PPM 17 | Asian Americans

 

We may all speak different languages, we may have different colors, different races, beliefs, and other distinctions, but we are all one. Kimchi Chow, host of the Asian Women of Power podcast targets to empower Asian Women. In her podcast, she aims at her fellow Asian Americans to encourage them to communicate their mind and have the courage to speak English without the fear of being mocked. Though her target audience is Asian American immigrants, surprisingly, she gained listeners from different parts of the world.

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Asian Women of Power: Empowering Asian Americans To Speak Their Mind with Kimchi Chow

I have a guest named Kimchi Chow who has a podcast called Asian Women of Power. This is a great podcast. It’s in a niche category, but a very much needed one. I live here in Southern California and the town I live in is about 49% Asian population. There’s a very big population of Asian immigrants or Asian-Americans, whether they’re the first generation or not, here in California. It’s wonderful that Kimchi has put out a podcast that is specifically for the Asian community and in particular, Asian Women of Power. What Kimchi says is there is power and pride to be found in your cultural heritage. Being identified as an Asian woman of power is an honor and not an embarrassment. Kimchi shares her insights on life’s lessons she has learned from the past four decades living as an immigrant in the United States. Welcome to the show, Kimchi.

Thank you for inviting me to be here.

You’re very welcome. I’m very pleased to have you and I have to say, it’s very interesting. You’re the second person that I’ve had on that English is not their native language that they were born with. We had someone from Switzerland and she records her podcast in English, but it’s not her native language. She talked about some of the challenges that she faces when she’s recording a podcast and/or sometimes she doesn’t choose the right word or could have chosen a better word maybe. I told her and I’m curious what you think of this. That’s why I wanted to start with this. I think this is very interesting. I was of the opinion that even though English may not be your native language and there are many different words you could choose, maybe sometimes you’re not as happy with the word you chose. I still think because you’re being authentically you that your message comes across regardless. I would hope you don’t get too hung up on the realities of English not being your first language. Have you felt the same way ever that you were concerned about that?

Yes, absolutely. I still listen to my recording, I would say, “Why did I say that? Why did I pronounce it that way?” If I continue to stay in that mode like, “I’m not perfect. I have an accent. I speak with grammar error all the time,” and most of the time I say, “That’s supposed to be the past tense, not present tense,” and I mix them up. I let it go because people tune in for the message, not for a perfect person to present the information or the person to ask questions. The key is to ask questions. I create this platform for Asian women to shine and to showcase other Asian women who have achieved a great deal after they have gone through their own personal challenges. My goal is to encourage and to empower other Asian women out there to say, “If you have experienced these things, there is still a chance for you to become better and become somebody. You just need to fine tune the way you think and the way you act.” There are people out there like me, like all the people who I have invited on the podcast, the coaches. They have a specialty to focus on certain areas. That was my concern. I let it go and in a way, that’s my signature.

That’s great on two counts. You’re right, you have to let it go. If you allow yourself to be self-conscious about that, you would never record another episode. It’s much more important because the content you are creating, the message is so valuable and it will help other people and you need to put it out. I agree, don’t worry about it. It’s even better that you’re saying, “Not only am I going to let it go, I’m also going to own it. This is me. This is who I am. Take it or leave it.” You’re not going to apologize for it and it’s your signature like you said. It’s wonderful and it’s a very healthy perspective.

PPM 17 | Asian Americans

Asian Americans: It is understanding the message that is important, not the language used.

 

I thought about that. I say, “Who am I being compared to?” I’m compared to a lot of other Asian women who speak very well. If I don’t show people the way I am and who I am with all the accents, with all the grammar and things like that, all the women who are not perfect like me will be shy from the camera and from speaking their truth. In a way, I’m like their encouragement, “If Kimchi can do it, I can do it too.”

That’s what you want. You want to be a coach for them. You want to help them achieve their goals. Is everyone that you talked to an Asian immigrant? Is that part of the idea or is it not necessarily just an immigrant? Could you be an Asian woman of power on your show being interviewed and not be in the US?

Yes, I have interviewed two people. One is living in Thailand, but she’s Indian living in Thailand. The other one is Chinese but lives in Malaysia. I don’t know whether she considers herself an immigrant or not, but she has Chinese ancestry. I am open to talk to other Asian women in the world. The key thing is I focus mostly on Asian immigrant because I represent Asian-American immigrant and we have our own challenges to deal with over here.

That’s something you clearly know a lot about being in America for the last 40 years since you came to the US. I remember listening to your earliest episodes and your story of coming to America. What I enjoyed about it, even though it’s a story of struggle at the beginning, was you do let people know who you are. If new podcasters can take away only one thing now from everything we’re doing, it’s that you need to be true to yourself. You need to be authentically you. You definitely have done that. That’s a very brave thing that you did. It probably was not easy for you to do, was it?

It was not easy. I say, “Who am I? Why would people listen to me?” The reason I started the podcast is because I want to get my message out to the world, not just limiting it in my own town because that was my original idea. I go to network to meet other people. Introduce them about me and share with them about what I do but that is so limiting. The podcast is a new thing. I learned from it. I was aware of podcasting almost two years ago. I tried to do it myself and it was so hard. I say, “Forget about it,” and so I postponed it. Later on, that interest reignites my passion again. I said, “I need to find somebody who can support me in this.” I know that I would not have the patience to edit and to put those things online. I know that I can because my background was in engineering. I know that I can do that, but I have no patience at this time to do those things. I was so happy to find your company.

There is a chance for everyone to become better and become somebody. Click To Tweet

Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I hear that story where a lot of people that for a year or even two years, they made it a goal that they’re going to start a podcast. They did all the research. Maybe they even bought the equipment and they just don’t do it. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of details that you need to worry about and then technology changes, the software can change. You probably have enough to do to grow your coaching business. You have enough to do to figure out what services or products you can offer. If you were doing everything and learning how to do it for your podcasts at the same time, you’d be working too much on your business instead of in it. That’s one of the clichés. That you would be doing too much of the busy work and not enough of the strategic work that’s going to make you money.

It makes sense and people come to us like that, like a year or two trying to figure it out. In a few weeks, they are podcasters. You should concentrate on what only you can do. Only you can record your message. Only you can record your story. That’s enough for a lot of people. I have nothing against do-it-yourselfers. I know several people that do and a lot of the people we work with started that way. They’re like, “Thank goodness, I don’t have to do this anymore.” I’m interested now about the community that you’re building of Asian women that you’re trying to support. You’ve been recording episodes for a while now, your podcast. I forget when it’s been live, but it’s been a while now.

I started in May 2018.

You are now more comfortable conducting the interviews and you’ve even started to do video. When you told me that, I’m like two things. I was like, “She’s doing video,” because that’s going to get you more exposure. Also, I know it’s more complicated. You’re taking on another challenge. How are you feeling about that? Have you done your second live video with people yet? Did you only do the first one? I forget where you are at with that.

The reason I want to do video was I’m thinking of interviewing two groups. One group are Asian men and the other group are Asian women. I’ve brought them in as a panel. I asked them how the Crazy Rich Asian movie has impacted them as Asian-American. The interview went so well. Some of what the men share, I was like, “What? Really? I did not know about that.” There are a lot of messages. I feel that it would help a community as a whole, especially Asian women to understand more about the Asian men. Generally, we only know about ourselves, how we feel and things like that. We never know about how the Asian men think and we might not think that way. These men are authentic. They just share and say, “This is how I feel. I was raised here. I was born here. I was the third or the fourth generation here and I still feel discriminated.” It’s amazing. I highly recommend people to listen or to watch the YouTube video about the Crazy Rich Asian on the interview panel from the men. Then next will be for the women.

PPM 17 | Asian Americans

Asian Americans: To have someone to speak a language that is not their first language bridges the gap between two races.

 

When you told me you were doing that, I’m like, “This is going to be dynamic content.” I know your show is about Asian women of power, but I don’t think you can fully understand the dynamics of Asian women of power without maybe understanding something about Asian men too. That makes perfect sense. To take this movie, it’s called Crazy Rich Asians, I don’t know that there’s ever been a full theatrical movie released where the casts are all Asian people before in the United States. Maybe, maybe not, I don’t know. That’s an event and it was getting a lot of attention when it was out. For you then to structure some episodes of your podcast around that is brilliant. Number one, there has got to be lots of thought-provoking subjects to come out of it that you might even be able to use as subjects for future episodes with specific guests or just speaking on your own.

By tying that episode to a feature movie, your podcast and your blog posts for those episodes are going to rank much higher. The number of people searching on subjects related to that movie is probably very high. More people are going to find your show that didn’t know about it. In every which way, I thought that that was brilliant for you. Remember when you sent me that email about that and sometimes I get so many emails every day it’s crazy. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get back and I feel very bad about that when it happens. I also was reading a very long email back to you about all the things that I thought were very good about it.

I know you had some technical issues maybe with the first one with the audio. We talked about how to work through that with your guests. A pro tip, make sure all your guests are listening with some earbud ideally, even if they don’t have a good microphone because not everybody will have one. You’ve got to separate what you’re hearing from what your microphone is hearing for better quality. We worked through some technical stuff but I loved it. When I heard about that, it excited me for you. I’m very pleased about that. It’s a good lesson for others.

There are many tactics or strategies that you could use to create episodes that might be of interest to more people to help you get more listeners. Having an episode that’s a commentary on a theatrical movie in theaters all across the country is a pretty darn good start. I congratulate you on that and I look forward to tracking the success of those episodes and see how they do compared to some of your other episodes. Plus, we’ll put the video within your blog post as well. Even though they could listen to the episode, they can subscribe. We will put the blog post in there. Were you on when Stephan Spencer was speaking about SEO at all or were you not on yet?

No, I was on when Dustin was on.

Showing people who you really are serves as encouragement to others to also be brave to show their real self. Click To Tweet

That was another very fun interview with Dustin, but all of these were recording and we’re going to have them all available for everybody for the whole world to see. Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He literally wrote the book on SEO for websites. The more you can create blog posts on your site that have images in them and all the texts for episode blog posts. When we create them, all the text, the images, you can listen to the MP3 file right there and putting that video, embedding it in your blog post. The more time people spend on a page on your website, you get credit for that from Google and it helps to make a more well-rounded blog post. There are many ways. I know it’s helping you on YouTube, but even if they watch it on your website, it still is a play on YouTube. It’s just being there on your webpage, watching it. There are lots of things to consider.

I enjoy seeing the evolution of your show and seeing the progress that you made from just starting and not knowing how to do anything. Being brave to go forward and do it. I want to make sure everybody out there knows, if you have a friend or if you are an Asian-American or part of the Asian community at all and if you have a friend that is, let them know about Kimchi’s podcast, Asian Women of Power. It’s definitely time that there have been more media that speak to your community. I live in Southern California. Literally, in my neighborhood, my daughter in school, half the class are Asian whether it’s Chinese or Japanese or other, mostly Chinese honestly. This reality of our community, at least in California and in a lot of other states too, Asian populations have grown tremendously. You should have your own podcasts and different media that are meant for that community. It makes sense to me.

I want to add something here, Tom. My podcast was originally intended for Asian women. As I proceed further and further with more episodes, Asian men start to listen and they enjoy it. They enjoy it because they learn so much about their wives, their children, their daughter and things like that. I had a friend, he’s Caucasian. I don’t know if you call him Caucasian, but he’s a Canadian. He’s a pharmacist and he’s thinking of starting a podcast. He started listening to my podcast and he said, “Your podcast helped me understand about the Asian culture.” Because he sees Asian patients. He had no idea what’s their background, what are they thinking. Once he listened to a couple of my episodes, he said, “I gained more compassion towards Asian people.” It warmed my heart. I was like, “That’s great.” Then another Caucasian, he says, “Kimchi, your podcast is the bridge for Americans to understand the Asians and vice versa.” Hopefully, Asians will learn more about American culture because we are Asian-American. We introduce new customs and share some customs and share some new ideas to Asians. It’s like, “The old way doesn’t work, the new way works better.” I see that. My podcast is the bridge between the Eastern world and the Western world.

That’s wonderful. That’s a great point. It makes a lot of sense. If we all understood each other better, whether you’re Asian women understanding Asian men or vice versa or Caucasian men like me understanding Asian culture better because I’m in this community. Our children are in school together. They play together. We’re all part of the same neighborhood community in that sense. If we all understood each other better, the world would be a better place. It comes from understanding and empathy. If there’s more of that, I think we’ll all be a lot happier. This is a good thing, Kimchi. I’m happy for you and I’m so glad you’re getting that kind of positive feedback because that will encourage you to continue. You’re serving others and you’re helping others and sometimes all you need is one. You’re helping people and that’s a wonderful thing. Thank you, Kimchi, for coming on and sharing these insights with me and with all of our audience. That’s going to be very helpful. Shout out to Asian Women of Power Podcast. AsianWomenOfPower.com is your website and there it is. Check out Kimchi’s website. Thank you for joining me.

 

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About Kimchi Chow

PPM 17 | Asian Americans

I was born and raised in Vietnam and was greatly influenced by my mother, who was my role model as a businesswoman and working mother. I learned the value of wealth and understood that hard work can build a better life for me and my family. I understood early on that you need money or authority to have power, and I was determined to have at least one of these growing up.

Sadly, my parents’ marriage was not an ideal example of mutual respect, love, and intimacy so I grew up thinking those sentiments weren’t required in a marriage.

After Vietnam fell to the Communist regime, my family and I fled to the United States. When we settled in America, I watched my parents work extremely hard to build a new life for my eight siblings and me. My parents worked long hours, being paid minimum wage, as most of their children went to school.

At home, my father was always critical in his comments, chastising us about how we were dirty, useless and stupid. He also didn’t respect my mother, treating his wife as a second-class citizen. This type of behavior isn’t considered abusive in most Asian countries and might be acceptable as a traditional approach to parenting, but to me, it felt unfair.

 

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