Are you interested in making yourself a better entrepreneur, marketer, or leader? Looking to find brand new tips and tools to help you start or grow a business? Maybe you just want to learn some valuable life lessons and better yourself as a person, learning from virtual mentors who have already walked the path. If any of these are of interest to you, then there is no better place to get this content - for free, delivered straight to your device of choice - via podcasts.
If you read my previous article about Podcasts for Health, Fitness, Science, and Lifestyle, then you're already aware of how in love I am with this medium. To learn all about why I think Podcasts are the bee's knees, and to gain some valuable insights on how to squeeze hours worth into each day, check that article out now. I split my listening time between podcasts that are about health (discussed in that aforementioned article) and those that are about business and personal development. If learning and becoming a more Alpha version of yourself is your thing, particularly if you own or manage a business (or are thinking of starting one), then I strongly suggest you check out these great podcasts below.
StartUp with Alex Blumberg
The name gives it away, but this podcast is clearly about the journey of starting a business from the ground up and all the guts and glory that goes with it. This podcast is not just an amazing business podcast - it's probably the first show I would suggest any of my friends check out if they're brand new to the world of podcasts. The production level blows most of the competition out of the water, but more importantly, Alex Blumberg (from NPR's Planet Money and This American Life) and his team know how to craft a story in audio format like nobody else. In fact, this is one of the few podcasts where each episode builds off the last like a mini-series, and it's important to listen to them in order from the beginning. The show is currently in its second season, following the trials and triumphs of the founders of Dating Ring. I would suggest starting at the first episode of season one and go along for the ride as Alex takes you through his journey of starting his company, Gimlet Media, the podcast production company that produces this show along with a few others now.
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
Lewis is a charismatic and likable guy who has a great variety of guests on his show. Two days a week he has interviews that are about an hour in length, and on Fridays he gives a motivational five to ten minute monologue. Lewis, a former pro athlete, says that the goal of his show is to "share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet...to help you find out what makes great people great." What I like best about this show is that Lewis is very down to earth and relatable. His guests are frequently great role models with a lot of valuable insights and personal stories to learn from. To increase your knowledge about business, health, or personal development, you'll want to click the subscribe button for this one.
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
Pat is another host who is very easy to like. After listening to his weekly show consistently for the last several months, I feel like he's been a friend of mine for years. He shares online business and blogging strategies, income sources, and marketing tips in a friendly and easy to digest way. He and his guests frequently dive deep into topics such as automation, outsourcing, crowdsourcing, search engine optimization, social media, niche sites, affiliate marketing, and much more. Some people may have no interest in those topics; but if you're running a business, especially in the online space, there is much to be gained from listening to this one hour of content each week.
Entrepreneur On Fire with John Lee Dumas
This show is without a doubt the most consistent podcast on the internet. EOF is a podcast that comes out every day featuring interviews with entrepreneurs from around the word that generally last about a half hour. John follows basically the same format every episode where he asks his guests questions such as: "What was your biggest failure as an entrepreneur? What is your greatest strength? What does the first part of your morning look like? What is one book and one internet resource you would recommend to the listeners?" I'll admit, I prefer the more conversational flow and spontaneity of podcast hosts such as Pat Flynn or Tim Ferriss. However, John's consistency gives you the ability to know exactly what you're going to get, and have it available to you every single morning without fail. I also enjoy the fact that you can hear the different recommendations and journeys from each entrepreneur from episode to episode, while also picking up on common themes from their journeys.
Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner
Michael Stelzner's weekly show, Social Media Marketing, is probably pretty easy to guess what it's all about. This show is very similar to Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income covering similar topics in a familiar interview format. There is more of a focus on the social media side of business marketing, with industry experts giving their insights on everything from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Vine to Snapchat and Pinterest, and more. Some of the information seems a little common-sense for a Millennial like myself, but there are still many cutting-edge insights and strategies in the constantly changing world of social media. Therefore, I think it's a must-listen for marketers, small business owners, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.
The honorable mentions are all podcasts that fall into one (or more) of the categories of Entrepreneurship, Marketing, or Personal Development, and I subscribe to each of them. They're all interview-based (most of the time) and frequently have great guests. These shows are either ones I only recently started listening to and/or they are not my "go-to's" like the ones I featured above, which I will always listen to first when there is a new episode available. But sometimes I consume so much content that I need more - and that's when I turn to these podcasts to fill that gap. They're definitely worth checking out, and you may find that one or more of them could be your new favorite show.
No matter what you're looking for (or should I say listening for?), you will find more than a couple podcast shows that you will truly enjoy and learn from, I'm confident of that. Go to iTunes and check out my suggestions above, or if learning about health, fitness, and nutrition is more your thing, check out my recommendations for those here. For entertainment, education, and enlightenment in a free and easy to digest format - the podcast is key and it's here to stay. As a person who is constantly seeking ways to learn and improve myself, these are a valuable part of my toolkit. So much so, that the Podcast app has made its way to the home screen of my iPhone. After all, you are who you spend the most time with, so spend some time each day with these experts and mentors that will help you grow.