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Turn It Up: Podcasts that can teach you how to grow

July 13, 2018 / 8min



Turn It Up: Podcasts that can teach you how to grow

July 13, 2018 / 8min


Mentors, mates, mistakes – business lessons for self-starters can come from a range of sources. And podcasts are a perfect learning tool to build into your routine, your downtime and your commute.

They’re also a great way to learn from those who have travelled a similar path. Here’s our review of what’s worth your hard-earned time.

Getting Started

In 2014 the award-winning US radio reporter Alex Blumberg stepped down from his long-time post. The reason? He’d co-founded Gimlet Media.

Gimlet’s first show was StartUp, an investigation into the trials and tribulations of starting a small business from scratch. Blumberg’s choice for the first season’s subject? Gimlet Media itself.

This very meta choice of content worked a treat, and the show has gone on to tell the stories of other startups. Meanwhile, Gimlet has grown to become one of the world’s premiere podcast producers, pumping out top-quality content covering a huge range of subjects. But business remains one of the topics they do best.

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In addition to StartUp, there’s The Pitch, which profiles founders pitching to potential investors. Think Shark Tank without the pumped-up drama.

Gimlet also co-produced The Venture, a collaboration with Virgin Atlantic, which features the stories behind cutting-edge brands like record label KillRockStars, ubiquitous dating app Tinder and satirists The Onion.

You can listen to Gimlet Media podcasts via a range of platforms including iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify.

Bigger and better

If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, then you’re already connected into the world of US venture capitalist Reid Hoffman. In 2003, he was one of the cofounders of the professional networking social media platform that now boasts over 500 million members.

Hoffman has been an integral investor in and mentor to companies like Facebook, and is on the board of Airbnb, Convoy, Edmodo and Microsoft. He’s also the host of Masters of Scale, a podcast that explores “how companies grow from zero to a gazillion”.

In each episode, Hoffman introduces his theory on an aspect of business growth, then tests that theory by speaking with successful founders about their trek towards scale. Uniquely committed to a 50-50 gender balance for its guests, the show has featured a who’s who of modern business legends – from Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel (episode 11) and billionaire businesswoman Sarah Blakely (episode 5), to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (episode 4).

Hoffman isn’t alone in talking scaling up from ground up. How I Built This is hosted by National Public Radio stalwart Guy Raz, and the former war correspondent has shifted his focus to entrepreneurial battlegrounds, speaking with innovators and entrepreneurs about the brands and business they’ve built.

The show has featured a stable of heavy hitters who have left their mark on the diverse worlds of technology, business, food, product design and popular culture – including those behind Buzzfeed, VICE, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet and (believe it or not) Alvin & the Chipmunks.

Masters of Scale is available through iTunes, Google Play, and Hoffman’s website. How I Built This can be found on NPR One, iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and the NPR podcast directory.

Homegrown hits

Podcasts that focus on the struggles and successes of small-to-medium enterprises aren’t just the domain of radio veterans and Silicon Valley venture capitalists. There’s a growing swag of Australian podcasters sharing stories about self-starters, and tips and tricks to grow your own way.

Over 18 months and 50 episodes of The Business Experiment, Jemimah Ashleigh and Shevonne Joyce told their own stories about the ups and downs of small business, and spoke with guests about what it takes to make it on your own.

People in over 60 countries tuned in to hear this productive pair “keep it real” on topics such as working from home (episode 7), celebrating success (episode 15), keeping up a social life as a self-starter (episode 38), and physical and mental health for entrepreneurs (episode 40).

Still think podcasting is a fad? You need to listen to Tim “Timbo” Reid. Now in its seventh year, his The Small Business Big Marketing Show can often be found at the top of the iTunes business podcast charts, as well as on demand on all Virgin Australia domestic and international flights.

Reid is an acclaimed author and public speaker on all things small business marketing, and the series benefits from his extensive background in advertising, marketing and brand building, and the presence guests from his incredibly extended network.

This year alone he’s talked shop with motor racing legend Steve Edwards, Australia’s most influential personal trainer Michelle Bridges (episode 418) and Nourished Life founder Irene Falcone (episode 389).

No matter where you’re at on your journey to growth, there’s a podcast episode to suit your stage.

Visit The Business Experiment website to listen back through all 50 episodes. Subscribe to the The Small Business Big Marketing Show on iTunes or Stitcher.


The Pitch:
The Venture:
Masters of Scale:
How I Built This:
The Business Experiment:
The Small Business Big Marketing Show: