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Best Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

    I’ve been listening to business podcasts for a number of years. The consistent and long-time incumbents have gained a huge following. It reminds me yet again that the last one to quit is the last one still in the game, raking in all the profits. In addition to the veteran business podcasters, there have been a number of new entrepreneur-targeted podcasts. I admit, I myself at one point in time recorded some episodes to start my own podcast. One day I might start again when I have the time to produce an episode consistently.

    From short 20 minute episodes to hour-long interviews, there are some podcasts that I’ve devoured every episode of and can’t wait for the next one and there are some that I listened 5 minutes of before unsubscribing for good. For me, business podcasts have to have these qualitative factors in order to have staying power:

    • A smart and engaging interviewer who asks great questions and are respectful to their guests.
    • Diverse guests from all backgrounds.
    • Practical advice that can be applied to your own business.
    • ~30 – 40 min in length and frequent (at least twice a week)

    I’ve learned a lot and continue to glean lessons from podcasts for entrepreneurs. From years of listening to business podcasts, the list below are my favorite and in my opinion the best business podcasts for both current and aspiring entrepreneurs:

    Best Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

    1. Side Hustle School

      • Host: Chris Gillebeau
      • Average episode length: 8 min
      • Frequency: Everyday
      • Why I love it: Chris is stoically sarcastic and once you get past the robotic sound of his voice, you’ll pick up on his sarcastic humor and find him funny. Each episode features an entrepreneur’s success with his/her side hustle. Each side hustle came from the entrepreneur identifying an opportunity from something he/she is already good at, so it inspires you to constantly look for opportunities in your life. Many of the stories also grew to success from non-scalable, do-it-yourself tenacity. Again, this gives you the inspiration to be persistent and consistent. Although each episode is only 7 – 12 minutes, Chris is really good at extracting the key takeaway lesson for the audience’s brain juice to start flowing.
    2. EntreLeadership

      • Host: Ken Coleman
      • Average episode length: 1 hour
      • Frequency: Once a week
      • Why I love itEntreleadership podcast is one of the best at featuring a plethora of diverse guests – from big names to smaller business owners. Ken, with his Tennessee twang, is one of the best business interviewers. He’s a great listener and picks key points from the guest’s answers to hone in on or pivot to an adjacent topic. He navigates the interview with such ease as though he’s the creator of a maze and is walking through it already knowing exactly where to go. He’s also very respectful to all his guests, no matter how small or big the entrepreneur’s business is. For some episodes where the guest is a bit bland, the length of the episode gets a bit long. One of my all-time favorite episodes is Zoro the Drummer and his resilience to fame and success. Amazingly inspiring.
    1. Masters of Scale

      • Host: Reid Hoffman
      • Average episode length: 35 min
      • Frequency: Once a week
      • Why I love it: Here’s why I don’t love it. Reid Hoffman is one of the co-founders of LinkedIn, so he will always namedrop and say “my friend, Elon Musk” or “my friend Mark Zuckerberg” and it becomes very hard to relate to the big shot guests. But every big shot has an origin story, which involves most likely a normal day-to-day like you and me, so I look past dear Reid’s hubristic undertone. My favorite part about this podcast is, as I just alluded to, the fact that these big star guests got to where they are because of persistence and/or luck. And luck came to them because they were great at what they did. This podcast is different from Side Hustle School in that the guests have already made it big. So it’s kind of like a shoot-for-the-stars goal to dangle in front of you to keep honing your craft. My favorite episode is Google/Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt.
    2. How I Built This

      • Host: Guy Roz
      • Average episode length: 45 min
      • Frequency: Once a week
      • Why I love it: Guy Roz. He’s got one of the most recognizable voices that sounds genial, genuine, and curious. It’s the use of inflection and pauses in opportune moments that just makes him sound like a naturally curious person. And I have a huge respect for people who are intelligent and naturally curious. So, I love this podcast because of Guy Roz. One of NPR’s greatest hosts. Getting past my superfan moment, other reasons why I love this show is similar to Masters of Scale in that guests are those that have already made it big and their origin story often goes something like this: They had an idea, so they quit their job because they wanted to start their own business. But they had no money. And they kept getting their doors closed in their faces – whether from vendors, investors, or customers. But they had resilience and believed in their product whole-heartedly, so they kept going. They also (and this is *key*, in my opinion) listened to their critics (the ones who said no) and tweaked and refined their products/services until they found the niche audience who clicked with their offerings. They then grew the company by adding limbs as opposed to transforming their existing limbs. I have a number of favorite episodes, so I can’t just link to one, but I’d say my top 3 are: Sara Blakely’s Spanx, Jim Koch’s Samuel Adams, and Beto Perez & Alverto Perlman’s Zumba. I’d listen to all of them (except for a few that were meh but I won’t be a Debbie downer here).
    3. The Pitch
        • Host: Josh Muccio
        • Average episode length: 35 min
        • Frequency: Once a week
        • Why I love it: It’s basically Shark Tank with less drama that you can listen to while you’re doing chores or jogging. Because you’re listening in on a live pitch and question/answer grilling sesh by the investors, you learn about what you should consider that maybe you haven’t considered before for your business. In other words, you learn how you should think about things and the process to critique your own business product or idea, and what questions to ask yourself. This process of thinking is crucial for honing in on your target audience, addressing that audience, and refining your product to meet their need.

    That concludes my list of business podcasts that I listen to religiously.

    Other business podcasts that I would recommend to entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs but haven’t quite made the top favorites list are:

    I’ll listen to the above when a guest or topic catches my interest, but otherwise, there are reasons that push them down to my second-tier business podcast list.

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