Best Business Podcasts for Small Business Owners
The best way to become successful at something is to learn from someone who’s already successful at it.
For busy entrepreneurs, podcasts are a great approach to uncovering relevant secrets to success. Unlike a book, which you would have to make time to read, podcasts can be absorbed during your commute, while exercising and while running errands for your business.
What’s more, you can also learn from the first-hand experiences of entrepreneurs you admire, since many of them have their own podcasts or are interviewed in the podcasts mentioned below. Whether these are lessons on where they fell short, mistakes they made, what they’d do differently, tactics and routines that helped them stay focused, or what eventually worked, these business podcasts can all be downloaded or streamed onto any smartphone.
In other words, expediting your own success may just get a lot simpler.
Best business podcasts for entrepreneurs
Below are our top 10 business podcasts complete with gold business nuggets for entrepreneurs:
1. “Planet Money”
Think of complicated subjects — health care, insider trading, gas prices, even CEO pay rates — broken down to you in a fun, easy-to-digest way by a friend at a bar. That’s NPR’s “Planet Money” in a nutshell.
Launched in the midst of the Great Recession, this podcast that claims to be “the economy explained” and has won many awards, including a 2016 Peabody Award for its investigative reporting that included Wells Fargo’s retaliation against its whistleblowers.
No matter what business or sector you’re in, “Planet Money” can prove to be valuable for small business owners who fare better when they understand how all the parts work together to make up our fast-moving world.
An incident on the other side of the world might not seem relevant to your own business, but after following the supply chain, you’ll be able to identify some overlapping. Understanding how all of these moving parts interact and impact one another is exactly what gives business owners the competitive edge they need to see a bigger picture with a wider lens.
2. “The Dave Ramsey Show”
Ever wonder how you can stop worrying about money for good? Or what being goal-oriented can do for you? These topics were both covered on recent episodes of “The Dave Ramsey Show,” where the finance guru and best-selling author answers questions from listeners on everything from debt, investing and retirement to insurance and marriage.
Ramsey’s business journey started in the 1980s, when he became a millionaire at the age of 26 through his real estate portfolio. Within a few years, he filed for bankruptcy, which helped shape the money-related ethics he’s known for today.
In 1992, Ramsey was selling copies of his book, Financial Peace, out of the trunk of his car when an opportunity to host a one-hour program at a radio station in Nashville, Tenn., opened up. Ramsey’s one-hour, twice-weekly slot turned into a five-day-per-week show. In the mid-1990s, “The Money Game” changed its name to “The Dave Ramsey Show.”
3. “How I Built This” with Guy Raz
If you’ve ever wondered about the story behind the biggest brands, Guy Raz’s podcast tells the narratives of the brains that built them. In each episode, Raz interviews the founder(s) of multi-billion dollar brands, like Five Guys, Chipotle, Wayfair, Instagram, Spanx and Bobbi Brown.
Raz pushes the entrepreneurs to share stories of failures, crises and the difficulties in starting a business. With leading thinkers like this on each episode, you can imagine how your own brain will start seeing solutions to problems differently after listening.
Launched in 2016, Raz’s podcast allows the host to bring professionalism with his journalism and radio background. Raz is also the creator behind two other NPR programs, “TED Radio Hour,” and the network’s first-ever children’s program, “Wow in the World.”
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4. “The Tim Ferriss Show”
Small things add up to big things – and it’s the little things that you do every day that shape the person you are and, inevitably, your success.
Tim Ferriss’s show is all about getting to the core of the tendencies and habits that successful people share.
Through hundreds of interviews with the world’s top performers across various industries, from Katie Couric to Karlie Kloss and Astro Teller, listeners learn habits, morning routines, strategies, hacks, etc. from the best and brightest.
Elevated to mainstream fame for his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss is known for his own unconventional entrepreneurial tactics and believes best practices lead to maximized productivity.
5. “RISE podcast”
Starting something new is no easy feat, and we all doubt ourselves from time to time. Rachel Hollis, the host and creator of “RISE podcast,” is here to make sure that negative voice doesn’t get too loud and do detrimental damage to the dreams you’ve been working so hard to turn into reality.
Hollis interviews business gurus for her podcast, providing small business owners with key takeaways, such as how to turn a hustle into a real business, and finding inner peace.
Hollis also hosts a podcast called “RISE Together” with her husband, Dave, which focuses on lessons for couples. She’s also the brain behind the book Girl, Wash Your Face, the documentary “Made for More,” and a two-day motivational and personal development conference.
6. “HBR IdeaCast”
Anyone who’s read the Harvard Business Review knows it’s jam-packed with insight from leading thinkers in business and management. Now you don’t have to worry that you’re missing out on paramount knowledge from the best in the business, like how to make work engaging again, or how artificial intelligence can improve the way we work. The “HBR IdeaCast” is a bi-weekly podcast breaking down recent articles and rounding up key takeaways.
Host Sarah Green Carmichael, an executive editor at the Harvard Business Review, also interviews business moguls, and averaging around 20 minutes per episode, the podcast provides the perfect amount of bite-sized knowledge for on-the-go entrepreneurs.
Gary Vaynerchuk known for his straightforward, enthusiastic delivery. He has a unique entrepreneurial style about him: he’s optimistic, down-to-earth, doesn’t let fear hold him back, and is extremely knowledgeable in the marketing and technology space. Starting out with humble beginnings in his father’s liquor store, Vaynerchuk built an online wine business. He saw the early potentials of YouTube, and now runs media empire, VaynerMedia, which raked in $40 million in revenue in 2014 and was named one of Advertising Age’s A-List agencies in 2015.
In his podcast, “The GaryVee Audio Experience,” the entrepreneur/CEO/investor interviews the best in the business in topics such as tech, entrepreneurship, culture and everything in between. He also shares everything he’s learned along the way, and his voracious entrepreneurial style is sure to provide a few new ways of looking at challenges.
8. “Jocko Podcast”
This podcast is all about leadership, discipline and grit. Without these ethics, starting and keeping a small business alive is difficult. And not many people know the importance of mental discipline more than host John Gretton “Jocko” Willink, a retired United States Navy SEAL who received Silver and Bronze Stars for his service in the Iraq War.
In the “Jocko Podcast,” Willink takes lessons he learned on the battlefield and applies them to everyday life codes of behavior. In his podcast, Willink interviews guests who deeply understand mental discipline and share how they turned their dreams into a career through determination and human work ethic.
Trevor Chapman is a digital strategist who initially found massive success through his e-commerce business, LDSman, which specializes in importing goods. His podcast includes interviews with high-achieving people to “discuss everything from entrepreneurship to performance and happiness.” The show is marketed as “a celebration of the human experience.”
For entrepreneurs with online businesses, Chapman is also keen to sharing his strategy knowledge on areas entrepreneurs are mistakenly spending their marketing dollars when they should be focusing on specific products.
10. “Business & Biceps”
Hosted by Maurice Clarett, Cory Gregory and John Fosco, each of whom have different business paths, “Business & Biceps” is essentially a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. Topics range from censorship and daily startup battles to dealing with patience in selling a business and how to get out of debt.
What sets the podcast apart is its direct, straight-to-the-point, off-the-cuff advice that helps entrepreneurs become better, more disciplined, strategic and effective in their business and general lives.
The bottom line
Running a small business isn’t easy. That’s why more than half end up failing within the first four years. As entrepreneurs, achieving your dreams may take nothing more than hard work and your willingness to continuously learn and voraciously absorb knowledge to differentiate your business from the competition.
A 2018 Edison Research report found that an estimated 73 million Americans listen to a podcast every month, which translates to 26 percent of Americans. Thanks to our current audio renaissance, it’s become easier to grasp valuable insight from the leading thinkers who came before you.