“We spend far too much time complaining about the way things are and forget that we have the power to change anything and everything.”
– Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John (@badassboz) is the Chief Brand Officer at Uber. Until June 2017, she was a marketing executive at Apple Music after joining the company in its acquisition of Beats Music.
Bozoma was featured in Tribe of Mentors, but this conversation covers topics that go far beyond what was covered in the book. Enjoy!
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Want to hear a conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Terry Crews, in which we discuss his workout and diet routine, overcoming failure, discovering happiness, and much much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Bozoma Saint John:
- Bozoma’s pinned Nietzsche tweet
- Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber? by Sheila Marikar, The New York Times
- Harlem’s Floridita
- Ashley Stewart
- Beats Music
- The Defiant Ones
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- DDB Worldwide
- Uber’s Bozoma Saint John Says She Should Have Ignored This Career Advice from a Female Executive by Courtney Connley, CNBC
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg by TLC
- Introducing this year’s most-requested guest. [06:46]
- Why is Bozoma’s currently pinned tweet a Nietzsche quote? [07:38]
- Bozoma’s journey from the US to Africa and back to the US. [10:25]
- Why did Bozoma’s family wind up in Colorado, and what were her takeaways from this time in her life? [12:00]
- How did Bozoma develop the ability to pursue goals so boldly, and does it run in the family? [17:09]
- What was Bozoma’s parents’ reaction when she lost her race for student council? [19:18]
- How did Bozoma manage to bring Jay-Z to her university? [22:04]
- How did Bozoma lobby her parents for a year-long sabbatical from medical school, and what were her plans for that time? [27:50]
- Armed with smarts and hustle, here’s how Bozoma got by without money or parental financial support. [32:49]
- What happened when Spike Lee asked Bozoma to read an early draft of Bamboozled while she was answering phones at his ad agency. [39:11]
- Critical decisions that forged Bozoma’s career. [43:43]
- Why did Bozoma fail at her first attempt at helping run a company in the fashion world? [48:46]
- Bozoma talks about coping with her husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis. [50:50]
- How Bozoma got involved in Beats Music. [54:29]
- Why has Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon had such an impact on Bozoma’s life? [57:19]
- What helped Bozoma through the grieving process after losing her husband? [1:01:20]
- What has helped Bozoma overcome feelings of anger and learn self-forgiveness? [1:05:26]
- Elaborating on a policy of not making pro and con lists — and being sure to listen to what instinct is trying to tell us. [1:11:42]
- Worst career advice encountered, and people who inspire Bozoma to live more boldly. [1:17:03]
- In what way does Bozoma find Arianna Huffington particularly inspiring? [1:22:00]
- How did Bozoma know Uber was the next stop on her journey — and what’s more important than saving its brand? [1:25:23]
- How would Bozoma encourage people to be positive but constructively dissenting against what we see wrong in our society at the moment? [1:28:34]
- Final words and asks of the audience. [1:35:32]
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Tupac Shakur
- Spike Lee
- Naval Ravikant
- Jimmy Iovine
- Dr. Dre
- Toni Morrison
- Kris Jenner
- Arianna Huffington
- Agapi Stassinopoulos
- Maya Angelou
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt