“Take action. Every story you’ve ever connected with, every leader you’ve ever admired, every puny little thing that you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life. Learn what you can and move on. At the end of your days, you will be judged by your gallop, not by your stumble.” – Bradley Whitford
I discovered my first podcast, The Bugle, my sophomore year of college. I’ve been a goner ever since. Not only are podcasts an amazing way to soak up information, I’ve also accumulated tons of business and productivity tips over the years. There are so many things I’ve learned from interviews with thought leaders and famous entrepreneurs that I’ve never found in the course of reading blogs on the same topics.
If you’re an entrepreneur (or just have that searing entrepreneurial belly fire), here are five of my favorite inspirational podcasts for your auditory enjoyment.
Tim Ferriss, the author of books like The 4-Hour Work Week, is someone I’ve often admired when interviewed on other podcasts. Tim recently launched his own podcast in April 2014 and I’ve already eagerly ingested all 20 or so episodes. Tim’s podcasts consist of interviews with influential entrepreneurs, writers, and internet marketers (including people like James Altucher, Kevin Rose, and Neil Strauss). In addition, he includes “in-between-a-sodes,” shorter episodes on different topics like productivity and avoiding decision fatigue.
My favorite thing? Tim asks thoughtful, in-depth questions of his guests to provoke answers on decision-making and how they’ve optimized their own process, helping you understand how these people got to where they are today. I also really enjoy his interview style; Tim is usually good friends with most of his guests, so the banter is very relaxed.
Lewis Howes is a former pro athlete who badly broke his wrist (thus ending his career early) then recommitted his career to developing an internet marketing presence by building relationships on LinkedIn. In his podcast, The School of Greatness, he interviews entrepreneurs, athletes, and the occasional celebrity “to help you find out what makes great people great.”
My favorite thing? From fitness trainers like Bob Harper (Host of The Biggest Loser) to marketers like Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich), Lewis interviews a wide variety of inspirational people. It’s obvious Lewis has done tons of research on his guests beforehand — he guides the conversations well and segues smoothly from topic to topic. His attitude is infectious; he just seems incredibly sincere, grateful, and happy to be on this planet, which, in and of itself, is something to aspire to daily.
Michael Hyatt is the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publisher in the country. He’s also written two New York Times bestsellers, including his most recent book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Michael’s podcast This is Your Life style consists mostly of 30-40 minute tips to “help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.” His tips not only touch on leadership, but run the gamut from productivity to family life.
My favorite thing? If you’ve run out of time while listening to one of his episodes, no need to fret. He has excellent show notes and full transcripts of the entire episode on his website. You can tell Michael thinks extensively about how to make his podcast as accessible as possible and the level of detail is fantastic.
Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits is one of my absolute favorite blogs (I find his writing soothing, yet inspirational) and I’m thrilled that many of his posts have been turned into podcasts that I can listen to on the go. Leo’s writing is less about entrepreneurship and more about cultivating the kind of mindset that entrepreneurs can embrace. It’s about finding simplicity, clearing away the clutter and living in the moment, so you can truly appreciate life amidst the day-to-day chaos. (By the way, the irony of ZenPayroll and Zen Habits is not lost on me.)
My favorite thing? Leo Babauta is the first to say he’s “not an expert, or a doctor, or a coach.” He hasn’t made “millions of dollars,” nor is he “the world’s greatest athlete.” He’s a regular guy from Guam who lives in San Francisco with six kids. By making changes in his life, he’s accomplished a lot — including quitting smoking, running marathons, tripling his income, writing a bestseller and attracting 200K passionate blog subscribers. His humble approach to giving advice and achieving your goals makes you realize that you truly can achieve every bit of potential within you.
Derek Halpern writes a blog called Social Triggers Insider on the psychology behind internet marketing. He’s also loud, brash, and highly energetic. I like to think of his podcasts as miniature wake-up calls, screaming, “You can do better! You can think differently!” and so forth. Derek’s content revolves around getting more customers/subscribers, the art of negotiation, and enticing people to stay on your site and buy your products. He’s all about what makes people tick. Even though he hasn’t updated his podcast since March, it’s still highly recommended. There are about 20 episodes so far, so you’ll zip through them in no time.
My favorite thing? No generic fluff or fuzz here. I love that Derek’s all about specific tactics, strategies, and words you can use now to improve your conversion rates and grow your customer base. He backs up what he says with psychological concepts, analysis and stats — and his interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists and behavioral economists yield a ton of insight.