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Sally Hogshead

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Sally Hogshead is an advertising powerhouse and fascination expert known for her effective and innovative take on personal and product branding. Born into a high-achieving family, her sister is Olympic gold-medal swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar, and her brother is a Harvard graduate. A 1991 graduate of Duke University, she spent time in her college years living in a goat dung hut with an Ethiopian tribe. Her first job after university was as a junior copywriter with advertising agency Fallon Worldwide. She went on to hold copywriting positions for Wieden+Kennedy and The Martin Agency, and by her early 20s had won more awards than any other copywriter in the United States.

After the Martin Agency closed its LA office in 1998, Hogshead partnered with fellow Martin employee Jean Robaire to open their own agency. The agency, Robaire and Hogshead, served clients including Remy Martin and the Target Corporation before closing its doors in 2001 due to “philosophical differences.” Hogshead went on to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, opening their new Venice, CA office and serving as both managing and creative directors. Her clients have included high-profile companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Godiva, Aflac and MINI Cooper.

Hogshead has been the author of several books, beginning with Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life, published in 2005. Her next work, a 2010 book titled Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, used date from the personality tests of more than 10,000 participants to draw conclusions on capturing and holding attention. She also used this research to develop the “F Score,” later called “The Fascination Advantage Assessment.” Unlike previous personality tests, the assessment is less about how you see the world than about how the world sees you, categorizing subjects into 49 distinct archetypes. In 2014, Hogshead further developed the science of fascination in How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination. The book, based on a pool of 300,000 people taking the Fascination Advantage Assessment, discusses how to apply the advantages of particular archetypes to greatest effect.

In addition to her published works, Hogshead is a frequent speaker, speaking for clients including Cisco, Intel, Million Dollar Round Table, GE, New York Life, YPO, Inc. Magazine Leadership and Intuit. In 2012, she was inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame, one of the youngest inductees.

Hogshead lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and their eight children.

Companies and Investments

Hogshead Media (Speaker, Author, Creative Director), Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Creative Director/Managing Director), Robaire and Hogshead (Co-Founder), The Martin Agency (Senior Copywriter), Fallon McElligott Berlin (Copywriter), Fallon McElligott (Copywriter), Wieden + Kennedy (Copywriter)

Lessons Learned

The first six months were like fishing in a lake with no fish. But, you know, they say babies born during depression or war grow up to be resilient and successful. This office is built from the ground up to survive. (Hogshead, on learning strength and resilience through surviving difficult times, in an interview with AdWeek)

I make them all the time. The thing I'm learning is that a mistake isn't the same as defeat. In fact, mistakes lead to the most interesting choices. (Hogshead, on learning from your mistakes, in an interview with AdWeek)

My very favorite Truth in the whole book is Radical Truth #99: "Expressing your truest self is the ultimate competitive advantage." You're going to be most successful when you unapologetically express yourself—your talents and your strengths and your personality. With my background in advertising, I was helping clients figure out what it is about this brand that, if expressed in a particular way, will have people emotionally connect with it. When that happens, those consumers become evangelists and transform that brand's place in the marketplace.

All those same principles work for people. When you can peel away the layers of what you've been taught that you should do and you have to do and rules that you must follow, you can help people start to figure out, what is their career for? The big questions. What's it all about, what's the purpose of what you're doing? How can you tap into that passion and turn that passion into your career? Then your career comes from a place of infinite strength, because it's who you are, rather than just a series of steps up a corporate staffing chart. (Hogshead, on the advantages of unapologetic self-expression, in an interview with Tom Peters)

Here's how I viewed my own portable equity. I opened my own agency when I was 27 and I loved it. It was great. We worked on a project basis with clients like Target and Remy Martin, and we were very successful. But after about three and a half years, I felt as if I just wasn't learning anymore. I wasn't developing—I wasn't getting new skills. We'd gotten in a bit of a groove that was becoming a rut. Then I was invited to a very, very cool, high-profile job. The job only paid 50 percent of what I was making. I'm the sole breadwinner of my family, because my husband's a stay-at-home dad. A 50 percent pay cut? Major, major lifestyle implications.

But I did it because I knew it was going to skyrocket my portable equity. By working with this new company, I was going to be able to learn things and do things and have things and meet people and engage with clients and make presentations that I never would have been able to do in my own company. So, even though I started with a 50 percent pay cut, within three years, maybe four years, I was making way more than I had to begin with.

It's not about how much money you're making today, it's about what you're worth. What's your potential price tag out in the market? I say market value is a combination of RESULTS + REPUTATION + NETWORK. So if you're not constantly improving the work you do and the people you know and the brand you've created for yourself, then your market value goes down. But if you're pushing it, whether you stay in the same company or you move to a different one or you start your own, that's when you're going to have the maximum portable equity. (Hogshead on the value of portable equity, in an interview with Tom Peters)

Inspiring Quotes

Sally Hogshead's Quotes

You can be comfortable in your career or extraordinary. Which one are you going to be?

Sally Hogshead

If you’re not generating a negative response from someone, you’re probably not fascinating anyone.

Sally Hogshead

You don’t have to change who you are, you have to become more of who you are.

Sally Hogshead

You don’t learn how to be fascinating. You unlearn how to be boring.

Sally Hogshead

The world is not changed by people who sort of care.

Sally Hogshead

Influential Books


Chuck Porter