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Entrepreneur and Former CEO Shellye Archambeau Joins Startup Savants to Discuss Her Book ‘Unapologetically Ambitious’

Our guest on this episode is Shellye Archambeau, an entrepreneur, a former IBM sales executive, and a former CEO of Blockbuster Video. She joins Startup Savants to share the wisdom she has gleaned throughout her career and discuss her new book, “Unapologetically Ambitious.”

  • Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups and influential people in the startup ecosystem.
  • Shellye Archambeau joins Startup Savants to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and CEO, as well as her book “Unapologetically Ambitious.”
  • “Unapologetically Ambitious” explains how to get what you want out of life both personally and professionally.

Paying It Forward

During her interview with Startup Savants, Shellye said she wrote “Unapologetically Ambitious” to share lessons learned as an entrepreneur and CEO with as many people as possible, especially people of color.

“I wrote the book because early on, I tried to be really accessible,” she said. “There aren’t many Black women in technology doing the things that I’ve done, and therefore I wanted people to be able to touch me. If they touch me, they realize, ‘Hey, I’m a real person. If I can do it, you can do it.’”

Shellye said personal success is within everyone’s grasp if they have the right plan and follow it consistently. “The book is really about how to get what you want out of life, professionally and personally, by improving your odds every step of the way,” she said. While she’s had many successes, there have been failures as well. “Unapologetically Ambitious” talks about both. “I wanted to share what I never saw, which was a book that really talked about life holistically … [to] have a life that you want.”

Goals are Crucial

One of the most important lessons she has learned, Shellye said, is the importance of setting the right goals and doing what’s necessary to meet them, even if it takes a long time. She emphasizes this repeatedly in her book.

“I wanted readers to walk away with the perspective that if they’re intentional about what they want to do if they set goals and really are intentional about the steps they take to get there, that they really can improve their odds,” she said. “A lot of people set goals, and some people think about plans for their goals, but very few people make decisions every day consistent with what they’re actually trying to do. And that’s where the power lies.” 

Shellye practices what she preaches. She has wanted to be a CEO since high school, where she enjoyed leading student clubs. Businesses are similar to clubs in some ways, and businesses are led by CEOs. So even as a high school student, she tried to figure out what it would take to become one. “Audacious and ignorant, I had no clue what that really meant. But I did know that I needed to do some research to figure it out,” she said.

Startup Savants Podcast 

The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC). Listeners can hear the stories behind startups, as told by their founders, that are in the midst of growing their companies.

Ethan, an entrepreneur, and Annaka, a branding expert, host the Startup Savants podcast. They bring disparate skills and life experiences to their interviews, providing listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem. 

Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds, making their startup idea a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast. 

Final Thoughts

In her interview with Startup Savants, Shellye Archambeau traced her career from a sales executive at IBM to CEO of Blockbuster Video and founder of her own company. Her book, “Unapologetically Ambitious,” contains crucial lessons for business and for life that entrepreneurs of all stripes will benefit from.

You can find the Startup Savants podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


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