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Funny In Failure

Aug 8, 2022

Paul Shirley is a former professional basketball player who played for 17 teams in a 9 year career, including stints in the NBA with teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls as well as a writer, speaker and author of 4 books. His work has appeared in places such as Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, and Playboy. 

After Paul's basketball career, he began writing books. It was in this time that he made the connection that defines what we do: it doesn't matter whether it's basketball or writing or entrepreneurship; accomplishing big goals happens because we build a process.

His first book, Can I Keep My Jersey?, is a great read with unique tone and humour and regardless of whether you like basketball I really recommend it and you can see why in the chat. His second book, Stories I Tell On Dates, came out in 2017. The Chicago Tribune said it "resonates with anyone who favours introspection and emotional honesty." That book also became a podcast that is better than most podcasts according to Paul. His third book (and first novel) is Ball Boy.

And here’s a small description of Paul’s fourth book the Process is the Product: These are the lesson Paul Shirley has learned: it doesn’t matter if it’s professional sports, writing, public speaking, engineering, or acting—there will never be enough money, fame, or success to justify all the work if you can’t enjoy the work itself. You have to fall in love with the process. In The Process Is The Product, Paul shares the stories of failure and rebirth that have taught him this lesson with one goal in mind: helping you fall in love with your process so you can find meaning, finish projects, and accomplish the goals you set for yourself.

He also runs The Process - a professional hub to help artists, entrepreneurs, and the like. Their motto is: We help people do focused work so they can accomplish big goals. 

When you hear the word athlete or ex NBA player you think of the person in a certain way, i.e. the bright lights, the fame and unlimited cash flow- however Paul explains that this applies to only a fraction of the world and how it’s really challenging both mentally and physically to maintain a career in this field. For example, we dive into excessive travels, lack of certainty, confidence, physical and mental health, development, creative flow, creativity and entrepreneurship, identity, building process, and how this has all led him to writing.

The video footage of this entire chat is now out as well (one day after release)! So check them out on YouTube under Michael Kahan

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