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Image: Time Out

The 15 best business podcasts

From sober news to inspiring tales of success, these are the best podcasts to keep business minds informed and focused

Andrzej LukowskiElla Doyle
Contributor: Ella Doyle
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We live in 2023, which means there’s a podcast out there for literally everything. Belly laugh-inducing jokes? Tick. Hard news? You got it. Endlessly long narrative fiction? It’s there alright. So you’d be a fool not to utilise podcasts for your own needs. And if you’re on the road to becoming an entrepreneur, trying to climb your company’s ladder, or just fancy a thousand more followers on LinkedIn, there’s a podcast out there for you. 

That’s right. There’s a whole world of business podcasts out there for the self-starter types. Dip your toe in or live and breathe business, it’s up to you. But it’s invaluable for getting in the heads of some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, and learning all the tips and tricks for the secret to their success. Ready to delve into a world of media, economics, management and more? Read on. 

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The best business podcasts of 2023, ranked

This US podcast by NPR journalist Guy Raz gets a load of entrepreneurs, innovators and other business types on as guests, to share the secrets to their success. But it’s a lot less clinical then it sounds – listeners actually get let into the guests’ personal stories, as well as a proper insight into how they built their empires, whatever they may be. The episodes come out every Monday and Thursday, so you’ll never be without a fresh ep.

Nobody does serious business news quite like the BBC World Service and its reassuringly drily-titled podcast ‘World Business Report’. Usually put out twice a day, this is the globe’s biggest business and financial news stories from the biggest and best global body of journalists out there. The episodes are short, which is good: most serious business people don’t have the time to take in a long podcast (or two!) a day, but these concentrated doses of hard news tell you exactly what you need to know.

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Not one you should be imitating in any sense, but this gripping documentary series presented by ABC News’ Hannah Jarvis tells the story of the meteoric rise and spectacular crash of the Theranos blood testing corporation and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes. You may now know the tale from the smash TV series starring Amanda Seyfried, but where that was a dramatisation, this is a hard doc that looks under the bumper of the most spectacular business collapse of our age. 

If you know you have business acumen but are worried you lack the dazzling people skills to really implement it, then worry not! Although ‘The Introvert Entrepreneur’ wrapped up back in 2018, the show – presented by Beth Buelow – is a treasure trove (almost 200 episodes) of thoughtful advice on how to succeed in business without the need for bulletproof self-belief and relentless self-promotion.

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Although unquestionably one for the Brits first and foremost, anyone could glean some wisdom via this podcast from the legendary English financial journalist Martin Lewis. His raison d'être is helping ordinary folk save money by better understanding how financial systems works, and while this may potentially not be of much interest if you’re such a high flying businessperson that you have your own personal business advisor, to mere mortals, Lewis is the next best thing.

If you’re so hungry for inspirational business content that a weekly podcast simply won’t do, get your daily dose via John Lee Dumas’s ‘Entrepreneurs on Fire’. And when we say daily, we mean daily – no weekends off for Dumas and his inexhaustible series of interview subjects keen to flag up the secret of their success. It’s very much Rich Guys Saying Why They’re Great, but within that, the diversity is dizzying, and kudos to Dumas and the team for their sheer rate of productivity.

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The clue is in the first word for entrepreneur James Wedmore’s podcast, in which he strongly argues that a winning mindset is more vital to sustained success than meticulously crafted plans. It’s an attitude that’s naturally somewhat American and not for everyone: more sober business types may be horrified by Wedmore’s mantra of ‘mindset over strategy, magic over metrics, and attitude over action’. But Wedmore is not an idiot, and if his style won’t be for all, he has plenty to say on why his dynamic, kinetic style can make you a winner.

The name is horrifying, of course, but who are we to quibble with entrepreneur host Chris Drucker over what works and what doesn’t? ‘Youpreneur’ is a podcast about building up your own personal brand, from reinvigorating inaccessible old content to learning to email better. It’s sound advice and blessedly pithy - shows are weekly and often last under ten minutes: all the better to have time to implement his advice.

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Okay, okay, hear us out. The BBC’s insanely long-running show (it predates the invention of the podcast by at least 50 years, though is now available in that format) is obviously best known for having famous celebrities share their favourite songs. Nonetheless, enormous screen and music stars make up a relatively small percentage of the actual guests, and successful businesspeople - usually British - are at least as common. The relaxed, intimate format (not to mention the song choices) is an almost unparalleled opportunity to see these business titans as more human figures. 

‘Transformational coach’ Dr Mark Goulston’s interview-based podcast is based on a single, compelling premise. All his subjects have made something of themselves - but only after they hit some sort of rock-bottom and experienced the titular wake-up call. The drama levels vary wildly: sometimes, the wake-up call is realising they were in the wrong career; sometimes, it’s being sent to prison. But they’re for the main great, inspirational stories about businesspeople for whom success hasn’t come via the conventional route. 

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Running since 2013, Lewis Howes’s ‘School of Greatness’ is a grand old business podcast mainstay. As such, you can probably guess the general vibe: a quintessential mix of entrepreneurs sharing their stories and philosophies plus Howes’s own wisdom. What makes ‘School of Greatness’ stand out is the scale and longevity of its success, which means that you don’t have to dig too deep into its archives to find fascinating chats with bona fide celebrity guests.

Once again, the slightly hmm name belies a thoroughly worthwhile show. Natalie Eckdahl’s podcast has plenty of sage advice for businesspeople of all genders, but on ‘BizChix’, the guests are all female, and there’s invariably a certain focus on business psychology that favours the often differing reality of being a woman in the business world. Nonetheless, with hundreds of episodes in the can, there’s a genuine treasure trove of mindset-orientated advice here for everyone.

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A podcast run by eBay, entirely devoted to selling things on eBay? Quite how niche you see this as being relies on whether your business depends - or could depend - on the titanic Internet marketplace. If it does, well, this weekly show is probably for you: each week’s show puts the spotlight on a different eBay user or aspect of the site and features a live Q&A section for those who want to listen along live. 

Another great show with a weird name, the trademark of Andrew Warner’s ‘Mixergy’ is a toughness and cynicism that can be missing in entrepreneur-centric podcasts. That’s not to say Warner is cynical about business. But he doesn’t simply flatter his interview subjects with soft-soap queries, asking them challenging questions about their careers rather than letting them bang on about how great they are. It’s tough love, though: things rarely get genuinely confrontational, and the standard of answer is far higher than many shows of its ilk.

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If you aspire to ascend to the next plane of business existence, one in which you traverse the world as a truly global citizen, unbound by localism, unfettered by regional concerns, then you’ll doubtless have a lot in common with Tayo Rockson, the host of ‘As Told By Nomads’. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, and it really helps if you’re on board with the slick, earnest Rockson, who often posts micro episodes that are basically just voice notes. But if you’re looking for thoughtful, often ethically-driven advice on business that is compatible with Gen Z and young Millennial values, this could be the podcast for you.

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