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Notes. Journal. Observations. Digital scrapbook.

Todd Schnick is a Chicago-based writer, podcaster, and philanthropist. On the page below, he journals random thoughts on business, media, philosophy, and culture. And it acts as sort of a digital scrapbook and collection of notes on his life and business. He is also the co-founder of The Todd & Stephanie Schnick Foundation.

Frank Sinatra Has A Cold, by Gay Talese (1966, Esquire), one of the most celebrated magazine pieces of all time, and birthed New Journalism. (Added 9 September 2020)

The “Me” Decade and the Third Great Awakening, the classic essay from Tom Wolfe (1976), where he coined the term “Me Decade”. You just don’t see long-form writing like this anymore. (Added 9 September 2020)

Why We All Need Philosophy by Mark Manson — As I age, I’m getting more interested in philosophy. Not just as a means to make sense of the current world and its challenges, but really as a strategy to better understanding myself and my role in things. This is a great piece to get you moving in the right direction, with some suggested reading. (Revised 8 September 2020)

“To win true freedom, you must be a slave to philosophy.”


Never miss an opportunity to simplify and remove the excess. In fact, you should be ever vigilant about removing clutter, both digital and physical. It should be a daily discipline. Some ideas below: (Revised 5 September 2020)

  1. Donate books you will never read, or will never read again.
  2. Donate clothing items that you no longer wear. Why do you have ANYTHING in your closet that doesn’t fit you, or that you don’t feel good wearing?
  3. Do you need all the stuff in your basement, attic, or expensive storage locker?
  4. You probably have too many tabs open.
  5. You probably have too many apps on your phone.
  6. I don’t even like the date function on my old school wrist watch.
  7. You likely keep too many pieces of paper in those manilla file folders.

Recently had the pleasure of welcoming Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi to The Foundation Podcast. What a lovely, gracious, and down-to-earth person, it was a treasure to connect. (Added 4 September 2020) CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

The Foundation Podcast is now available on Spotify! (Added 27 August 2020)

One of the smartest things I’ve done is subscribe to and read, cover-to-cover every month, National Geographic magazine. I will admit there are a few subjects that are a slog to get through, but man oh man, am I learning a lot. And forcing myself to carefully read every word has been a great disciplinary practice, especially in the age of bite-sized, click-baited content. The long-form reads are relaxing and slow things down. (Revised 22 August 2020)

New logo for one of my oldest clients: Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio! We launched this podcast going on ten years ago! (Added 21 August 2020)

Please, I beg you, worry about things you can actually control. Why is this so hard to understand? (Added 18 August 2020)

Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. Some key stoic principles to guide you:

  1. The obstacle is the way.
  2. It’s not the event itself that matters, it’s how you REACT to the event that matters.
  3. Reasoned choice.

Your Stoic library should (at least) include Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, and Enchiridion by Epictetus. I read a few passages from each every day. (Revised 18 August 2020)

My newest podcast, and the one I am most proud of, is The Foundation Podcast. iTunes has rated it a “Top Non-Profit podcast,” and we launched in early 2020. While it supports the work of our foundation, it is not about our foundation. In fact, it helps people build the foundation to live their best lives, as well as showcases leaders and organizations in the non-profit world…people affecting global change. We are very proud of this project! (Revised 16 August 2020)

You need to make the soundtrack to your own life. Listen to it often to become inspired. Play it in the background when you are making shit happen. You already know the music. Go on, add a little pop to your day-to-day life. (Revised 16 August 2020)

Your jazz library should include Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Ahmad Jamal, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Art Pepper, and Charles Mingus. (Revised 14 August 2020)

Live in Denver, Colorado

Trade Show Radio has been a principle piece of the work I do, broadcasting live at trade shows and other events. Such a fun gig, helping clients create content and adding significant firepower to their business development strategy. Email me here if you want to learn more. (Added 11 August 2020)

Live in Austin, Texas

Many forget that politics played a significant role in roughly the first eighteen years of my career. From congressional aide, to Republican Party operative, to national political strategist. But no doubt, I reached the pinnacle of notoriety when Al Gore sued me during the 2000 Florida Recount (see image below). It was a strange piece of history to be a part of. This also resulted in the first book I was mentioned in: Jake Tapper’s Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency. Certainly my proudest moment! (Added 11 August 2020)

There is no need to rush. You should strive to be very, very deliberate in all actions. In a well-lived and well-designed life, one should NEVER be in a hurry. This is a sign of inefficiency, poor planning, and lack of discipline. You need to feel zero pressure when you are focusing on a task, free to finish it when you are ready to do so. Take your time. (Revised 11 August 2020)

Based on my observations of mankind and witnessing some of the “political discourse” on social media platforms, it’s painfully obvious that most people would benefit from learning more about economics. Trust me on this. I’d suggest starting with Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (Fifth Edition). (Revised 08 August 2020)

Don’t waste your time consuming “the news.” Most of the “news” you observe isn’t actually news, but rather, someone’s biased opinion. This isn’t worth your time. You have too many more important things to do. Sure, important to be aware of what’s happening around the Earth, but don’t get overwhelmed by it. It will agitate you, add stress, and waste valuable time. And as you know, if it’s really, really important, you’ll soon hear about it. (Added 08 August 2020)

I’ve conducted thousands of interviews over my media career, and a top three interview for me was with Robert Greene, the best-selling author best known for The 48 Laws of Power. CLICK HERE to listen to my chat with him about his most recent book, The Laws of Human Nature. (Added 08 August 2020)

I named my company, The Intrepid Group, LLC, after the lunar lander Intrepid from the Apollo 12 mission, which landed on The Moon in November, 1969. (Added 08 August 2020)

Recently had the chance to reconnect with Tom Peters on The Foundation Podcast. CLICK HERE to listen to Tom talk about how to survive and thrive during these strange, challenging times. (Added 08 August 2020)

An unused logo back from when we were building the trade show side of the business…

CLICK HERE to read my ebook, 28 Strategies to be happy. A small collection of the basic things I learned in striving to live a happy life. (Added 08 August 2020)

The original logo for The Intrepid Group, LLC (circa 2007)

I quit Twitter in 2019. Eliminating that cesspool of hate from my world has been a great gift. There are better ways to engage with community, and I have more important things to do than argue with people all day long. (Added 08 August 2020)

I married the former Stephanie Ann Lloyd on December 12, 2012. We moved to Chicago, IL in February 2016, and co-founded our foundation in late 2018. (Added 08 August 2020)

Stephanie, with our dog Shiloh

What if YOU had to answer Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire? Here are my answers (revised 21 September 2020):

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sunday morning. At home. In my studio. All’s quiet. Listening to jazz. With coffee.

What is your greatest fear? A global pandemic. Oh, wait…

Which living person do you most admire? Bill Gates and Chuck Feeney, both philanthropists.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Temper.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Tardiness.

What is your greatest extravagance? Ordering any book that I want. And having the time to read them.

What is your favorite journey? Walking to dinner with Stephanie.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? An appreciation for all of my overrated virtues.

On what occasion do you lie? Little white lies, to my mother with late-stage Alzheimer’s.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? That I have no ass.

Which living person do you most despise? A terrorist. Foreign and (especially) domestic.

What is your greatest regret? That I waited so long to stop worrying about what everyone thinks.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My Stephanie.

When and where are you happiest? At dinner, with Stephanie.

Which talent would you most like to have? To write film scores.

What is your current state of mind? Peacefully unsettled.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My temper.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? The Todd & Stephanie Schnick Foundation.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? My dog, Shiloh.

What is your most treasured possession? A sound mind. At least in my opinion.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Waiting for someone who is running behind.

What is your favorite occupation? Of everything I’ve done, I’d have to say philanthropist.

What is your most marked characteristic? On time.

What do you most value in your friends? Honestly and punctuality.

Who are your heroes in life? Soldiers and first responders.

What are your favorite names? The Apollo spacecraft.

What is it that you most dislike? Wasting my time.

How would you like to die? In my sleep.

What is your motto? Be intrepid.

Visual notes from my podcast with Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod.

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