13 Podcasts Every Business Owner Should Listen To
When you’re a business owner, your nightstand (and online shopping cart) is usually stacked with books that promise to make you a better leader and a successful entrepreneur.
That would be great, except that you’re probably struggling to even read your texts. Enter podcasts.
They’re an incredibly easy way to consume news and information that affects your business, and you can listen to them in your car, on the train, at the gym, or even when you’re working. Here are some of our favorites.
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Best podcasts for straight-up business advice:
Entrepreneurs on Fire
High-energy host John Lee Dumas chats with guests, many of whom are fellow entrepreneurs, about a wide range of business-related topics and then ignites his listeners (the “Fire Nation”) with actionable lessons they can apply to their own companies.
The $100 MBA Show
When it comes to appealing podcast names, Omar Zenhom nailed it with this title. On his service-oriented show, he offers no-nonsense daily business advice in around 15 minutes or less. His podcast has earned accolades from iTunes and top business publications, and if you’re just getting started, there’s an archive of more than 860 episodes, plus bonus shows.
Host Andrew Warner has interviewed over 1,000 entrepreneurs for his podcast. As he puts it, he asks “uncomfortable questions to dig deep into the success and failures of the most successful business founders and thought leaders.” He’s talked to people across industries and roles, so there’s something for everyone.
This show follows entrepreneurs as they pitch investors for capital. It’s similar to Shark Tank, but listeners also get in on the nitty-gritty details of what happens after everyone shakes hands. The investors provide detailed feedback on why they will or won’t invest in a business, so keep your notebook handy.
Best podcasts for business news and analysis:
BBC Business Daily
This podcast from the BBC offers a global perspective on how world events affect (or could affect) business. Of course, the U.S. government is a major player on the world stage, so it’s an important listen no matter where you live.
Founded in 1989, Marketplace is a veteran player in the business news game. The American Public Media program has about 12 million weekly listeners and several offshoots (Marketplace Morning Report, Tech, Weekend).
This weekly podcast from the Harvard Business Review features insight on new trends and the latest research from business and management thought leaders. Recent episodes discuss the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in business, thoughts on innovation from Phil Knight of Nike, and how authority and decision making differ across cultures. Most episodes are less than 30 minutes, so you can get one in on your commute or during lunch.
Best podcasts for storytelling in the business/startup world:
If you listen to NPR podcasts like This American Life or All Things Considered, chances are you’re already familiar with Planet Money, which contributes stories to these shows. On its site, it describes the show as imagining you could tell your friend to meet you at the bar and explain what’s going on with the economy (while actually having a good time). The twice-weekly podcast shares stories about business and the economy in a compelling way.
Season one of StartUp follows Planet Money alum and newbie entrepreneur Alex Blumberg as he embarks on a journey to create the podcast company Gimlet Media, or “what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.” Subsequent seasons have alternated between focusing on just one company and sharing stories of many different companies that are all dealing with a particular challenge.
How I Built This
Another from NPR, the weekly podcast has founders of some of the world’s best-known companies and brands narrate their journeys from the very beginning. We’re talking big names — think Sara Blakely of SPANX, Richard Branson of Virgin, and Tony Hsieh of Zappos. It’s a great listen if you need a hefty dose of inspiration.
Best podcasts for women and the business of life:
HerMoney with Jean Chatzky
Personal finance guru Jean Chatzky is an author and Today show contributor, and on her women-focused podcast she talks to expert guests about everything from starting your own business to millennial money concerns to making your retirement savings last. She also profiles inspiring women who have experienced the ups and downs of corporate life and are making it work in the business world.
The Broad Experience
British-born, New York-based public radio reporter Ashley Milne-Tyte’s podcast focuses on women and the workplace and covers topics like “leaning back” and generational conflict among coworkers. New episodes come out about every two weeks and, if you’re especially interested in the topic covered, the website includes links to further reading.
Most promising new podcast:
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
This brand-new podcast about the economy, technology, and culture debuted in January, but considering that it’s helmed by Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal and tech correspondent Molly Wood, it’s a solid bet. And who doesn’t want to be (and sound) a little smarter?