Melinda Wittstock: My guest today is Sally Hogshead. Sally, if you haven’t heard of her, you should have because she’s an advertising and marketing genius. Here’s a quote from Sally that you should memorize, “To become more successful, you don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are.” I love that quote, and I’m so excited to introduce Sally Hogshead.
She skyrocketed to the top of the advertising profession in her early 20s. By age 24, she was the most award-winning advertising copywriter in the United States. Her campaigns for brands such Mini Cooper, Nike, Godiva, Coca-Cola have fascinated millions of consumers all over the world. By 27, she had her first agency. Her work hangs in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Now, what we’re going to talk about today … so much we’re going to talk about today, but we’re going to talk about a cool thing that she developed called The Fascination Advantage. This is the first algorithm to measure personal brands like your brand as a woman in business. I’m going to get her to explain the system and how it’s different from the usual Myers-Briggs, and Strengths Finder, and all that stuff. Put it this way. The science of fascination is based on Sally’s decade, really, in her lab, okay, all the research with Fortune 500 teams, and C-level executives, and entrepreneurs in small businesses. Welcome to Wings, Sally Hogshead.
Sally Hogshead: Oh, I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this. I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so grateful and excited to have you on because I think you really have a way of helping women into their authentic feminine power. Now, I’ve seen you speak. You’re an award-winning speaker, and you’re always fascinating. What do your algorithms tell you about you?
Sally Hogshead: First, let me describe what I mean by fascination, because I think there’s … Fascination is a word that’s heavily loaded in our culture with some positive and negative connotations. Women are … On one hand, they’re terrified of being fascinating. On the other hand, they deeply want to have a place to be authentic, and belonging, and to have a voice at the table.
What I learned in my research is that women are very afraid to ask for attention. Women rate themselves very low on their own ability to fascinate, in other words, ability to earn and keep attention by having a message that matters, that gets people to listen, and remember, and take action. Women are not confident in that area. Yet, as soon as we learn how to tap into some innate quality that we have, whether it’s the ability to focus on details, or the ability to develop a creative idea, whatever our innate advantages are, as soon as we can understand that and articulate that, then our performance skyrockets.
Now, I didn’t start by studying women. In fact, I measured 500,000 men and 500,000 women. What I’ve been looking at recently is this deeply-rooted need, as part of a cultural conversation that’s going on right now that just breaks my heart, that women cannot be too fascinating. They shouldn’t be too confident or too passionate. When a woman’s too confident, she’s bitchy. When a woman is too passionate, she’s theatrical or overly sensitive. If she’s too introspective, she’s shy, or she’s a wallflower. I mean, there’s just so much criticism happening right now for ourselves, as women, and also our daughters and the girls in our lives.
The fascination [inaudible 00:03:39 originally developed for people within corporations or businesses, but in our conversation today, I’m going to be sharing some of my newest research that I haven’t ever talked about before.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, wow. That’s awesome.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah. It’s so appropriate for everything that you’re about.
Melinda Wittstock: One of the most painful things watching so many female entrepreneurs, in particular, and women coming into the business world for the first time in their 20s or reinventing themselves kind of later in life, so many women come to entrepreneurship in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, is just this kind of fear of really standing up into their own authentic power, I mean, just really being themselves. What do you think it is that stops us?
Sally Hogshead: I think we grow up with the message that we need to fix ourselves and that if we’re not the best at something, we’re not good enough. I’ll give you an example of what I mean. When I was 10 years old, I was in a dance recital. You know where this is going. You know there’s going to be something crushing at the end of this story. I also think we all have these moments where we got broken up with, or we didn’t make the team, or we failed the class, or we got fired. For me, this defining moment when I decided it was better to be boring than to be fascinating was when I was 10 years old at a dance recital, and I couldn’t get the steps right. When I walked out to go stand in the middle of the stage and start my solo that … My whole family was there in front of a huge audience. My dance teacher, as I walked out, she said, “Just don’t forget the steps.” Yeah. There’s no better way to guarantee a 10-year-old is not going to remember the steps than to [inaudible 00:05:15.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, anybody. I mean, the minute when someone says something to you like, “Are you sure you’re okay-”
Sally Hogshead: Oh, God. I hate that phrase.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, right?
Sally Hogshead: Is something wrong?
Melinda Wittstock: It makes you question everything.
Sally Hogshead: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah. When did you stop [inaudible 00:05:26, right? There’s no answer to that.
Melinda Wittstock: Sometimes our friends and family do that to us as well, and it’s just … God. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who don’t do that to you. Back to your story because, oh, it resonates so much with me!
Sally Hogshead: The lesson that I took away from the ballet solo recital incident was that it’s better to not ask for attention because, if you try to put yourself out there and play big, if you fail, then you’re … not only are you humiliated, but you’ve proven that your message doesn’t matter. I think, for all of us, for everybody, there are defining moments in our life in which we get the message loud and clear that we need to protect ourselves from having a big message or playing big. The problem is, when we play small, the world loses big. If we’re playing small, we’re never going to do something that’s significant. If we’re playing small trying to protect ourselves, we’re never going to be able to make a big difference.
Whatever it is, in our work, in our families, with our kids, with our communities, with our significant other, whatever it is, as entrepreneurs, as mothers, as daughters, it’s crucial for us to understand that, in order for us to do big things, we’re going to have to be able to get over that fear that we acquired over the course of our life. The way I think about it is you don’t learn how to be fascinating. You unlearn boring. We need to unlearn boring. We need to unlearn those lessons that we got as we were growing up that it’s better to play it safe than to so something significant.
Melinda Wittstock: And getting out of that fear of other people’s judgment.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah. I’ll give you an example that’s happening even as we’re talking. When I grew up, I had a lisp, and so I decided I was going to get braces. I had braces when I was growing up, but I didn’t wear the retainer, so we all know how that story goes. A company approached me to be their spokesperson. The name of the company is Six Month Smiles. I have my braces on right now. Sometimes I feel inhibited when I’m talking because I know that the process of having the braces makes me incredibly self-conscious, because it’s going to be fantastic once they’re off, but I found that when I got the braces on a few months ago, I didn’t want to do speaking events. I didn’t want to do podcasts. I wouldn’t do videos. Then I was like, “What the heck am I doing? I am doing exactly what I’m trying to cleanse the world of, which is the idea of if you can’t do it perfectly, don’t do it.”
Melinda Wittstock: Right. We often make perfect the enemy of the good. Certainly, in the startup world, in technology … You know this because you’ve developed algorithms for how to fascinate. You just have to keep iterating, and keep testing and growing, and testing things that work out, accepting failure, almost look at it like a scientist without getting too attached to outcome or making the outcome about ourselves. That’s a difficult path for many to take. When you did that transformation from, “Oh, I want to be boring,” to, “No. You know what? I’m going to put myself out there …” I mean, you’re an amazing speaker. You’re a leader, and you’re out front and center. What was the catalyst in your life that made you say, “Okay, enough boring: I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to fascinate”?
Sally Hogshead: When I worked in branding and when I worked in advertising, one of my first clients I ever worked with was Nike. Nike’s a great example of a brand that has taken a whole array of things that … shoes that are made of rubber, and shoelaces, and leather and actually … and turning those into something that’s deeply meaningful for millions of people. I realized, after a decade in advertising of helping brands identify what are their most valuable qualities, I realized that there was no way for us to be able to do that for individuals. In other words, when my client, Coca-Cola, wanted to create a television commercial … Coke doesn’t care how Coke sees its consumers. The only thing Coke cares about is how do the consumers see Coke? The way that we find that out is through a focus group.
I thought to myself, “If we can do that in advertising with brands, what if I could create a way that somebody could take an assessment, but the result isn’t showing them how they see the world?” It’s not like Strengths Finder, or Myers-Briggs, or DiSC, or Kolbe, or any traditional personality assessments. It’s not measuring through your eyes out at the world. It’s turning it around and looking through the eyes of the person sitting on the other side of the table to ask the question how do they see you at your best? In other words, what are those natural qualities that you already authentically have that are going to be most impressive and most influential to that person?
It was an amazing confidence boost that we see in our participants that, if you can identify what makes somebody fascinating, in other words, how they’re most likely to add the most value to the most people in the most situations … When we identify that for them, they can focus on that, and there’s something relaxing that allows them, especially women entrepreneurs, to stop trying to fix themselves, stop trying to improve their weaknesses and, instead, identify what that natural specialty is, and then do it over and over.
That’s why, when I created the algorithm and this whole system, it’s all through the lens of branding. When somebody takes the assessment, the response, their outcome is I’m literally giving them the words to describe themselves, me, as a copywriter. I think that’s where we are in our conversation right now on a higher level. We understand we need to be different, but we don’t know how we’re different. It’s not enough just to tell me to stand out. How do I stand out, and what am I standing out for? What are those qualities that allow me to stand out? That’s where, I think, that we can really shift the discussion that I don’t just want to tell you what makes you fascinating. I want to create a ripple effect that we start talking about what people are doing right to help them do more of it instead of talking about what they’re doing wrong and trying to fix that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I like that. That sounds something that … so all entrepreneurs always need to learn is how to double down on your strength and, essentially, hire your weakness and really accept the thing that makes you uniquely different because that … and being aligned with that uniqueness with authenticity has such a providence or a power about it.
I took your test, and it was awesome. I learned that I’m a catalyst, and I find that this stage in my life, that is so much what I am doing. It was, as you mentioned, it was kind of freeing. It’s like, “Oh. Oh, right. Yeah, that kind of makes sense.” Explain to everyone, because I think you’re a catalyst too.
Sally Hogshead: I am. I am. High five.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, whee! Explain the system a little bit, Sally, in terms of how it works, how I come to be a catalyst, or somebody else a trendsetter, what some of these things mean.
Sally Hogshead: Sure. When you took the assessment, it’s 28 questions. When I originally created the assessment, it was 156 questions, and it took 40 minutes to answer. What I found when I looked at the data, the same 28 questions gave me all the information that I needed. When you took the assessment, it’s asking you not how do you see yourself? It’s asking you what are the cues and signals that you’re intentionally or unintentionally sending to other people, your listener, your audience, your date, your team? What are the signals and cues that you’re sending them that are causing them to perceive you in a certain way, and how can you identify how are they perceiving you at your absolute best so that you can then do that on purpose?
When you took the assessment, we learned that the way people see you at your best is that you are out-of-the-box, social, energizing, untraditional, creative, highly passionate, and highly engaged. I call that an archetype. An archetype, you could think about it almost like your personal brand, but it’s your personal brand at your best, at your authentic best. I’ll give you an example. I’m going to interview around. Let me ask you, do you find that you like the beginning of a project when you’re in the idea generation phase, or do you like the end of the project when it’s about execution?
Melinda Wittstock: I’m totally the beginning person. No, I’m the quintessential entrepreneur, the serial entrepreneur, right?
Sally Hogshead: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Emphasis on the word serial. I think it gives up the game for me.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah. That’s why I named that archetype the catalyst, because if you think about catalyst from chemistry class, a catalyst is an agent of change. A catalyst is a starting reaction. Catalysts love coming into the room, put Post-It Notes all over the place, and to think, “What are all the possibilities?”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That can drive people nuts in me, though, too, because I have too many ideas for my own good.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah, and so here’s the thing. At your best, you’re perceived as somebody who can generate a lot of ideas very quickly. At your worst, you’re going to be perceived as somebody who comes up with ideas and doesn’t follow through on them. That’s why it’s so important for you to know that, for you to know that, for you, follow through is going to be exhausting, difficult, painful. It’s going to be a struggle. You’re going to resist it. You’re going to put it off on your calendar. For me, that’s the tedium of going through the minutia of emails, or looking at a spreadsheet, or trying to figure out something that is totally in the weeds. Because I know that, there are three things that you and I can both do since we’re both catalysts. Here are those three action steps that we could take to minimize the struggle and maximize the wellspring.
The first thing is you can delegate. If I’m working on a project, I know I have to have team members who are going to be focused on the details, who are going to listen very carefully, and who are going to love to execute. That’s delegating. The second thing is discipline. If I have to go through my emails, I dedicate an hour of agony. It’s just like, man, I just … I’m going to be exhausted at the end of it, but I just got to put my head down and mule through it. The third option is to delete it. I hate expense reports, and so I just decided our company’s never going to do expense reports because I’m going to go to an event or work with a client and there was this amazing happy bubble. Then, all of a sudden that … Afterwards, when the emails start flying back and forth about the missing receipts, the happy bubble pops, and it leads to a bad impression. So I deleted expense reports. So the three things are you can delegate, you can discipline, or you can delete.
That’s an example of how we don’t have to change who we are. We have to become more of who we are. By identifying, “Here’s where I’m most likely to go wrong,” which is the execution and implementation phase, then I can focus on my highest value and just make sure that I’m doubling down on that part rather than on trying to fix those so-called flaws.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. If you’re using this also to build a team, I think it’s like … Having a great team is critical to success as an entrepreneur, as a leader. Understanding your own kind of strengths and weaknesses help you fill in the gaps on your team. There’s probably someone out there who loves the details, whose heart sings, kind of, with the detail. Who would that person be? I’ve been thinking for a while that my company, Verifeed … We do social intelligence, analytics, and I love getting into the weeds of creating the algorithms, and the product, and the clients, and the big vision. But you know what? The company’s growing to a point now where I need my, I don’t know, I guess my operational equivalent in the company, I guess, or the COO. Who should I be looking for, then, in how to fascinate? Who’s my partner, I guess?
Sally Hogshead: Yeah, absolutely. Who is it that finds joy and energy doing exactly the things that cause you-
Melinda Wittstock: That I can’t stand. Yes.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah, to beat yourself up. Let me take [inaudible 00:17:34 back to branding for a moment to answer your question. Brands identify themselves with one single adjective, and the adjective identifies how the brand is different than its competitors. Southwest is friendly. Coca-Cola is delightful. Nike is empowering. BMW is engineered. By having that adjective, it allows the brand to orient all of its communication around that as a roadmap. When Southwest knows that who they are is the friendly practicality, that influences their marketing, who they hire, how they hire, what the flight attendants say as you’re taking off and landing, what they serve on the flight, i.e. peanuts, and so on.
We, as individuals, if we have an adjective that describes who we are at our best, then we can do the same thing. We can go into meetings and define that, to say, “Everything about this meeting I’m about to lead should pay off the adjectives that describes who I am at my best.” Can I try an experiment?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yeah, by all means.
Sally Hogshead: You and I are both catalysts. The adjectives that describe the catalyst are out-of-the-box, social, and energizing. Out-of-the-box, social, and energizing: In other words, if we are a brand, those are the three ways that catalysts differentiate themselves. Of those three, which one would you say best describes how you are different?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my God. In a lot of ways, I was going to say out-of-the-box, but then I also have created technology in the social media space, and I do love interacting socially. Even just doing this podcast is awesome. I enjoy the interviewing and getting to know women through these interviews and also for my book. It’s just been so uplifting and so much fun. I’m out-of-the-box in the sense that I love to come … I like to think differently. I tend to connect dots in a way that aren’t normally connected, or I just like to be different. God, I don’t know. I got to choose?
Sally Hogshead: What’s so great about catalysts is we love options, and we hate getting boxed in…
Melinda Wittstock: Right. I’m too out-of-the-box for that. I can’t stay inside a box.
Sally Hogshead: Why don’t we say just, for now, because catalysts do love options, we’ll say out-of-the-box and social. You get two words.
Melinda Wittstock: Okay.
Sally Hogshead: When we were in the process of developing our time together to be able to have this interview, you were very creative in how you reached out to me. Your emails were extremely well crafted. My team really enjoyed being able to interact with you because you were very social. In other words, you didn’t put everything into a tight box with bullet points and harsh parameters. Instead, you kind of got us all on board because you talked to us about the new venture that you have with Wings, and how you’re going to be launching this, and what it stands for. That got us on board. In that way, you’re living these adjectives of out-of-the-box and social.
Now think of what’s an example of a situation that kind of shuts you down, a situation where you don’t feel like you can really be yourself?
Melinda Wittstock: I’m very intuitive and very empathetic, so if I feel I’m in a situation of kind of judgment or when other people are around me that I sense are kind of in fear or just limiting. If someone tries to just say, “Oh, we’ve always done it this way.”
Sally Hogshead: Yes. Yeah, “Let’s just repeat what worked in the past.” For you, that probably makes you feel not only frustrated, but demoralized, wouldn’t you say?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Or when people just are, I don’t know. I mean, I’m such a positive person, so I like to be around positive energy, for sure. I’m really direct, so it tires me when people play political games. That’s why I’m not … I would not be good in a corporate environment, right?
Sally Hogshead: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s the office politics. That kind of stuff really wears me down. I am just such a typical entrepreneur in that sense, right? My daughter’s school, she goes to an all-girls school, and their motto is, “Find a way or make one,” and that’s totally me.
Sally Hogshead: I love that. This is an important thing for you to know about yourself.
In 2010, we were in the midst of the recession and, as an entrepreneur, I found that I was in a really tough spot because I had to start taking assignments that I otherwise wouldn’t want. At the time, my company functioned more like an advertising agency working with brands, and I found that I would … When the phone rang, I had to pick it up, metaphorically, and work with clients that were kind of rigid, and clients that didn’t want big ideas, and they didn’t want to change the world. What they wanted me to do was to take what they’d already done and, basically, repackage it, which is the lowest form of creativity. Not only would I have this stress as being the sole breadwinner of my family with young kids, but I also had to be on the road a lot just trying to keep up with the overhead and doing something that wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun, and I became deeply discouraged.
More importantly, I wasn’t good at it, and so I made bad impressions, and so it damaged my reputation because nobody’s going to refer you if they have an experience of you that reflects your disadvantages. This is why, as entrepreneurs, it’s so crucial for us to take this squarely into account, what are the areas in which we have an advantage, and what are the areas that we have a disadvantage, so that we can attract the clients and the customers that are going to allow us to do more of what we’re already spectacular at then hire the rest out.
Melinda Wittstock: This resonates so much with me because, I mean, I think in the early days of a lot of companies, where you’re in this kind of scramble, especially if you are under-capitalized like most new business are and … certainly, Verifeed in the early days, absolutely. You feel this kind of pressure because you had cash flow … I’ve got two kids I support, right?
Sally Hogshead: No cash flow, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, and
Sally Hogshead: Cash dry [crosstalk 00:23:24 cash flow?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, right? You can go into fear, so you start compromising on either not charging as much for your services or your product as you should or taking on those kind of compromised clients. I found the same thing as you. I was not doing my best work for clients that I perceived didn’t even value. We would come up with amazing kind of stuff, find people that are customers, pre-qualified from social conversations, figure out exactly who their influencers were, do all this work. Some companies or clients would not value that or even execute on it, and others would take it and run with it and do amazing work.
I began to see, over time, who my ideal client actually was and who I did my best work for. I was like a dance. It’s like a mirror. You need to be aligned. The power of actually firing a client is interesting. Getting out of fear and getting into kind of who you are and … I was going to say it’s been a fascinating process, but sounds like you went through that a little bit as well where you’re sort of compromised because you … God, you need to go and sign clients, make money, do stuff, but if there’s any lack … or if you’re out of alignment in any way, I find it’s like pushing a boulder up a mountain rather than being a fun, easy, and effortless thing that your business that you created should feel like to you.
Sally Hogshead: Yes. I think it’s not just spiritually bad to be surrounding yourself with clients who are expecting you to do something that’s the very thing that you are least-equipped to do, but it’s also really bad for business, and it’s really damaging, especially if when we have young companies or a startup that … We have to be able to identify the clients and customers that we can best serve so we can make the biggest difference with them so that our work matters.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Exactly. That all comes down to just finding the confidence to really qualify your customers very clearly, know you are serving. When you look at women, in particular, that have gone through How to Fascinate, is there anything different about us where we have some areas of real strength coming into entrepreneurship like our ability to understand relationship, and our kind of EQ, and some of these things, and then other areas where, frankly, we get in our own way? How has that played in your life and also in a lot of the data that you’re accumulating?
Sally Hogshead: Something I’m exploring right now is a principle that I learned in advertising. The male voice is a neutral voice. A female voice is a subcategory. Here’s what I mean by that. If you’re listening to a television commercial, if it’s a male voiceover, it’s just a voice. If it’s a female voiceover, it’s defined as being female. Part of the problem that we have as women is that we’re seen as a subcategory of the whole.
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Sally Hogshead: Does it make sense?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it is, but it’s a little demoralizing.
Sally Hogshead: It’s certainly demoralizing but, listen, if we don’t … Those who don’t examine the past are doomed to repeat it.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Sally Hogshead: It’s important for us to take a really good, honest look. When I was studying at Duke University, and getting a Women’s Studies degree, I decided that I was going to spend the summer living with a tribe in Africa. The tribe where I lived, they had never seen a white woman before. They’d never seen a flash camera. They never heard recorded western music on a CD player, back when there were CD players.
The family where I lived, there were 13 young children under the age of 15, and we lived in a goat dung hut. What I saw is that when women don’t have options, they don’t have power. The women in this tribe, the husbands were working in the city. The women were home. They didn’t have electricity. They barely had running water. But they didn’t have options because they didn’t have education, and they didn’t a voice.
When I came home from Africa, I decided that this needed to change, that we needed to make it available for any woman anywhere to have a voice and to know what to say. That’s where this, in talking about the fact that male voice is neutral and female voice is the subcategory, I think this is something that needs to change because women don’t want to be pretend men. I don’t want to outman a man. I want to be the best woman and have a message that matters, that it’s not about me being fascinating, but that I have the power to make my message fascinating. This is what led me to create this, my new book, which it … Can I tell you about it? I’m very excited.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yeah. I can hardly wait. Yes, please. Yes.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah. All the things we’ve been talking about, we’ve been looking at fascination through the lens of women. How do women have a voice? It all starts with women understanding that they are fascinating and that their message matters. The name of the new book is You Are Fascinating. I’m writing it right now, so it’s … The book won’t be out, but what I’d like to do is to invite all of our listeners to take the assessment, take a free express version of the assessment so that they can understand what I mean when I say, “You are fascinating,” and that, then, they can share it out on their social media networks, or at a dinner party, or with their teams at work. Not only can they understand themselves and who they are at their best but they can start to identify this in other people. I’ll give you the code right now.
Melinda Wittstock: This is awesome. Thank you so much. A really generous offering! Yeah. No, no, seriously, it’s a lovely give-forward.
Sally Hogshead: Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s so in line with the mission here to affirm and acclaim. Really, the whole point of Wings is that we lift each other up.
Sally Hogshead: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Thank you. Yes, the code please. Everybody, seriously, I implore you, go do this. It’s awesome. It’s really helped me a lot.
Sally Hogshead: Go to this URL. It’s howtofascinate.com/you, Y-O-U. Howtofascinate.com/you. Now, the word fascinate isn’t the easiest to spell. It’s F-A-S-C-I-N-A-T-E. Howtofascinate.com/you. Then there’s a secret code. It’s going to give you a version of the assessment for free. The code is Wings. Right?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Sally Hogshead: The code is Wings.
Melinda Wittstock: Wings because … Yes, because we all are becoming super … well, we are, and you surely are, a supershero, and we all have … No, seriously. Look, we all have the ability to do this. It’s interesting, Sally, when I interview so many women and I say, “Is there a supershero in your life for when you were growing up, a woman, in particular, that you looked up to and, ‘Wow, you know, I want to fly like her’?” Sadly, so many women, there’s this long silence, and they can’t think of anybody, or they can think of a man, or they can think of things that their mom did but there’s not that kind of wow. I want to change that. I want to ask you that question. When you look around and you look for … Who were your SuperSheros in your life?
Sally Hogshead: I believe, with all of my heart, that my shero is my mom. My mom and my dad just celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary, and I spent the weekend with them. My parents are 85 years old, and they live in the same house that I grew up in. We have a lot of Hogsheads in our family, and so we celebrate the birthdays one in the spring and one in the fall, and we call it Hoggerfest. Here’s my mom having all the family come and descend on the house. She had a banner out front that said, “Welcome to Hoggerfest 2017,” with the names of all the people that … my brother, my sister, my nieces, my nephews, all the ones who were celebrating their fall birthdays.
If you think about that, really what she’s doing is she was turning a celebration into something that was a much deeper experience. She was creating a memory that not only matters for us individually, but it shows me how to pass that on to my kids and my family. Because of that, she’s always symbolized to me who a woman is at her best not by trying to copy a man, but by creating experiences that empower all the people around her. That’s what I want to do with the concept of You Are Fascinating.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, beautiful.
Sally Hogshead: In the same way I ask our listeners to show other people what makes them fascinating … Instead of looking at other people around us through the lens of what could they do better, give them the assessment. Sit down, have the conversation, or share it out on Facebook and start a discussion in the comments section. What are the qualities that making you most impressive, the ones that make people fall in love with you and not just buy from you, but advocate for you? What are those qualities, and then how can we do more of that in our life? You’ll find it’s a transformational conversation to be looking at the people around you and in your community through that lens because, not only does it lift you up, but it adds … The greatest way to empower a woman is to show her her own unique value.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that’s a beautiful, beautiful way to say it.
Sally Hogshead: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: As we wrap up, Sally, I mean, we’ve been talking about how these algorithms, this protocol that you have created and invented and so generously shared with all our listeners, helps us to become much more conscious of our strengths. When you think of your everyday life, when you’re not out building your business and doing all the amazing stuff, writing your book, all the stuff that … the amazing stuff and value you’re bringing to the world, how do you kind of just sort of stay in the zone yourself? Do you have a special routine? Do you meditate, take walks in the woods, sit by the water, I don’t know, exercise? Where do you get your energy and your inspiration, and how are you kind to yourself?
Sally Hogshead: I have to admit I’m not very good at having the kind of structure that allows me to easily get in a flow because I travel so much, but something that allows me to kind of re-center is binge watching shows on Netflix with my husband. It’s kind of like, when we do that, I realize that it’s mental junk food. Right now, we’re watching Outlander. Last night, we were watching Versailles, Bad Behavior. I mean, there are these shows that are just addictive, and it allows me to turn off my brain and kind of quiet the vibration and be able to have bonding time with him. We bring a snack into bed, and we pull up the covers, and we’ve got 10 pillows. We surround ourselves, and we create this cocoon that is so the opposite of what my day-to-day life is like. It’s one of my favorite ways to kind of reconnect with my life and the people I love.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Everybody, again: Sally Hogshead, How to Fascinate. Go to howtofascinate.com/you. There’s a special promo code, Wings. It was so wonderful to talk to you today, Sally.
Sally Hogshead: Thank you. Thank you. I’m honored to be part of this. I’m so proud for you for all that you’re doing right now. The world needs this, and I love that we got to talk to each other for both of us sort of at the beginning of our unfolding this to the world.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with me today.
Sally Hogshead: Thank you.