tennis crowd. He was just a punk interrupting traditional norms.

But in the end, they all rose to their feet and cheered loudly in celebration of his career, his journey, and his performance in, arguably, one of the greatest matches that he ever played.

“Open” is the powerful and riveting autobiography of Andre Agassi.

“One of the best sports autobiographies of all time…One of the better memoirs out there, period.”

– Time

I fell in love with this book the instant that I picked it up. I was deeply inspired and endlessly entertained.

It’s one thing to read unknown details of the people who live in the eyes of the world, amongst the Gods. It’s another to be exposed to how human they really are.

I revisited various sections of this book last week and found myself, again, mesmerized by the stories that make up his extraordinary life. All of the emotions came rushing back as I bounced from one section to the next.

Below, is a part that holds a special place in my heart. It brought back all of the goods so I wanted to share with you here.

Context: This comes at the very end of the first chapter,  entitled “The End”. It is the immediate aftermath of a match against Marco Baghdatis in the 2006 U.S. Open – Andre Agassi’s last Open ever. His last tournament ever.


I don’t dare stop. Must keep moving. I stagger through the tunnel, my bag slung over my left shoulder, feeling as if it’s slung over my right shoulder, because my whole body is twisted. By the time I reach the locker room I’m unable to walk. I’m unable to stand. I’m sinking to the floor. I’m on the ground. Darren and Gil arrive, slip my bag off my shoulder and lift me onto a table. Baghdatis’s (opponent) people deposit him on the table next to me…

A Kaleidoscope of faces appears above me. Gil, squeezing my arm, handing me a recovery drink. I love you, Gil. Stefani (Graff), kissing me on the forehead and smiling – happy or nervous, I can’t tell. Oh, yes, of course, that’s where I’ve seen that smile before. A trainer, telling me the doctors are on the way. He turns on the TV above the table. Something to do while you wait, he says.

I try to watch. I hear moans to my left. I turn my head slowly and see Baghdatis on the next table. His team is working on him. They stretch his quad, his hamstring cramps. He tries to lie flat, his groin cramps. He curls into a ball and begs them to leave him be. Everyone clears out of the locker room. It’s just the two of us. I turn back to the TV.

Moments later something makes me turn back to Baghdatis. He’s smiling at me. Happy or nervous? Maybe both. I smile back. I hear my name coming from the TV. I turn my head. Highlights from the match. The first two sets, so misleadingly easy. The third, Baghdatis starting to believe. The fourth, a knife fight. The fifth, the never-ending ninth game. Some of the best tennis I’ve ever played. Some of the best I’ve ever seen. The commentator calls it a classic. In my peripheral vision I detect slight movement. I turn to see Baghdatis extending his hand. His face says, We did that. I reach out, take his hand, and we remain this way, holding hands, as the TV flickers with scenes of our savage battle.

At last, I let my mind go where it’s wanted to go. I can’t stop it anymore. No longer asking politely, my mind is now forcibly spinning me into the past. And because my mind notes and records the slightest details, I see everything with bright, startling clarity, every setback, victory, rivalry, tantrum, paycheck, girlfriend, betrayal, reporter, wife, child, outfit, fan letter, grudge match, and crying jag. As if a second TV above me were showing highlights from the last twenty-nine years, it all flies past in a high-def whirl.

People often ask what it’s like, this tennis life, and I can never think how to describe it. But that word comes closest. More than anything else, it’s a wrenching, thrilling, horrible, astonishing whirl. It even exerts a faint centrifugal force, which I’ve spent three decades fighting. Now, lying on my back under Arthur Ashe Stadium, holding hands with a vanquished opponent and waiting for someone to come help us, I do the only thing I can do. I stop fighting it. I just close my eyes and watch.

*****There are multiple You Tube videos of this match. Here is one that I found under 2 minutes of just some quick highlights. LINK

I hope that you enjoyed as much as I did.


Cindy Whitehead – Amazing

5 Things I love about Cindy Whitehead:

  1. She’s a pink wearing, pharmaceutical mastermind – Leading and selling two companies – notably Sprout, the producer of the “female viagra” drug Addyi, for over a BILLION DOLLARS.    
  2. She fights hard for what she believes in – Disputing the FDA’s ruling to deny Addyi, Cindy rallied her team to build the case for why this drug was so important in the market. They had worked so hard, Cindy actually held a celebratory party prior to knowing the final ruling. Why? To celebrate the fact that the entire team laid it all on the line. They had won for their effort, regardless of the ruling.
  3. She provides platforms – Cindy launched The Pink Ceiling to fund women led startups.
  4. She stops at nothing – After selling Sprout, she was forced to bring a lawsuit against the purchasing company (Valeant), due to not living up to the original terms of the agreement. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, Valeant ended up giving her the drug back, along with a $25 million loan to help take it to market. Now, as CEO, she is working to get this drug distributed to women all over the world who need it, at an affordable price.
  5. She prides herself for being a rule breaker. That is, rules that are imposed for senseless reasons and/or make no sense at all. Conservative attire being one of them, as she wears pink loud and proud religiously – see link to Ted Talk below.

Image result for cindy whitehead

Noteable Links:

  1. Podcast with Tim Ferriss – Same interview but Video version
  2. Ted Talk – DNA of a Rule Breaker

This blog is my simple mechanism for self improvement. They are short journal entries on takeaway’s that I found insightful or profound to reflect back back on later in life. Sharing to the world in the blog form.

A letter to a Movie Star

I wrote this letter to a rising star in the film industry. No matter what success or failure comes his way, there was something that I really needed him to know.


Your trailer is amazing. I’ve watched it at least 5 times and have brought it up in conversation probably another 10. Every time I watch it I get a rush of emotions…excitement, inspiration, motivation, jealousy, and probably more than anything else, a feeling that’s really hard to figure out. I’ll just call it “questioning.”

It’s this feeling that compelled me to write you. I have always dreamed of being in the business world. I took a briefcase with me to the third grade. And, I absolutely love what I do now. However, I have always “also” had a burning desire to work in the film industry. It’s a creative side that I now explore through other outlets.

As much as I love what I do, I still have this question that comes up every now and again. Actually, it comes at very specific times. Let me explain quickly. I listen to movie scores while I work and while some fuel me to crush what I’m working on (ex. Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack) there are other songs that take me somewhere special (ex. Legends of the Fall Soundtrack).

Every single time I hear certain songs (“The Ludlows”), I stop and dream about the power of telling a profound story in a cinematic way. It’s a lifelong dream and unfortunately, one that I’ll probably always “question”. While I don’t think I live a life of normalcy or mediocracy, I do think that I have some un chased dreams.

Which brings me to why I felt compelled to write you. No matter what success or failure comes your way in life, I don’t think that you will ever have this type of unanswered question. Which is the most important question in life.

“Am I spending my short time here doing the things that I absolutely love to do?”

You will always know the answer to that question. And that is pretty freaking awesome. I hope that this letter is encouragement now to keep living the artist dream, but more importantly, something that you can always come back to if you ever question your path.

Just know that 99% of the world has the wrong answer to a question that you can answer correctly.

– lots of love brother.

Career Advice for a Young Professional

“Focus on your writing skills. It’s the one thing I’ve found that really helps people stand out. More and more communication is written today. Get great at presenting yourself with words, and words alone, and you’ll be far ahead of most.

Also, most of the stuff you’ll worry about doesn’t matter anyway. You’ll sweat so many details that no one will care about. It’s not that details don’t matter – they do – but only the right details matter. Pay close attention to what you’re spending your time on.

Time and attention are very different things. They’re your most precious resources moving forward. Just like you walk through the air and you swim through the water, you work through your attention. It’s the medium of the work. While people often say there’s not enough time, remember that you’ll always have less attention than time. Full attention is where you do your best work, and everyone’s going to be looking to rip it from you. Protect and preserve it.”

Jason Fried (co-founder of Basecamp)

The above excerpt was taken directly from the book Tribe of Mentors, written by Tim Ferriss (My all time biggest mentor that I have never met – I have a different person for people that I have actually met).

This is one of my all time favorite publications. Tim sent a standard set of interview questions (ex. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? – answer above from Jason Fried), and received responses from over 130 top performers in their specific areas.

The insights gained from their answers are literally priceless. I recently gifted this book to a rock star college student with a burning desire to create his own company. This will continue to be my go to book for gifting.

*Please note. I will not make anything off of purchases from the above link to Tribe of Mentors. Due to Amazon rules, I am not allowed to send out my associated link through email, which is largely how this blog is distributed. Thus, if you want to purchase the book and support this blog, please go to my Recommended Products page and use the link found there.

I’d Rather

I’d rather be criticized than to ever be a critic

I’d rather be talked about than to ever gossip

I’d rather be laughed at than make fun of others

I’d rather be hated for doing right than loved for doing wrong

I’d rather inspire than give orders

I’d rather create than consume

I’d rather empathize than ignore

I’d rather transform than adapt

I’d rather listen than hear

I’d rather give than receive

I’d rather seek than be ok with not knowing

I’d rather lose bravely than win cheating

I’d rather love than hate

I’d rather reach and miss than settle

-chad shipley

Those Who Have Died in Battle…

Or should I say, died fighting for our country. Our freedom. Our safety. Our ability to live in comfort.

Memorial Day is on the horizon. Out of curiosity, I googled it.

And I learned that the day used to be called Decoration day and it originated in the years following the civil war —–> the war where we fought each other.

I remembered reading about the amount of lives being lost in the civil war, so I googled that to remind me.

Approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives.

To put this into perspective. The combined total of all other American conflicts is around 644,000 (WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Revolutionary, War of 1812, Mexican War, Iraq-Afghanistan, Spanish American, and Gulf).

Approximately 1,264,000 American soldiers have died.


This led me to learn that the bloodiest battle of the civil war was at Gettysburg (roughly a 4 hour drive from my home) – 51,000 casualties.

Which led me to the remarkable Gettysburg Address. While reading “Team of Rivals” some years back about the rise of Lincoln into presidency and the civil war, I took note of this address. Lincoln was known to be a remarkable speaker. Beyond that, he is a great inspiration to me becuase of his deep humility, approach, character, honesty, and fairness.

The speech is below. It helps to note that the word “score” in Lincoln’s address was a word that meant 20 when talking about years. Thus, when he says “Four score and seven years ago” he is referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence 87 years (4 score is 4 x 20 + 7) earlier by the Founding Fathers.

The first and last sentences definitely worth a read.

Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

-Abraham Lincoln | Thursday, November 19, 1863

I have many wonderful things to be thankful for in my life. This weekend being spent with family and friends is one of them.

Ultimately, that came at the great cost of far too many.

There is old greek proverb that I’m reminded of.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

People fought and died 155 years ago for the hot dogs we’ll eat this weekend. That’s a brutal thought.

I know that it’s much more than that. But I emphasize that image to help us all swallow the deep sense of gratitude that it deserves. The Appreciation that is required.

People continue to fight and die today. Or suffer with catastrophic injuries and PTSD.

These people. All of these people. Are my HERO’S.

With love.


Dip in the Fire

“I wear the scars of  a battle that I have never seen.”

Pain is an international – cross race – cross class – 1 of a kind – common denominator.

We all have it.

Emotional, Physical, Mental.

And to the quote above, we all experience different levels.

I’m not going to say that we can all come back from life’s greatest pains.

I haven’t seen the wars that others battle. I can empathize, but in reality, I could never relate.

……..with that said, I stumbled upon a concept that I thought was worth sharing.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment is a series on the History channel that puts 30 men and women with no military background through an authentic experience, led by veterans of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers.

It’s Rad.

Episode 1 is entitled “Dip in the Fire”.

In efforts of not ruining the great scene, I’ll just say that the process of sword making is explained.

The sword goes into the fire and the sword comes back out.

The sword goes back into the fire and the sword comes back out.

Again, and Again.

And in the process, the sword gets stronger.

This simple notion has created an entirely new perspective for me.

The hard day at work. The difficult conversation. The workout. The house work. The relationship issue.

It’s all a dip in the fire.

“Sometimes the only thing left to do is swing harder and faster than your being swung at.”

You don’t always choose to go in. But coming out stronger is inevitable.

My heart goes out to all of you in pain, and to those of you who have been truly broken by life’s greatest tragedies.

-Keep Fighting.