Do you ever have a moment where you make a mistake, and you want to clear the air and share your story so other people can learn from it?

In this episode, I’m bringing back my guest Megan Griffith, to share the furious backlash she received on social media after making two decisions that rubbed her community, which she loves deeply, the wrong way.

Join us as we dive into the lessons learned from her social media mishaps, the growth she experienced, and the changes she’s made since then. Megan opens up about the challenges of public criticism and the steps she took to rectify her mistakes.

This is a must-listen for anyone navigating the tricky waters of social media.

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:

  • Reflecting on Megan’s journey and the mistakes she made on TikTok
  • The backlash she faced and her initial responses
  • The importance of authentic apologies and self-reflection
  • How Megan restructured her business and found success on other platforms
  • How to handle harsh public criticism and move forward

This Episode Was Made Possible By:

Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!

About the Guest:

Megan Griffith is a content creator, hair dye enthusiast and auDHD life coach for the neurocurious. She is autistic and ADHD, and uses her lived experience and research skills to help people who are stuck in the in between identify their strengths, and celebrate themselves, disability and all.


Resources mentioned:

Check out Megan's Free Guide on 11 Types of Neurodivergence

Watch the Episode Below:


Andréa Jones (00:00):
Do you ever have a moment where you make a mistake and you want to clear the air or you want to share your story so other people can learn from it? Well, today's episode is just like that. I have Megan Griffith back on the call. She was here last week, but that episode was recorded six months ago when I was just barely pregnant with my little. And now that I am, let's see, eight weeks postpartum at this point of the episode going live, we want to clear the air and give a follow up a part two, if you will, to that episode. You are listening to the Mindful Marketing Podcast. I'm Andrea Jones.

Before we get into it, this episode is sponsored by Riverside, which is the all-in-one podcasting tool we now use for our show. And y'all, they feel super luxurious. Riverside is the All-in-one podcasting and video recording tool that gives you studio quality recordings and lightning fast editing right inside your browser. And y'all, it's super intuitive and easy to use. Once your recording is done, you'll be able to automatically download separate audio and video tracks and edit it all within a few clicks. It's really very easy. So head over to Riverside and you'll get 15% off. That's one 5% off using my code Drea, DREA at checkout. But y'all, it's free to get started, so click the link in the show notes and get started today.

So Meg, Megan, welcome back. I'm excited to have you back.

Megan Griffith (01:37):
I'm excited to be back. Thank you.

Andréa Jones (01:39):
Yes, and thank you for reaching out and saying, hey. So update. Let's start at the beginning. Rewind six months ago. What happened?

Megan Griffith (01:51):
Okay. Absolutely. So basically my name is Megan Griffith. I was creating on TikTok for about three years, and TikTok was my main platform as a business owner, and I grew that platform to over 300,000 followers. I really loved TikTok. I was making three TikToks a day almost every day, including weekends, because it's fun to me. Short form video is very entertaining, but it can also be informative and I enjoy it. And so that was my thing. And then I think a lot of things came together to create a lot of problems. And basically what happened is I made two mistakes and I made them back to back, which led people to the conclusion that these were not

Bad things that a good person was doing on accident, but rather bad things that a bad person was doing intentionally, which was hurtful but also understandable, I think. So the first thing was I led a discussion that I was not qualified to lead at all. So I create content primarily around Neurodivergence, but especially around autism and ADHD because those are my diagnoses. And I started talking about whether autism was a disorder or a disability, and I have very firm opinions on this, but I did not present these TikToks as my opinion. I presented them as facts and people who disagreed with me were kind of stupid, which looking back is just embarrassing and really rude. I was very condescending and I really dismissed people who in the autistic community are already constantly dismissed. I piled on to people who were already systemically silenced, people with higher support needs, autistic people of color, just people really disagreed with me. And I didn't take it well. I didn't handle it well at all. I didn't handle it gracefully, and I definitely didn't handle it with grace for anyone else.

Andréa Jones (03:49):
So at what point in the timeline is this? So I know we have a six seven month gap from when we last recorded. What month did this happen in? I think

Megan Griffith (03:58):

Andréa Jones (03:59):
Okay, so earlier this year. And so you recorded the video and then the pitchforks came out, and then you responded what you said you responded in a not great way. Give me an example of what that was.

Megan Griffith (04:14):
Well, I responded in the comments to some people basically saying, because a lot of the pushback was saying that we need autism to be classified as a disorder in order to get the supports that we need, and we have higher support needs than you. And so we understand this better than you do, so you should listen. And I basically said something along the lines of, we need to think bigger than that. I understand the literal systemic issues right now, but I'm talking more philosophically and people are like, with respect, fuck your philosophy. This is my life and I didn't listen to that.

Andréa Jones (04:50):
Yeah, I think it's hard too, not only to number one, put yourself out there online, but then to get the feedback from people and then to be so self-aware that you could now five, six months later look back and go, oh, the way that I respond to that, maybe that wasn't the best. Right. I definitely see my errors. How long did it take you to go from, here's my response to, oh, I did not handle that very well at all?

Megan Griffith (05:20):
Well, it took me probably a couple of days of just constant comments, a couple of video replies, people really being upset. It took me a couple of days to be like, okay, I'm not sure how I feel, but clearly I need to apologize for this. And that's kind of the bent I took, which again is embarrassing. It wasn't a realization I had done something wrong. It was a realization that people thought I was wrong and I should probably apologize in order to at least make other people feel seen and heard, but not because I thought they were right. And I think that is a really common white lady thing. We apologize so that we look good and we apologize so that we look like we're doing the right thing. And I do think I fell into that, which sucks. It took me probably another month or two. It took the second mistake, I think, for me to realize, okay, these people are correct and I need to actually apologize.

Andréa Jones (06:18):
Yeah. Do you think that the internet, I feel like this is such a big question, but I think sometimes the internet psyche where we are is we feel obligated to speak on things immediately because our silence will then start speaking for us if we don't. Did you feel that in the moment?

Megan Griffith (06:40):
I think so. I felt some of that pressure to respond, but I think I created the problem for myself. I don't think it was pressure other people put on me. I think by responding so poorly and so condescendingly, I created like, okay, now you really have to apologize because you were a jerk. And so I do think that was sort of a mess of my own making. I wouldn't necessarily blame the internet in this particular case, but I do think that what you're talking about at large is totally a problem. Creators are expected to constantly be in the know right away, responding right away, and that this urgency culture is not super helpful. I think now, I think long-term silence on important issues is a different thing. But if it happened two days ago, give people a minute to breathe maybe. Yeah.

Andréa Jones (07:30):
Yeah. This is a matter of days which I could not hit. I would be a hot mess. If anyone says anything mean to me, I would be in bed crying over the course of a few days. You create this video, you get the feedback, you handle it poorly, then what happens?

Megan Griffith (07:51):
Then I apologized. A lot of people said my apology was insincere. I think my apology was as sincere as it could be, but I think they might've been a little bit right. I think maybe I just didn't want people to be mad at me, and that's not a good reason to apologize, and that apology doesn't feel very sincere. So I think maybe those people were right at the time. I really resented them. I was like, what more do you want me to do? I did what you wanted, but that's exactly the point, right? I just did what they wanted. I didn't reflect and think about my actions. And so I think those people were right, which is hard. So that happened, and then I think it was maybe a week or two weeks later, I woke up at 6:00 AM and did not have this idea, but by 6:00 PM I had a fully fleshed neurodivergent coach course certification ready to go, and I was promoting it, and I had sales by 6:00 PM So

Andréa Jones (08:52):
This is a month after?

Megan Griffith (08:53):
Yeah. Okay. Not a month. I think it was maybe a week or two. It wasn't a full month for sure. So it was pretty close back to back. Yeah. I had this idea, somebody asked me, how did you become a coach? And I was like, it's really not super duper complicated the way that I became a coach anyway. I could teach people this. And so I was like, I'll just put together a course and I'll have an optional add-on to do coaching with me so I can coach people through the process. And it felt very much like looking back, it was very much an A DHD like hyper-focused thing. I just got the idea and I just got sunk into it, and I didn't look up until it was way too late. And there were hundreds of videos on TikTok about me, hundreds of videos basically saying I was a charlatan.

I was a snake oil salesman. I was a pyramid scheme. I was abusing the disabled community by charging them money to do what I do, which is just bullshit. Basically everybody was saying coaching is nonsense, and this one was hard. I feel like some of the feedback was valid and some of it wasn't. And so I had to sift through that a little bit because okay, here were people's main complaints. Let me go over that. Main complaint. Number one was the use of the term neurodivergent life coach, because the term neurodivergent is a very broad term. It is meant to be as inclusive as possible. So it includes everything from A DHD and autism to Alzheimer's epilepsy to tick disorders. I am not qualified to work with people with Alzheimer's at all. And so the idea that I could teach someone what if they wanted to be a neurodivergent coach in the realm of Tourettes, I couldn't teach them anything.

And so that language, and this is a very common problem in the neurodivergent community, we tend language is fuzzy and a lot of people, myself included, have misused it in a way that leads it to be even fuzzier like needlessly. So that was problem number one. Problem number two was my use of the word certification. Life coaching is an unregulated industry, which means it was perfectly legal for me to call it a certification, but the question was, was it ethical? And I think the answer is probably no, because I don't have a coaching certification from the International Federation of Coaching, the IFS, I don't, and I'm not part of the IFS, which granted, they're not a regulatory body, but they are kind of the big wig when you see certification. I think most people assume it's IFS certified and I wasn't, and this program I was creating wasn't. And so that was really misleading and was a bad choice. So I think those were two of the main issues. I think if we're going to go with a third issue, people just didn't like the idea of life coaches at all. And that's the one I kind of had to sift through.

Andréa Jones (11:57):
And it's at a time too where the life coaching industry is getting a giant magnifying glass on it. I know that because a lot of my clients are life coaches. And so you've had this perfect storm of you've got negative attention from situation mistake number one, which is in and of itself already a challenge, and then you amplified it by launching this course certification.

Megan Griffith (12:24):
So with

Andréa Jones (12:25):
These hundreds of videos coming out the same time that you have the certification coming out, what did you do? Did you move forward with it or what were your next steps?

Megan Griffith (12:36):
I think I saw a couple of the comments. I saw a couple of the videos, and I thought, this is going to blow over because you can't do anything on the internet without someone being mad at you. So you can't listen to every person who's upset. And then I knew people who had direct access to me through email, through messenger, through all kinds of stuff. They were choosing not to message me, and they were making videos about me instead. And I think that was the wake up call. It was like, oh, I have offended these people so deeply. I have done something so wrong that they felt they couldn't even talk to me about it. And that was the moment where I was like, okay, did I mess up? And then I started really listening to what people were saying, and it started to make a lot of sense.

And so what I did is I took the sales page down, took everything down, I refunded everyone who had bought it with a sincere apology email. I sent an email out to my list. I had sent an email out advertising the course. I sent another email out saying I was no longer offering it, that it was a mistake to offer it that I was sorry for the language issues, and also sorry for the entire concept of being able to teach someone to work with all forms of neurodivergence and all of that. I got a wide variety of replies. Some people were like, yeah, this was a major screw up. Please unsubscribe me. Other people were like, no, I really want the course. I don't care. Let me buy it. And I had to tell them no, because I have to be consistent and ethical and how I'm doing this. And then I had other people who were like, this kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I'm really glad you apologized. So I got a whole host of responses via email, but it seemed like TikTok primarily was, it was kind of over for me there

Andréa Jones (14:36):
Over how you're done with the platform.

Megan Griffith (14:39):
Yeah. I haven't created on there too much since I created an apology video where I basically said, Hey, I've made a lot of mistakes back to back recently, really close to each other. I need to at why this is happening. Has this always been happening and I'm just now getting called on it or has something changed? I need to figure this out. And so I took an entire month off of creating content. I didn't make a TikTok, I didn't make anything. I did post on Instagram once or twice to promote a bundle I had agreed to promote, but that was it for a full month.

Andréa Jones (15:12):
And how did you feel during that month? What thoughts were bouncing around in your head?

Megan Griffith (15:17):
Oh, horrible. That whole month was really hard. I mean, I felt bad for misleading people. I think I felt a lot of guilt. I also felt a lot of shame. I had to reckon with some of my privilege, I think because I felt very attacked and my body, my nervous system, as you can tell, I'm splotchy. My nervous system felt very unsafe. And I had to reckon with the fact that I wasn't unsafe, that these people, most of whom were not attacking me. And this is what disagreement feels like. And yes, my personal history has led me to be very uncomfortable with disagreement and conflict, but that doesn't mean I'm unsafe. And I had to make sure I wasn't putting the people who disagreed with me in a position where I made them unsafe by shouting back at them or something because I could wield my privilege in a really, really crappy way. And I had to be really careful about that, I think. And so it was better to just make my apology as best I could tell people I was working on it and bounce for a month.

Andréa Jones (16:36):
Oh my gosh. I think this is such, it shows your strength in that moment because, and I know it doesn't feel like that probably. I know you probably still feel pretty shitty about it, but listening to this story, I think there are so many people who choose not to do that. And this is what I mean about the internet pile of poo that can happen where it just keeps piling and piling up and it's like one person disagrees and another person shouting louder with their disagreement, and then the other person shouting back louder with the disagreement, and suddenly we're making it personal. And there's so many things that happen. We see this a lot with just cancel culture in general where there's not space to breathe and to process. And it feels like mistakes can't actually be, you can't go through the process of fixing it.

It's like you have to immediately know exactly what to say. Don't you dare get a word wrong, otherwise the pitchforks are coming out and we're coming after you even more. So even though in your words you said, I made a mistake, I didn't approach this the right way. Even despite all of that, taking the month off, taking the time to process it, and then even going, Hey, can I come back on this podcast to talk about the experience, I think shows a level of strength that not a lot of people would be able to go through. So after you took your month off, so timeline wise, you're like January, the situation happened, let's say February, you launched a course and you take a month off, it's March now. What are you doing now? Did you switch to a different platform or are you still dabbling in the TikTok world? Are people still creating videos? Give me the details.

Megan Griffith (18:25):
So the apology video I made before I left, I turned off comments and shares and stuff. I was like, this is just me saying my piece anyway. And then after my month off, I came back and made a quick little video to say, Hey, I just want to reiterate that I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have done those things. And here's why. Here's where I messed up. I have thought about what you said. I have integrated it and I am going to do things differently moving forward. That being said, I don't really think TikTok is the place for me anymore, so you don't have to expect me hanging around right now at least. And I talked about this a little bit on Instagram, which is now more of my main platform, and I basically just told people that I have too much privilege to be unsafe on TikTok, but I didn't feel super welcome and I didn't feel that.

I didn't know that my being there was going to be helpful to anybody anymore. And that's always been kind of the point. So I haven't been back really, at least not on any kind of consistent basis. I have had to check TikTok once or twice to get tax documents, and people are still commenting and making videos about it. So that's still happening. But I've done what I can do. I think I, during that month, restructured my entire business. I had to rename my business because I was called Neurodivergent Magic, and I realized that that was perpetuating the misuse of the word, so I completely redid everything in order to try not to do that harm again.

Andréa Jones (20:04):
Yeah. So you did the work. I mean, how do you feel though about your TikTok success up until this point? Because listening back to the episode that we recorded six months ago, you saw a lot of success on TikTok. It really catapulted your business. So there's got to be conflicting feelings about the platform.

Megan Griffith (20:24):
Yes, but also, okay. Okay, let me organize my thoughts. So I don't want to be like, I'm so grateful I messed up and hurt all those people because I learned a helpful lesson. I don't want it to come off that way hopefully, but if we're looking for silver linings, one of them was I realized I don't need TikTok as much as I thought I did. I thought TikTok was the only platform I could be successful on. When all of this went down, I started looking for nine to fives because I was like, I don't know that I can keep doing this without TikTok, and I don't think I can do this on TikTok anymore. And then in late March, I had a launch scheduled for my signature program, the Get Shit Done Program, and I decided to stick with it and do the launch. And it was the most successful launch I've had since I started the program in 2021.

Andréa Jones (21:19):
Oh, wow.

Megan Griffith (21:22):
And I didn't use TikTok at all.

Andréa Jones (21:24):
So you use email, Instagram,

Megan Griffith (21:26):
Email, Instagram, and I don't know if I used this for this particular launch. I don't think I was on there yet, but I'm currently using YouTube as well and finding a lot of success through YouTube.

Andréa Jones (21:38):
Okay, interesting. So even though you saw success on TikTok, you took the learnings from that platform and applied it to other platforms, and you were still able to have success with this launch. Very interesting. So YouTube, tell me about what you're doing on YouTube. Is it YouTube shorts or are you doing long form video?

Megan Griffith (21:57):
I'm trying to do a little bit of everything. So I'm doing shorts long form twice a week, and then a live once a week as well.

Andréa Jones (22:04):
Okay. Yeah, the lives on YouTube I think do really well. Very interesting. So now that we're here, this will release end of May, 2024. So we're like, what, five months after? What's next for you? How are you? I know you've made a lot of changes. I mean, you've changed the name of your business. Holy cow, you changed the name of your business, you had a successful launch, you're now on YouTube and Instagram, and you're focusing on your email list. What are you doing? What more are you doing to shift things in the future?

Megan Griffith (22:39):
A big thing I did during my month off is I sat down and I outlined my values as a person and as a business owner. And I read through those probably once every two weeks or three weeks, just to just remind myself, what am I doing here? Why am I doing it? What am I trying to stick to? And that's been really helpful, I think, because like I said, a big part of my month off was just figuring out why am I making all these mistakes? Have I been doing this the whole time? And I think the answer is a little bit of both. Yeah, I was making mistakes that just weren't getting called out as much, and also I think I just made bigger ones. And that just happens when you have a bigger platform. Things get amplified pretty quickly. But I think moving forward, I'm reflecting on my values for sure.

I'm definitely integrating my activism more and more into my business, which I love. I was really nervous to start doing it back in November because I started integrating everything that's happening in Palestine into my contents to speak out against what's happening there. And I was so nervous and so worried, and I was like, how is this going to relate? And I've basically just discovered that for me, for me, if I have a platform, I want all of me to be on it. And I don't know, the way I feel about a lot of these things is I don't know, part of me that I want represented in my brand.

Andréa Jones (24:16):
I think values alignment. It's doing the work that's hard, but it's doing the work that's important. I know for me and my clients, we saw this, especially when the pandemic hit and Black Lives Matter was happening, there are so many people who didn't take the time to do the work to figure out what that meant for them. So then when an event does happen where they do feel like they need to speak up on something, then they're trying to do the work and process the event at the same time. And that is a really hard place to be. And you took a month off to do this work. And so if anyone's listening to this and you haven't taken the time to do your values yet, I highly recommend it and take a look at it regularly. We just added a value this year to our business.

That's the spirit of collaboration, because we were getting a lot of pushback from our clients about certain topics like Palestine, for instance, and they would completely shut down the conversation before we could even have it. And so we were like, no, no, no. We need to talk about what this means as a business. Even if we're not posting about it on social media, that's fine. But all of our clients need to understand what does this mean for you, your business? How does it impact you, your clients? If you can't answer those questions, then as the world is changing around us, it's going to be so hard to make a PR statement when the time comes because you have nothing to make it off of. So I love that you did that for you, and it helps to have this integrated approach no matter what happens in the future, because life will happen, and then you can attract people into your world who also stand for and stand against the things that you do as well.

Megan Griffith (25:58):
Yeah, I think that's been a really big thing recently. And it's been scary, I guess, because I've always been more of a people pleaser, but then internally I just get really angry at everybody for not agreeing with me, but it's like, but you're doing the people pleasing. You're creating this problem. So I'm unlearning some of that, and it's definitely tricky, but very, very worth it, for sure.

Andréa Jones (26:19):
Yeah. Do you think that being someone who speaks up against or for certain topics makes you more susceptible to get criticism and feedback from community?

Megan Griffith (26:33):
Yes and no. Like I said before, I think people get mad at anything on the internet, so not necessarily. But I think there are certain topics that probably more charged, like everything in Palestine, like Roe v Wade a couple of summers ago, there's a lot of things that are just more charged often because they have to do with human rights. And so people who, so anyway, trying to organize my thoughts, but I think it does invite some more criticism, but I think at the same time, it's usually worth it because it is one of those things where I'm not people pleasing to make someone comfortable. I'm standing up because someone's life is on the line. And to me, that's more important than my own comfort, which I'm often very uncomfortable or other people's comfort. And so that's been a shift I've had to make recently is like, what do I value? Do I value comfort or do I value rights? And sometimes they don't always come head to head like that, but sometimes they do, and we got to make a choice.

Andréa Jones (27:38):
Yeah. I am curious if this sitting in the discomfort is new for you, or did it emerge with the internet? Because I'm trying to organize my thoughts too, because this sitting in the discomfort, just I have to do it so regularly that I don't know what life was like before this moment. And I'm like, well, I don't even know what I was thinking or doing before, but I just kind of like, you have to face it head on, and you have to do it, and you grit your teeth, and we get through it because we know that these are human rights issues, or we know that what's on the other side of this. And so yeah. I'm curious for you if you've had the same experience.

Megan Griffith (28:21):
Oh, yeah. Sitting in discomfort is incredibly new to me. My personal experience growing up was very conflict avoidant, very triangulated communication, lots of enmeshment, all kinds of codependency, fun stuff. And so for me, I always prioritized other people's comfort over everything, over my needs, over other people's needs. There were certain people I had to make happy, and that was kind of all that mattered. And then I realized that that wasn't a great way to live my life. And so I swung in the other direction. And I think I became a pretty selfish person who used my trauma kind of broke me in some ways. And then I used my sharp edges to stab at people. And so I think I swung the other direction. And I think now I'm learning to sit in that middle. It's the worst place to be comfort wise because over here people pleasing, at least they're comfortable and you feel like you're doing the right thing. And then over here at least you're stabbing and getting your aggression out, but in the middle you're just sitting with it and it's miserable, but it's also so essential, and I think it makes me a better business owner. I think it makes me a better coach, and hopefully it makes me a better daughter, a better wife, a better mom.

Andréa Jones (29:36):
Yeah. Oh my gosh, yes. I love all of this and just out of solidarity, because it's so uncomfortable to be here and the work is necessary. So as we wrap up today, any final thoughts on this topic or anything else that you want to add to the conversation?

Megan Griffith (29:54):
I think if there's anyone listening who's maybe newer to business and you're scared to put yourself out there on TikTok or Instagram or YouTube because you're afraid of getting canceled, I would say I kind of got canceled. Don't let my story scare you because I'm still creating and I'm safe and I'm whole, and I messed up very publicly, and I will own my part of it too. I did the messing up and you're going to do the messing up too. We all are, and people are going to get really mad and maybe rightfully, but I don't want this to scare you away from creating because that's the really cool thing about being a person, is that you still have worthwhile and interesting things to say, even if you do mess up. And as long as you do the work and you reflect and apologize as genuinely as you can and try to move forward in a better direction with a better way, there's nothing more you can do. And people still need to hear you and they still need your message, and they still need your work.

Andréa Jones (30:58):
Yeah, I love that you said that and that you're creating in other places, it doesn't have to be put your eggs all in one basket sort of situation. You're taking your work and spreading it around to more people, different communities, and that's great. So for those listening, if they want to connect with you, how do they guide you?

Megan Griffith (31:16):
Yes. Okay. So I am primarily over on YouTube. It's the Neurocuriosity Club. Same thing over on Instagram. And my website is also the Neurocuriosity Club.

Andréa Jones (31:27):
Perfect. And I'll put all of those links in the show notes at so always 3 0 6. Megan, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Megan Griffith (31:35):
Thank you so much for having me back.

Andréa Jones (31:37):
Yay. And thank you, dear listener. We have another episode coming out next week. I'll see you then. Bye for now.