Living an Unapologetic Life with Bozoma Saint John

April 24, 2024

Living Unapologetically & Authentically

In this episode of “The Lavish Leader: Unveiling Wisdom,” I am thrilled to be joined by Bozoma Saint John, author of The Urgent Life. We are talking about living an unapologetic life as we explore the impact of sharing personal stories, the process of accepting help during grief, and how to live an authentic, unapologetic life. This blog post captures the essence of our conversation, offering actionable insights for living a fuller, more vibrant life.

The Impact of Sharing Your Story

Bozoma Saint John, a Hall of Fame marketing executive, author, and entrepreneur, has had an illustrious career at companies like PepsiCo, Apple, Uber, and Netflix. Her memoir, The Urgent Life, tells her story of tragedy, loss, and survival. Bozoma’s journey is a testament to living an urgent life rather than a fearless one. She believes that fear is present, but the fear of not living fully drives her.

Why Sharing Personal Stories Matters

When Bozoma began writing her book, many publishers wanted her to focus on her successful career and how-to guides on being a marketing powerhouse. However, she felt it was more important to share her personal story of tragedy and loss. By sharing these deeply personal experiences, Bozoma aims to show that it’s not about living without fear but embracing life urgently despite it. Her story resonates with many because it touches on universal themes of love, loss, and resilience.

Personally, I found Bozoma’s choice to focus on her personal story deeply moving. It’s a reminder that our professional achievements are often intertwined with our personal journeys. Sharing our vulnerabilities can have a profound impact, not just on others, but on our own healing process as well.

Embracing Help and Grieving Together

One significant theme we discussed is the importance of community support during times of grief. Bozoma emphasizes the need for proactive and specific help from friends and family. Instead of saying, “I’m here if you need me,” it’s more impactful to show up with concrete offers of assistance, like doing dishes or bringing meals. This approach can significantly ease the burden of grief and help individuals navigate their darkest times.

How to Accept and Offer Help During Grief

Bozoma shared her experiences of losing her husband to cancer and the importance of her community in helping her through that period. Her friends and family didn’t wait for her to ask for help; they stepped in and did what needed to be done. This proactive approach was crucial for Bozoma, who was too overwhelmed to reach out for help herself. It taught her the value of asking for help and being specific about her needs.

As a physician who has worked with many women dealing with trauma, I can’t stress enough how vital it is to accept help. In my own life, after the suicide of my best friend, it was the unwavering support of my community that helped me navigate the grief. We often think we need to be strong and handle everything ourselves, but true strength lies in vulnerability and accepting help when we need it.

Continual Healing and Intuition

Healing is a continual process, and Bozoma beautifully describes it through the metaphor of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. Each experience, whether joyful or tragic, adds to the richness of our lives, making us more expansive and whole. Intuition plays a crucial role in this journey. Bozoma views her intuition as a trusted friend, guiding her reliably through her career and personal life. Trusting and acting on intuition leads to a life full of magic and serendipity.

The Role of Intuition in Healing

Bozoma’s approach to healing is not about forgetting the past but integrating it into who you are. She believes that every experience, whether it’s the loss of a loved one or the end of a career, contributes to our growth. This perspective allows her to view her life’s challenges as opportunities for expansion rather than setbacks.

Her intuition has been a guiding force throughout her life. Bozoma explains that intuition is like a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. By consistently trusting her gut feelings, she has navigated her career and personal life with confidence and clarity. This trust in her intuition has never led her astray, and she encourages others to cultivate their intuition by listening to their inner voice and acting on it.

I completely resonate with Bozoma’s emphasis on intuition. In my own journey, intuition has been my compass, guiding me through career changes and personal challenges. It’s a reminder that our inner voice often knows the way, even when the path isn’t clear.

Living Authentically and Unapologetically

Living authentically and unapologetically means centering yourself in your own life. Bozoma stresses the importance of being “selfish” in a positive way—putting yourself first to show up fully for others. This approach allows for greater joy and fulfillment, as it ensures that you live the life you truly want without apology.

Why Being ‘Selfish’ is Positive

Bozoma’s definition of selfishness is about prioritizing your needs so you can be your best self for others. She believes that by putting yourself first, you become a better parent, partner, and professional. This concept is often misunderstood, but Bozoma argues that it’s essential for living a fulfilling life.

She shares how this mindset has helped her navigate her career and personal life. By being unapologetically herself, Bozoma has achieved remarkable success while staying true to her values. She encourages others to embrace their authenticity and not conform to societal expectations. This authenticity is the key to living a life of joy and fulfillment.

This resonates deeply with me. As a high-powered woman, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting others’ needs before your own. But when I started prioritizing my well-being, I found I could give more to my family, friends, and career. Living authentically is a powerful form of self-care that benefits everyone around you.

Nourishment and Expansion

Curiosity about people and life keeps Bozoma nourished and continually expanding. By seeking to understand different perspectives and experiences, she remains open and ready for growth. This mindset allows her to embrace new opportunities and challenges with excitement and resilience.

How Curiosity Fuels Growth

Bozoma’s curiosity drives her to explore new ideas and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. This openness to learning and growth has been a significant factor in her success. She believes that staying curious and engaged with the world around you helps keep life vibrant and exciting.

This curiosity also extends to her professional life. Bozoma’s approach to marketing is deeply rooted in understanding human behavior and connecting with audiences meaningfully. Her ability to stay curious and innovative has made her a standout leader in her field.

Personally, I find that staying curious and open to new experiences is essential for growth. Whether it’s learning from my patients or exploring new professional opportunities, this mindset keeps me engaged and excited about the future.

The Truth of Now

Currently, Bozoma feels she is at an inflection point, standing on a precipice. This moment is both exciting and terrifying, filled with hope and a little sadness. It represents a time of significant transition and opportunity for further expansion and growth.

Embracing Life’s Inflection Points

As Bozoma contemplates her next steps, she reflects on her journey and the lessons she has learned. She is excited about the possibilities ahead and embraces the uncertainty with open arms. This inflection point is a reminder that life is constantly evolving, and each new phase brings its own set of challenges and opportunities.

Bozoma’s story is a powerful example of how to live an unapologetic life. By sharing her journey, embracing help, trusting her intuition, and living authentically, she has created a life that is both fulfilling and inspiring. Her insights offer valuable lessons for anyone looking to live a more expansive and joyful life.

For me, hearing Bozoma’s story was incredibly inspiring. It’s a reminder that even when we face challenges, we have the power to choose how we respond. By living authentically and embracing our journey, we can create lives filled with magic and fulfillment.

~ Dr. Erin Martin

Listen to the entire episode and catch all of my bi-weekly downloads of The Lavish Leader on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube, or anywhere else podcasts are found and click subscribe.

For more insights and guidance on how to live a lavish life, visit my website.

Remember, you too can live a lavish life of fulfillment, freedom, and joy.

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Love of Self
Abundance & Authenticity
Vitality & Voice
Intuition & Integrity
Spirituality & Self-Expression
Health & Healing
Love of Self
Abundance & Authenticity
Vitality & Voice
Intuition & Integrity
Spirituality & Self-Expression
Health & Healing


I’m a multi-dimensional powerhouse with an unprecedented combination of experience, wisdom, education and intuition. I’m a high-performing professional woman who has lived through trauma and made it to the other side, truly healed and I am living an expanded, fulfilled life. I’ve worked with hundreds of women and helped them do the same.

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dr. Erin Martin

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