As you know, I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time. They are one of the best ways to hear tips from experts on starting and running a business. Podcasts are practical—I can listen while I do something else, like exercise, work on a DIY project, or cook dinner. And they're inspiring—I get to hear lively conversations with some of the cleverest entrepreneurs out there!
I continue to listen to lots of established favorites, but I’ve also picked up some new go-to podcasts recently. Here’s my list of the podcasts I'll be listening to in 2015, in (almost) alphabetical order:
This is a new podcast from Pat Flynn of smartpassiveincome.com (see #11) and Chris Ducker, host of the New Business Podcast, and it’s an offshoot of their hugely successful 1-Day Business Breakthrough workshops. The format of 1DBB is the same for each episode: that week’s “hotseat” entrepreneur explains their business and presents a question or obstacle; then the hosts strategize amongst themselves and propose solutions. It’s fun because every episode focuses on a different kind of business, and I’ve learned tons already by listening to Flynn and Ducker discuss different tactics and problem-solving strategies.
Rick Mulready's podcast The Art of Paid Traffic gets into the nitty-gritty of growing your business (and your bank account) through the use of paid ads on Facebook, YouTube, and more. He talks with marketing experts and covers everything from designing and writing ads to targeting customers and interpreting your ad sales analytics. Social media marketing is crucial to every modern business, and The Art of Paid Traffic should be necessary listening for any entrepreneur putting ads on the internet. (Rick also hosts another great podcast—Inside Social Media—where he interviews successful social media professionals from major global companies, but I find The Art of Paid Traffic to be an especially valuable show for learning practical strategies that you can use immediately to start increasing revenue automatically.)
In this podcast, Erik Fisher speaks with entrepreneurs and motivators in order to distill their tips for maximizing productivity. A lot of other podcasts touch on ideas of focus, motivation, and productivity, but this one gets into the daily nitty-gritty of self-discipline and getting things done. Guests get real about not only their productivity successes but also their occasional failures and how they changed their work habits for the better. This podcast could benefit anyone who needs help managing their time and workload, but it’s especially relevant for entrepreneurs—I know it's helped me make the most of my workday.
The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you can, to some extent, dictate your own schedule. This can free you up for things like travel. Another aspect of entrepreneurship, though, especially if you’re in the early stages of a start-up, is that you need to conserve funds and don’t have built-in vacation days. Leave it to The Budget-Minded Traveler to help you indulge your travel bug while also minding your wallet! Jackie Laulainen has dedicated her site to sharing her low-cost travel tips, and her podcast includes those tips, plus those of other experienced travelers. I like to listen to this podcast for the practical advice, but also because hearing about their far-flung destinations gives me something to work for and their budget tips make me feel like it’s actually within reach.
These days, being an entrepreneur means being a social media expert as well. So many of us build and grow our brands by creating our own photos, podcasts, and videos. Caleb Wojcik— the DIY Video Guy—is there to help you with the latter: he offers very accessible and practical advice for producing your own professional-level videos. In his podcast, he and other video professionals tackle everything from equipment and software to budget concerns and using visuals to spice up “boring topics.” As an entrepreneur with no formal education in filmmaking, I have found this podcast really helpful and my videos have definitely improved thanks to Wojcik and his guests.
The EntrepreneurOnFire podcast is unique because a new half-hour episode is released every single day. That’s a lot of entrepreneurial wisdom being dropped on a daily basis! And the format is really compelling—in each episode, host John Lee Dumas picks a different entrepreneur’s brain in three segments: 1) he asks them to identify their biggest failure so far (it’s always reassuring to remember that everyone makes mistakes and it’s part of the process!), 2) he has them explain an “Ah-Ha Moment” about their business and what new developments it inspired, and 3) they finish with a “Lightning Round” of five rapid-fire questions. Dumas has got a great thing going with this podcast, and I'm excited for another year of great interviews.
Jaime Tardy believes that some people are destined to become millionaires and her site and podcast are dedicated to helping them achieve that goal. Her podcasts (or Millionaire Case Studies, as she calls them) are available in both video and audio, and each one features an interview with a successful millionaire. By listening to these achievers talk about their paths to success, you can gain valuable knowledge to help you pave your own path to becoming, eventually, a millionaire yourself!
8. From Scratch
From Scratch is a weekly radio show in which Jessica Harris interviews highly successful entrepreneurs about how they conceived, launched, and expanded their businesses. Jessica has snagged an impressive collection of business moguls, from Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) to Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) to Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post). This podcast offers a rare glimpse into the decision-making and work habits of a diverse range of high-performing founders and CEOs. It’s a must-listen.
Meron Bareket is a friend of mine and a member of one of my masterminds (I wrote about the two masterminds I participate in in my Year in Review post). His podcast, Inspiring Innovation, runs the gamut of entrepreneurial tips, and every episode helps me learn a trick or skill to give me that much more of an edge. Bareket provides interviews and advice that recognize the rapid evolution of the business world (like how to use Instagram to grow your base, how to produce a webinar, or how to create your own podcast) and at the same time understand that certain age-old tricks are still absolutely relevant (like how to work a room and how to make a good first impression). This is a great all-around podcast for any kind of entrepreneur.
The world of business is what Beth Buelow would call an “outtie” world, requiring professionals to mix and mingle and put themselves out there. But she insists that “innies”—a.k.a. introverts—can succeed there, too. In her podcast, The Introvert Entrepreneur, she offers advice and work-around tips to help those entrepreneurs who are clever and ambitious but not naturally outgoing. By interviewing entrepreneurs, authors, and personality specialists, Buelow proves that you can be both an introvert and a mover-and-shaker! This podcast is great for anyone who believes in their business but feels initially timid about networking, collaboration, and self-promotion.
The premise of Mixergy is that there is no single expert who can teach you everything you need to know; instead, the best information comes from a mix of experienced voices. So the Mixergy podcast is an outgrowth of Andrew Warner’s real-life meet-ups (Mixergy = “mixer” + “energy”), a gathering place to hear a variety of perspectives to enrich your entrepreneurial know-how. As an interviewer, he gives equal time to big-name CEOs, like Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, and Mixergy fans/members with their own success stories to share.
12. Mobile Mixed
In the tech world, it's all about mobile these days. Greg Hickman's podcast, Mobile Mixed, is a great listen for anyone who provides mobile services or is looking to bolster their brand with some mobile marketing. Hickman discusses the newest trends in connecting with customers (or potential customers) through mobile devices. In addition to sharing his own research and advice, he interviews key players in the mobile business world. People now spend much of their day on their phones—on social media, emailing, or texting—and Mobile Mixed provides clever and effective ways to get a piece of that action for your business.
John Corcoran’s Smart Business Revolution focuses on the idea that relationships are the foundation of business success. He and his podcast guests offer tips for networking, marketing, and how to form genuine (not “icky”) relationships with other influential people. Corcoran invites entrepreneurs to speak not just about their business models but also about how they have forged, developed, and benefited from their connections with key influencers. We've all heard that the business world is as much about who you know as what you know—this can seem intimidating or discouraging to an upstart entrepreneur, but this podcast provides really creative and thoughtful examples to demystify these important relationships.
This is the podcast of successful blogger, online businessman, and “crash test dummy” Pat Flynn. Known for making his practices and even his income transparent to his readers on his site, Flynn uses his podcast to glean lessons from professionals who have figured out unique paths to success, in tech, media, retail, and creative online fields. He is a smart, down-to-earth guy, and this podcast is one of my all-time favorites.
StartUp is a new podcast that has already made a splash. It was started by Alex Blumberg, who formerly produced shows like This American Life and Planet Money and is now the co-founder/CEO of Gimlet Media. The StartUp podcast details his experience as a first-time entrepreneur and uses the documentary narrative format that has become popular in recent years. Like some of the other hosts I’ve mentioned in this list, Blumberg’s transparency about his ideas, finances, missteps, roadblocks, and even personal conflicts makes his show relatable and appealing.
Tim Ferriss rocketed to fame with his bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek. His notion that you can structure your business in such a way as to minimize actual work time and maximize travel, adventure, and pleasure-seeking really resonated with many like-minded entrepreneurs. In his podcast, he interviews an eclectic bunch of highly successful people, from artists to publishers to scientists and more. It’s a good listen for the lessons offered by these guests, and it’s also another place (besides his book and his blog) where you can hear the very charismatic Ferriss’s thoughts and ideas.
17. Well Kept Wallet
Deacon Hayes, another member of my mastermind, is a financial coach who uses his own experience of accruing and then paying off a large debt to advise others on more sustainable ways of handling (and, ultimately, increasing) a budget. Although his financial advice applies to pretty much anyone, his podcasts are especially geared toward entrepreneurs: in each episode, he features successful professionals who have multiplied their incomes or overcome substantial debt. A lot of podcasts discuss income and economics, but I make sure I always listen to this one to get a practical, accessible, finance-centered perspective.
After taking a hiatus to keep up with demand for my DIY business, I am excited to announce that I’ll be relaunching my Think Entrepreneurship podcast soon! As always, I’ll bring in guests who have found entrepreneurial success in a variety of fields, and we’ll spend time talking not just about the nuts and bolts of their business practices but also about what inspires and motivates them to keep pushing onward and upward. I’m looking forward to reinstating the podcast so that we can share these inspiring stories with all of you—and so that I can continue to learn, too!
Thanks for reading! Please share with your friends and feel free to post your favorite entrepreneur podcasts in the comments!