Julia's greatest hits: My interviews with Penelope Trunk and Seth Godin

My dad likes to say, "You know, I used to be cool before I had you." Well kids, I used to be cool before I had a blog.

So cool, in fact, that I interviewed career expert Penelope Trunk AND marketing expert Seth Godin. Within months of each other. When I was just a punk 23-year-old without a clue but with a mic.

Now, you're probably thinking 1 of 3 things right now:

a. Smug much, are we? Come closer so I can hit you.
b. Wow, that's really neat, Julia! You're so cool. Can we be friends?
c. Um, who are Penelope Trunk and Seth Godin?

To which I respond:

a. How 'bout I stay over here? Kthxbai.
b. Why of course we can be friends! You can even touch me if you'd like.
c. Keep reading this blog post, so we can welcome you to the not so inner sanctum.

Let's look at Penelope Trunk first. Love her or hate her, she's one of the more provocative career advisers writing out there right now. Though a Gen X-er herself, Penelope has long distinguished herself as a medium for the Gen Y work mindset, most notably at her blog The Brazen Careerist (also the name of her book and career social network).

I intersected her for an exciting 30 minutes in history thanks to the chutzpah of my friend, mentor, and first boss Rich Levin, who had the audacious idea to -- wait for it -- ask her if she'd do an interview with us on behalf of a client. (Brilliant! Who knew??) Which is how I -- already an ardent reader -- came to be lining up my questions and picking her brain over the phone.

And to Penelope's credit, her advice on leading a "braided life" has not lost any luster in the past two years. Quite the opposite -- her ideas have gained new heft given the new reality the recession has handed us.

Listen to my podcast interview with Penelope Trunk here.

Ok, now Seth Godin. In a word (or three), he's "America's greatest marketer." Communicators revere him. He is the author of The Purple Cow, The Dip, and many other best-selling classics. Oh, and Seth writes a blog and somehow managed to find time to found Squidoo along the way.

Again, simply asking Seth to chat did the trick, so I dug into Seth's background, strapped on the podcast headset, set levels with Rich, and got on the phone. I don't know what I was expecting -- angels singing behind him? his agent yelling at us? -- because I was rather surprised by how ... normal he was. He was like any smart guy I'd run into at a coffee shop and happen to ask for small business marketing advice. Remarkable.

Anyway, that's Seth and my experience with him. Ta-da!

You can listen to my podcast interview with Seth Godin here.

And there you have it -- two social media superstars and my brush with their wisdom. Dare I dream of the day I get to talk to Guy Kawasaki, Hugh MacLeod, Pam Slim, Gretchen Rubin, and all the other folks who continue to shape my thinking about this space and my place in it ... ?