I refuse to leave the house without my earphones: As the founder of a global business, I find that travel time is often the only chance I get to think about business philosophy and learn about new ideas not directly related to my company or day-to-day work life.
And, boy, do I spend a lot of time traveling. I know other entrepreneurs can relate: An article I recently read in Inc. had one founder estimating that she spent 93 hours sitting in an Uber or Lyft to/from the airport and flew over 140,000 miles over the course of one year.
This being the case, I refuse to leave the house without my headphones; that’s because for me, podcasts are the best way to get that information while I’m on the go. Sure, I might be partial (being the founder of a podcast syndication startup), but data tells me I’m not alone — podcasts now have 57 million U.S. monthly listeners, up 23 percent year over year.
I believe that the foundation of success is continuous innovation and a commitment to never stop seeking out new ideas and opinions. The best business, tech and startup podcasts feature guests with diverse entrepreneurial journeys that have ultimately informed their worldview. I’ve found that the more I listen to, the better able I am to stay ahead of industry trends, and perhaps more importantly, to stay inspired.
Here are five podcasts that I can’t live without:
The Payoff By Mic
Money isn’t everything, but it’s important, and especially when entrepreneurs are trying to grow a business and every penny counts. The hosts of The Payoff By Mic are Antonia Cereijido and Chris Duffy. They demystify our relationship to money: how to earn it, how to spend it and what that latest headline or piece of legislation actually means for our bank accounts.
The Tim Ferriss Show
The Tim Ferriss Show has been ranked the No. 1 business podcast a few times, and that’s because of Ferriss’s unparalleled dedication to analyzing the lifestyle of the modern businessperson. In fact, Ferriss is decidedly fresh, with listeners never knowing quite what or whom to expect. In any given episode, he might interview successful people like Jamie Foxx, Maria Popova and Peter Thiel, analyze the latest bestselling book, or internet trend. The best takeaway is the actionable advice that follows every listen.
The Economist: Babbage
Charles Babbage is commonly referred to as the grandfather of computing, so Babbage is a must for interesting technology news and discoveries. It covers the intersections between science, technology, culture, and policy — all critical areas to which entrepreneurs must pay simultaneous attention. I really enjoy host Kenneth Cukier’s discussions on the latest innovations, discoveries and gadgets, especially as viewed through the lens of The Economist correspondents who frequent the show as guests.
Success! How I Did It
Success! How I Did It is the Behind the Music equivalent for entrepreneurs. Alyson Shontell, the editor-in-chief of Business Insider, conducts in-depth interviews with CEOs, entrepreneurs and other successful leaders to learn about how they got to now and how they became who they are today. The behind-the-scenes insight is my favorite part of this podcast — it’s always reassuring to learn that I’m not the first or only founder dealing with a certain challenge; and of course it’s helpful to hear how others have navigated the path before me.
The Gary Vee Podcast
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, is loud and unapologetic, and what I like most about The Gary Vee Podcast are his insights into the world of marketing and business. They’re invaluable, precisely because of his no-holds-barred approach and spot-on instincts. This podcast is always a source of new ideas and ways to approach situations I encounter as a founder and CEO every day.
It’s also refreshing to see how Vaynerchuk repurposes content from his keynotes or the YouTube channel to produce a dedicated audio experience.
Tthere is nothing worse for a business than tunnel vision. These podcasts are not only entertaining, but they also serve as a bottomless well that I return to for practical advice and new ideas that can be applied to my own company and experience as a founder and entrepreneur.
And the best part? They seamlessly fit into whatever slice of time I might have in any given day, no matter what time zone I am in; and it doesn’t matter, either, what the conveyance: I might be in a cab, on the subway or in the air. Could a podcast be the source of your next great idea? You’ll never know if you don’t listen.