Successful entrepreneurs are lifetime learners. Most learn from experience, like o ur CEO, Rob Bellenfant. Following his first successful venture, Rob invested in five new companies — four of which failed. The fifth eventually became TechnologyAdvice.
Learning from his early mistakes was crucial to Rob’s success. When asked about that time by the Nashville Business Journal, Rob said: “I feel like we’ve developed a really good database of mistakes.” Any entrepreneur, coach, or mentor will tell you to learn from your mistakes, and to never make the same ones twice. They’ll also tell you that true wisdom is to learn from the mistakes of others.
Entrepreneurs are busy people. They spend at least 66 hours per week at work, and another two to three hours each day working from a mobile device. Learning from the mistakes of others requires time — time to read, time to study, time to reflect — and that’s a precious commodity most entrepreneurs can’t spare. But if you’ve got 15 minutes to an hour each week (at the gym, on the subway, in the car, etc.), you’ve got time to learn, thanks to the resurgence of podcasts.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top podcasts for entrepreneurs. On this list, you’ll find stories from other entrepreneurs, interviews with authors, case studies from researchers, and even discussions on human psychology.
John Lee Dumas, founder and host of EntrepreneurOnFire (EOFire), interviews some of the world’s best business and marketing minds on his podcast, detailing their entrepreneurial journey from inception to reality.
Each interviewee answers questions about their worst entrepreneurial experience and their takeaways, a moment of epiphany and how they capitalized on it. Dumas finishes up with his ‘lightning round’ — a fast-firing, hard-hitting series of questions, tidbits, and other resources to apply to your own entrepreneurial efforts.
It’s worth noting that Dumas counts a number of the other expert podcasters here among his guests, so if you are going through this list and want an impression of a particular expert, check to see if Dumas has already interviewed them. EOFire currently has a perfect 5-out-of-5 average on over 2100 iTunes ratings.
Schedule: EOFire publishes a new interview episode each day, averaging 30 minutes in length.
Twitter: John Lee Dumas
From Gimlet Media — a digital media company recognized for their innovation — StartUp is a unique podcast that offers behind-the-scenes insights on what it’s like to create a new business.
Hosted by Gimlet co-founder and CEO Alex Blumberg, Season One’s 14 episodes follow the launch of Gimlet Media. In Season Two, Blumberg is joined by co-host Lisa Chow. Over the course of 10 episodes, the two follow the creation of an entirely different business, Dating Ring. StartUp is now entering its third season.
StartUp enjoys a perfect 5-star average from over 4,000 iTunes ratings
Schedule: During Season One, a new episode was released about every two weeks. During Season Two, the pace accelerated, with episodes released weekly for some periods. No announcements have yet regarding the schedule for Season Three.
Listen: StartUp Archive, iTunes, Stitcher
About Read to Lead:
From Jeff Brown, a 26-year broadcasting industry veteran, the Read to Lead podcast focuses on authors of best-selling business books.
With insights on topics including leadership, personal development, productivity, marketing, and general entrepreneurship, the Read to Lead podcast can help any person trying to build a business. Brown — a believer in the mantra “leaders read and readers lead” — breaks down the finer points of each book (without spoiling the content), to save the busy entrepreneur time and effort.
The Read to Lead podcast enjoys a perfect 5-star average from over 260 iTunes ratings.
Schedule: Most Read to Lead episodes are posted weekly on Mondays.
Twitter: Jeff Brown
Brought to you by the team at Fizzle.co, The Fizzle Show is an irreverent assortment of marketing and entrepreneurship pearls of wisdom. Marketed to “those who want to do great work, dent the universe, and support something [they] care about,” The Fizzle Show covers business topics including productivity, motivation, work-life balance, growing an audience, and more.
There are a number of hosts/contributors, but the two most consistently active members are Corbett Barr (Fizzle’s co-founder and CEO) and Chase Reeves (Fizzle co-founder and Creative Director).
With over 400 iTunes ratings, The Fizzle Show enjoys a perfect 5-star average.
Schedule: New episodes are published weekly and average about an hour in length.
About Startup School:
Seth Godin, host of Startup School, has authored 18 bestselling books on various topics, including leadership, change, the virality of ideas, and other topics that entrepreneurs should find valuable.
The Startup School podcast, a product of Earwolf, follows along as Seth guides 30 entrepreneurs through a workshop covering various subjects essential to the creation and administration of their dream businesses.
The Startup School podcast enjoys a 4.5-star average from 123 iTunes ratings.
Schedule: Startup School is no longer producing new episodes, but that means you can quickly digest all 15 episodes and move on to another podcast listed in this article. Episodes average 24 minutes.
Twitter: Seth Godin
Gary Vaynerchuk, or GaryVee, is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and expert on growing businesses. The #AskGaryVee show, disseminated both in podcast and vlog formats, is a crowd-sourced assortment of listener/viewer questions focused on marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship in general.
Vaynerchuk is quite the character and knows how to hold the attention of his audience. Even though episodes average 20 minutes, they never feel forced or long.
The #AskGaryVee Show enjoys a 5-star average from over 560 iTunes ratings
Schedule: There’s a new #AskGaryVee episode almost every week (sometimes twice a week).
About Growth Byte:
Created by Growth Hacker TV, Growth Byte is a startup-focused podcast that uses quick “bytes” of useful information to help entrepreneurs grow their companies.
Instead of using a consistent host, Growth Byte focuses on the content creators. Each episode is a summary of an online article relevant to the interests of startup founders, employees, or wannabes. This allows listeners to consume large amounts of content from a wide swath of outlets, almost like an RSS reader, just summarized in an easy-to-digest spoken word format.
Growth Byte currently enjoys a perfect 5-star rating on iTunes, though it only has been rated six times.
Schedule: New episodes of Growth Byte are released daily.
Twitter: Growth Hacker TV
About The Tim Ferriss Show:i
Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and author of The Four Hour Work Week. His show is an interview series “focused on deconstructing world-class performers.” Ferriss provides actionable insights from gurus like Peter Thiel, Neil Strauss, and Tony Robbins.
Ferriss covers topics far beyond traditional marketing/entrepreneurship, branching out into creativity, particle physics, and other topics.
The Tim Ferriss Show currently has a 4.5-star average from 2,300 iTunes ratings.
Schedule: New episodes are published about every five days.
Twitter: Tim Ferriss
Hosted by authors, economics gurus, and general geniuses Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, Freakonomics covers “the hidden side of everything.”
Feeding inquisitive minds with topics such as How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future, The Dangers of Safety, and many others, the Freakonomics podcast is certainly not a traditional entrepreneurship podcast. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs stand to learn a great deal about themselves, human nature, and how the world really works — invaluable insights for anyone.
Freakonomics Radio enjoys a 4.9-star average from over 550 Stitcher ratings.
Schedule: Freakonomics usually publishes a new episode each Wednesday.
Becoming a Devoted Listener
If any of the above podcasts piqued your interest, try out a few episodes. They don’t require a huge time investment, and at the very least, you’ll hear some interesting stories. Remember, your goal as an entrepreneur is to learn from the mistakes and successes of others — use this insight to support your own endeavors.
TechnologyAdvice also hosts a regular B2B marketing podcast featuring interviews with leaders in marketing and business technology. Check it out!