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Susan O’Leary and the Impact She’s Had on John’s Life (ep. 000)

Susan O'Leary

She taught her son to celebrate his scars by writing his unauthorized biography

My mom has taught me more about resilience, faith, courage, redemption, family, love and life than ANYONE else in the world. I am so honored to have her as my guest on this very special, preview episode of the LIVE INSPIRED Podcast!

If you’ve ever heard me speak, you’ve heard a lot about the impact my mom has had on my life. For those of you who’ve not, here is just one example. My mom and dad’s unauthorized biography of my life, Overwhelming Odds, is what encouraged me to accept, own and celebrate my scars and my story.

As if that wasn’t enough! The initial 200 copies they printed to share with friends and family has resulted in my becoming a professional speaker nearly 10 years ago and the subsequent sale of more than 60,000 copies…

To close each interview in a special way, I created the LIVE INSPIRED 7 segment. This is a series of 7 questions, shared “rapid fire” and answered boldly (without prep!) by our guests. My hope is to leave you reflecting on our guest’s answers and YOUR answers… and excited to apply ideas from today’s show to help you live an inspired life.

Susan O’Leary’s Live Inspired 7

1. What is the best book you ever read?

What She Knew – Gilly Macmillan
Left Neglected – Lisa Genova
The Help -Kathryn Stocket

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do?

I would give large amounts to my kids…and family and friends who could really use the help. I’d get something really going with Parkinson’s Disease Research. And I would go on a river boat cruise in Europe.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?

My bible. Being a bible teacher for the last 18 years, I know that is where our true stories lie.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?

Martin Luther King.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

My mom used to always tell me, “Put on your lipstick and you can go anywhere!” It has helped me through life. I’ll keep this one lighthearted!

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20?

With relationships, work at letting any hurt feelings or harsh words go. Put them behind you and just keep going.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?

She came, through blessings, to know the Lord and love Him and she tried her best to pass that love on to her family and friends.


If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe, rate and review this podcast on Apple Podcasts and anywhere you get your podcasts! You’ll be the first to know when a new episode is available AND you will help me spread the word about our LIVE INSPIRED Movement. 

I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Until then, remember: Today is your day. Live Inspired.

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2 replies on “Susan O’Leary and the Impact She’s Had on John’s Life (ep. 000)”

I am going to for sure buy Against the Odds. This mother is amazing and so incredible. I could never totally get what she went through, this woman is strength and Love! Check it out as John’s mother talks about what she went through when she faced horrible odds. You are a total inspiration. Grab your Kleenex for this interview. it really opens up your heart!

I absolutely LOVED this podcast! My sister brought it to my attention & also gifted me your book. I’m looking forward to listening to more of your inspirational conversations! Thanks!
PS~> Our Mum passed away 2 years ago and I felt her presence while I listened…funny side-note…She wore Shalimar, too!