I’ve been sitting at my computer screen looking at the blinking cursor, then typing, then deleting, then typing again, then deleting.
As Mike and I bring our podcast, The Kate & Mike Show, to a close (and also our business relationship as it has been for nearly a decade to a close), we’ve had some surprises along the way.
Surprise #1: The episode where we announced we were ending the show got more downloads than any episode we’d ever released.
Surprise #2: A lot of people thought we were getting divorced (even though we made it super clear so many places that we aren’t).
Surprise #3: The episode we released last week with Zach Bush, MD, broke the record that our “we’re ending the podcast” episode set, receiving 4X the number of downloads our average episode gets. It also upset some people.
In the last week, I received the question I put in the subject line of this email quite a few times:
How do you know the difference between when you need to just let people be upset by what you said, and when you need to change your tune, apologize, and move toward repair?
Back in February I spoke up publicly about body autonomy and received some amazing feedback and a boatload of negative feedback. After wanting to curl up in a cave and hide for a few days, I finally emerged from the cave and said:
I am not here to please you.
I’d done my research. I knew where I stood. I felt confidence in my stance and while I knew that some folks would disagree with me, I was not there to please them. They were welcome to disagree with me.
But last week was different.
When I read the feedback we were getting about how the conversation had missed the mark regarding the disproportionate affect COVID-19 has had on the Black community, I knew it was true.
This was not an “I’m not here to please you” moment. It was an “I screwed up” moment.
How did I know the difference? Because during the first interview I had wanted to push back and go deeper around the question, but I second-guessed myself and didn’t. I knew because I just knew.
I hadn’t been the best advocate or leader for our community that I could have been.
Rather than defend ourselves or pretend it didn’t happen, we apologized to our community members, listened to their concerns, and moved toward repair.
I reached out to Dr. Zach to share some of the feedback we were receiving from our community, and even though it was a small percentage compared to the rave reviews, he and I both knew the criticism was important and valid.
If we block out all negative feedback, we stop learning. I’m not here to please you, but I am here to listen, learn, and do better.
Surprise #4: This week, we have 2 episodes of The Kate & Mike Show for you.
A follow-up second conversation with Zach Bush, MD where we go deeper on why COVID-19 has been hitting the Black community the hardest and where he shares equitable, accessible health solutions that will keep more people out of the disease care system.
Part 2 of Ask Us Anything where we talk more about how we knew that what happened last week was an “I screwed up” moment more than an “I’m not here to please you” moment, plus I tell my birth stories, we talk about some of the grief coming up around ending the podcast, we share our best sales tips, our best tips on growing a platform, and more.
I’ll end by repeating something I said in the Ask Us Anything, Part 2 episode:
I understand people talk about how we shouldn’t care about what anyone else thinks. But, the day I stop caring what you, our community, feels, that’s the day it’s over for me.
I’ll be over here, staying in the game, being humble and ready to fumble, as the wise Ericka Hines says.
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