4 of the Best Podcasts for Small Business Owners

PART OF PROPOSITION 1: BE INSPIRED

Podcasts are a relatively new, but rapidly growing medium for audio news and entertainment and are a great resource for small business owners. I only started listening to them about a year ago, but they have quickly become, along with an occasional audiobook, the only thing I listen to on longer car rides.

The Best Small Business Podcasts

Following is a list of some of may favorites.

Did I miss one that you enjoy?

I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment at the end of this post.

How I Built This is an excellent offering from NPR.

The show is hosted by Guy Raz, who also hosts NPR’s TED Radio Hour podcast.

Guy interviews the founders of some of the greatest companies in the world to find out how they got started with their businesses.

In my opinion, it is the most inspirational podcast on this list, as it tell’s each entrepreneur’s origin story.

Most of the interview subjects started where you may be today; at ground zero, with little more than an idea and lots of ambition.

And they worked their asses off to get where they are now.

Interview subjects include:

Sarah Blakely

Sarah founded Spanx in 2000 after struggling to find an undergarment that would be concealed enough to wear some of her favorite dress clothes.

She asked around and concluded that she wasn’t the only one experiencing this frustration.

So she invested her $5,000 life savings into starting a new business and hustled.

Today, Blakely is estimated by Forbes to be worth north of $1 billion and she was the subject of the first episode of How I Built This.

Jim Koch

Jim Koch left a high paying job at Boston Consulting Group to follow his passion, and the family trade for generations.

He started brewing beer for a living at a time when brewing beer was not cool.

His family strongly advised against it based on their experience.

He did invest a pretty substantial amount of savings to start Boston Beer Company, but his success was still built on a foundation of hustling.

When Koch first started, he would go from bar to bar in the Boston area and plead with bartenders to give his homemade Samuel Adams Boston Lager a try.

Today, Boston Beer Company employs nearly 1,500 people and does nearly $1 billion in sales annually.

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is famous today for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and starring on Shark Tank, but he also came from humble beginnings.

Roz focusses this interview on Cuban’s early days and it makes for a compelling, inspirational interview.

You can check out the How I Built This podcast here or on your favorite podcasting app.

This podcast took a little while to grow on me but it has become my favorite.

Andrew Warner, the founder of Mixergy, focusses on interviewing successful entrepreneurs from the tech industry, a space that I am by no means hyper focussed on.

But, over the last several months I haven’t missed many of his regular podcast episodes.

I think I enjoy the podcast because Andrew comes across as genuinely interested in his guests and, with 1,400 episodes and counting, has been podcasting long enough to develop into a skilled interviewer.

He is also well prepared for each interview and the podcast is well produced.

This combination makes for a top of the class podcast.

His interview subjects are occasionally tech titans, but are typically lesser known names in the technology space who are either currently running successful tech companies or recently successfully sold theirs.

Whenever possible, Andrew tries to dig deep and garner as much useful information for the listener as possible from his interview subjects.

Archived episodes of Mixergy are included with a Mixergy premium membership but you can listen to some of his hand selected greatest hits for free, including interviews with Seth Godin, Steve Huffman, the founder of Reddit, and Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, cofounders of Airbnb.

The select greatest hits and his ten most recent episodes can be found here or on your favorite podcasting app.

Startup is, in its own words, “a podcast about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground”.

It isn’t a podcast produced in some guy’s basement.

It’s a podcast with a real budget and it is released in seasons, just like a TV show.

In fact, the inaugural season of the podcast consisted of fourteen episodes that were all about following Alex Blumberg, the cofounder of Startup’s parent Company, Gimlet Media, as it sought to create a podcasting business.

Podcasting was, and still is, in it’s infancy.

So listening to Alex, who at the time lacked any business skills, try to raise a substantial amount of money from several venture capital funds is entertaining and leads you to believe that if he can do it anyone can.

If you want to check out Startup, start at the beginning with Season 1, Episode 1.

As of the publishing of this post, Gimlet Media has gone on to produce 5 seasons of Startup, which continues to document the growth of Gimlet Media and follows other small businesses on their journeys as well.

Gimlet Media has created 11 other popular, highly successful podcasts as well.

Additionally, Zach Braff, the lead actor in NBC’s former comedy, Scrubs, has inked a deal to develop and star in a TV show based on the Startup podcast.

You can listen to Startup and any of the other great Gimlet Media podcasts here or on your favorite podcasting app.

Tim Ferriss is best known for his bestselling book, The Four Hour Workweek, which has inspired many people around the world to quit their job and start their own business and countless others to change their outlook on life.

His podcast will likely cause you to think differently as well.

It’s another interview style podcast, but it is far from the ordinary.

His guests are wide ranging, from entrepreneurs, actors, and comedians to neuroscientists, Navy Seals, and FBI agents and the length of his interviews are wide ranging as well, lasting anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours.

Some of my favorite episodes include:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a guest Tim worked very hard to get.

And it was worth the effort.

Regardless of what you may think of Arnold’s political views or some of his personal choices, it’s hard to deny his life story is inspirational.

He came to America speaking little English and went on to become a seven-time Mt. Olympia and four-time Mr. Universe, one of the most successful Hollywood actors in history and the Governor of the most populated state in the U.S.

In this podcast episode, Tim and Arnold discuss his long journey and the importance of having a vision, among other things.

You can check it out on Youtube above, on your favorite podcast player or here.

Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin is one of the most famous music producers of all time.

He helped discover LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run D.M.C. and The Beastie Boys, who collectively helped bring rap music to the mainstream in the 80’s, and went on to work with dozens of the most popular bands and artists across all genres.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty, Jay-Z and Weezer are just a few of the acts that have worked with him.

This interview between Tim and Rick takes place in a barrel sauna, which adds an interesting twist to the whole thing.

They discuss a lot, including Rick’s storied career and how he lost over 130 pounds.

You can check it out on the Youtube video above, by downloading it on your favorite podcast player or by following this link.

Mike Rowe

Opera singer, QVC pitchman and, most famously, host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe has had an interesting career.

This episode is long, clocking in at well over 2 hours. But it is a compelling listen.

Mike talks to Tim about his views on how following your passion is a load of crap, tells an inspirational story about Bruno Mars and covers much more.

Check it out above, on your favorite podcast player or here.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Tim interviewed Seth Rogen and his lesser-known writing partner, Evan Goldberg, in 2015.

Seth and Evan hilariously recount being forced to fight grown men during karate lessons at their Jewish Community Center as teens, writing the first draft of Superbad at 13 years old and much more.

Also, you get to hear Seth Rogen laugh for an hour, which is always fun!

Again, check it out above, on your favorite podcast player or here.

What Do You Think?

Is there a business podcast you listen to that I am missing?

I’d love to hear about it.

Let me know in the comments section below.

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