If you’re ready to startup on the side and turn your commute into an incubator hub, startup podcasts are the best way to absorb the latest strategies and tactics without much effort at all.
Call it subliminal learning, there’s magic in learning through story.
And when you have the most interesting storytellers interviewing most interesting humans who’ve done the most interesting things in their life and work, well BOOM! You have a recipe for an education better than any ivy league MBA.
In fact, considering most MBAs can’t even get a job in this economic climate, looking to your peers and those who’ve gone before you for inspiration is the best way to model your own business or startup success.
Without incurring 100K in debt. Just saying.
I’ve listened to many startup podcasts over the last 4 years of my own startup trajectory, but there are four I love the most.
I hope these 4 startup podcasts inspire you, too.
There’s a reason that Srini Rao as a shining example in my post 10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs: his ability to share his own struggles with success with such candour was my first insight into what it truly means to be an entrepreneur.
Srini and his guests were my mentors in my first year of business back in 2014 and even though I burnt out after 3 months I knew exactly what to do next: keep going.
That led me right here to The Freedom Philosophy Classes, a multimedia course that teaches fledgling & future entrepreneurs how to stay in the game until they get the results they’re looking for. (And it works, cos I’m still here!)
What I love most about him is that he’s a remarkable misfit and cheeky instigator whose curiosity about others illuminates universal truths that we can all apply in unfurling our own brilliance across the universe.
His own story & his interviews plug us into the quiet rebellion stirring at the heart of humanity, and his role in that is to fire up the creative, entrepreneurial spirit within all of us by uncovering the stories that serve to remind us that conformity is spiritual suicide + that idiosyncrasy is the DNA of success.
My 3 favourite episodes are oldies but goodies:
- How to steal like an artist with Austin Kleon
- Creating work that’s impossible to resist with Sally Hogshead
- The profound power of personal commitment with Kamal Ravikant
#3: Startup Podcast
“If you haven’t heard about this podcast you’ve been living under a rock,” was my introduction to Startup Podcast. The rock was Australia and yes, I was living down under.
But I binged on it and was caught up in 48 hrs. That’s how good it is.
This real life fly-on-the-wall podcast drama documents Alex’s decision to start a company.
We bear witness to the intimate discussions, debates, conversations and dilemmas between Alex and his potential investors, business partner, wife… and I don’t want to give too much away other than it’s brilliant and you’d be crazy not to listen to it.
You’ll be surpassed how much you relate to Alex’s challenges throughout the episodes, as we follow him on what is more accurately an adventure in life & work rather than starting up per se.
It’s a solid reminder that you can’t compartmentalise your work – it’s one aspect of life that intertwines with every other aspect every single day.
Another 3 seasons and a mini season later, I still think Season One is the best.
The whole first season is a MUST, but if I was pressed to name some favourites…
- Startups are a risky business
- How not to pitch a billionaire – *brilliant and funny*
- Fake it til you make it
#3: The Foundation
Andy Drish is brilliant at picking out the details that most his guests either forget or skim over, because he knows that’s the stuff in-between that we, the listener, find fascinating.
He frequently says: “Hang on a minute, let’s go back to that…,” and has no issue with detouring into heart & spirit talk before getting into the nuts and bolts of the business stuff.
I haven’t been following Andy for long but I love his voice… it’s smart & compassionate & soulful and he’s guiding me into a world of tech and software and Saas quite without any resistance on my part.
The thing about tech is that it can be instantly alienating for people like me who avoid data, analyse and tech-y things in general, but it can mean missing out on some of the most exciting startup stories — & people — of our time.
Andy and his guests humanise tech and help us understand that you don’t have to be tech-y to create tech-driven products & services, that you don’t need tech vernacular talk to get excited about it, and that tech enables social change on an unparalleled scale.
My 3 favourite episodes so far:
- Why you don’t need to be a developer to be a software business founder
- How money can help entrepreneurs build a legacy with positive impact
- How to build consistent growth with no end in sight – *female interviewee!*
#4: Soulful MBA
Duo Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery bring a fresh & feminine voice to the startup podcast world.
It’s the newest in my arsenal of secret-weapon startup podcasts and I’m loving it.
They’ve carved out a gritty perspective on subjects like commitment (whey they talk about committing to the process over a longer term rather than the project/ product/ service), and authenticity (how this is a key differentiator between the way men and woman approach business). And even the idea that technology is a powerful enabler — Jennifer was inspired by Bill Gates’ quest to eradicate Malaria — rather than something to be afraid of, which many of us still are!
I love it all and am still making my way through the latest episodes.
What’s unique about this startup podcast is that they take on each subject as women. Not as entrepreneurs, or tech founders. But as female humans, making it distinctive in a male-driven startup scene.
Their life experience adds an additional edge: As former environmental lawyer and footwear and gait analyst respectively, they each trained as yoga teachers but are passionately pursuing the Saas (software as a service) business model as their contribution to the yoga & wellness community.
These two bring a feminine and humanised approach to tech & entrepreneurship.
Soulful MBA podcast is a collection of their insights and hindsights from their ongoing journey from career women to software entrepreneurs and the launch of Namastream (software that enables yogis to build a viral studio) and Soulful MBA (business training for yogis).
My favourite episodes so far:
I hope you love these startup podcasts as much as I do. What startup podcasts inspire you? Drop me an email!
Image: Alice Moore via Unsplash