I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that reading is good for you. But there are many times in our lives when we want to be entertained or informed and reading isn’t an option: in the shower, while driving yourself to work, or on the hiking trail.
That’s where podcasts come in.
Small business owners like yourself are busy. You want to fit more mental stimulation in your day, but in order to do it, you need to sneak it in these little crevasses of free time. But one question lingers: if you’re stuck listening to the same old music and want to switch over to something that might help you develop as a small business owner, where do you start? We have five captivating and educational podcast suggestions:
Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show
Notable Guests/Topics: Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Seth Godin
Why You Should Listen To It: Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of Tribe of Mentors, Tools of Titans, and The 4-Hour Workweek, has changed his preferred medium of content delivery. When once he wrote long and insightful blog posts, Ferriss has turned most of his attention to long-form podcasts with an intriguing and eclectic lineup of guests ranging from celebrities like Jamie Foxx to business and financial gurus like Tony Robbins or Seth Godin.
Ferriss’s approach to podcasting is unique: he gives his guests the right of final cut. While it might seem that this approach should censor and cut out some of the juicier tidbits, Ferriss insists that giving his guests “final cut” means they’re willing to be more open during the conversation itself—and that the resulting cuts are few and far between. The Observer even noted how Ferriss has become known as “The Oprah of Audio.”
Podcast: TEDTalks Business
Notable Guests/Topics: Bill Gates, Shonda Rhimes, Paul Tutor Jones II
Why You Should Listen To It: No two podcasts are alike. In fact, TEDTalks Business isn’t even a true “podcast” in the traditional sense—it’s just the podcast version of their TEDTalks medium, with fresh new topics and speakers every time you download a new one.
But since it’s digestible in podcast form and updates just like a podcast, TED deserves a spot in your podcast rotation, especially if you’re looking to escape from the same old content and try something new with every listen. If you’re already familiar with TED Talks—and who isn’t at this point?—then you know what kind of content and quality you can expect with every fresh download. You can expect a global perspective on life and business, with insights coming in from angles you might not have considered before.
Podcast: The Dave Ramsey Show (or EntreLeadership)
Notable Guests/Topics: Christy Wright, Ken Coleman, Chris Hogan, personal finance, entrepreneurship
Why You Should Listen To It: You don’t get as big as Dave Ramsey is—he’s built the top financial talk show in the United States—without doing a few things right. Although Dave Ramsey’s usual topics center on personal finance and avoiding debt, there are plenty of insights in the world of leadership, small business, and entrepreneurship if you’re willing to look for them. This is especially true when Christy Wright—author of “Business Boutique”—guests on the program.
If you want less of a “personal finance” perspective and want to focus on small business, you might also consider shifting over to Ken Coleman’s EntreLeadership, which is part of the Dave Ramsey umbrella but exclusively focused on building a small business. Featured guests have included Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, and Jim Collins.
Podcast: Entrepreneurs on Fire
Notable Guests/Topics: Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, small business and entrepreneurship
Why You Should Listen To It: John Lee Dumas has built a massive library of content focused on entrepreneurship and small business, so if you plan to do a lot of hiking this summer, you’ll have no shortage of podcasts to listen to. As Inc.com noted when it listed “Entrepreneurs on Fire” in its Top-10 must-listen list, there’s plenty of quality to love here given its “Best of iTunes” award. The podcast is notable for having featured over 1,500 entrepreneurs and small business leaders over the years. John Lee Dumas is constantly hard at work, putting out new shows so often that you’ll struggle to keep up.
The fun in this podcast is listening to John Lee Dumas ask business leaders to share their worst moments, their biggest “ah-ha” discoveries, and their journeys to success. It’s a great motivator for aspiring business leaders to realize that while no two paths are the same, there are still many people out there like you going through the same obstacles.
Podcast: Leaders in the Trenches
Notable Guests/Topics: Geoff Woords, Tim Sanders, business growth and leadership
Why You Should Listen To It: There are lots of other candidates for rounding off our list—Tony Robbins’ Unshakeable podcast, for example—but Gene Hammett’s consistent approach to interviewing entrepreneurs and small business owners and putting out quality content deserves a spot on this list. Leaders in the Trenches earned billing in Huffington Post’s “7 Best Business Podcasts” last year, which is saying a lot—especially when you check out the competition.
Why Leaders in the Trenches specifically? Because it’s about rounding yourself as a business leader, learning how to both grow a company and grow your own credibility and authority as the person leading that company. Hammett also has a talent for avoiding light, “fluffy” topics and getting to the center of what makes entrepreneurs tick, which is a great way for listeners to get insights from the podcast on a consistent basis.
How to Make Podcasts Fit in a Busy Schedule
Reading a book might be faster, but listening to a conversation about small business success, personal finance, or successful leadership can be more convenient. Using an app like iTunes or Podcast Addict, you’ll find it easy to subscribe to any one of these podcasts, download fresh content, and listen to your favorite show on that next hike or commute to work.