Today’s interview is with Jessica Hagy, who is widely known for her award winning blog: Indexed (I’ve been a subscriber for years!). Recently, she wrote an article for Forbes magazine on How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). That article was incredibly popular. So much so that she has turned it into a book: How to Be Interesting: An Instruction Manual.
Apart from being a fan of Jessica’s work, I thought the interview and subject matter was apt and appropriate for some of the issues that I explore here on the blog. I hope you enjoy it.
This interview follows on the back of last week’s interview: Word of mouth marketing starts with proper listening – Interview with Molly Flatt of 1000 Heads and is number fifty-six in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.
Here’s the highlights from the interview I did with Jessica:
- Jessica’s new book: How to Be Interesting: An Instruction Manual came about after she write a piece for Forbes along the same lines. The piece in Forbes has now been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
- The genesis of the book and article came about when Jessica was thinking about writing about business virtues and kept coming back to the idea that if you are interesting in life and business then you’ll get talked about, get shared and, are more likely to, get the sale and repeat sales.
- Jessica’s ten simple steps to become more interesting are more habits and behaviours than anything else.
- Here ten habits and behaviours are: 1.Go exploring. 2. Share what you discover. 3. Do something. Anything. 4. Embrace your innate weirdness. 5. Have a cause. 6. Minimize the swagger. 7. Give it a shot. 8. Hop off the bandwagon. 9. Grow a pair. 10. Ignore the scolds.
- Whilst the book follows the article in structure it goes into a lot more detail in each area such that there are 10-12 sub ideas within each of the ten bigger ideas.
- All of the ideas are accessible and positive that anyone could do regardless of income and stature.
- Exploration, or being curious, is probably the key idea or driving factor that makes people, things and business more interesting.
- Be curious, go exploring, and find different ideas to help you develop new ways of doing things and thinking about the way we do things.
- If you find that hard, then just start. Put some time aside to do this. But, develop the habit and you will reap the benefits.
- Why is this important when it comes to customers, employees and leaders? Well, we are bombarded by more and more stuff everyday that being interesting can be a unique differentiator and can be the difference between making that sale, getting the repeat purchase, driving word of mouth, delivering great service, keeping your customers and engaging with your employees etc etc.
- Interesting stands out.
- People don’t talk about stuff that’s not interesting.
- No. 11 is Keep at it and give your permission to explore and connect with interesting people and things.
About Jessica (taken and adapted from her new book’s website)
“I was pondering personal assets in business, modern virtues if you will. I thought that being interesting was the greatest one. It’s more vital than hustle or education, more important than good networking. It’s a core attribute that draws people toward each other, and greases the wheels of love and commerce and politics. From that point, I noodled out what it meant to be interesting: and that’s this book.”
Jessica Hagy is an illustrator currently working in the Pacific Northwest.
Her work has been featured on the BBC Magazine Online, in Good Magazine, Reader’s Digest Canada, The National Post of Canada, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Redbook, Golf Digest, The New York Times, CNN.com, and her blog, Indexed, was named on of Time Magazine’s best blogs of 2008 and was a Webby Award winning site in 2010. She’s also a contributor to Forbes.
Her illustrations have been previously published by Random House/Europe, Penguin Books, Chronicle Books, and O’Reilly Publishing.