In an ultra-competitive global economy and labour market, professionals are always finding ways to be the best. By putting your pedal to the metal, you are staying ahead of the competition, which is imperative in today's market. But while we typically consider productivity as doing, higher output can also mean listening. To the busy go-getter, this might be a novel idea.
One tool at your disposal is the podcast, a medium that, as reports show, is booming. Listening to an entrepreneur podcast can improve your human capital, help you tap into new markets and learn to grow, which is a hugely productive and time-effective way to spend your morning commute or lunch break.
With so many podcasts about entrepreneurship available, though, how do you know where to begin?
The Best Startup Podcasts
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of the 11 best startup podcasts currently available, so plug in your headphones, relax, and listen and learn on your way to the top. This is what you should be listening to:
1. Entrepreneurs on Fire
Industry experts have long earmarked Entrepreneurs on Fire as a podcast to watch out for, and it turns out that these experts were right, with the show winning numerous awards and gaining impressive industry credibility since its inception in 2012.
Host John Lee Dumas has interviewed more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers during that time, detailing their road to success in finance, marketing and sales. While many episodes demand that you just listen to the conversations, some will require you to be an active participant by jotting down notes as guests discuss their strategies, from launching their companies to advancing their businesses.
If you do not have the time to take night courses or enrol in continuing education studies, Mixergy is your go-to source for all the content that such educational pursuits offer – and for free!
Mixergy is an industry favourite for its vast amount of in-depth interviews with top names, in addition to the various tips and free courses for new entrepreneurs. If you miss out on a piece of information, then, conveniently, you can also peruse the podcast's transcription, too.
Founder of the influential copywriting blog, Copyblogger, Brian Clark also boasts a significant oratory audience, too, as host of the Unemployable podcast. In each episode, he navigates the intricate worlds of freelancing and marketing, as well as musing on the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur.
Perhaps what makes this podcast a little different from the rest is Clark's unique and comical take on entrepreneurship, proving that, in fact, maybe we all might need to lighten up a bit. He has engaged with a diverse list of guests, including author Seth Godin, international speaker Jenny Blake and musician Henry Rollins, each with something unique and exciting to offer listeners.
4. The Pitch
There is perhaps nothing more intimidating than selling your idea to venture capitalists; The Pitch, therefore, aims to guide you in the right direction to ensure you get a "yes" instead of a "no." Comparable to Shark Tank or Dragon's Den, the podcast outlines how to encourage VCs to invest in your project.
Across its 70+ episodes (to date), The Pitch has explored a whole host of tactics, including:
- Presenting your concept to prospective business partners.
- Building an attractive strategy for possible expansion with VC funding.
- Outlining to VCs how you plan to spend every penny wisely and with a purpose.
- Dealing with rejection and searching elsewhere for funding.
Rather than one outright show, Marketplace is actually a podcast ecosystem that contains multiple programmes. Each one explores a wide range of subjects in the business world, as well as looking at potential economic and geopolitical events that could impact the marketplace.
Essentially, these podcast segments offer you a buffet of options that examine how the free-enterprise system is adopting the latest technologies, how corporations are improving employee morale and how the customer service experience is evolving for the better.
6. The School of Greatness
The punches that life throws at entrepreneurs can sometimes be too much to bear and can leave you feeling frustrated, disgruntled and apprehensive. Therefore, what you need is some inspiration – and that's what The School of Greatness podcast tries to achieve.
Engaging with a wide array of successful people, including entrepreneurs, celebrities and athletes, bestselling author Lewis Howes finds two common traits in his subjects: to be greater than they already are, and to be greater than their rivals. Regardless of their industry or profession, the podcast highlights an important question for entrepreneurs and business owners: what exactly makes great people great?
7. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Rising to the top of its niche, thanks to an immersive discussion with Elon Musk, is Stanford University's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series, a compelling and insightful podcast. Considered The Economist or Wall Street Journal of podcasts, the show coalesces academic thinking with the rhetoric of well-known entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Although the names of the subjects featured in Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders may be obscure, make no mistake: these are the men and women that are shaping the news daily.
8. She Did It Her Way
Although geared primarily towards female entrepreneurs, She Did It Her Way still offers a treasure trove of advice, motivation and information for all entrepreneurs.
Hosted by consultant and speaker Amanda Boleyn, the podcast dives into a wide array of topics unique to women and provides actionable guidance on how to start, grow and succeed in business, so if you're a mother, a working woman, or you just want a female perspective on entrepreneurship and running a business, there is plenty of wisdom to be found.
9. The Tom Woods Show
Generally a politically libertarian podcast by nature, The Tom Woods Show also puts the spotlight on entrepreneurs – particularly those who have taken their business from the garage to a six-figure venture.
The programme often delves into the details of starting your own business, supplementing your income and learning how to market your product or service, as well as offers promotional codes to gain access to valuable entrepreneurial tools.
Despite being a historian by trade, Woods has succeeded in many business fronts, too, from developing a successful newsletter to building a long list of subscribers.
10. This Week in Startups
If you want a break from ultra-serious discussions on business but still want the latest news, This Week in Startups might be what you are looking for.
A weekly roundup of (as the name suggests) everything startup-related, the show covers the best, worst, and most eye-catching stories from the entrepreneurial galaxy. Host Jason Calacanis takes an inside look at startup hubs, the latest developments in Silicon Valley, and the newest technologies being utilised by businesses; it also hosts roundtables, live call-in segments, in-depth interviews and in-person events.
11. The Twenty Minute VC
Do you want to meet the man or woman behind the venture capitalist persona? The Twenty Minute VC accomplishes this demand by sharing stores from real-life VCs – known and unknown. They discuss how they got into investing, how they decide what small business to invest in and tips on how entrepreneurs can convince investors to inject their capital into your startup.
If you cannot personally pick the brain of a VC, then this is an invaluable way to hear someone else do it on your behalf.
Whether you are interested in small business, or something about broader entrepreneurship in general, there are so many relevant podcasts to choose from.
A quick search on iTunes or Google Play will yield dozens of business-related shows that can entertain, educate and encourage you, while one story or episode could be all it takes to give you that final push.
Don’t forget to take a look at our breakdown of the top entrepreneur books and movies, too, while if you're on the hunt for more listening material, why not take a look at our list of the best leadership podcasts?
Alternatively, rather than listening to others, why not set up your own podcast and focus on the issues that you want to discuss?
What podcasts for small business owners and entrepreneurs would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.