I’ve had a few sleepless nights before recording podcasts. The worst ones are when I’m a bit rusty and I find the guest to be intimidatingly impressive.

For one such episode, all was well until 27 minutes in.

I asked a question I instantly knew I shouldn’t have. It was cheap, leading, and provocative. They were understandably irked. I crumped, feeling like a total fool.

The rest of the episode came easy enough, though; I knew I could edit out the error.

Except I couldn’t. I spent 3 hours trying to remove the dressing down without losing the flow of the conversation. It was impossible.

With time up, I could either butcher the whole edit to save myself, or just publish.

Now, you may be thinking the moral of this riff is to ask authentic questions; to put your ego to one side; or to let others shine.

But I think it’s something else. Even though it still feels embarrassing, I can’t imagine that episode without the cringe moment.

The ugly stuff is part of the package. And even if it doesn’t always feel like it, it’s proof of our work.