An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
~ Benjamin Franklin
I can still remember driving around with my Dad as a child listing to Fast Track audio tapes. For those of you that don’t know, this was the executive book summary of the time, providing summaries of all the latest business books on the market. We would listen to them on the way to get his dry-cleaning, on the way to games, and just around town. I actually enjoyed them and felt like I was “in the know” even at such a young age.
When it was my turn to drive, I took that lesson and continued to do it on my own – listening to mostly personal development and language cassettes, and eventually CD’s. I continue to do so to this day.
This is what Brian Tracy refers to as Automobile University. I haven’t heard Brian Tracy in some time, but I recall him saying that getting in your car and listening to music is like bubble gum for the mind. You can’t grow on bubble gum.
The average commute in the United States is over 60 minutes. That’s 5 hours a week just driving to and from work. If you live in LA, it can take that long to get to the corner store! There are more extreme commutes, and shorter ones as well, but the average is over 5 hours.
A typically bachelors degree consists of anywhere between 124 to 128 credit hours (not including core classes). This roughly the equivalent of 1,920 hours of in class time. This means that if you were only listening to a subject in audio format while commuting to and from work, you would get the equivalent of a bachelors degree in 7.3 years with no net loss of time. Or, you can stay in tune with the latest Justin Beaver tracks. Your call.
This concept can be applied to walking, running, biking, working out, or simply doing mindless tasks such as household chores. You can digest several books in a matter of a week. Or, you can keep up with the latest information through listening to podcasts – my choice more often than not. Listening to a podcast, or an audiobook, can make the time seem to fly by and leave you feeling uplifted with your new found knowledge – all with no net time lost.
Now, most people look at me funny when they find out that I’m listening to podcasts. “You’re listening to what!?” Yeah, podcasts. Although this seems to conjure images of listening to a 40 year old still living in his parents basement, podcasts are far more sophisticated than that. Most major news networks (FOX, CNN, NPR, …) and TV shows have their own podcasts. I enjoy a mix of business, comedy, and special interests in my ears. Here are a few of my favorites:
Automate My Small Business – It’s been a while since these guys have updated their show. I’m sure it can be a thankless job and they’ve moved onto bigger things, but I enjoyed their commentary and info. This show talks primarily about how to automate your business online, but the techniques and thought patterns can be applied to any business. Through automation, you can create more time in the day for your business and your family. Their official description is “Learn about cutting edge tools and web-services that can turn any small business into an automated business.”
E-Mything Your Business – This show has also fallen off the map and is no longer being produced. It’s a shame because there are a lot of solid business fundamentals contained within. I especially like the way they lead you down a thought pattern of building a business with an end in mind – selling it.
The EntreLeadership Podcast – This is a great collection of interviews from some of the world’s best business minds. Brought to you by team Dave Ramsey, they mix in stories and messages from Dave with the same kind of flair he adds to his financial podcast. From the Entreleadership site: The EntreLeadership Podcast is your resource for lessons from Dave Ramsey on business, team building and leadership. Hosted by Dave’s leading business speaker and Coach, Chris Hogan, each podcast is loaded with insight and ideas featuring expert guests such as Tony Hsieh, Simon Sinek and Dan Cathy, as well as key leaders from Dave’s company, and of course, Dave himself.
Fitness Professional Online Radio Show – OK, this is my show, and I too have left it in halls of emptiness. BUT, I do plan on resurrecting it. Through this show, you’ll get an inside look into what’s going on in the fitness industry. In the future, we’ll be showing listeners (and viewers) how to grow their fitness and wellness businesses so they can help more people.
The Foolish Adventure – This podcast talks about all aspects of entrepreneurship and business; especially as it relates to growing a business and traveling. I enjoy podcasts like this as they cover all topics that relate to business and show some personality. From their website: Foolish Adventure is an affectionate, tongue-in-cheek name to describe bucking the norm. The Internet has been commercially viable for 15 years, but still many millions of people haven’t taken the leap towards a new Online-Fueled Business for any number of reasons. Tim & the Team hope to show everyone with an interest — how to actually make that jump.
TED – Now, I prefer watching the TED talks rather than listening to them, but they always deliver insight into a new way of thinking. If you haven’t experienced a TED talk, then this is the first place to stop. I suggest clicking on the “most viewed” or one of the “jaw dropping” segments to get you hooked. TED’s motto is “Ideas worth spreading”.
Freakonomics Radio – I got hooked on this show when I heard an episode on the economics of drug dealing. This show deals with economics in a fun and creative way that relates to our everyday lives.
Copyblogger (http://www.copyblogger.com/) – This show is the industry standard for writing for business online. There’s a gold mine of information in each and every show. Start with the shows that most interest you as you can get lost in the archives.
The Lifestyle Business Podcast – The LBP, as it’s called, is one of my favorite podcasts. Dan and Ian, the show’s hosts, deliver quality information on how to build an online business in a fun and informative way. You can picture the two of them drinking beers in Laos as they share information on how to build and expand your online business presence. Yeah buddy!
Marketing Over Coffee – This podcasts delivers the latest in marketing news and techniques. It’s a great podcast that always delivers value.
NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – This is pure fun! I love this show as it makes me laugh and catches me up on current events that I may have missed as well as keeps my mind nimble with it’s puzzles.
PrenuerCast – This show hosts Pete Williams and Dom Goucher. It’s packed with information for business owners and entrepreneurs. This has become one of my favorite shows and I always find myself waiting for new episodes to come out.
Savage Love Podcast – Everything you’ve always wondered about in terms of sex and sexuality… and a lot you probably had never thought of! I’m always amazed at the questions that get asked and the topics explored. I often find myself in shock. It’s good to push your limits and this show certainly does that for me.
The Smart Passive Income Podcast – Pat Flynn’s show is one of the most popular and highly rated on iTunes. Pat’s story is inspiring to anyone looking at launching an online business, but is scarred to pull the trigger. Pat leaves nothing on the table and constantly delivers quality information. He’s gotten busier, but his podcast is still updated and informative. Check him out!
48 Days – 48 Days is a great Q & A podcast revolving around finding the work you love. Callers will submit their questions and the host guides them through ways they can have more and live their dreams. I don’t listen to this one that much, but it’s a great reminder why I’ve chosen to be an entrepreneur. I also love the hosts way of guiding people towards their dreams.
I have all of these, and several more, on my iPod and phone at any given time. I enjoy listening to them at 2x speed. This may sound crazy, but once you go 2x, everything else seems super slow. This also allows me to get through an hour long podcast on a particular subject in half the time, thus taking my example of the bachelors degree in 7.3 years down to just over 3.5 – not bad.