50 Things I Learned from over 600 Hours of Business Podcasts

In the past six months I’ve listened to over 600 hours of business podcasts. That’s equivalent to sitting through a 15-credit semester of lectures in college. How did I do it? My drive to work each day is one hour, one way – and I listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed so each day I’m listening to at least 3 hours of business podcasts. If I have to travel to a client at night or on the weekends, I’m listening to more podcasts on the way.

5 Benefits of Podcasts

  • On-demand learning – you can browse and download a podcast about almost any topic at any time
  • Location-independent learning – you don’t need to be sitting at a desk or in front of a computer – you can listen anywhere
  • Free to listen – books, audio books, and learning courses almost always cost money, but podcasts are fre
  • Multiple distribution channels – you can listen to podcasts via iTunes on your computer, the Podcast app on your iPhone, or through Stitcher Radio (stitcher.com or app)
  • Free mentorship – you normally would have to pay a coach, mentor, or mastermind group to get the kind of one-on-one advice podcasts provide

600 Hours of Business PodcastsWhat business podcasts did I listen to?

50 Things I learned from listening to over 600 hours of business podcasts:

  1. Take massive action
  2. Avoid the imposter syndrome
  3. Wake up early
  4. Network
  5. Seek a mentor
  6. Follow up
  7. Go to conferences
  8. Guest blog post
  9. Turn off distractions
  10. Listen to your intuition (hunches)
  11. Focus on the product
  12. Focus on a niche
  13. Focus on the customer
  14. Just start. You’ll never feel ready.
  15. Don’t listen to the naysayers.
  16. Don’t watch TV.
  17. No doesn’t always mean no.
  18. Help others first.
  19. Mindset matters.
  20. Clear the emotional blockages.
  21. Be thankful.
  22. Have an attitude of gratitude.
  23. Define what makes you happy.
  24. Work hard.
  25. Passion is important, but it should be for solving a problem, not a passion for the product.
  26. People buy products not markets.
  27. Build an audience then sell them something.
  28. PR can help, but PR agents aren’t always helpful.
  29. Celebrities can help.
  30. Backup your hard drive.
  31. Begin with the end in mind.
  32. Envision your future.
  33. Self affirmations.
  34. Use vision boards.
  35. Vehicle for goal. Make sure it matches.
  36. Multiple streams of income.
  37. Multiple sources of traffic.
  38. Figure out how many things it takes and work backwards.
  39. “Dollarization” of a problem.
  40. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  41. Success takes 9 months (to 5 years). There are no overnight successes.
  42. Double your price.
  43. If you get a no, ask why.
  44. All of your ideas are wrong.
  45. Start.
  46. Progress, not perfection
  47. Create systems and procedures.
  48. Know your avatar, or target market.
  49. Email marketing works.
  50. Podcasting works.

Books most mentioned:

Updates:

Comment on Hacker News:

a3voices commented:

> Success takes 9 months (to 5 years). There are no overnight successes.

From what starting point? The decision to try to be successful, when you come up with an idea, or when you start implementing it?

To which I replied:

Every person’s starting point is really the culmination of everything in their past so every starting point is different, but this statement is born from two trends I noticed while listening:

  1. “The Baby Effect” – a term coined by John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire, a 7-day a week business podcast that interviews entrepreneurs, which evolved from John Lee noticing that successful launches tended to take 9 months from first action to the point of sustainability. He called it that because it usually coincided with the founder finding out they had a baby coming, but it also worked that way for BeardBrand, for example.
  2. Most of the “successful” interviewees on podcasts state they started back in 2009, so 5 years later is now (2014). 5 years seems to be the point at which entrepreneurs have been steady long enough that they start to either a) look for the next thing or b) start sharing with other people what they know. It’s also a sign that the ‘wave’ that they were currently riding (their business model) may have crested and they are in search of the next thing, hoping for a second win(d).

Comment (3)

  • Justin| February 11, 2014

    Thanks for the mention, Erich!

    WOW – that’s a ton of podcast listening! I dig the points you’ve listed – I can see a few of them that we’ve hammered home on our show, hehe.

  • Joshua| February 12, 2014

    I’d like to see a post about ‘All of your ideas are wrong.’

    I think I’m taking it the right way, but I’d like to be sure. For reference, I take this to mean that problems are best solved in non-obvious ways.

    At the same time, this nebulous statement has a great negative power, I think. That is, I felt empowered to ‘try and try again’ by reading this post, until I reached #44. Now, I feel like leaving the office early. 🙂

  • Erich Stauffer| February 14, 2014

    Joshua,

    “All of your ideas are wrong.” is really about Lean Startup methodology (Customer Development, Customer Interviews, Validation, and Product Market Fit). That particular line came from Dane Maxwell of The Foundation who said something like ‘Every single one of my ideas have been wrong so I just stopped coming up with ideas and started asking people what problems they had, whether or not they were willing to pay to have them solved, and then built the solution.’

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