Mentorship comes in many forms. Sometimes it happens in person, sometimes it happens through podcasts.
Like many entrepreneurs, I chose self-education in lieu of traditional higher education. Much of what I have learned about starting, maintaining and growing a business has come from reading books, magazines and blogs, networking and podcasts. Podcasts in particular are underrated tools for learning from those who have been there, done that and are willing to shed light on the highs and lows of starting a company. In addition to keeping me entertained on long-haul flights while traveling for work, podcasts often spark a creative idea or get me inspired for an upcoming meeting or pitch.
Here are a few of my all-time favorites, which will in turn hopefully inspire your own entrepreneurial endeavors:
- “Foundation”: In this highly educational video podcast, Google Ventures partner and Digg founder Kevin Rose attracts the highest caliber of all-star founders such as Jack Dorsey (Twitter/Square), Elon Musk (SpaceX/Tesla), Chad Hurley (YouTube) and Tony Hsieh (Zappos). “Foundation” focuses deep into the life of the entrepreneur — where they grew up, what they were like as a child, how they got their inspiration to get started and their journey to success. It’s a high quality, high definition viewing experience that is recommended for all who choose business as their lifestyle.
- “The Tim Ferriss Show”: Best-selling author and wildly successful investor/entrepreneur Tim Ferriss brings an incredibly diverse cast of hyper intelligent interviewees including chess masters, top doctors, critically acclaimed authors and highly accomplished scientists. The goal of the podcast is to deconstruct the tools and tricks of world-class performers to give the listener actionable advice. Tim’s books are extremely inspirational and educational, and his audio podcast is no different.
- “Entrepreneur on Fire”: Every single day of the week, passionate host John Lee Dumas shares the journey of a successful entrepreneur. He highlights lessons learned and how they turned their “aha” moment into a successful business. In under two years, John has interviewed over 650 inspirational leaders such as Barbara Corcoran and Seth Godin. If you don’t know where to start, you can try their Podcast Match Maker tool to find the episodes most beneficial to you.
- “This Week In Startups”:Twice a week, Jason Calacanis interviews big league founders, CEO’s and investors in the tech space. In depth interviews with Mark Cuban, Travis Kalanick (Uber), Aaron Levie (Box) and hundreds more give aspiring entrepreneurs priceless information. “This Week in Startups” is a valuable resource to those in Silicon Valley and beyond looking to start or grow a tech company.
- “Mixergy”: “Mixergy’s” mission is to introduce you to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you. A slightly different twist on podcasts, “Mixergy” is a freemium model where most of the content is paid for at $25 a month. There are just under 1,000 proven entrepreneurs on the site that teach courses on their area of expertise, including founders from companies such as Wikipedia, Groupon, Y Combinator and VaynerMedia.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Image credit: CC by francois schnell