Although it helps to be reasonably decisive and have at least a grasp of basic maths, being good at doing business is an acquired skill rather than a talent you’re born with. You should see improving your skills as an entrepreneur as part of your plan for the business you lead.
It’s also one of those things you ought to do that’s neither tedious nor particularly difficult, especially with an enormous wealth of completely free podcasts that can help do that job while you’re driving, running, or sitting down with a nice cup of tea.
The list below is in no way definitive - the sheer range and breadth of business podcasts currently available makes that job too big for any one human - however this is a shortlist of some that have deservedly good reputations. Many are also pretty entertaining along with being informative, which never hurts.
The Tim Ferris Show
You’ve probably heard of Tim Ferris, either through his bestselling business books or this podcast, but in case you haven’t, it’s well worth a listen.
Along with exceptionally famous interviewees from Malcolm Gladwell to Arnold Schwarzenegger, he looks at techniques, habits and tools to drive your personal and business success. It’s inspiring stuff.
From the charming and well connected chaps at Gimlet, maker of the near-legendary tech podcast, Reply All, is a show dedicated to early stage business.
Each season has a slightly different theme, some of which may be more interesting to you than others, its mixture of stories, interviews and deep dives into specific companies presents a compelling view of the experiences of fellow entrepreneurs.
Based on the seminal book about business and running tech teams effectively, the co-authors - who also co-founded Basecamp, the remote working and team management tool - talk about staying agile, avoiding bloat, and staying focused.
Each piece of hard-earned wisdom is supported by anecdotes from their working lives, and the result is a compelling set of advice that’s firmly rooted and real world experience and common sense.
The Growth Show
More inspiring content about building a business from the ground up, this time presented in pithy, sub-25 minute episodes that fit perfectly into a morning commute or trip to the shops.
Looking at a real diversity of business interest stories, there’s plenty to surprise and inform, and a large back catalogue of episodes for new listeners to get their metaphorical teeth into.
Not available on Spotify
The keyword here is eventual, with business coach Jaime Masters interviewing a succession of millionaires and billionaires about how they went about making their money. That includes what they did, what they avoided, and pivotal decisions along the way that made the most difference to their lives and businesses.
It’s easy to see billionaires as being so remote from everyday life as to be almost from another planet, but the insights on offer here are extremely valuable.
Presenter and start up CEO, Andrew Warner, helps you build a better business. Tackling themes from surviving recessions to the growing pains of scaling up, Mixergy offers a reliable supply of business tips from successful entrepreneurs.
Not available on Spotify
The title may be a couple of degrees too arch for some tastes, but there’s a lot to learn from British entrepreneur, Chris Ducker in a series that focuses on building your own skills as a well rounded human, rather than looking purely at your company.
With episodes that rarely last 15 minutes, its bite-sized take on personal development is an interesting counterpoint to the usual more organisationally focused podcasts.
The series has now finished, but its 200+ episode catalogue is still worth a listen, bringing well structured and useful business advice on a range of topics.