Career

9 Podcasts Every Businesswoman Should Listen To (To Learn What College Didn’t Teach You)

By Taylor Hunt··  7 min read
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If there’s one thing college doesn’t teach you, it's the things that actually matter.

Students graduate all the time from college and complain that they didn't actually learn anything that will help in the workforce. So college students like myself are turning to other methods of filling in the gaps that college classes are leaving. One way students are doing this is through podcasts. 

Listening to podcasts will give you a personal insight into the convoluted world of business. By listening to founders, entrepreneurs, and investors tell their stories of how they built their empires and teach you the lessons they learned along the way, you can expand your knowledge of the world of business and of human nature. 

1. Cautionary Tales

A modern-day Grimms fairy tale, but with real stories from the world, Tim Harford spins one of the most interesting podcasts there is. Listen to the story of whistleblowers and the consequences, intentional or not, of blowing the whistle on some of the largest corporations in the world. 

Have you wondered what the Charge of the Light Brigade can teach us about human error and the assumption that everyone else is operating with the same information we are? Or how the Dunning Kruger effect infiltrates our lives with disastrous consequences? Cautionary Tales forces the listener to think outside the box and look at the lessons we can learn through everyday experiences. 

2. Freakonomics Radio

Each week Freakonomics host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books, brings you the hidden side of life. Listen as economist John List talks about why most ideas fail to scale, and how to know when it's time to quit. With over three hundred episodes out, this podcast is binge-worthy and sure to fill in the parts of your education that you find lacking. 

3. Great Women of Business

It can be hard to find a podcast that revolves around women in business and doesn't feel like a victim fest. But Great Women of Business does this well. Follow along as you explore how Coco Chanel, Mrs. Fields, Julia Child, Martha Stewart, and more built their impressive empires, balanced motherhood, and struggled to leave their mark on history. 

They were the original girl bosses before girl bosses were a thing.

This is personally one of my favorites because of how inspirational these women are. They were the original girl bosses before girl bosses were a thing, and unlike Anna Delvey, they actually built their empires through honest work and dedication. Through these episodes, you see all the years of work they put in, the blood, sweat, and tears that they shed for their vision. Many of their companies still last today, decades (or centuries) after they first started. This inspires me to put in the hours to build the future I want and to leave a legacy.

4. How I Built This

This podcast is the gold standard for the entrepreneurial spirit. Guy Raz is a master interviewer who gets at the heart of tiny stories and weaves them into a phenomenal story of trials and error, defeat and victory. Every episode is a crash course in what mistakes to avoid while building a company, how to pivot, and how to harness your strengths. Listen to Melissa and Doug, Sarah LaFleur of M.M.LaFleur, Kathleen King of Tate's Bakeshop, and so many more of the 21st century's greatest entrepreneurs and visionaries. 

5. Revisionist History

A podcast from the great Malcolm Gladwell invites you to explore the overlooked and misunderstood. While this doesn’t seem like a podcast that would interest the business-minded at first glance, Revisionist History forces us to look at the way we solve problems, the way we find our answers, and why we dig in so hard when we do. Listen as Malcolm takes the LSAT to figure out why we test the way we do, and what you can do to beat the system. This podcast is a rich education on human nature and the history of society. 

Revisionist History is my favorite podcast and has shaped the way I see the world and all the nuances of it. From interviewing some of the original Communists in the United States to tearing apart the college ranking stats, Malcolm Gladwell will have you questioning everything you think you know. 

6. Business Wars

One of the most interesting business podcasts out there, Business Wars brings you a narrative-style podcast that chronicles the epic business wars that changed the world as we know it. Iconic battles between companies like Pepsi and Coke, or eBay and PayPal, were so big the consequences or benefits are still being felt today. In these episodes, you will explore the desperate measures CEOs, employees, and consumers will take to make their business work. 

Iconic battles between companies like Pepsi and Coke were so big the consequences are still felt today.

7. The Next Big Idea

Have you ever wondered how to get the most out of the 4,000 weeks you'll have in your life? Listen in as The Next Big Idea hosts interview Oliver Burkeman about his book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. Or have you ever wondered about the science behind getting smarter? Science writer Annie Murphy Paul did, and so she wrote a book about it. The Next Big Idea takes confusing questions we have about the world and breaks them down into bite-size conversations. 

8. What's Your Problem?

A recently launched podcast What's Your Problem? explores some of the massive problems facing our generation, questions like “How can you fix a supply chain issue using drones?” or “How do you make a successful company if you can’t run ads?” Host Jacob Goldstein is a veteran host and makes every interview with the founders a fascinating lesson in creativity in business. 

9. The Pitch

If you enjoy Shark Tank, this is the show for you. The Pitch brings entrepreneurs into the pitch room where they will pitch their idea to three or four investors from some of the most prestigious capital companies in the world. Because the show is roughly 40 minutes long, it gives the investors a chance to really dig into the numbers, consumers, target market, and more. Throughout the episodes available you will get to know the investors, what they like, what they look for, and what they think makes a good business. The investors actually invest in the companies that they think are worth it, and many of the brands on the show can be found on the shelves in your local store today. 

This show will teach you more about raising capital, pitching to investors, how to value your company, and what your target market should be than any college class ever could. The investors are real and honest, and they pour their heart and soul into this podcast to make the founders successful. 

Closing Thoughts

When thinking about business it's easy to get caught in the mindset that it's only about the numbers and the data side of the company. Although the data side is important, it's more important to understand human nature, to have the ability to think outside the box, to learn how to pivot a company, and how to connect with the customers. These podcasts will widen your view on what we think we know of the world, will give you the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful CEOs in your lifetime, and will help you grow your empire.

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Seek Truth. Find Beauty.

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