By Susan Rose
Podcasting has taken off in a big way in the past decade on every imaginable topic. The key to any good podcast, of course, is having an awesome and engaging host who can make even the most mundane topic exciting. We pulled together a list of some of the best business-related ones we’ve been listening to lately that we think you should have on your radar.
1. How I Built This With Guy Raz - npr.org/podcasts
Have you ever been curious about the backstory behind some of the country’s most successful companies or interesting ideas? This is the podcast for you. Guy Raz, an NPR journalist, interviews company leaders and innovators from around the world in a slew of different industries—from Virgin to Ben & Jerry’s to Patagonia—about their road to victory, potholes and all. Be ready for some inspiration.
2. Freakonomics Radio - freakonomics.com
Ready to geek out? As one of the oldest and most diverse podcasts on the list with more than 300 hour-long episodes at your fingertips (the team has been around since the early 2000s, and the podcast since 2010), you have plenty to catch up on. The duo behind Freakonomics is economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, who found that there’s a pretty good story in discovering the hidden side of just about anything. Topics are all over the place, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll walk away from each episode with a new way of thinking about something. The Freakonomics team started with an article that spawned several books, a movie, a blog, and now this podcast.
3. Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast - hbr.org/podcasts
If there’s any buzzword most applicable to the 21st century, it’s “change.” You know in your own business that you can’t rely on doing things in one manner for very long because technology, progress, a younger generation, and society are truly revolutionizing how businesses operate and employ. You’ll find fascinating topics like turning purpose into performance or how companies get creativity right (or wrong). Like Freakonomics, this is a vast fountain of (Ivy League!) knowledge with more than 600 episodes up for grabs, and most are 30 minutes or shorter. Check out episode #547 to find out what the world’s best CEOs have in common. If you’re feeling particularly Einstein-like, also check out HBR’s After Hours podcast, where Harvard professors offer their views on business, culture, and the current news climate.
4. TGIM by Shopify - shopify.com/podcasts
The podcast’s motto boasts: “Some people can’t wait for the week to end. This is the podcast for people who can’t wait for the week to start.” TGIM—“M” for Monday, get it?—is an upbeat and sometimes quirky offering that shares the successes and failures of serial entrepreneurs while breaking down ideas that are palatable for your own company. Listen if you want to learn about such topics as inbound marketing to tips for finding a mentor. If you want an older and more established podcast from Shopify, try Shopify Masters, which is “the ecommerce business and marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs.” These episodes are more in-depth and longer than your average podcast, but they’definitely worth the time investment. One caveat: The Shopify Masters podcast mostly revolves around those already running a business on Shopify.
5. The $100 MBA - 100mba.net/show
If running a more efficient business is on your to-do list in 2019, let this be your first stop. But more than that, this podcast is dedicated to making leaders more well-rounded and open to new ideas. This isn’t the feel-good podcast of How I Built This—host Omar Zenhom skips all the “how I got here” backstories and zeros in on the nitty gritty advice that you’re looking for from both leading names and smart business professionals who just get it right. He’ll grab your attention from the initial “heyyyyohhhhhh” he opens each episode with.
6. Get-It-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tricks to Work Less and Do More
Quick being the operative word—most of these episodes clock in at less than 10 minutes—this podcast is for anyone who wants to “unstick” themselves from any number of work situations. Need help in trying to focus? Done. Want advice on overcoming a fear? You got it. Crave help in making your meetings more productive? It’s here. GID Guy is only one of many under the umbrella universe of Quick and Dirty Tricks. Your loveable CD editors-nerds are partial to Grammar Girl, but you can find a podcast on practically anything on this site—and all promise to be short, sweet, and valuable so you don’t have to invest a lot of your time.
7. The Marketing School marketingschool.io
Want some smart marketing nuggets that you can immediately use? Try The Marketing School podcast, which features daily episodes—no more than 10 minutes long—of actionable content. The podcast mostly targets digital and online strategies, but experienced marketers Eric Siu and Neil Patel offer advice for every level of marketing—from newbies to established businesses looking to shake it up a bit.
8. Honorable Mention: Business Schooled - synchrony.com/businessschooled
This podcast is the newest on our list, debuting only last November, but it’s off to a good start if you’re looking for a shot in the arm to restore some passion for your business—or why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. Hosted by Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, aka Mr. Serena Williams, the podcast highlights the stories of Gen X and Boomer company owners. One caveat: Some of the advertising for this series has bristled tech-focused Millennials, but in reality, it’s meant to show love to older entrepreneurs and offer advice to aspiring business owners of all ages. Kudos to Ohanian, a tech-focused Millennial himself, for respecting the knowledge of experience and creating dialogue between the generations.
You can find most of these podcasts for free on your favorite platforms such as Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, or Spotify, but we included the website so you can get all the information you want about each show. We also included a variety of shows that range in length so you can squeeze in an episode on the way to work each morning or download longer episodes for that five-hour plane ride. There are a ton more podcasts out there, and you’re sure to find a handful that you enjoy. Share your favorites with us on our Facebook page.