What a year it's been for podcasts.
We've laughed. We've learned. We've cried (shhhh don't tell anyone).
Here at Startup Mixtape, we listen to and monitor thousands of podcast episodes every single week (and recommend the top 5 each week here :)).
Out of thousands of episodes in 2017, there were 10 that stood out. We simply could not get these episodes out of our heads. These were the ones that inspired, educated, and made us think bigger.
And so, without further ado, here are the top 10 best business podcast episodes of 2017:
Why you should listen: Jeff Kearl started his own internet company at a young age and thought he had it all figured out. After his company failed he joined a venture capital fund which led him to become the Director of Strategy and New Ventures of Hewlett Packard. Jeff was also on the board of advisors for Skull Candy headphones and played a big role in taking the company public. Jeff is now currently the CEO and Chairman of Stance which is the official sock of the MLB, NBA & NFL.
”I would attribute a lot of the business success, and even some of the life success, to just the people that I surrounded myself with.”
“The pettiness of people in the workplace probably costs more money and lost productivity than just about anything else.”
Lesson: Having one specific goal can actually hold you back.
“I found that it’s not valuable to have one specific goal in mind because that ultimately narrows what opportunities I take. If I thought, ‘I only want to be editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine,’ I would’ve turned down all the opportunities that actually did get me to become editor-in-chief.”
“I think people will often be surprised that if you find something you love, tell yourself, ‘I’m not fucking around,’ and see how you do with it. You’ll discover that you have an untapped reservoir of energy and ideas that you can direct towards it.”
Lesson: Whether you’re in the idea or execution phase, your unique asset is that you’re in motion on your idea. Rather than keeping it close to the chest, you should be talking to everyone who’s opinion you value, get feedback, and refine your idea.
“Think about yourself as an entrepreneur and beginning a path that isn’t a career path, but actually, in fact, a set of entrepreneurial experiences by which you’re strategically defining your forward life.”
“I have seen more companies and organizations go wrong because of ‘negative competitiveness’.”
Lesson: Your disadvantage is your advantage.
“Do you know what happens when you expect nothing from anybody? Do you know what it feels like to live a life when you just give, give, give and you never ask for anything in return? Do you know what it feels like, in every situation, to think about what the other person is feeling....even if they’re fucking you up?”
“Nobody is putting on marathon sneakers. Everybody wants to be a sprinter. Everybody wants it tomorrow.”
Lesson: Suffering is a key part of personal growth. It’s absolutely critical that you develop the ability to deal with / leverage it.
“Don’t always be thinking about inching every bit of profitability out, but instead think of the emotional reaction that the customer has to your brand as the profitability.”
“It’s not enough to take care of the customer -- you have to evangelize them. That starts with evangelizing your employees first.”
Lesson: Imperfect is perfect. Why? Because your assumptions about what people want are never exactly right. Most entrepreneurs create great products through a tight feedback loop with real customers using a real product.
“If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released it too late.”
“Even if not every single release is perfect, I think you’re going to end up doing better over a year or two than you would be if you just waited to get feedback for a year on all your ideas. So that’s really core. I think more than any single product that we’re working on at this point, that focus on learning quickly is the strategy of the company.”
Lesson: Too much stress without enough rest leads to injury, illness and burnout, while not enough stress and too much rest leads to complacency and stagnation.
“Stress + Rest = Growth. [...] I think that is a pattern that holds true for everything. For how to grow cognitively, creatively, emotionally, in a relationship, and perhaps how to even grow a company.”
“I think the most underrated career advice is to join a big company when you get out of college. It gives you context. You may like it, so it may be perfect for you, and if you don’t like it you have a reason / mission behind your decision to either start a company or join a smaller company, and it gives you appreciation.”
Lesson: Without sales you have no company. A lot of founders believe that people will buy if they just build a great product, and if they just show everyone the great features and benefits they have. This is NOT the case.
That's what sales is. It's truly discovering the pain or gain that your prospect has, and then using your solution to fulfill that need, and then transferring your enthusiasm to them to get the deal done.
"Nothing happens in business until someone sells something to someone else."
Lesson: Because young people have such low opportunity cost, your standard of living is so low and you’re not locked into a bunch of really high expenses, you can underbid people, and this gives you access to jobs you are not yet equipped for.
“It’s the ability to master something that matters, and that’s highly transferable. So experiment and try stuff, but don’t see that as an indication that you should dip your toe into the water with a bunch of things because you really won’t learn that way.”
“Learning out loud is key because if you broadcast who you are and what you’re all about (building that signal), that’s going to attract people that are interested in that.”
10. Success! How I Did It - Fortune 500 CEOs and top execs reveal what to do in your 20s to set yourself up for an awesome career
Lesson: No one is born a CEO. But you can learn to be a great one.
“I’d probably highlight those things: hard work, good ideas, and putting yourself in a position to get lucky, if you will. I think that's very important.”
“Whether it's just the fundamentals of business, or things like public speaking, or being more inspiring, or being a better leader -- these are all things you can get better at with practice. You should set your sights high in terms of what you aspire to do, but you also have to be patient.”