The Best Small Business Podcasts to Binge On
Whether you’re driving home from work or doing a laundry list of chores, your mind is probably craving stimulation. Get the intellectual and motivational jolt you need with a podcast — the bingeable storytelling medium that’s having a moment right now.
If you’re running a business or dream of starting one, we’ve got just the right small business podcasts to motivate you:
For the driven, yet impatient entrepreneur…
Listen to “How I Built This” from NPR.
Airbnb, Spanx and Patagonia are mega-brands with millions upon millions of disciples. But like all other companies out there, they too were once bootstrapped tadpoles in the business world. How I Built This host Guy Raz interviews the founders of such firms to get the inside story of their winding journeys of triumphs, flukes and struggles before hitting it big. With each episode, you’ll essentially come away with a new case study on how to create and nurture an innovative, widely adored company.
Where to start:
For the small business owner in a funk…
Tune in to the “StartUp” from Gimlet Media.
Whereas How I Built This is a look in the rearview mirror of a successful company, Startup is essentially a real-time record of businesses in their earliest growth stages. Hosted by Lisa Chow, each season features one startup. As the listener, you’ll get a warts-and-all look at entrepreneurial life as it happens, from disastrous investor pitches to very relatable struggles of keeping a company afloat financially.
Where to start: You’ll want to start at Season 1, Episode 1. The inaugural season takes you through the birth and early days of the show’s producer, Gimlet Media, now a thriving indie podcast maker in its fourth year in existence. The first-ever episode is aptly named “How Not to Pitch a Billionaire”.
For those obsessed with corporate management theory…
Lend your ear to Ideacast from the Harvard Business Review.
If you gobble up Harvard Business Review pieces or simply just love to soak in the finer details of management theory — then you’ll want to download a few of these episodes. Harvard Business Review is a must-read among the MBA crowd. And their real-life case studies have been widely reviewed and cited for decades among the best and brightest in the field. This podcast brings to life some of the top-shelf business ideas written up in the publication, with interviews with Harvard Business School professors and industry leaders.
Where to start:
- Choosing a strategy for your startup
- How some companies beat the competition…for centuries
- Learning from GE’s stumbles
For the tech-engrossed entrepreneur…
Subscribe to “Recode Decode” by Kara Swisher.
You don’t have to live in the Bay Area to be looped into the Silicon Valley action. Veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher has the inside scoop on the comings and goings of tech titans and how their latest investment deals will affect the startup ecosystem, and well, the rest of us, too. Swisher, one of the OG Silicon Valley reporters, works at industry must-read Recode and hails from the Wall Street Journal. If you want no-nonsense analysis of tech and entrepreneurial news, then this is the show for you.
Where to start:
- Making things is now a global movement. But is the U.S. making enough?
- General Magic tried to invent a smartphone in the 1990s. This is why it failed.
- WSJ’s John Carreyrou says Theranos is a ‘cautionary tale’ for the health-tech industry
For the seeker of best practices…
Follow the “Tim Ferriss Show”.
If you’ve ever read the Four Hour Workweek, you’ll know author Tim Ferriss is fixated on ideas and practices that help you become a more productive small business owner. If this describes you, then you’ll want to check out his eponymous podcast. He leads extended, unfiltered conversations with world-class founders and tastemakers to get to the root of their success. The main idea here is, soak in what works for you and apply it to your lifestyle and business. Pro tip: For every aired podcast, Ferriss posts on his website a list of the resources and must-reads discussed during each interview, so you can revisit of any of the ones that caught your attention.
Feeling inspired by these small business podcasts? If you’re a current or aspiring business owner and need financing, we can help. Tell our loan experts about your business, and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you.
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