These 8 Podcasts Are Brain Food for Small Business Leaders

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If you’re feeling like free time is in short supply these days, you’re not alone. Trying to carve out an hour for dinner, much less dozens for professional development, can feel impossible. 

Although multitasking doesn’t make sense during brain-intensive work, that isn’t what you do all day. During your commute, over your lunch hour, in the airport, or while you’re at the gym, why not turn on a podcast?

Apple Podcasts alone hosts 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million episodes. Although not all of those are about business, thousands of them are, spanning marketing, product development, sales, and more.

Which ones are actually worth a listen?

1. Renegade Thinkers Unite

Hosted by entrepreneur and author Drew Neisser, Renegade Thinkers Unite is an interview-driven podcast that leans toward B2B marketing. Recent interviewees include Kim Whitler, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration; Carola Jain, CMO at Spartan; and Mary-Ann Somers, SVP and chief growth officer at Intuit’s consumer arm. Episodes are lively, 30-45 minutes long, and wrapped up by Neisser’s own take on the topic. 

2. Marketing Over Coffee

To recreate the feel of catching up with a colleague outside of the office, Marketing Over Coffee brings freshly ground takes on new and classic marketing tactics. Hosts John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn routinely cover search engine optimization, social media marketing, copywriting, email marketing, and more. Each episode runs about 20 minutes, making it ideal for a morning commute.

3. Social Media Marketing

As the title suggests, Social Media Marketing is a podcast about cake decorating. Kidding: This 45-minute weekly podcast covers new platforms, influencer trends, and social media mistakes. It’s hosted by Micahel Stelzer, who founded the online trade publication Social Media Examiner. Stelzer’s guests run the gamut, from marketers to entrepreneurs to social media stars, each delivering actionable tips to boost brand awareness and connect with audiences. 

4. Rise and Grind 

If you’re a fan of the ABC show “Shark Tank,” this podcast is for you. Hosted by Daymond John, one of the Sharks, Rise and Grind draws on John’s experience as CEO of FUBU and his interactions with media stars. Most of the show’s 30- to 40-minute episodes showcase a musician, artist, professional athlete, or entrepreneur sharing how she worked her way to the top and built her personal brand. With his subdued sense of humor, John teases out the lessons these stories hold for other business leaders. 

5. Hack the Entrepreneur 

Self-described as a “no filler, no fluff” podcast, Hack the Entrepreneur is a fast-paced look at how people built their businesses. Hosted by Jon Nastor, this brutally honest podcast typically takes a look at how a company achieved gangbusters growth after a not-so-successful start. The goal is to help listeners “develop their entrepreneurial mindset, do work that matters, and build an online business.” Each episode runs 30 to 40 minutes and is posted weekly. 

6. WorkLife

Entrepreneurs who know the importance of work-life balance will appreciate WorkLife, a podcast hosted by organizational psychologist Adam Grant. In each episode — which runs 30 minutes, give or take — Grant sheds light on the science of “making work not suck.” Recent topics include managing emotions at work, cultural dysfunctions, the fear of networking, and how to handle criticism. Although the episodes are steeped in behavioral science, the tone is humorous and insightful.

7. The Goal Digger Podcast

Turning passion into profit is easier said than done, but The Goal Digger Podcast podcast can put you on the right path. Hosted by online marketing expert Jenna Kutcher, the show speaks to successful entrepreneurs about productivity tips, social media tactics, and sources of inspiration. Episodes of The Goal Digger Podcast are about 40 minutes long and posted twice per week. Although they’re aimed at a female audience, episodes share ideas that are relevant to all sorts of small business leaders. 

8. StartUp

A documentary series about the life of an entrepreneur, StartUp by Gimlet Media is co-hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow. StartUp episodes clock in between 30 and 45 minutes, typically spent profiling a specific company and business leader. Launched in 2014, StartUp has won multiple awards for business journalism. Through uncomfortable questions and quirky humor, Blumberg gives the reader a blow-by-blow look at the struggles of growing a business.

Whether it’s social media, sales, or the daily struggles of entrepreneurship, every small business topic under the sun shows up in these podcasts. Give them a listen: They’re free, so there’s no reason to feel guilty if you decide one isn’t for you. With any luck, you’ll find at least a few that are. 



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