Last week, I wrote about the business podcasts that keep solopreneurs like me motivated and learning about finance and business markets. This week I thought it’d be fun to highlight the podcasts I listen to on runs to unwind and think about storytelling. This skill of developing a narrative is so fundamental today to promoting and running a successful business.
Take a moment to think about any company that inspires you today. Two things will likely come to mind almost immediately – 1) a person within the company you know and admire and 2) a great story, whether about its origination or something that happened recently. Are you with me? Thinking about Southwest Airlines? Virgin? Toms? Patagonia? Chipotle? These can also be stories of overcoming great failure or challenges. As we look at the typical storytelling paradigm of a hero’s journey, these are often the stories that we remember the most strongly.
And these podcasts are great reminders of how to spin up and relay great story up through with from a bit of curiosity and often facilitating great interviews. Listen and take notes. You’ll want to review them later when you’re thinking about your business.
This is a podcast led by two guys, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman, about all things relating to the internet. They solve techie challenges – like cyber security hacks – and untangle obscure culturally relevant tweets and Reddit posts on a weekly basis. Not only will they keep you up on relevant cultural news, they’ll draw you into the most unique corners of the internet with their genuine curiosity, contagious laughter, and entertaining character interviews. Start with the episode about the Uber hack. It’s a series but well worth it.
These ladies have an incredible resume from across the entertainment space. Both are comedians and actresses, Phoebe Robinson frequently writes and consulted for shows and popular culture outlets while Jessica Williams was a senior correspondent on The Daily Show. If you can catch a live show, do it. The ladies start and end every show with their own sass and random stories. That conversation is then infused with comedians and actors sharing their own stand-up routines and stories. In addition to the incredible perspective of Phoebe and Jessica, they’ve created an incredible space for a broad range of major players, minorities and up-and-comers to feel welcome and relevant speaking about race, gender, sex and the topics of today. Listen to any of these episodes to listen and think about the unique voice you have as well.
Anna Sale is just fantastic. She has one of the empathetic interviewing voices ever. The summary of the podcast is that it’s about “about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.” It’s that and so much more. She coaches her subjects through talking about the most vulnerable subjects and drawing you into their stories deeper than you thought possible. If you’re listening to this podcast, I hope you have Kleenex nearby or don’t mind squishing up your face with concern every-so-often.
Pitched as “insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world.” This podcast provides bite-sized tastes of what correspondents are experiencing in their lives all over the world – whether in the midst of a war in Afghanistan or trying to understand poverty in Malaysia. Within 30 minutes, you’re regularly whisked around the world with the stories and experiences behind the news we read.
His voice and his own special way of interjecting. Alec interviews “artists, policy makers and performers” in only the way he can and it makes for a regular feast. A favorite of mine remains the interview with Elaine Stritch from 2015 because of the candor and delivery that only someone in the latter part of their lives can deliver. Each interview provides a wonderful insight into the life of Alec’s subject and will make you think about the balance of your own life in terms of luck and intention. Alec has a very different style but he’s another voice forcing you to think about what it makes it so damn compelling.
Again, hope you enjoy these podcast suggestions. Next week we’ll move onto other freelancer tools and tricks of the trade by the Lance team. Until then, happy listening and I dare you not to take notes on what from these episodes you should take away to apply to your own business narrative and expression. As always, look forward to hearing about your favorite shows as well.