One of the workplace hazards of recording a podcast is that a lot of the time, we end up recording over the phone. And with that medium—especially if it’s the first time you’re ever talking to this person beyond email—developing a good chemistry between host and guest is kind of a 50-50 toss-up. You might get along like a house on fire (which is a really weird phrase, by the way), or you might wait out awkward pauses during which you’re not sure whose turn it is to speak or whether it’ll completely kill the story if you interject.
So as I plugged in my headphones to call Kate Field, CEO and founder of The Kombucha Shop, I was prepared for either experience. I had my customary Type-A list of carefully worded questions ready to go, grouped by category in case the conversation well ran dry and I needed the switch topics. I am nothing if not a good list-maker.
But my lists went almost completely to the wayside the second I heard Kate’s warm voice log onto our recording platform. It’s a true talent to be able to convey charisma and likability through just your voice, but within just a couple of minutes of chatting with Kate and going over pre-recording housekeeping, I was convinced that we were meant to be best friends (an emotion I later cemented when her dog loudly barked during the podcast, upset at being left out and demanding to be heard on #WeGotGoals).
Kate comes from the nonprofit world in Washington, DC, where she worked as a program coordinator for the Capitol Area Food Bank. A large portion of her job involved teaching underserved communities how to grocery shop and cook balanced meals for themselves on a budget, and it was during this time she realized that she could be a part of the solution to making less sugary beverage options available to the masses at a low price.
With just $800 of her own money, Kate began building brew-your-own kombucha kits and selling them. Eventually, her side hustle became a full-time job, and she was so successful that the producers of Shark Tank noticed and asked her to apply for the show. The result? A $350,000 deal with Barbara Corcoran and Sarah Blakely of Spanx, and a whole new world of opportunity.
You’ll hear Kate’s origin story, what she learned in her nonprofit work that she still carries with her today, and yes, a lot of behind the scenes info about what it’s like to be on Shark Tank. You’ll also hear her discuss what big goals she’s set for herself in the past (including what scary big number she decided to aim for when setting earnings goals for herself) and the self-care goal she’s working towards right now.