Listening to business podcasts when you’re on the road can spark new ideas and teach you something new every day


During the busy months, time seems to just slip away. One minute you are drinking your morning coffee and checking your email. Then next time you look at a clock, it is almost 5 p.m. and you have no idea where your day went. Honestly, the only way to get through days like that is some serious multitasking. 

Over the years multitasking has received a lot of flack. Many people believe that if you are doing two things at once, you are doing both poorly. In some cases, I would agree. Can I read emails while on a conference call? Yes I can, but I am probably missing most of the conversation. Can I talk on the phone while driving? Yes, but it is also illegal and knowing my luck, I will probably get a ticket.

In other cases, multitasking is a must. You are going to be in a pump truck or on the road for the next eight hours. Yes, you are already working, but you can maximize that time even more. How, you ask? Podcasts! 

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I have been completely obsessed with podcasts lately. They make long trips up and down the East Coast fly by. There are hundreds of thousands of topics to choose from. But my current go-to are the business-oriented ones. When I don’t have time to pick up a business book, I turn to these podcasts for information.

The best one, in my opinion, is the NPR podcast “How I Built This.” In this weekly podcast, the host, Guy Raz, interviews industry leaders about how they started their business. These stories are so inspiring because you can really see how something so small became something huge and amazing.

Two episodes that stood out to me were the interviews with Sara Blakely, who started Spanx, and Herb Kelleher, who started Southwest Airlines. 

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In the Spanx podcast, Blakely talks about how she sold fax machines door to door during the week and spent her weekends and vacations trying to get Spanx off the ground. She would stand in Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s stores and personally sell her product to women standing in line at the registers. All of us know how hard you have to fight for a sale some days, and hearing the story of her resilience really inspired me to get on the phone and call some new customers. And I did not take no for an answer. 

The Herb Kelleher interview is worth listening to for the laughs alone. He is a “pistol,” to use my grandmother’s favorite phrase. He refused to be forced out of business by competitors and spent years in court trying to get Southwest off the ground. I don’t know that I would have that level of persistence, but it was awe-inspiring to listen to. Some competitors can be really tough and cutthroat. It is important to never lower yourself and continue to work towards making your business better. 

These podcasts take your mind off mundane tasks, allow you to listen to some amazing business stories, and hopefully inspire you to get back in the game when you have been knocked down a peg or two.

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About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.

Have you checked out this podcast? Which episode was your favorite? What’s your favorite business podcast?

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