When you’re running a small business, you’re continually learning. Whether you’re playing with a new idea or you’re already a successful entrepreneur, the best thing you can do is never stop sharpening your skills or seeking wisdom. Always stay curious, and always find ways to grow.
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” — Bruce Lee
One of the easiest ways to keep your ideas spinning is by listening to podcasts. Podcasts present an excellent way to get life or business advice, and discover new things about the world.
We love to hear stories about success, but what about failures and the stories about leaders who slugged their way to the top? While some of us can relate to success, everyone relates to stress and struggle. Podcasts give us the chance to learn about people we admire in a way we haven’t before: They show us the struggles and small wins that don’t make the top news stories.
Podcasts are increasingly becoming a source of news and media consumption. According to Edison Research, 44% of Americans have listened to a podcast, while at least 64% of the country has heard of them. The format has overtaken radio because listeners love the freedom of listening to what they want, where they want, and when they want. There are less commercial breaks and the topics discussed can be quite niche, tailoring to both popular and rare interests. Perhaps what’s most special about podcasts is that they give people a voice, highlighting both unsung heroes and celebrities.
Around ScaleFactor HQ, we’re always on the hunt for interesting stories and the best content around. We put our heads together and collected a fraction of the best podcasts for small businesses. Some of them are obvious, while others offer a unique point of view that some small business owners may not have considered. Trust us, there are some good ones listed here.
Startups for the Rest of Us
If you’re trying to stand out in the saturated market of software startups, Startups for the Rest of Us is a must listen. Between hosts Mike Taber and Rob Walling, there’s over two decades of experience behind the mic. The goal of the show is to help “developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products.” If you’ve ever wanted to hear about what it takes to raise funds, create products people love, or just dip your toe into what it’s like to work for a startup, this is the perfect place to start.
Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon host their Being Boss podcast talk to creative entrepreneurs who consider themselves “rebels.” Their podcast is designed to help creatives manage their work, and being confident and humble at the same time. Each episode also provides practical knowledge that many creative entrepreneurs struggle with such as dealing with lawyers, taxes, and business plans — all of that good stuff.
The Overwhelmed Brain
Hosted by Paul Colaianni, The Overwhelmed Brain is a “personal growth podcast for the critical thinker.” The show has one central theme: improving yourself and your relationships. Some of the shows have also been about mental health and being overwhelmed at work. The podcast champions mindfulness and compassion, and is a great tool for finding your center when the world seems a little too chaotic.
Farnoosh Torabi’s daily podcast, So Money, won “Best Financial Podcast of 2015,” and Inc Magazine also named it the “Top Business Podcast to Grow Your Business.” From hosting Shark Tank alumni to startup entrepreneurs on the rise, Torabi’s guests provide a fascinating look into owning and growing a business. The best part? There’s always a curveball, with life or business advice from some of the brightest minds from a variety of industries. If you’re curious about business management or how to grow your footprint, So Money is a must-listen.
Tiny Leaps Big Changes
Another podcast which practices mindfulness, personal development strategies, and living your best life is Tiny Leaps Big Changes. Host Gregg Clunis covers everything from relationships to how to de-stress your career. Using psychological, social, and scientific breakdowns, he provides ways you can make positive changes to your life.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Often cited as the #1 business podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show has been ranked #1 out of the countless business podcasts Apple offers. With over 300M downloads, there’s no stopping Ferriss as one of the premier podcasters in the business. Everyone from Lebron James to Peter Thiel, Jamie Foxx, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have appeared as guests.
Ferriss chats with his guests to discover the best practices that have contributed to their success. He gets everything from morning routines to time-management tricks, and way more.
Tech journalist, heavy hitter Kara Swisher is known for her straight shooting. And that’s exactly what you get on her podcast, Recode Decode. Many of tech’s best and brightest have appeared on her show, speaking about some of their hardest moments and their biggest thrills. But, Swisher doesn’t just stop at tech, she also features business leaders and outspoken personalities across many different industries.
How does NPR sell one of their flagship programs? Easy: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.” What’s not to love about a description like that? Planet Money gives you the lowdown on the economy, minus the boredom.
The Big Payoff
The Big Payoff delivers serious career & life advice for everyone looking for their next challenge. The podcast’s hosts, Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, have sold six companies together. To say they have a razor-sharp business acumen would be an understatement.
What’s the Factor?
ScaleFactor has a podcast too!
Recently, we launched What’s the Factor where we chat with small business owners, CEOS, CMOs and any leader who’s got a great story to tell. Hit the Subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts and stay tuned for some awesome interviews.
What are your favorite podcasts? Tell us on social media. Maybe we’ll do a part two and highlight some of the other amazing content creators out there.