Growing a business is a process of constant learning by trial and error. Whether learning on the job by making mistakes or learning from other peoples mistakes. Every (honest) entrepreneur will have a list of war stories, or opportunities to learn, from the times when it just didn’t work out right. However, as Roy H. Williams said, "a smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether."

In this age of too much to do and too little time to do it, many busy business owners and entrepreneurs turn to business podcasts as a source of inspiration and education. Podcasts are a fantastic learning tool and their format makes them easy to produce and listen to. 

Here are the top 5 business podcasts for you to listen to in 2017.

Masters of scale business podcast.png 1. Masters of Scale is an original podcast hosted by LinkedIn Co-Founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman showing how companies grow from zero to a gazillion. The series unfolds like a music-infused detective story as Hoffman tests his theories with famous founders. Masters of Scale is the first American media program to commit to a 50-50 gender balance for guests.
The Tim Ferriss Show business podcast.png

2. The Tim Ferriss Show Iis generally the #1 business podcast on iTunes having been the most downloaded in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each episode deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) and extracts the tactics, tools, and routines that business owners can use. This can include anything from favorite books, morning routines and exercise habits to time-management tricks. 

 

How I built this business podcast.png 3. How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. If you've ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it — check out How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz.

 

Related: 5 minute interview with Jack Hubbard, CEO, Propellernet

The GaryVee Audio Experience business podcast.png

4. The GaryVee Audio Experience business podcast provides listeners with a mix of some of his best #AskGaryVee Show episodes, keynote speeches on marketing and business, highlights from Gary Vee's DAILYVEE video series, interviews and fireside chats, and any of my new and current thoughts that he records specifically for this audio experience!

 

FT Start-Up Stories business podcast.png

5. FT Start-Up Stories The Financial Times's Jonathan Moules talks to entrepreneurs about building successful brands, giving birth during a funding round, and rebuilding a reputation in the wake of bankruptcy. Real stories from those who've done it, from idea to exit.

 

 

My top 5 business podcast recommendations

HBR_Ideacast--business-podcast 1. HBR Ideacast is consistently a top rated business podcasts on iTunes because it’s an excellent listen. It’s a weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review. As you’d imagine the quality is excellent but the focus is sometimes on big corporate.  Take a listen to #467 an interview with Evernote CEO Phil Libin on the new ways we work. Each episode is usually under 20 minutes so is easily listened to on a short car ride.  There is usually a longer piece of content on the HBR website to back up the podcast.
growth-show-business-podcast 2. The Growth Show is a relatively new podcast from HubSpot.  Their content is always good and as the podcasts are fronted by their CMO Mike Volpe it’s usually time well spent. The format is usually a low key chat with a top CEO around how they grow their businesses.  Quality isn’t a;ways brilliant as many of the interviews are done over Skype.  Seth Godin appears in #12 and is a good place to start or maybe #20 with Slack CMO Bill Macaitis.
stanford-ETL-business-podcast 3. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series is a weekly recording (video) of a class run by Stanford Technology Ventures Program.  The format is more of a talk by a business leader or thinker and as its Stanford the speakers are often high profile.  As its a 1 hour video be prepared for a long download but I always try to have one to watch if I’ve got a long train ride home.  Top suggestion #17 – Ben Horowitz on Nailing the hard things.
entreleadership-business-podcast 4. EntreLeadership is a new one for me that I found when gathering details for this post but it comes highly recommended. It’s a bi-monthly show put together Dave Ramsey (a US TV host)  that explores business & leadership with a batch of high profile interviewees.  I’m too new to make recommendations so let me know if there are any you really like. 
the-entrepreneurs-business-podcast

5. The Entrepreneurs by Monocle 24 is a weekly show discussing businesses from around the world. More of a magazine format focussing on style & lifestyle rather that tech.  I listen to it in the car when there’s nothing that catches my attention on the radio. Too many good ones to choose from so take in the latest show.

 

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About The Author

Jonathan is the co-founder and CEO of breatheHR. He is dedicated to helping ambitious businesses grow by providing insights into people management, running a business, and using breatheHR.