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Put yer headphones on and learn
Business podcasts are all the rage. And here are the best ones around. Now isn't that easy?
Entrepreneurs and hustlers are often said to be all about 24/7 continuous improvement, and immersing oneself in success stories, best practices, and expert advice on your own time is a big part of that.
Good thing we’re in the golden age of podcasts, which means boning up on business ‘haps doesn't have to be like eating your broccoli. But where to begin?
Business podcasts are one vast category in a sea of many, and the search can be overwhelming. (Trust us, we’ve been there.) Still, there’s no need to fear. We’ve done a lot of research, and a lot of listening—and have some good news: We’re happy to make some business news podcast recommendations for ya, right here, right now. You’re welcome.
Before we begin, though, let me be frank: We know there are a lot of business podcasts out there (including this one Supermaker recently launched). The first installment of this list is not explicitly focused on keeping you abreast of what’s trending in tech, or where you might go if you want to hear the stock market ticker read aloud. These business podcasts can be very focused on what’s happening in small segments of global business and the details of the day. These are the business podcasts that tell stories from a broader perspective and from places that might surprise you—you know, the ones that remind us of, I don’t know… say, This American Life.
In the business podcasts recommended here, you’ll find everything you love about This American Life or Radiolab or My Favorite Murder, like fascinating human-interest stories, brilliant audio production, thoughtful interviews, and a sense of drama. (And, yes, some of them even include murder.) Whether you’re a startup junkie or an aspiring branding guru, you’re sure to find something to inspire (and entertain!) you. Happy listening! (And: If you want ticker tape podcast recs, we can get you those, too. We’ll be updating this list periodically, so stay tuned!)
If You Want to DIY That MBA:
If you're looking to bootstrap your business education, the Harvard Business Review's Cold Call brings you many of the school’s famous case studies, piped straight into your AirPods—without having to grab drinks with any M.B.A. bros. Host Brian Kenny interviews Harvard Business School professors, who break down their research on major controversies and success stories in the world of business and entrepreneurship. Since debuting in 2016, the podcast has covered a surprisingly diverse range of subjects, many of which align with diversity and social justice issues, including the impact of new attention to traumatic brain injuries on the National Football League; the growth of the Spanish-language Telemundo network; the financial fortunes of Sesame Street; the implications of the “internet of things” for our privacy; and a series on Black business leaders.
Recommended episodes: The Controversial History of United Fruit, LA Philharmonic Shows the American Symphony Orchestra Isn’t Dead Yet, Careem: Riding the First Unicorn in the Middle East, Oprah’s Path to Authentic Leadership
If You're Seeking Some International Perspective:
From across the pond, the venerable British Broadcasting Company's The World of Business brings together unusual success stories and wise lessons from the global business world. Stories about getting rich in Guyana, the Liberian rubber industry and industrial food production in the United Arab Emirates will bring you a broader view of the international startup scene and the global politics of entrepreneurship.
Recommended episodes: How Sex Toys Became Sexy, Starting Up in Bulgaria, the Business of Clicks, Uruguay: the World’s Marijuana Pioneers
If You Love a Booming Baritone:
Fans of Kai Ryssdal, the voice of public radio's Marketplace, are in luck: he brings that Big CEO Energy to the spinoff podcast Corner Office, where he interviews C-suite leaders from some of the best-known companies. In these smart conversations, where he doesn’t shy away from asking difficult questions, Ryssdal often makes it a point to ask his guests for any advice they’d give to other entrepreneurs.
Recommended episodes: Would You Drink Whiskey Made by Pabst?, How to Build a Streetwear Brand Without Selling Out, Why RuPaul is the ‘Queen of Queens’
If You're a History Nerd:
From podcast network Wondery comes Business Wars, which promises to deliver the unfiltered and unauthorized stories of major business battles and delves into the histories of the most famous brands in American enterprise. Each mini-season of this engaging story-driven podcast focuses each on a legendary contest, like Napster versus the music industry and Blockbuster vs. Netflix. You’ll hear stories about everything from dueling department stores at the turn of the 19th century to Facebook's rivalry with Snapchat to the story of how competition between guitamakers Gibson and Fender turned up the volume on the new genre of rock 'n' roll. Hosted by Marketplace veteran David Brown, Business Wars is also available in four other languages.
Recommended mini-seasons: The Cereal Wars | Netflix vs. Blockbuster | Zankou Chicken Murders | Hasbro vs. Mattel
If You’re a Parent Juggling It All:
"Multi-hyphenate" entrepreneur Jenna Kutcher has built a marketing empire on her own small-business success story. The former Target exec turned a side hustle in wedding photography into a business empire, and she tells all on her podcast for Girl Bosses everywhere. Kutcher offers lots of practical information, including tips for building an email list; things you shouldn't do on Instagram; how to automate your business functions; and taking better photographs. But she also gets personal, with lots of advice for mompreneurs and anyone looking to strike a work-life balance. Her intimate interviews with entrepreneurs like designer Rebecca Minkoff will inspire you to ditch self-doubt and make big moves.
Recommended episodes: How to Stop Comparison Fatigue (Without Quitting Instagram), How Quitting and Failing Led to a Fashion Empire, The #1 Way To Be More Inclusive
If You Want To Bring Your Whole Self to Work:
Rhodes Perry’s personal journey as a transgender man is only part of what he brings to his inspiring show The Out Entrepreneur, where he talks with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about workplace inclusion, accessibility, and equity. Guests keep conversations real: along with CEOs and changemakers in business and politics, Perry interviews entrepreneurial social workers, sex educators, and tarot readers who have turned their passions into mission-driven businesses that allow them to help others live their truths in the workplace and everywhere else.
Recommended episodes: Eradicate Pay Discrimination In Your Workplace and Watch Your Business Grow, Do Your Own Thing Because You Know You Can, Celebrate International Pronouns Day by Building an Inclusive Business
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