I know, I know… We shouldn’t be thinking about work all the time!

10 Top Business Podcasts

But sometimes it’s hard to let go. We look at all those hours at the cottage or the beach and think, “I could be using this time more productively! I can’t just lie around and suntan!” (Besides, with #50 sunscreen, I’m not going to get a tan anyway.)

So if you want to be able to give your eyes a rest from the screen or the books, but still be learning, here are some of the business podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately.

What’s a Podcast?

A podcast, for those of you who haven’t listened to any yet, is like a radio show but you can listen to it whenever you want, on your phone, tablet or computer. Many people listen on iTunes, but you can also hear it on the podcaster’s website, or on free apps like Stitcher or Podcast Alley. You can download a free podcast app to your phone.

My Favorite Business Podcasts

I listen to dozens of them, and there are more being added every day. I can’t include them all, but here are 10 of my faves. For each I’ll link the title to their web page and include the iTunes link.

Let’s get my biases out of the way right off.

First, I don’t like it when hosts spend a bunch of time chatting and joking with each other before they get down to business.

Second, of course I’m going to recommend my own podcast:

  • Frank Reactions on Customer Experience. (iTunes link) Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield. Each week I interview CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs or thought leaders about the 3Ps that go into creating great customer experiences: Promise, People & Process.

Now that that’s done, here are some others that I recommend.

  • HBR IdeaCast (iTunes) Sarah Green Carmichael does a great job interviewing academics and authors about new business books and articles. Mostly from Harvard, but lately they are including more non-Harvard authors too.
  • The Marketing Book Podcast (iTunes) The title says it all. Host Douglas Burdett has clearly read and thought about each book before he interviews the author. (Check out our interview here.)
  • Mixergy (iTunes) Host Andrew Warner is what my mom would call “cheeky”. He really pushes his guests to answer awkward questions, like “How much did youreally earn?”
  • Social Pros Podcast (iTunes) This is my one exception to the no joking around rule. I do find it a bit annoying that it takes them a while to really get going, but it is worth sticking around. Jay Baer and his co-hosts interview the folks heading up the social media operations of large companies. Find out what the big kids do. (Jay Baer is the only person I’ve interviewed twice on Frank Reactions. Here’s the latest one, about handling critics on social media.)
  • ConversionCast (iTunes) No BS here; this show is all about experiments and test results on what has worked to improve sales conversions on websites. Brought to you by Tim Paige and the team at LeadPages.
  • EOFire (iTunes) If you are an entrepreneur who’s already listening to podcasts, you’ve undoubtedly heard of John Lee Dumas. He was the first to put on a dailypodcast in the business world. He has a standard list of questions, and is super-organized. (You can hear more about his productivity secrets in this interview I did with him a while back. And recently he interviewed me, which was fun!)
  • Smart Passive Income (iTunes) Pat Flynn got his start as “the crash test dummy” of online business. He’s been totally transparent about what’s worked and what hasn’t, and he still posts full income reports online. He built a huge following in part by sharing his vulnerable side and insecurities. Here’s an interview I did with him, after he stressed customer experience in a talk he gave at New Media Expo.
  • The Economist: Editor’s Picks (iTunes) Not purely business, it is more about the intersection of business and politics. If you don’t have time to read the full magazine, this is a good alternative. They also have an audio version of the full magazine, but you have to subscribe to get that one.
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (iTunes) Stanford Univeristy records lectures by successful entrepreneurs, mostly from the Silicon Valley area. Fascinating.

Need a Break from Business Podcasts?

In March of last year I put together a list of some of my favorite non-business podcasts. I still really enjoy all the ones I listed there.

If only there were more listening hours in the day!

What other podcasts do you recommend?