My Unexpected Lunch With Seth Godin

by Josh Hanagarne on February 13, 2010

in Uncategorized

I was in Minneapolis last Friday when I got an email. Or, rather, Seth Godin copied me on an email to Kelly King Anderson from Startupprincess.com.

Me and Seth. I've never felt less dainty.

It said:

Kelly, meet Josh. He’s the World’s Strongest Librarian. If he’s free and interested, I’d love to invite him as my guest to your SLC gig with me next Friday. Have fun guys.

Hmm…I thought. Am I really interested in going to lunch with Seth Godin and hearing him speak?
The answer was yes. I didn’t have to think very hard about it.
I only got to talk with Seth for a few minutes, but here are the takeaways:
  • He didn’t like my shoes (Vibram Five Fingers)
  • I placed him under my protection and he accepted
  • He said that our agent is way more exited about me than about him (I’m pretty sure he was lying)
I’ve always loved Seth’s writing, but this was the first time I’d seen him speak. Absolutely hypnotic in the best way. He said many things that I agree with and many things that I already knew but wasn’t aware that I knew them.
My favorite?
If someone can write down your job description, they can find someone to do your job cheaper. There’s no job description that describes being yourself.

Seth, thank you for everything. Here’s to fearlessness. Here’s to the inevitable failures that lead to inevitable successes.
I’m done waiting my turn until someone convinces me I have to.
How about you, friendly reader?

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Dean @The Quit List February 13, 2010 at 6:41 am

Hey Josh,

That is awesome u got to meet Seth. I went to his book launch last month and it was fantastic. He did a Q and Q after that and that was by far the best of my experiences. He has some amazing like altering ideas.

Congrats amigo.


Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Awesome! Have you read the book?

soultravelers3 February 13, 2010 at 7:26 am

So cool! Lucky you! Love the pic & caption!

I’m a huge fan of Seth’s writing so was glad to hear he is a positively hypnotic speaker as well!

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I knew he’d be good, but I didn’t expect him to be this good, basically because I didn’t know this good existed.

Laura Cococcia February 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

Nice one bud – I think you look quite dainty in that pic. Good stuff!

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

No…I’m an ogre.

Eduard @ Ideas With A Kick February 13, 2010 at 7:44 am

“There’s no job description that describes being yourself.” – Waw that’s solid gold! Seth is the man!

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm


Mark February 13, 2010 at 7:52 am


Lunch with Seth Godin…I am very jealous. I have read all his books, subscribe to his blog etc. etc.

Just ordered Linchpins.

Okay, I admit it, I am a raving fan of Seth Godin.

Boomer 54

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I’d love to know what you think of Linchpins once you’re done!

Daisy February 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Great picture! Fabulous post. Being yourself is not just okay; it’s essential.

And on that note, there’s an award for you on Compost Happens. Enjoy!

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Daisy:)

Steven | The Emotion Machine February 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Wow, that is a really inspirational quote about job descriptions. I have seen some of Seth Godin’s books at my local library and thought about picking them up. One of these days….for now I am too busy to really pick up any book at the moment.

Thanks for sharing! And yes, I am jealous too!

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Steven, don’t pick one up until you’re ready to absorb it. It’s worth slowing down for.

Debbie Ferm February 13, 2010 at 10:08 am

Oh my gosh, I knew you were a big guy, but you look like a monster next to Seth!

I’m from Minneapolis also. I should have come down a bent some horse shoes! Dang.

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Dang it, I didn’t know that. I’ll be out there again at least once this year. I’ll let you know.

Srinivas Rao February 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hey Josh,

That’s so awesome. I was fortunate enough to see Seth speak when he was hear in Orange County and you are right. He’s absolutely hypnotic. I’m off to check out startupprincesss.com now too :). Look forward to all the stuff you have coming.

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Srinivas, Kelly runs an awesome business and blog. Meeting her was nearly as cool as meeting Seth. She’s doing some great things for female entrepreneurs and she put Seth’s whole event together in 23 days.

Jim Murphy February 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

@Debbie is right, you are a monster! A warm, helpful one. :) Was Seth sitting down perhaps?

TheDebtHawk.com February 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

What a great opportunity Josh!! Seth Godin is one of my favorites.

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I can’t imagine why:)

Lana - DreamFollowers Blog February 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I love Seth Godin! Really, be yourself and noone will ever find a substitute to you. Simple. Powerful. Thanks for sharing Josh!

Blaine Moore February 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Very cool! That’s pretty exciting – I’d love to see Seth speak one of these days.

Boris Bachmann February 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm


How does his new book compare to his others? I’m assuming it’s great, but would you say it’s “well worth it”, or “must have”?

Josh Hanagarne February 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm

It’s my favorite so far. It’s written to people, not to organizations. I feel like I personally can identify with everything in it.

Tim February 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Hi Josh: Thanks for sharing your experience with Seth…it sounds like a cool experience…I’ve never heard/seen him speak, but I do enjoy his books. I truly admire Seth for a lot of reasons and I look forward to reading his new book. Good luck with your project, too.

Jacqui February 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Hi Josh. Thanks for stopping to say hello on my blog.

That is an amazingly cool picture you have there at the top of the page. :)

What an amazing honour for you to meet ‘the man’. Lucky you!

I’m sure some of his wisdom and energy must have rubbed off on you. Touched by magic dust!

Kelly Diels February 14, 2010 at 10:44 am

honey. darling. hummingbird. unwise. Did you really wear those little foot gloves to an event? Really and truly? I’m despairing a little.

a lot, actually.

Josh Hanagarne February 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

I am not a hummingbird and I couldn’t care less about fashion. I did wear socks, so they look like shoes. Shoes with toes. next time I will wear a tutu, a top hat, and one of those barrels with the straps if it pleases me.

Eugen Oprea February 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Good for you that you meet Seth. I hope to meet him too someday.

By the way great picture!

Thanks for sharing Seth’s quote.

Josh Hanagarne February 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

You’re welcome Eugen. I’m glad you made it over here!

Greg February 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Great story. Very cool… Love the quote, too.

Josh Hanagarne February 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

I don’t know if there’s anyone more quotable.

Christopher Kabamba February 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

I can’t even begin to imagine how it felt like. Priceless encounter i guess.

Josh Hanagarne February 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

It was wonderful, but every time I meet someone larger than life, I’m reminded that they’re all just people. Just like you. Just like me. Successful, brilliant, and adored, yes, but just people. But yes, it was a lot of fun.

Jodi Kaplan February 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Wow, what a contrast.

I agree, since reading Linchpin, I’m done with being anxious in advance. I truly think it’s his best book ever.

(Oh, and I was at the launch, and the dinner, and the conference in New York – all of which rocked).

Mike T Nelson February 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

Awesome work my friend! I loved the pic too!

I love Seth’s work as he has many great things to say.

Excellent quote here by you “Here’s to the inevitable failures that lead to inevitable successes.”

I am a big fan of failing forward as fast as possible. Not the easiest thing to do in practice, but I do believe it is the best.

I remember Dan John stating that we learn way more from our “failures” than victories and that “victory destroys all knowledge”

Keep it up!
rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

Jason February 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I wonder why Seth didn’t like your shoes. Maybe he wouldn’t wear them himself, but I tend to think Vibram Five Fingers is a Purple Cow.

It tells the story that shoes closer to being barefoot are better for you than traditional shoes, and aligns to the worldview of people who believe it.

Josh Hanagarne February 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

He’s a fashionable guy. I think you’re right about the Purple Cow, though.

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