- 9 Great Business Podcasts
- More Business Podcast Reviews
Aww yeah. Put on your business socks. It’s business time!
As a top internet entrepreneur, I’m very interested in improving my business skillset and mindset and thus I’ve been on the hunt for the best business podcasts. I checked out some of the big names and scoured the US and UK charts. OTHER COUNTRIES AREN’T GOOD AT BUSINESS.
Here are 9 you should try, and a bunch of others you might check out if you’re so inclined.
9 Great Business Podcasts
1. Business Wars
From the studio behind highly rated movie podcasts Inside Psycho and Inside Jaws, Business Wars tells the stories of giant companies duking it out in a battle to the death.
You know in Return of the Jedi when C3PO tells the Ewoks what happened in the previous two movies complete with sound effects? This podcast is like that. They can’t mention a phone ringing without dropping in a rrrrrrrring! Now that’s cool and all, I GUESS, but you just think ‘Is that what a Sony Ericsson sounded like in 1995?’
Another distraction is the adverts. If you want to binge this show, which you do because it’s actually good despite all this whingeing, you’re going to hear the same advert again and again. It’s a bit like a Black Ops torture, except you do it to yourself by choosing to listen.
A final, probably more serious complaint, is the ‘artful’ way they tell the story by flashing backwards and forwards in time. Now that was great in Westworld series 1, but abysmal in Westworld series 2. I hate to say it, but at times it veers close to being up its own arse. I downloaded the entire Netflix vs Blockbuster series to my podcast app, but spent the whole time wondering if I was listening to them in the right sequence.
‘Last time Netflix had HBO in its sights…’ (huh? I don’t remember that) ‘…but first let’s go back to 3 years before the previous episode to give you some background on the part of the story that we already wrapped up.’ (Wait, what?)
It’s entirely possible I listened in the wrong order, and I really liked it anyway, but for something so good to put up these little (and not so little) obstacles to your enjoyment – well, it baffles me.
Still, a fairly unique business podcast that in the end is a must-listen.
2. Ask a Manager
My colleague won’t stop commenting on everything I eat! My assistant rolls his eyes at people in meetings! Why does my coworker keep taking credit for all my ideas? Hi, I’m Alison Green, welcome to the Ask a Manager podcast, where I answer questions from listeners about life at work.
I’m not sure if I have a business crush or a podcast crush on Ask a Manager’s host, Alison Green, but I love her and I love this show. I don’t work in an office, and haven’t for 20 years, so it’s not like any of the topics affect me. It’s just a really interesting podcast about people and how they drive each other crazy, and that intro is the gold standard.
I used to go to companies to teach English, and at the start of each lesson I’d hand them a printout of one or two of the bonkers situations that people send in to the Ask a Manager website. I’d let the students discuss the situation then compare their solutions with Alison Green’s. That was 15 minutes of lesson I didn’t have to plan for, and the students loved it.
If only I’d known she had a podcast! I could have gone even lazier.
I dived in by checking out the Mansplaining episode (from April 2018). The English gentleman who called was wondering if he was a mansplainer. Now as an English guy who loves blabbing on about things he knows very little about and whose victims are mostly female, I was quite apprehensive about this episode. I expected it to be the dude being overly defensive or a rabid Red Pill-er, while Alison lectured him about his toxic masculinity.
Nothing could be further from the truth! It was two people carefully considering various scenarios, honestly exploring their feelings around the topic, while acknowledging and trying to understand the other side’s point of view. I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard such an exchange. Actually scratch that – it sounds a lot like the kind of dialogue that wrapped up most episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ‘I hear you, I respect you, I hope we can both do better’ kinda thing.
Civil! Thought-provoking! Socially useful!
Let’s get the angry orange baby off our airwaves and broadcast this podcast instead.
Hosts Ben and James go on ludicrously deep dives into tech businesses. If you want to know why Facebook gave away all your data and all your family’s data FOR FREE to BAD PEOPLE then this is the podcast for you. If you want to know why Apple can’t win on cloud services or whether Microsoft’s latest acquisition is a good play, ditto.
My only complaint is they speak super fast and I’m basically a country bumpkin now and I’m not used to it.
4. How I Built This
Guy Raz interviews founders of huge companies. It’s very much in the NPR style: well produced, easy to listen to. The founders normally have great stories to tell.
One drawback is that the stories are mostly the same, at heart. Plucky nobody defies the odds (and the advice of the world) to start a dumb company and after working a billion hours and getting some luck ends up a billionaire.
That said, every time we listened to an ep in the car, my girlfriend would start bouncing around in her seat saying ‘I want to start a business! Let’s get going!’ And I bought a Dyson vacuum after listening to his episode. Dude deserves his wealth!
5. The Dave Ramsey Show
This is financial literacy for the masses. It’s controversial in financial independence circles because the advice might not be the optimum. But check out this quote from the intro: ‘Where a paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice’. Yes, baby! I was surprised to hear Dave’s voice was deep and pleasant and not surprised that the production values are high.
Best of all it kicks off with a heavy, heady blast of BAKER STREET. Love it! Then some questions answered, then an interview with a couple who paid off 200,000 dollars in debt in 5 years. So many Americans should listen to this show!
If you’re looking to get out of debt or build your future but are overwhelmed by financial jargon, Dave Ramsey is your man.
6. The Side Hustle Show
A podcast for people who want to increase their income. But it’s also fascinating just to see the range of ways people make a living. A guy who runs trailer parks, one who rents bouncy castles, one who buys used pallets and sells them across the road.
The host, Nick, is a super likeable guy and you are happy when his projects go well. His guests give away quite a few trade secrets, too.
7. Passive Real Estate Investing
Great intro! Short and clear. I chose an episode which was a review of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, which was a revelation to me when I was about 20 and looking for ways to get money without working in an office.
That episode was really just a recap of the book, not so much a review. But I liked Marco, the host, and went on to another ep. One where he answered questions from his audience. I can see why the show is so popular – he’s just a super likeable and helpful guy. His motto seems to be ‘Ignorance is expensive.’
If you are toying with the idea of getting into real estate, check it out. If this one doesn’t hit the spot, try Bigger Pockets.
Season 1 of StartUp tracks Alex Blumberg’s charmingly inept attempt at raising money for his idea to create a podcast network. With audio from all kinds of intimate sources it’s the gold standard in business podcasts. It was turned into a TV show, which tells you a lot about how accessible and fun it is.
After that there are plenty of high moments – those episodes tracking Dov Charney’s attempts to revive his career were mind-blowing.
Recently I’ve been less impressed. Arlan Hamilton seems like a great topic but her defensiveness, spendthrift ways, and control freakery are a huge turnoff, while the latest guff about starting new churches is as fun as it sounds. For me it’s especially galling since a church’s ‘customers’ are poor people having to give away what little income they have. You may see it differently.
Still, we’ll always have Alex asking a billionaire for money using sentences without verbs or nouns.
9. The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim inspired me to quit my day job, move to the countryside and play video games all day while making passive income at night. That was nice of him, and I binged his podcasts. Too many – I got to the point where I can’t stand him. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. What’s been workshopped and A/B tested.
Anyway, the other day my girlfriend mentioned she’d heard Bobby Fischer, the reclusive chess wizard, being interviewed on ‘that podcast by that guy you complain about’. I couldn’t believe Tim Ferriss had landed that interview. But I shouldn’t have been so surprised – he’s spoken to leaders in all kinds of fields. His interview with Arnie was sensational. That’s a good place to start because if you don’t like that you won’t like anything else.
The good outweighs the bad. You have to check it out.
More Business Podcast Reviews
This has potential but at the moment it’s a bit stiff and the sound quality is fairly terrible. Imagine tinny voices, people bumping the mikes and lots of squeaky chair noises. They drop in sound clips much louder than the current voice level. There’s a lot of interrupting to make jokes that don’t land.
I tried episode 9 – The REAL Reason Facebook Stock Just Crashed. I hate Facebook and love hearing bad news about it. But the ep was disorganised and I couldn’t get into it. If you want deep analysis of tech companies, listen to Exponent.
I spaced out after a while and when my attention refocused they were talking about how maybe Donald Trump was causing gang chaos in Mexico for political advantage. Or something? I turned it off at that point.
If you’re young and in marketing maybe you’ll get something out of it.
The Sedated Executive
This is one of those American shows where dudes talk about living a Warrior’s Life and attacking the day and getting fired up. (As if most of your day isn’t spent staring at spreadsheets or playing Candy Crush in meetings.) Not my kind of thing, but I did quite like the title of the episode I listened to: ‘I’m Lucky? Fuck You!’
It was about how the ‘you’re lucky’ or ‘you’re blessed’ mindset hinders people from getting off their ass and achieving their dreams. I totally agree, and I enjoyed the cursing. Episodes are short – 12 minutes, so it’s not much of a commitment.
2 Sides 2 the Story
The only media that should have numbers in the name is The Fast and Furious series. I’m not sure I even like the stray digit in Se7en. So it’s 2 strikes against this podcast from the very start.
It’s a show by a married couple who have both had success in business. That’s what the blurb says anyway. For me it was a struggle just getting through a 10-minute episode. If I wanted to hear people ramble about their relationship I wouldn’t fast forward through the talky bits of Fatal Attraction.
There’s nothing actionable here (from what I heard) but if you’re struggling to find work/life balance, maybe these guys can help you out.
The Blogging Millionaire
Welcome to the Blog Millionaire, where we break down the essential strategies of today’s most successful bloggers to take your blog to the next level with top-notch content, monumental traffic growth, and multiple revenue streams to go beyond your wildest goals. So get ready to blog like a pro and make your traffic explode with your host, whose blog gets more than 1 million visitors every month, Brandon Gaille.
As a top blog guru myself, I was expecting this to be some general tips for beginners. The intro didn’t fill me with confidence. It’s a bit much, isn’t it?
But the host (Brandon Gaille) quickly got to the point of the episode and I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t exactly earth-shattering but he laid out a problem that bloggers have, backed up his assertion with proof, then suggested strategies to fix it. Then he gave concrete examples. What more can you ask for?
It feels very organised and he transitions from point to point in a structured way. It makes it SOOOOO much easier to listen to. Thanks, bro!
I’m actually a fan – I downloaded a few more episodes. I’m just not sure it really counts as a business podcast. It’ll definitely be in my top ‘podcasts about blogging’ if I ever do that article.
Business and Biceps
I tried an 8-minute episode because I didn’t feel like jumping into an hour-long one when I had a hundred other podcasts to try. The guy is very shouty and his delivery is very stilted. Is he channeling Captain Kirk?
Maybe it deserves a second chance but right now it doesn’t get one.
Hollywood 2.0 – The Vego Show
This is ‘the business of Hollywood’. Good niche, lots of potentially interesting topics there, and it jumped into the top 125 podcasts after a handful of episodes. (Weirdly, there’s another show with the same name.)
I wish they’d stop the intro music sooner – it’s an upbeat techno tune. Exhausting.
But it’s got a lot of potential. I’ll come back to it when they’ve got more topics covered.
Thrivetime – Business School without the BS
Imagine a successful businessman describing what search engine optimisation is while another businessman makes cartoonish radio-show noises. That’s what I just listened to.
There seems to be a new 90-minute episode EVERY DAY, which is totally bonkers. That’s an alarming amount of content and I’d never subscribe to this podcast because I’d literally drown in audio.
But I listened to some of their interview with SEO guru Bruce Clay and that was fine. At least until they dropped in a supremely weird piece of audio from someone doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression quoting Empire Strikes Back. It’s probably a good show but I didn’t make it past half an hour.
Here’s an interesting one. It’s primarily military themed, but with a focus on leadership and discipline. Jocko is a retired Navy SEAL. If you want your business podcast to open with a dramatic reading of a story about a SEAL getting shot in the leg, you know where to click.
The Goal Digger Podcast
Top 10 podcast name. Let’s get that on the record.
Jenna Kutcher covers topics like building passive income, becoming an influencer, and using Instagram to grow your brand. If your business goals involve hashtags or Pinterest, you would probably get a lot out of this show.
Okay this was super weird. I downloaded the latest episode and Rachel, the host, said ‘Today my guest is Jenna Kutcher’. I’d just finished listening to the Goal Digger pod.
Rachel seems bright and fun and the overall quality is very high. Like with Goal Digger, the topics covered here are fairly general. Here are 3 episode titles: 5 Tips to Keep Your Marriage Sparkling; Overcoming Distraction in Work and Life; Is Therapy Right for You?
If you’re in a phase where that kind of thing is relevant, then dive in.
The Trevor Chapman Show
First impressions, this guy really wants to be Tim Ferriss. Second impressions, yeah that was probably a fair assessment.
Good points: Trevor lets his guests get into their flow, and the range of guests is impressive.
A show for those who want to hear exceptional people talk broadly about their fields.