In the beginning, there was radio and television — the two fastest methods for connecting with the general public and passing on pertinent information. The internet slowly took hold in the mid-’90s and eventually brought new venues for mass communication. In 2004, around the same time that YouTube was created, an MTV video jockey and software programmer had an idea that would eventually become what most people know today as podcasts. A fusion of internet, radio, and sometimes video, podcasts allow almost anyone with a message to find an audience from anywhere in the world.
Podcasts, like radio shows, can range from shocking and crude to informative and newsy. One of the more popular podcast “genres” is business — starting a business, growing a business, and succeeding where others may have failed. The individuals on this list have created top podcasts that are aimed at helping entrepreneurs learn how to succeed in the business world. Here are our personal favorites for this year:
The Tim Ferriss Show
The “About” section on Tim Ferriss’s website makes him sound more mythical than real, like that popular guy from high school who just keeps getting better and better and all without even breaking a sweat. Here is a quick rundown of Tim’s accomplishments:
- Named as one of Fortune’s “Top 40 Under 40”
- His podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show” is iTunes’ #1 podcast (with more than 300 million downloads)
- His podcast is the first to reach 100 million downloads
- He has written five NY Times bestsellers
- His blog leads the pack of the “150 Top Management and Leadership Blogs”
What makes “The Tim Ferriss Show” so great? In short, he knows a lot about entrepreneurship and has a bevy of amazing contacts who don’t mind sharing the secrets of their success. This is one guy you should make yourself listen to because you are going to learn a lot about growing and promoting your business.
The GaryVee Audio Experience
There are those people who think they are “self-made,” and then there is Gary Vaynerchuk. Not only does Gary host one of the most popular podcasts on business (“The GaryVee Audio Experience”), he is CEO of VaynerMedia and chairman of VaynerX. Gary is also an avid philanthropist, five-time NY Times best-selling author, and an ardent angel investor (Facebook, Twiter, Uber, Venmo).
Gary Vaynerchuk is a true entrepreneur and self-made man who began with a lemonade stand and eventually turned his father’s liquor store The Wine Library into an e-commerce magnate with over $60 million in sales. He eventually struck out on his own and co-founded VaynerMedia about the same time he signed a $1 million book deal with Harper Collins.
Gary isn’t going to pull punches when he tells the listeners of his top-rated podcast what they need to do to succeed. He is a sought-after public speaker for a reason — he tells it like it is and will not mince words. If you need tough love, then you should check out “The GaryVee Audio Experience.”
The School of Greatness
“School of Greatness” host Lewis Howes is pretty great and he wants to tell you about it — how he went from a kid with a learning disability to a professional athlete to being out of work and hopeless to eventually writing his first book The School of Greatness and building a $100 million empire focused on helping people see their own greatness and achieve their goals.
Before Lewis was hosting a Top 100 podcast and being honored by President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under thirty, he was struggling with his own identity and not sure what to do with his life. But he went on to write three best-selling books, create a podcast with more than 4 million downloads since 2013, and become a sought-after speaker and business coach.
Lewis and “The School of Greatness” podcast are different from traditional business-centered podcasts because the former professional athlete is focused on helping the whole person succeed—body and mind. Podcast sessions cover physical and mental health topics and relationships. Lewis’s laid back and positive attitude make his episodes less like a “podcast” and more like a morning talk show.
Entrepreneurs on Fire
John Lee Dumas (or as he prefers, JLD) may sound like a typical Millenial, but his passion runs deep for entrepreneurs. Unlike many other business industry podcasters, JLD’s whole “business” is his “Entrepreneurs on Fire” podcast. His goal is to deliver the right information that people need to get out of their comfort zones and make that dream business a reality.
John’s story of how “Entrepreneurs on Fire” was created is relatable — he had a steady full-time job, but he was dissatisfied and unhappy; by chance, he noticed that most business podcasts were once or twice weekly shows and there was not a show that ran every day. From that first spark of an idea, his show was born. JLD has since interviewed more than 2,000 entrepreneurs since launching in 2012 who share insights on starting and growing businesses, particularly how to begin the process. “Entrepreneurs on Fire” also offers free courses on starting a business, creating a podcast, honing in on business ideas, and even tips on website hosting.
Other Relatable Business Podcasts
The four featured are topping lists over and over because of the success of the creator and the show itself. Interestingly enough, you will find all of those guys interviewing on each other’s podcast. You will also find them on other podcasts as well — because they are the movers and shakers of the entrepreneur podcast genre. Listen to an array of podcasts and gather as much information as you can, but also listen to the “Top Four.” They know their stuff.
Hungry for more? There are a number of other popular business podcasts that can be helpful for entrepreneurs, including: