As small business owners I reckon the hardest thing to find time for (beyond marketing our businesses) is learning. The business world is developing at a rate of knots and we know we need to keep abreast of current trends and thinking in order to keep up. But if you’re anything like me, the only time you have for reading is last thing at night and if you read business related books at night, that’s not really conducive to good sleep.
Enter the podcast. I love podcasts!
The great thing about them (over say, video and magazines/blog posts/books) is that you can listen to them while doing something else. Whether it’s running, walking, commuting, washing the dishes … anything that doesn’t require the full attention of your brain means you can be listening to a podcast at the same time.
Speaking of brains, the other thing I love about podcasts is the minds it gives you access to. All of the business podcasts below involve a smart brained person (or people) interviewing another smart brained person and together they deliver ‘Aha’ moment after moment while building your own knowledge and helping you keep abreast of important stuff in both your industry and the business world.
So now that I’ve sold you on the idea of podcasts, which ones should you be listening to? Well, as you can imagine there are hundreds and hundreds of business related podcasts out there. These 11 are the ones I listen to regularly:
Now I don’t like to play favourites because there is something awesome about all the podcasts I’m going to mention today (because otherwise I wouldn’t be mentioning them), but we love Mark’s interview style in the 6 Figure Side Gig podcast. He’s a great listener and he’s great at taking what someone has said and summing up their key points in a bite size, easy to process way. He also manages to really get to the heart of people’s stories and figure out what makes them tick and what lies at the heart of their success in business.
MUST LISTEN: I loved this episode where interviewee Michael O’Neal turned the table on Mark and gets a lot of his story out of him. If there’s a certain something you’re struggling to persist with at the moment, definitely listen to that episode! Mark also interviewed me here about my book Your Best Year Ever.
This is Chris Ducker’s latest podcast and the thing with Chris is, apart from having a great business brain, he’s very good at delivering bite size takeaways. So you never walk away from a podcast of his without wanting to run for a piece of paper so you can madly scribble down those key takeaways (which is a problem for me because I always listen to podcasts while I am running or driving).
MUST LISTEN: Now you can listen to pretty much any of Chris’ podcasts and take away something big from it, but this one he did with Ramit Sethi, that’s the one that showed me that basically every business idea I have is actually a hobby (ie something I’d enjoy doing, but that would just not make money!). And I reckon a lot of people reading here might have that same problem!
As the name suggests, this show is pitched specifically at tradies, but the truth is, a lot of the thoughts and information that Michaela and Warrick share are applicable to most small businesses. These two have a fantastic rapport so listening to them is like listening to two friends riffing with each other and it’s the perfect podcast for when you’re on the road all day.
MUST LISTEN: Episode 104 about whether the concept of work-life balance is BS or not is a good one. And if you want to hear me rant on the topic of failure, then try Episode 65. And Episode 85 where Kym O’Gorman talks about Instagram for business is also a goodie.
Once you start listening to husband and wife team Shane and Jocelyn, you won’t be able to stop. Their gorgeous southern USA accents will have you absolutely hooked. But not just that, these guys are smart and insightful and if you’re trying to take your business online or develop a new online side to your business, these guys are a must listen.
MUST LISTEN: Hmm, which one to pick? These guys have SO MANY! But their real strength is the quality of advice they dispense around running an online business specifically so try this one: the six reasons your online business isn’t working.
As someone who started a creative business … and then totally burnt out trying to run that creative business, I wish this podcast has been around five years ago. In this podcast Emily and Kathleen split their time between ‘talking shop’ about how they manage the various aspects of running their respective creative businesses, and they also interview other smart, interesting people with great thoughts to share around finding that balance between nurturing your creative side while also doing the things needed to do to run a successful, profitable business. Speaking from experience, I think creative brains really struggle with the nitty gritty side of business and also ‘managing it all’ … these are the topics Emily and Kathleen cover really well.
MUST LISTEN: I reckon you guys will find the episode where they cover off email newsletters, social media and content marketing super-useful.
Ant and I met James Schramko at a conference last year and he had us hooked with his pragmatic, no bullshit approach. (You should have seen the grilling he gave us at said conference in one of the mastermind sessions. Impressive.) Anyway, James is one of those very very rare people who has actually set his businesses up to operate largely without him in them, while still making incredibly good money from them. What this means is he’s able to work 4-5 hours a day with a lot of free time to pursue his passion projects and hobbies (mainly surfing). There are plenty of people out there who can tell you how to work harder than everyone else and how to out hustle the competition … But given most of you reading this post are in business for the lifestyle benefits, not for the millions of dollars you can make, James is the guy you want to listen to. He will challenge your assumptions and show you the benefits out outsourcing and systemising what you can in your business.
MUST LISTEN: The one about ‘simple choices to change your life’ literally changed my life. Literally.
Speaking of lifestyle, Flying Solo is all about helping lifestyle businesses be just that (businesses that enhance lifestyle rather than impact them). Host Robert Gerrish (also my boss at Flying Solo – hi Robert!) goes out of his way to find interesting people to interview on a really wide range of topics that are specific to people who work for themselves from home.
MUST LISTEN: I loved this one he did with my friend Malini Parker. If you run a creative business, it’s for you. And this one where Jarrod Robinson explains the systems he’s created that allow him to travel the world for free is also a cracker.
Arguably the original and the best small business podcast. I’ve been listening to this one since it started with Tim Reid and Luke Moulton seven years ago. In the earlier episodes where it was Tim and Luke hosting, there was a true focus on small businesses doing big time marketing and reaping the benefits. These days Tim is hosting the podcast solo (sometimes with Andrew Griffiths as a sidekick) and it’s a bit more aspirational in style (more for small businesses who are really wanting to take the step into the big time). But it’s still a great listen and there are always great takeaways. MUST
MUST LISTEN: Look, this show is up to episode 282, so picking a ‘must listen’ is pretty impossible. So I’m going to nominate the one where Tim interviewed Mamamia founder Mia Freedman because I’m a Mia fan and it was really interesting hearing her talk marketing and the evolution of what has become arguably the biggest player in women’s media in Australia.
Fiona and Lauren are great fun and as the podcast name suggests, they interview people who, like them, are addicted to business. So if you have a strong entrepreneurial mindset, this podcast is for you. The girls ask really insightful question and again, the takeaways you get come at a mile a minute.
MUST LISTEN: Well, if I do say so myself, this one where they interview me on the topic of overwhelm and how to beat it in the short term is worth a listen for sure (because God knows, I love banging on about overwhelm!). As is this one with Leonie Dawson who, despite being a rainbow and unicorn loving hippie, has also managed to build a worldwide empire with over $2 million in turnover.
This one is from business owner and author Cas McCullough and it’s another great one for women in business, women who have abandoned traditional careers to walk their own paths. Cas knows lots of interesting people and gets them all on her podcast and then grills them with really interesting and insightful questions. Her show notes are also second to none.
MUST LISTEN: Episode 33 which is a solo show where Cas shares her story. If you’re feeling like business life is a little tough right now, I guarantee you will walk away feeling incredibly inspired
This is a brand new podcast by journalist Rachael Jansen and I love how she’s focusing on serving those of us who are trying to get all their work done during those awfully short school days! Because she’s a journo she does really awesome research and consequently is able to get right to the heart of people’s stories. And I think it’s in knowing the stories of fellow ‘school hours entrepreneurs’ that we really get to see the potential of what we can achieve in our own ‘school hour work days’.