Before I started KT Coffee, my husband and I tried a couple different entrepreneurial endeavors. When we first started, I knew absolutely nothing about starting a business, and my husband knew very little. We needed some help figuring out how to get started. I found podcasts to be one of the most robust and unexpected sources of valuable information.
If you’re not familiar, podcasts are essentially digital radio shows that you can listen to anytime. Like radio shows, they all have their own theme. They can be about stories, politics, history, psychology, technology, business, or really anything else. Most of them are a continuous ongoing show, but some are a few episodes meant to impart specific information on you (more like an audio book). You can download podcasts for free on iTunes, or you can download a different podcast app to listen to your favorites.
One of the first and most helpful podcasts I listened to early on was Startup School Radio by Y Combinator. If you’re just getting started with business, this is an excellent first step. The podcast is actually a recording of a class taught at Stanford by the good people of Y Combinator. The podcast is primarily geared towards technology businesses, but the principles can be applied to just about any business.
Once you get through those, these are a few of my other favorite podcasts to keep me sharp and inspired:
Masters of Scale
For anyone in business, this is a podcast that I always recommend first. Reid Hoffman is an investor, Co-Founder at LinkedIn, and Co-Founder of Paypal. At Paypal he was described as the “Firefighter in Chief” because of his ability to think on his feet and come up with creative solutions to everyday fires in the business. This podcast is so good, I even love the advertisements.
A Few Favorite Episodes:
All of them. But if I have name a few:
AirBnB’s Brian Chesky in Handcrafted
I love listening to the origin story of AirBnB. This episode takes you on a journey through the scrappy beginning of this unlikely startup. I really admire the grit and creativity of the founders of AirBnB and frequently find myself feeling inspired by them.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is one of those people that you just have to love. Her authenticity and dedication to continuous learning makes her someone I really look up to.
Netflix’s Reed Hastings
This is one of those episodes that I think many executive teams could learn a lot from. My favorite part of this episode is when he talks about the danger of creating too much process in your business.
The Tim Ferris Show
This show has an irreverent and casual feel. Tim pretty much says it like it is, and is willing to go anywhere as needed. I don’t always agree with his methods or perspective, but I can appreciate his absolute transparency. He is an expert at putting people at ease and digging deep into the origin story of each of his impressive guests. His podcast is not specific to business, so I don’t relate to every episode, but there are some really incredible nuggets of information throughout this podcast.
A Few Favorite Episodes:
#221 – Mr. Money Mustache
This was the first episode I heard. It was very pivotal in changing the way I think about money and career.
#249 – How to Make a Difference and Find Your Purpose — Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the founder of Toms Shoes, and he has an inspiring story. His story is inspiring because of how he got started at such a young age.
#301 – Joe Gebbia
Joe Gebbia is one of the founders of AirBnB. I have to admit, I’ve probably heard AirBnB’s origin story told by every co-founder from just about every angle. This episode is worth a listen.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job
I love this podcast because of how uplifting and authentic the host, Cathy Heller, is. Whenever I listen to her podcast I feel so empowered and ready to tackle a new challenge. She is such a giving and creative person, and she’s always sharing her own personal struggles which helps me feel a little better about my own.
A Few Favorite Episodes:
How to Stop Overthinking
This is an episode without a guest, Cathy just talks about some of her own personal struggles, which is so encouraging. She offers some great tips on how to reframe what’s happening in your world to help you see things from a better perspective.
How to Make the Jump – Mike Lewis
Mike Lewis just wrote a book called “When to Jump.” He has a passion for helping people “jump” into a life they love. Mike experienced this when he made the decision to leave a stable finance job to travel the world as a professional Squash player. Through his book and online community, he is encouraging others to pursue their own passions so they can live their best life.
What is the Third Door – Alex Banayan
Alex Banayan wrote a book called “The Third Door.” The book is about how the most successful people got their start through unconventional means. In fact, Alex himself raised money for his book by winning a TV game show. SO worth a listen!
What are some of your favorite podcasts? Do you have any other favorite sources of information?