For about a year now I got really into listening podcasts. I sit about 2 to 3 hours in my car everyday, for my commute. Podcasts are an ideal way for me to spend that time in a valuable way. In this post I will list the business/lifestyle podcasts I like the best. They are all interview based; for some reason I like these more than just one guy or girl at the mike. Topics range from starting a side business to morning and sleep routines to healthy food. I look for inspiration, ideas and helpful resources, like (audio)books or articles. Also, good audio quality is a key criterion for me to like a podcast.
In a future article I will list my favorite non-business/lifestyle podcasts.

1 – The Tim Ferriss show

As thousands with me I am a fan of Tim Ferriss, lifetime self-experimenter and author of bestselling books like ‘The Four Hour Workweek’ and lately ‘Tools of Titans’. Tim deconstructs successful people which he interviews in his podcasts. He can be very long-winded, but in a funny and self aware kind of way. The interviews are free format, though at the end Tim asks his guests some standard rapid-fire questions.
Tim invites world class performers: actors, athletes, authors, ex-Navy Seals, scientists, comedians, etcetera; and tries to get from them the tools, tactics and routines that made them successful. Topics are broader than business; a recurring theme is personal effectiveness and the minimal effective dose needed to get a desired result.

This is one of the few long duration podcasts I really enjoy listening to the very end, even though they can last for two hours. Tim leaves a lot up to the guests, which paths to explore and stories to dive into. They are mostly really interesting people, and a lot of them are great storytellers. Examples include Arnold Schwartzenegger, Josh Waitzkin, Jocko Willink, Matt Mullenweg, David Heinemeier Hansson, Tony Robbins and many more.
Tim has a quirky kind of humor, and a tendency to pre-laugh (or snigger) about something he experienced. But I find it makes him more relatable and don’t mind.

Length per episode: 90 – 120 min.
Release frequency: 1 – 2 times a week.
Link: iTunes, stitcher

2 – The Art of Charm

The Art of Charm is a show on topics like social science, cognitive psychology and behavioral economics. The focus is on the application of findings in these fields, to become better at forging and maintaining relationships, conducting business and living a meaningful, fulfilled life. Jordan Harbinger is the host, who did a very short stint as a lawyer and then moved into creating this podcast and hosting bootcamps, where students can learn apply tactics for above topics. I find that this podcast really gives you tools and tactics to improve yourself in a very broad way. Episodes last between half an hour and an hour and there is a shorter weekly minisode.

Length per episode: 30 – 60 min.
Release frequency: 4 times a week.
Link: iTunes, stitcher

3 – Entrepreneur on Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire is a podcast by army veteran John Lee Dumas. John interviews today’s most successful self-made entrepreneurs like Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuck etc. Episodes are much shorter than the Tim Ferriss show, about an half hour long. The show is also very much scripted, in the sense that it follows the same format every time. From worst entrepreneurial moment (John won’t let his guests off easy on this one), to ah-ha moment and success, the show concludes with the lightning round, a quick series of questions to delve for nuggets like books, internet resources and daily routines.
It is a very high energy show and for me as a European guy very American ;). But John has a very positive vibe and a can-do mentality. I like his outlook on the abundance of wealth and opportunity and his focus on delivering value.

Length per episode: 20 – 30 min.
Release frequency: daily.
Link: iTunes, stitcher

4 – The James Altucher show

James Altucher is a serial entrepreneur, who failed a lot and succeeded with a few of his enterprises and made a lot of money (and lost it, and made it back again). He is also a board member, an investor and author. I like his style of interviewing, which is very open and transparent. James does not shy away from asking obvious or “dumb” questions, and as a result gets a lot from his interviewees. His guests are authors, scientists, self made entrepreneurs; all experts at the things they do. The list contains names like Dan Ariely, Gretchen Rubin, Scott Adams, Stephen Dubner and Robert Cialdini to name a few.
Audio quality used to be crappy, and made me decide to unsubscribe. Recently is has been much improved and I subscribed again. The shows are completely free format and quite lengthy, about an hour and an hour and a half long.

Length per episode: 60 – 90 min.
Release frequency: 1 – 2 times a week.
Link: iTunes, stitcher

5 – The School of Greatness

Ex pro athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur Lewis Howes interviews succesful people from different backgrounds. In between interviews Lewis publishes shorter episodes on a specific subject, sharing his personal experiences. Subjects include humility, habits, public speaking, neuroscience and much more. Among his guests were Mike Rowe, Mike Conley, Steve Aoki and our own Wim Hof (I’m Dutch ;).
What I like is that this guy has grit. He got on the American Olympic handball team by showing up at practice and persevering untill he could join. But he has another side, a bit huggy, touchy-feely, very kind and loving. I personally like this combination.

Length per episode: 4 – 60+ min.
Release frequency: 3 times a week.
Link: iTunes, stitcher

These are my favourites. A critic might say that a lot of the interviews in these podcasts are with people that have something to gain from being on the podcast, like plugging their latest book. In these podcasts I find this not problematic. Most books are great resources, and the focus is never on selling the book, but on the subject of it’s contents. Also, because the subject and audience of the podcasts are alike, interviewees may be featured on more than one of these podcasts around the same time.
If you’re a first timer, these might be a good start in the field of business and lifestyle. Or a good addition to your list. I find daily nuggets here, and they are an integral part of my self-development nowadays.
If you listen to any podcast not listed here I should check out as well, let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Hear this! Podcast mania

  1. I would definitely add Art of Manliness to this list.

    Tried James Altucher, but somehow felt it was a lot of talk off tangent and not that much value unfortunately. More like fireside chat than deep interview.

    1. Hi Vasilij,
      Thanks for the suggestion, will check out the Art of Manliness.
      Concerning James Altucher, I think it really depends on the guest. Some are so good they carry the conversation.
      Best,

      Martijn

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