Ben Friedman confesses he’s a podcast addict. The founder of All Set, a Boston-based startup, he says he listens whenever and wherever it’s convenient.
“Walk to work…podcast, working out…podcast, nothing good on TV….podcast,” he says. In fact, in order to fit more in he listens at speeds of 1.5 to 2 times the normal speed. “It will be fast, he says, “but your brain will adjust, I swear.”
Advice, inspiration, motivation and education are among the many reasons entrepreneurs are listening to small business podcasts. Jackie Heinsohn, founder of Jackie Heinsohn Jewelry, says she listens while she works in her studio, “in order to get inspired and to learn something new everyday.”
With so many to choose from, though, it can be hard to find ones worth your time and attention. So we asked entrepreneurs to share their favorite small business podcasts and here’s what 12 of them told us they’re listening to.
Bond Appetit with Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley’s an entrepreneur and personal chef who “unites people over food.” The name of this podcast may make you think it’s just about food, but most of his interviews feature entrepreneurs and thought leaders in a conversation that could only be enhanced if Ronsley were there cooking for us.
Nominated by: Steph Taylor, founder of The Sugarfree Box and health and wellness marketing agency Wildbloom
“I listen to this podcast because it doesn’t skip over the uncomfortable questions like many podcasts do. Rather than being an interview, it’s a conversation. It’s great for learning about different entrepreneurial journeys, and getting to know your favorite entrepreneurs on a deeper level.”
Must-listen episode: Highly Effective Behavioral Science Life Hacks with Dr. Steve Maraboli
Small Business War Stories
In April, Pablo Fuentes, CEO and founder of Proven, drove with his six-month old puppy Muddy Waggers, his guitar and his podcasting equipment across America and recorded 32 podcast episodes with small business owners. In this story-driven podcast, he and his guests candidly discuss the ups and downs of running a business.
Nominated by: Nano Whitman, partner at Homeslice Pizza in Austin, Texas
“This is my life. I love hearing Pablo pull tales and tips out of his interviewees. I’ve learned so many things about my own business through these interviews. Sometimes hearing about other peoples’ trials makes me feel like I’m totally on top of things, but more importantly, other times these podcasts cause an epiphany that I’m walking a well-worn path straight into totally avoidable trap!”
Must-listen episode: The Secrets to Selling a Small Business (It’s also about how to make business partnerships succeed).
Christy Wright’s podcast is for women who want to make money doing what they love. Each episode includes an inspirational and educational lesson from Christy followed by an interview with an expert guest and/or a business owner success story.
Nominated by: Kristi Porter, founder of Signify, a marketing and communications company for nonprofits and social enterprises.
“I listen because I get expert advice from an expert, but not someone so big that I can’t identify with them. She also features great guests. And I love that every episode ends with some ‘regular’ person who has put these things into practice and is seeing great results. It’s like seeing a neighbor succeed. I learn all sorts of business principles, from the foundations to more advanced topics. I have her book and went to her event, but I love the podcast because everything is spread out over time, and delves into one topic each week.”
Must-listen episode: Starting With the End in Mind
The Positive Phil Show
Every day Positive Phil interviews “positive entrepreneurs and kind-hearted people.” His podcast offers a daily dose of inspiration, motivation and practical advice.
Nominated by: Zondra Wilson, founder of Blu Skin Care LLC
“One of the toughest things to do is to keep a positive outlook no matter what is going on around you. However, studies have shown that optimistic people and people who can think positively live longer and have a much greater chance at success, in part because they realize failure is not the end, it’s just a hiccup. The entrepreneurs that Phil interviews believe just that. His guests are so positive, inspiring and successful.”
Must-listen episode: Interview with Tech Entrepreneur Jason Nazar, CEO & Founder of Comparably
In less than 10 minutes a day, you’ll get very specific, actionable advice from marketing pros Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Time-stamped show notes make it easy to follow on what you just learned.
Nominated by: Travis Nagle, co-founder of Stem
“This is a great overview for pretty much all marketing-related elements in the modern digital world of business. It gives amazing recommendations for tools and articles, and some concise advice around essential marketing objectives.”
Must-listen interview: How to Analyze Your Competition in Less Than 10 Minutes
The Tim Ferriss Show
Hosted by Tim Ferriss — lifehacker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of the book The Four-Hour Workweek (among others) — this podcast is often ranked #1 among business podcasts on iTunes. He interviews world-class experts and, not surprisingly, more than one entrepreneur mentioned this podcast as a favorite.
Nominated by: Jackie Heinsohn, founder of Jackie Heinsohn Jewelry
“My absolute favorite podcast is by Tim Ferriss, who I admire and inspires me over and over again. His guests include Tony Robbins, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Thiel, Amanda Palmer, Rick Rubin, Whitney Cummings and many more.”
Ben Friedman is also a fan. He says his favorite episode is where Tim interviews Mike Birbiglia who talks about asking Obama for parenting advice. Obama replies “they poop a lot.” Ben says he laughed so hard he fell of his elliptical.
Must-listen episode: 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Save the Day
The Boss Mom podcast is hosted by Dana Malastaf who is known for helping women who are raising a family and growing a business with encouragement and actionable advice.
Nominated by: Leah Lynch, founder of Busy Gals Homestead & Leah’s Lovely Lops Rabbitry
“I started listening to the Boss Mom podcast and burned through every episode within three months, and now I am a part of Dana Malstaff’s Raising Your Business coaching course. Whether you are a mom or not, her podcast is full of actionable advice from planning to gaining visibility. I was able to put her advice to use in my business and was amazed at the changes. The peace of mind I had from using her advice gave me the confidence to keep going.”
Must-listen episode: How to Make Your Business Happen When You’ve Got Kids at Home
Entrepreneurs on Fire
Jon Lee Dumas’ podcast has an enormous following and for good reason: he’s passionate about entrepreneurship and he interviews inspiring guests every single day. Jon has published more than 1,700 interviews.
Nominated by: Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com, which helps companies form and maintain businesses
“I love the EOFire podcast…His guests are entrepreneurs from all walks of life and stages of their entrepreneurial journey, like Chioma Isiadinso and Mike Michalowicz, who all have great advice to give aspiring business owners on what their experience has been like and the honest ups and downs of being your own boss.”
Must-listen episode: Tony Robbins helps us master the money game
Hosted by Russ Roberts this weekly podcasts features discussions with authors, professors, Nobel Laureates and other experts on a variety of economic and topical issues.
Nominated by: Trey Gordner, CEO of Koios, which helps libraries appear in search engine results
“One of the things I love about EconTalk is that it helps me see the ‘big picture.’ Each episode is a solid, hour-long investigation into a particular concept or industry — and both host and interviewee are masters of their fields. It’s a bit dense at times, but nowhere else do I get the opportunity to think about how my startup intersects with economic, political and social trends. I feel like I’ve had a couple of graduate classes in economics just listening.”
Must-listen episode: Angela Duckworth on Grit
This popular podcast features interviews with small business owners. Hosted by former NPR producer and editor Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow it has high production value and excellent storytelling.
Nominated By: Marshall Anderson, founder of Tektonic, a firm that provides managed IT services
“It really hit home to me that starting a business can be a struggle and it doesn’t matter if you’re a large company with funding, or a small bootstrapped company like myself. I think a lot of business podcasts out there are strictly about ‘rah rah’ enthusiasm without much actual insight. StartUp can be motivating for me not because it’s telling me I can do anything if I put my mind to it (like many other podcasts,) but by helping me remember it’s not always easy.”
Must-listen episode: Start at the beginning with episode #1, How Not to Pitch a Billionaire
How I Built This
Ever wondered how a successful entrepreneur made it? “How I Built” this aims to find out. Triumphs — and failures — shared by top business leaders in an entertaining storytelling format. It’s massively popular for a reason: the podcast is both fascinating and addictive.
Nominated by: Ben Friedman, co-founder of AllSet.com, a Boston-based startup that helps customers find top house cleaners with verified reviews.
“The ‘How I Built This’ podcast gives you a peek behind the curtain at some of the most recognizable companies in the world. You get to hear the stories about the early day struggles and great successes that made the companies into what they are. I found it amazing how almost every founder says luck played a huge part into the company making it. Great companies aren’t built overnight (although most of the time it feels that way) and ‘How I Built This’ provides a look at how the sausage is made while still keeping it fun and entertaining.”
Must-listen episode: Serial Entrepreneur: Mark Cuban
The Laptop Lifestyle
Creative entrepreneurs and those looking for a business that feeds body and soul will find ideas and inspiration in Alexis Teichmiller’s podcast for “adventure seekers with big dreams.”
Nominated by: Samantha Skelton, blogger/founder of TheConstantCreative.com
“I love The Laptop Lifestyle podcast because it really focuses on bringing different creatives together to create a community of like minded people. She interviews amazing women entrepreneurs of all different trades, but they all have a common purpose of wanting to impact the creative community and I think that is truly awesome!”
Must-listen episode: Cultivating a Creative Community with Kelsey Cherry
No matter what stage your business is in — whether it’s still just an idea in your head, or a growing enterprise that consumes your every waking hour — small business podcasts can be a great way to learn from experts. Add listening to one of these podcasts to your weekly habits like monitoring your cash flow and checking your business credit scores so you can find out for yourself how they can help you move your business forward.