Podcasts are the most intimate and powerful form of media, in my opinion. Video is up there too, but one reason podcasts are so wonderful is that you don’t have to be sitting in one place, staring at a screen—you can be exercising, cleaning your house, driving, shopping, working, or whatever you normally do, and podcasts will be changing your life in the background.
The single habit that has had the greatest impact on who I am as a person, my income and career, and my mindset is listening to podcasts.
If you want to take your business to the next level, learn a new language, study philosophy, or just become a more well-rounded and interesting person, you should be listening to podcasts on a daily basis.
What’s a podcast?
Podcasts can be interviews, stories, lessons or anything that’s communicated via audio. You typically download podcasts onto your computer, phone, or tablet and listen to them in a podcast app. Like blog posts, podcast episodes are usually published in a series over time.
I’ve listed to podcasts almost every day for the past 5 years, and they have absolutely changed my life for the better. Let me tell you how.
Podcasts have brought the smartest people in the world into my living room (and my car, and my gym, and my shower…)
Every day as I’m brushing my teeth, washing dishes, walking to work, and lifting weights (well, maybe not every day…), my ears are filled with intelligent conversation and my mind is challenged.
When you listen to a podcast, it’s like sitting in the room and quietly listening to your heroes having a normal conversation together. You hear their personal thoughts being spoken for the first time, as if you’re right there taking part in the conversation.
This is something you can’t get through reading a book or a blog post because the written words have been edited and polished.
Podcasts have given me an education many times over in business, science, and philosophy
By listening to thousands of hours of talks by experts in these fields, I’ve experienced the equivalent of sitting through years of college classes.
And the best part? It’s all free and has taken zero extra time out of my daily life. I listen to podcasts while working, driving, and exercising—all things I’d be doing anyway.
Podcasts allow me to constantly grow and improve as a person
My assumptions are challenged, my beliefs changed, and my mindset sharpened by the ideas I’m exposed to every day through my earbuds.
My business is years ahead of where it would be if I were figuring everything out by myself. Instead, I learn by being a proverbial fly on the wall as podcasters who have already experienced failures and successes talk about everything they know.
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don't remember every podcast episode I've listened to, but the education and inspiration I've absorbed through my headphones have helped me start a successful business and travel the world, and podcasts continue to influence my thoughts and goals every day.
How to get started listening to podcasts
If you have an iPhone, you’ve already got the Podcasts app installed. Open it and subscribe to a few podcasts. To get a little fancier, I recommend Overcast ($4.99).
If you have an Android phone, check out the Pocket Casts app (it’s $3.99, but there are also free podcast apps in the Google Play store).
Podcasts I’m listening to
This list constantly evolves, but here’s a smattering of what I’m listening to right now. Search for the title of each show in your podcast app of choice to start listening.
Science & Philosophy
Business & Finance
- Bootstrapped Web
- The Business of Freelancing
- Financial Independence
- Shopify Masters
- Startups For the Rest of Us
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- Travel Like a Boss
- Tropical MBA
- The Unofficial Shopify Podcast
What about you?
What habits or technologies have changed your life the way podcasts have changed mine?
Have any podcasts you recommend? I’d love to hear from you. Seriously—I’m always looking for a new podcast to listen to. ;)