When I was trying to ditch my nine-to-five back in 2016, the best piece of advice I received was to listen to podcasts on my commutes to and from work. And that I should use them to learn about marketing, business, and whatever niche I wanted to work within.
Pretty straightforward advice, right?
Except at the time, I didn’t even know what a podcast was.
I had to search my iPhone for the app because the podcast icon was hiding in my “Apple stuff” folder — with all the other random apps I never used.
But ever since I moved that purple podcast icon to my front page home screen, I’ve been hooked. And no lies — they’ve changed my life.
The life-changing magic of listening in
Podcasts have helped me gain confidence, develop new habits, find clarity, hone new skills, and fuel my desire for perpetual growth and learning.
Plus, there’s something about audio that hits different from reading.
As an avid reader, I have always known the value of shared knowledge and expanding your perspective through curiosity and learning from books.
But podcasts are a remarkably different medium for consuming information.
They feel more intimate (like the people you’re listening to are talking directly to you.) And when you choose the right shows and topics to fill your ears — podcasts can be game-changing.
It all comes down to how you use them.
Listening while working vs. listening for work
Whether it’s marketing, meditation, or motivation, podcasts provide an idea or solution (available for free) right at your fingertips.
And you would be stupid not to take full advantage of that accessibility.
But compared to the early days, I’m far more strategic about what I listen to and when.
For instance, now that I no longer have a nine-to-five commute, I listen to some of my podcast selections when I walk my dog, on a midday break or when I cook dinner. Usually, these will be less tactical and more thought exploration or perspective-shifting shows (I’ll link some of my faves later).
But if I’m trying to get help with something directly related to my projects, I’ll carve out space in my workday to listen so I can take notes and decide on specific actions to implement what I learn.
I also try to listen to shows with excellent notes (some of which even come with worksheets and next steps.) Although you can always take advantage of Podcast Notes if the shows you listen to haven’t got transcripts.
Hands-free: The best benefit of listening to podcasts at work
Of course, not every time you listen to a podcast has something to do with a particular task or project you’re working on.
Often you just need something to pop in your ears to help you focus while working on a less demanding (okay, mind-numbing) task. In this instance, your best bet is to choose a podcast with the specific length of time you want to dedicate to your job and force yourself to work on it for the duration.
Sometimes we’re looking for ways to improve how we work (not just what we’re working on) — or seeking ways to boost our well-being and find more fulfillment in our lives.
Other times, it’s just lovely to take a break and listen to a few interesting stories.
But no matter what work you’re doing, podcasts' audio format allows you to be hands-free and piggyback your learning with other tasks on your to-do list.
Work isn’t just about what you do to make money
If you work from home, the barrier between your official job tasks and everything else you have to do to keep your life running — is almost non-existent.
But podcasts are a great way to overlap learning for work purposes — with your personal activities that have to get done.
For example, pop your headphones in when you’re doing:
- Personal chores; like cooking, cleaning, or mowing the lawn;
- Creative activities; like mindful coloring, drawing, sewing, or anything crafty; or
- Exercise; like taking a walk, going to the gym, or working through a yoga sequence
These are excellent opportunities to dial into your favorite shows and learn something new.
But what about the times when listening to a podcast IS the work?
Perhaps it’s part of your research, and you want to be able to take detailed notes, send off a brief to a colleague or form an action plan from what you listen to…
Well, this is where just-in-time learning comes into play.
Just-in-time learning: The secret to shifting from thinker to doer
If you’re listening to podcasts to generate better results in your business — it’s critical to adopt just-in-time learning.
Just-in-time learning aligns your knowledge and skill development with your next most significant task, so you can use what you learn to gain an immediate result.
This style of learning forces focus AND presents plenty of practice opportunities.
Instead of filling your head with lessons you’re not ready to implement yet, you work through only what you need to know and do right now — prioritizing your next most significant challenge (not something that might be a problem in a month or even a week later.)
This makes execution easier. And your next step is more obvious.
Try it out for your next big project at work, and line up some of the shows we mention below to help you meet the challenge confidently.
26 standout podcasts to build your business, boost your career, and change the way you think
Depending on your problems, preferences, and personal goals — here are some excellent shows we think you might like to add to your library. We’ve also included some of our favorite episodes so you can cut through the noise.
- Business and Tech
- Career, Growth, and Creativity
- Money and Personal Finance
- Health and Wellbeing
BUSINESS AND TECH
#1 — My First Million with Shaan Puri and Sam Parr
Listen here: https://www.mfmpod.com/
Shaan and Sam (and their sometimes guests) dive deep into different business opportunities and explain how to pounce on them. They spoon-feed you interesting businesses you can start tomorrow to help you get your first million (users, revenue, profit, or whatever you want a million of.)
- #208 with Steph Smith - Why You Need a Chief Automation Officer
- #120 - These Are the Frameworks Every Entrepreneur Should Learn
- #174 with Andrew Wilkinson - How to Network with Billionaires, Andrew and Sam's Recent Investments, & a Better Investor Than Buffett
#2 — The Get Paid Podcast with Claire Pelletreau
Listen here: https://clairepells.com/category/podcast/
Claire pulls back the curtain on the reality of running an online business. If you’ve ever wondered how all these people pulling in “six figures” are doing it, this show is for you. Answering questions like:
- What kind of money do they take home after expenses?
- What are those expenses, anyway?
- Are they truly “solopreneurs,” or are they supported by a team?
- What does that team do for them?
- How are they marketing their offerings and growing their lists?
- How long did it take to get to where they are?
You’ll discover how different entrepreneurs get paid and what it costs them to bring in that money.
- Suzy Ashworth: Earning £2 Million in a “Bumpy” Year
- Maya Elious: Making Millions (and Eating Shit in the Process)
- Rachel Rodgers: 1 Year and a 3 Million Dollar Revenue Jump
#3 — Freelance Writing Coach with Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko
Listen here: https://www.freelancewritingcoachpodcast.com/
If you’re a writer, content creator, or producer, this is your go-to podcast for building a thriving freelance writing business. In each 20-minute episode, Kaleigh and Emma take a deep dive that provides actionable advice and firsthand insights from 10+ years of full-time freelancing.
- How to Grow and Nurture a Massive Following on Twitter as a Freelance Writer
- 6 Simple Strategies To Make More Money As A Freelance Writer
- Partner and Prosper: How to work with other freelance writers
#4 — How I Built This with Guy Raz
Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists — and the movements they built.
#5 — Creative Elements with Jay Clouse
Listen here: https://www.creativeelements.fm/
Creative Elements explores how today’s best creators built their businesses. Jay Clouse dives into how the world's best creators are building their audiences using the strategies and tactics working for them today. By learning how these creators make a living with their art and creativity, you'll gain the tools and confidence to do the same.
- #30: Anne-Laure Le Cunff [Mindfulness]
- #93: Codie Sanchez [Contrarian Thinking] – Growing a newsletter by dominating social media (in just over two years)!
- #41: Tim Urban [Struggle]
#6 — Not Investment Advice with Jack Butcher, Bilal Zaidi, and Trung Phan
Listen here: https://shows.acast.com/not-investment-advice
Jack Butcher, Bilal Zaidi & Trung Phan discuss what they're finding on the edges of the internet, the latest in business, technology, and memes. A fun, relaxed, and sometimes ridiculous show that feels like you’re chatting with friends.
- Ep 11 - Tech's Impact On Culture, Jay-Z Buying NFTs, Jack Dorsey Playing 4D Chess + The History Of Sriracha
- Ep 13 - Greatest Ad Campaigns Of All Time, Joe Rogan The King Maker + First Day At Work Stories
- Ep. 1 - Anti-Life Portfolio, Meme School + European Super League // Not Investment Advice
#7 — Darknet Diaries with Jack Rhysider
Listen here: https://darknetdiaries.com/
Given how much time we spend on the internet, it pays to take a peek at the potential threats! Darknet Diaries is a series of true stories from the dark side of the Internet. This is a podcast about hackers, breaches, shadow government activity, hacktivism, cybercrime, and all the things that dwell on the hidden parts of the network.
#8 — Everything is Marketing with Corey Haines
Listen here: https://www.swipefiles.com/everything-is-marketing
Corey Haines explores marketing in all its facets and dimensions through conversations with honest marketers, entrepreneurs, and even people who don't consider themselves marketers. This podcast will help you get out of your echo chamber and create unique marketing by learning from vastly different types of people, strategies, and industries.
- Amanda Natividad — Permissionless Co-marketing, Product-Led Content, & Cold Email Outreach
- Blake Emal — 0 to 28k on Twitter, Becoming a CMO, and Building In Public
- Cathryn Lavery — Going From 0 to $10M+, Playing Monopoly with Daymond John, & The Kickstarter Formula
#9 — B2B Better with Jason Bradwell
Listen here: https://jasonrbradwell.com/podcast/
B2B Better exists to help businesses use marketing to navigate moments of change. Whether this is gearing up for a new funding round, launching a new product, pivoting in response to market trends, or sitting on either side of an acquisition - Jason Bradwell breaks down modern-day B2B strategies into actionable advice with guests who have seen it all before.
- How to Create Great Buyer Personas w/ Adrienne Barnes
- Building a Marketing Strategy When Budget is Tight w/ Bethan Vincent
- How to Vet a New B2B Marketing Agency
#10 — Repeat Customer with Mio Adilman
Listen here: https://www.zendesk.com/repeatcustomer/
Repeat Customer is all about examining genuinely great customer experiences: How companies create them and why superfans love them so much. CEOs, chief customer officers, and industry experts reveal the inside stories of how iconic companies rose to prominence by solving pain points, reimagining touchpoints, disrupting traditional business models, and staking their entire success on inventive, customer-focused approaches. And die-hard superfans share stories of their (sometimes) zany expressions of brand love.
- How Sephora created a futuristic, omnichannel customer experience
- Beyond Cookie Butter: the secrets behind Trader Joe’s great customer experience
- How Hinge muted the gamification of dating
#11 — The Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner
Michael interviews leading marketing experts across multiple industries and specialties. You’ll discover how successful marketers employ social media, learn new strategies and tactics, and gain actionable tips to improve your social media marketing.
- How to Create a Psychology-Driven Organic Marketing Funnel
- How to Write Better-Performing Facebook Ads
- Establishing LinkedIn Thought Leadership for Businesses
#12 — Leave Your Mark: Freshly Brewed Career Advice with Aliza Licht
Listen here: https://alizalicht.com/leaveyourmarkpodcast
With an emphasis on communicating and marketing your personal brand, Aliza and her guests deliver essential advice, inspiration, and motivation for succeeding in the working world, where the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.
- Meredith Fineman on How to Master the Art of Fearless Self-Promotion and Unlock Career Opportunities
- Callie Schweitzer Shares Insider Power Tips for Leveraging LinkedIn and Why You Need to Advocate for Yourself to Create the Job You Want
- How to Master the Art of Strategic Communication with Media Trainer and Public Speaking Coach, Jillian Straus
CAREER, GROWTH, AND CREATIVITY
#13 — Sh*t You Don’t Learn in School with Calvin Rosser and Steph Smith
Listen here: https://keeplearning.buzzsprout.com/
Formal schooling does a terrible job of preparing you to thrive as an adult. The Sh*t You Don't Learn in School podcast exists to make up for this societal failure. In this show, Calvin Rosser and Steph Smith share stories, insights, and resources designed to help you improve the quality of your personal and professional life. If all works out, you'll be at least 1% better at navigating the waters.
#14 — How I Work with Dr. Amantha Imber
Listen here: https://www.amantha.com/podcast/
Amantha interviews some of the world’s most successful people about their habits, rituals, and strategies for optimizing their day. Every episode contains practical tips that you can use to become more productive, motivated, and happier at work.
- Weaponizing accountability with Lifehacker editor-in-chief Jordan Calhoun
- Get professional about your personal life with Life Admin legends Mia Northrop and Dinah Rowe-Roberts
- Analog productivity in a digital age with Unilever CEO Nicky Sparshott
#15 — Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
Listen here: https://www.jimkwik.com/podcast
Kwik Brain is a fun, fast-paced show designed to help busy people learn and achieve anything in a fraction of the time. In this easy-to-digest bite-sized podcast, you will discover Jim Kwik’s favorite shortcuts to read faster, remember more, and ‘supercharge’ your greatest wealth-building asset: your brain. Whether you’re a student, senior, entrepreneur, or educator, you will get the edge with these simple, actionable tools to sharpen your mind, enhance your focus, and fast-track your fullest potential.
- Kwik Study Tips for Long-Term Retention
- Your Big Breakthrough with Tony Robbins
- Overcoming Perfectionism with Dr. Sasha Heinz
#16 — Nir and Far with Nir Eyal
Listen here: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar
A podcast about business, behavior, and the brain: learn how to change behaviors, build better habits and develop the art of persuasion. In these short, snappy shows, Nir shares his learnings on the intersection of psychology, technology, and business — and how to use behavioral design to do more with the time you have.
- How to Turn Off Harmful Stress Like a Switch
- You Don’t Need a Mentor. You Need a Buddy
- Planning Ahead Is the Key to Living With More Spontaneity
#17 — The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher
Listen here: https://jennakutcherblog.com/goal-digger-podcast/
The live-workshop-style business podcast that is helping thousands redefine success and chase bold dreams. You can train with the experts on how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals.
- You Can Be a Present Parent and an Effective CEO
- Who's In My Close Circle? Top 5 Kinds of People to Have in Your Life
- The Ultimate Guide for Hiring the Right People for Your Business
#18 — The Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss
Listen here: https://tim.blog/podcast/
Tim deconstructs world-class performers from diverse areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.
- Hugh Jackman on Best Decisions, Daily Routines, The 85% Rule, Favorite Exercises, Mind Training, and Much More
- Sheila Heen of The Harvard Negotiation Project — How to Navigate Hard Conversations, the Subtle Art of Apologizing, and a Powerful 60-Day Challenge
- Seth Godin on The Game of Life, The Value of Hacks, and Overcoming Anxiety
#19 — Design Matters with Debbie Millman
Listen here: https://www.designmattersmedia.com/
Design Matters with Debbie Millman is one of the world’s first podcasts. The show is about how incredibly creative people intentionally design the arc of their lives. And Debbie has spoken to many excellent creators over the last 15 years.
#20 — The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish
Listen here: https://fs.blog/knowledge-project-podcast/
This podcast will help you unlock your potential. They interview world-class doers and thinkers so you can better analyze problems, seize opportunities, and master decision-making. Every episode is packed with lessons and insights that never expire.
- Angela Duckworth: Grit and Human Behavior
- Derek Sivers: Innovation Versus Imitation
- Matthew Walker: The Power of Sleep
#21 — Winging It with Janis Ozolins and Alex Hull
Listen here: https://bio.link/wngpod
Janis and Alex are two creators who explore what it takes to turn your creative energy and ideas into a profession. In this podcast, they share their creator journeys and riff on new ways to approach your work, battle the inner demons, and design your career around doing the things you love.
- How to think about explaining ideas visually?
- Going Full-Time as a Creator
- Creative Zone & Process, Getting Ideas
MONEY AND PERSONAL FINANCE
#22 — Chill and Prosper with Denise Duffield-Thomas
Listen here: https://www.denisedt.com/podcast
Chill and Prosper is a weekly podcast by money mindset mentor, Denise Duffield-Thomas, covering money mindset, business finances, and clearing your money blocks. With a fun, laid-back style, Denise delivers highly practical advice to help you upgrade your business (and life!)
- 3 Ways Your Money Blocks Are Really Impacting Your Business Right Now
- How to Justify a Price Increase Without Losing Customers
- Do you Need a Big Team to be Successful?
#23 — I Will Teach You to be Rich with Ramit Sethi
Listen here: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/podcast/
Ramit Sethi presents real money stories from behind closed doors. Inside the I Will Teach You To Be Rich podcast, you gain access to couples sharing the most intimate aspects of their lives. The conversations resonate, and Ramit offers helpful questions and insights to help his guests move past unhelpful beliefs and battles about their finances.
- “I’m dumb with money, and he’s making me feel worse”
- “My wife wants to quit her job, but I’m worried about money”
- “I live in constant fear that our $425k income isn’t enough”
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
#24 — Well, Hello Anxiety with Dr. Jodie Richardson
Listen here: https://drjodirichardson.com/podcast/
If you’re looking for a compassionate place to learn how to dial anxiety down and get on with creating a happier life with more calm, contentment, meaning, and purpose, this is the podcast for you. Well, hello anxiety is hosted by anxiety and well-being speaker, educator, and bestselling author Dr. Jodi Richardson. Through open and honest conversations Jodi and her guests share expertise, inspiration, and practical strategies to help you rise to the challenge of being human with the tools you need to thrive.
#25 — The Drive with Dr. Peter Attia
Listen here: https://peterattiamd.com/podcast/
The Peter Attia Drive is a deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing longevity and everything to do with physical, cognitive, and emotional health. With over 40 million episodes downloaded, it features topics including fasting, ketosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, mental health, and much more.
- James Clear: Building & changing habits
- Lance Armstrong: The rise, fall, and growth of a cycling legend
- Esther Perel: The effects of trauma, the role of narratives in shaping our worldview, and why we need to accept uncomfortable emotions
#26 — Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft
Listen here: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/
Gretchen Rubin is the #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before and gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. It is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for actionable tips to find more fulfillment and satisfaction in their daily lives.
- Are You a “Revealer” or a “Concealer,” Write a Haiku, and How Introverted Parents Can Manage an Extroverted Child
- Schedule an “Empower Hour,” a Know-Yourself-Better Question about Confiding Secrets, and a Spotlight on Writer Nnedi Okorafor
- Want to Change a Habit? Start with These 7 Strategies.
Purposeful Learning: What’s on your podcast playlist?
Making the most of the accessibility, diversity, and direct learning opportunities you gain from podcasts is a no-brainer.
And if you align your listening habits with the results you want to achieve, you're bound to make faster progress with your most significant projects.
To create eye-opening shifts in the way you work, where you focus your energy, and what you have to do to make your next big move — curate a list of episodes and schedule some time to listen in.
We hope this round-up of shows helps you discover your next big ‘aha’ moment and puts you on a more purposeful path towards turning your big, bold goals into your reality.