7 Best Business Podcasts for Solopreneurs DONE

business podcast freelancer
You’ll want to take notes while listening to these business podcasts. Photo courtesy of Juja Han

As a solopreneur, you’re busy and jamming at making your business and side hustling run smoothly. But you know the value of a little focused direction and inspiration in making more happen, right? Podcasts have really started to break out over the last couple years as a way to learn more while we’re at the gym or running around. They’ve certainly become a background playlist to my everyday. Through all that listening time, I’ve been listening to more business news and insights. I generally walk away from each half hour show with at least one insight I can immediately apply to my work.

So here are some of my favorite business-related podcasts below. I’ve curated them over the past few years to be my companions while I travel, run, fly and drive around the globe. Hope they keep you company and inspire you with some sparks of new insights or trends you should be paying attention to as well!

How I Built This

Guy Raz, the host of this podcast, is just the personification of curiosity. He really dives into the lives and habits of his interviewees. And you get the benefit of hearing all about their trials and tribulations of developing their products and companies. More recently, really enjoyed the episode with Alexa von Tobel and live episode with Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. Great content about pushing through and also co-founder relationships.

Slate Money

This podcast makes economics, market trends and finance approachable. Not every episode will be relevant to immediate business impacts but listening to the three hosts will definitely make you curious about broader market trends and make you think about what to be pay attention to on a regular basis. Also, it’s still refreshing to hear a female voice in podcasts. Cathy O’Neil was a fantastic co-host when she was on, and Anna Szymanski is just as impassioned and ready to dive in with her perspective.

Exchanges at Goldman Sachs

Tbh, I downloaded this on a whim while I was taking MBA classes. I thought it might be a good (boring) supplement to my Barron’s subscription. But it’s been great! A weekly overview of macroeconomic trends, global trade, etc. I know that sounds a little “how could anyone get excited to hear about this stuff” but it’s delivered in a super digestible way and again, brings you up to a 30,000 foot view of what to think about in the world around you.

BBC Business Daily

I listen to about half of these episodes, along with a few other BBC programs. If you’re based in the US, it’s critical to be more mindful of sourcing global news and content. This program along with From Our Own Correspondents and Desert Island Discs is really a great daily habit.

Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam. You will get to know that name. While you’re focused on your business, it’s always great to infuse your thinking with how the human brain actually works. Listening to Shankar talk about the patterns and psychology that directs our decision-making and actions will inevitably turn you into a stronger business person. The “Me, Myself and IKEA” episode from last May is a great one to start with in this show.

99% Invisible

Roman Mars has been in the podcast game about as long as anyone. For most of us listeners, he was the person who originally drew us into podcasts. I first heard him speak at a Fast Company Innovation Summit, and I’ve been listening to his take on the world ever since. Much like Hidden Brain, I listen to this podcast because it focuses more on very human stories and explores why we do the things we do. And Roman Mars is a fantastic storyteller – take notes.

The Tim Ferriss Show & The Tony Robbins Podcast

As much as I didn’t want to like these podcasts, I can’t help it. They’re a solid injection of inspiration whenever you need it. Yes, Tony tells the same stories over and over again (so you will be able to repeat them to others). And Tim has a penchant, like Alec Baldwin (in Here’s the Thing, another favorite), to share over his interviewees. But both of them do several things very well: score incredible interviewees, self-promote like crazy, and share some very practical insights. So here’s my suggestion: Listen to them ahead of pitching clients, when you’re developing sales materials, or ahead of stepping into your office space. Draw inspiration from their interviewees. Remember to think about and deliver your story to your clients. And keep up the hustle, it will pay off over time!

Hope you enjoy listening to these podcasts. I’ll be sharing some more entertaining ones from comedians and others I listen to when I’m really wanting to zone out – usually on a long run – next week.

In the meantime, would love to hear which ones you find most interesting and useful. Have you found any that are totally relevant to your specific business? Or that talk about managing finances in a compelling way? I haven’t yet but am always on the hunt. Continuously adding to my playlist – and wishing I had more time to dive into these!

Hope to one day start our Lance for Freelancers podcast.

In the meanwhile would love if you’ll download the Lance ios app.

5 Podcasts That Will Help Craft Your Brand Narrative DONE

freelance story narrative podcast
Listen to these podcasts whenever you’re feeling the itch to rework how you describe your business or between big projects! Photo courtesy of Neil Godding

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.

Reply All

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.

2 Dope Queens

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.

Death Sex & Money

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.

From Our Own Correspondent

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.

Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin

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.