Bonnie Wan is Partner and Head of Brand Strategy at the world-renowned advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), Wan leads strategy for Fortune 500 companies including Blackstone, BMW, Comcast/Xfinity, Frito-Lay, Kraft-Heinz, and PepsiCo. She also harnesses strategy to create powerful, provocative, award-winning campaigns fighting racial injustice, child sex trafficking, cyberbullying, college campus rape, and gender inequality. Wan was recently named to Ad Age’s 2023 Class of Leading Women and 2022’s Chief Strategy Officer of the Year.
Wan is the creator, author, and teacher of The Life Brief, a profound and empowering tool that distills the practice of brand strategy into its simplest, clearest, and most effective form to help people get clear, take meaningful action, and live with greater intention and imagination.
Born out of a personal moment of despair, she discovered that by turning the tools of her job inwards, she could make meaning out of her life’s messiness and craft a self-directed, soul-satisfying life. Over the last decade, Bonnie’s life briefs have saved her marriage (not once but twice), centered her parenting, propelled her career, deepened, and emboldened her sense of self.
Based on Wan’s belief that “you cannot have it all, but you can have all that matters”, The Life Brief has evolved from an agency talk to keynotes, workshops and now, a USA Today bestselling book. The Life Brief: A Playbook for No Regrets Living (publishing January 16, 2024) is an essential tool for aligning your daily actions with your ambition and values. As a Brand Strategist turned Life Strategist, Wan not only helps companies innovate from a place of purpose, but also guides everyday people who seek to realize their potential.
Known for her emotionally riveting, soul-stirring speaking style, Wan blends raw, personal storytelling with practical and penetrating questions to kickstart personal and professional transformation for every audience. She has given keynote talks at Accenture, Change.org, Google, and SXSW, and led workshops for Apple, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and Jane Goodall’s Activating Hope Summit. Wan’s themes of transformation, self-motivation, overcoming fears, and finding personal fulfillment.
Wan appears in Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein’s Masterclass on Advertising and Creativity and is featured in the documentary film, The Big Flip, chronicling the lives of four women breadwinners and their families. She has also been interviewed on Katie Couric’s Katie show and HuffPost Live. Her articles have been featured by Fast Company, Campaign Magazine, and Adweek.
- Clarity is the key to unlocking change.
Wan helps her listeners get curious about their fears, desires, and ambitions, based on her belief that curiosity is the fastest way to cut through complexity and confusion. She explains that action is a byproduct of clarity, yet many of us struggle to express what we truly want – in our work, in our relationships, for ourselves, and the causes or communities we care about. Wan harnesses personal stories, penetrating questions, and a stunningly simple practice to ease her audiences into the clarity and change they seek.
- Stop planning. Start practicing.
Wan believes that when we try to plan every step of our lives, we end up narrowing our playing field and missing the serendipitous opportunities and delicious invitations that emerge around us. Instead of planning, Wan invites us to practice tuning into our deepest desires and acting from that place of knowing. When we get clear about our truths and chase our goosebumps, we uncover unexpected twists and unimaginable gifts, while staying rooted in what matters most.
- Small steps create monumental outcomes.
Wan assures her listeners that true, sustainable change comes from tiny daily actions, not big leaps. Transformation does not always require quitting your job, divorcing your spouse, relocating, or breaking up with friends. The simple act of shifting our attention automatically redirects our actions. Every shift you make acts as an invitation to people around you to shift how they relate to you, making change effortless and inevitable.
- Step into creative, courageous living.
Wan believes that life is a creative act and creativity is a mindset, not a set of skills. She gives her audiences permission to set aside limiting beliefs and quiet their inner critics, so that they can practice being idea-led – allowing velocity of vision to generate momentum. When we adopt a mindset of experimentation, play, and possibility, our energy becomes infectious, attracting and galvanizing the participation of others to help realize our dreams.
We all have stories we tell ourselves about our lives, but what Bonnie Wan so rightly points out is that it is often the questions we avoid that hold the most value. In The Life Brief, she combines the candid self-reflection of the therapy room with the warmth and humor of a hard-won personal journey, then harnesses the executive power of a top industry professional to create a wholly unique guide to living that is both practical and accessible, moving and deeply meaningful. It will transform the lives of everyone who reads it.”
—Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
Bonnie is an astonishing life force—and The Life Brief is an artful tool that can help you discover you are one too. Bonnie is a brilliant companion on the road to more aliveness. This book is a wonderful invitation. Take it.”
—Dave Evans #1 New York Times bestselling author of Designing Your Life
The Life Brief is more than a book. It’s an invitation to play, to engage with key questions about our values and beliefs, and to create a unique life play book. I had so much fun reading and engaging with this book!”
—Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author
The science behind how we generate our reality is clear, and now with The Life Brief we have the ultimate tool to set us on our true path towards success and joy. As much a book as it is a rite of passage for all of us seeking to get down to the essence of who we are, what we desire, and how to get it.”
—Deepak Chopra, New York Times bestselling author of Metahuman
Bonnie Wan shows parents if you want to be there for your children, you need to take care of yourself. A great resource for parents in these difficult times and beyond, it is an inspiring and important way of thinking. I highly recommend The Life Brief as a way to keep your life and the lives of your kids on track.”
—Esther Wojcicki Author of How to Raise Successful Children
The Life Brief stands up there with The Artist’s Way in that it’s not self-help—it is a self-unlocking book. Bonnie establishes a process that is interactive, dynamic, and—by sharing her own vulnerable journey—feels like you are not going through it alone. Her book is required reading for anyone who wants to live a life fueled by courage, creativity and radical co-creation with the universe.”
—Valentine Giraud, Former Board Director, Center for Noetic Science
In a world awash with competing priorities, unlimited choice and daily time pressures, The Life Brief is the tool that we all desperately need to navigate today’s over stimulated world. Thankfully, Bonnie shares her creative strategies to help you bring focus and order to your life with a clear set of priorities on what matters most. Creating your own Life Brief will help you articulate your inner voice and distill your desires to become more true to yourself in a world that often forces us to overlook what we want and value most to propel your life forward.”
—Eric Ryan, CEO and Founder of Method Home and Olly and Welly Health
Remember that time when you really took the time to craft (or REcraft) your life, your purpose and chart out your legacy? No?!? Well now you have the blueprint and guide to do just that. Bonnie’s thinking and process cajoles the most stubborn and nurtures the most hesitant but delivers the EXACT process that each of us need. Read this book and get ready for your attitude and life to be transformed!”
—Mick Ebeling Film Producer and Founder of Not Impossible Labs
Bonnie Wan writes as she lives—with heart, wisdom and depth. The Life Brief hooked me like the very best TV drama, where you fall in love with the characters, seeing their struggles and joys laid bare. The tools Bonnie offers are powerful, crafted with her signature depth, intelligence and sharp understanding of human nature. Even as an ‘expert’ in the field personal development, I found the way Bonnie framed her stories and tools helped me reveal new insight about myself. Bonnie is Oprah – meets Brene Brown – meets Simon Sinek. Her passion for The Life Brief is evident, and her love of being on stage a huge asset to getting this book out there.”
—Elle Harrison, Author of Wild Courage
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