Listen now on
#154 Charles Schulz (Charlie Brown)
November 19th, 2020 | E154

What I learned from reading My Life with Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz. 


Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

Get your tickets here


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium  

Subscribers can: 

-ask me questions directly

-listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes

-listen to every bonus episode


[0:24] Beginning with the first strip published on October 2nd, 1950, until the last published on Sunday, February 13th, 2000, the day after his death, Schultz wrote, penciled, inked, and lettered by hand every single one of the daily and Sunday strips to leave his studio, 17,897 in all for an almost fifty-year run. 

[4:08] If there were one bit of advice I could give to a young person, it would be to do at least one task well. Do what you do on a high plain. 

[5:54] Slow consistent growth over a long period of time:

Year  / # of newspapers
1950     7
1952    40
1958    355
1971     1100
1975    1480
1984    2000 

[12:00] There are certain seasons in our lives that each of us can recall, and there are others that disappear from our memories, like the melting snow. 

[14:05] I used my spare time to work on my own cartoons. I tried to never let a week go by without having something in the mail working for me. 

[21:03] You don’t work all of your life to do something so you don’t have to do it. 

[22:09] On where ideas come from: Most comic strip ideas are like that. They come from sitting in a room alone and drawing seven days a week, as I’ve done for 40 years. 

[25:03] When he is 73: People come up to me and say: “Are you still drawing the strip?” I want to say to them, “Good grief—who else in the world do you think is drawing it?” I would never let anybody take over. And I have it in my contract that if I die, then my strip dies. 

[30:15] At the point he is writing this he is making $30 to $40 million a year. The total earning of Peanuts is well over $1 billion. 

[32:37] But as the year went by, I could almost say that drawing a comic strip for me became a lot like a religion. Because it helps me survive from day to day. I always have this to fall back upon. When everything seems hopeless I know I can come to the studio and think: Here’s where I’m at home. This is where I belong —in this room, drawing pictures. 

[40:01] If you should ask me why I have been successful with Peanuts, I would have to admit that being highly competitive has played a strong role. I must admit that I would rather win than lose. In the thing that I do best, which is drawing a comic strip, it is important to me that I win. 

[44:26] To have staying power you must be willing to accommodate yourself to the task. I have never maintained that a comic strip is Great Art. It simply happens to be something I feel uniquely qualified to do. 

[45:18] He is the most widely syndicated cartoonist ever, with more than 2300 newspapers. He has had more than 1400 books published, selling more than 300 million copies. 


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can ask me questions directly which I will answer in Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes 


I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast