The CEO’s Listening List: Top Business Podcasts to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Whether you recently quit another design firm to start your own, your firm is in its infancy, or you are a veteran businesswoman, we can all benefit from the advice, expertise, and insight of other small business owners. In an era marked by rapid technological advancements like AI, shifting consumer preferences, and unpredictable market dynamics, it is essential that CEOs and business leaders continuously seek to expand their knowledge and sharpen their strategic thinking. To aid in this pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence, we have rounded up ten of the best business podcasts on the air today. This curated selection of podcasts serves as a valuable resource — offering insights, inspiration, and practical wisdom from industry thought leaders. These podcasts will help you stay on top of emerging tech and culture trends, sharpen your online marketing skills, and make positive changes based on actionable advice from those experts. From Women at Work by Harvard Business Review to The Unmistakable Creative Podcast, these podcasts will provide you with the tools, perspectives, and ideas needed to survive and thrive in today’s fast-paced business world. Let’s get into it!
10 Must-Listen Podcasts for Creative Entrepreneurs
As interior designers, architects, and artists, we know that the fusion of artistry and entrepreneurship is where innovation truly thrives. For creatives navigating the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship for the fifth time or the first, finding the right sources of inspiration and information can be a game-changer. To support your own business, give one of the following business podcasts a listen.
#1 How I Built This with Guy Raz
“How I Built This with Guy Raz” is perhaps the most popular business podcast on Spotify today. The show is by award-winning journalist and NPR correspondent Guy Raz. Launched in 2016, this weekly podcast has become a go-to source for business advice. Host Guy Raz features in-depth interviews with founders, innovators, and entrepreneurs from various industries — delving into the stories behind the beginnings and growth of some of the world’s most successful companies and organizations.
The format of “How I Built This” revolves around intimate and candid conversations with the guests — who share the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys. Listeners entrepreneurial success stories, challenges, setbacks, and pivotal moments that led to the creation of iconic brands and businesses.
Some notable individuals and companies featured on the podcast include founders of well-known brands like Airbnb, Airbnb, Patagonia, Spanx, Ben & Jerry’s, Slack, and many more. Guy Raz’s skillful interviewing style and ability to extract valuable insights make each episode not only informative but also engaging and relatable.
The podcast has garnered a dedicated global following due to its ability to connect with aspiring entrepreneurs. “How I Built This” serves as a wellspring of motivation — offering listeners a glimpse into the grit, determination, and creativity that fuel the entrepreneurial world.
In addition to the main podcast series, “How I Built This” has also introduced spin-off series, such as “How I Built Resilience” — which explores how entrepreneurs are adapting and innovating during challenging times — and “How You Built That” — which features stories submitted by listeners about their own entrepreneurial journeys.
You can listen to certain episodes for free through NPR.
#2 The EmpowerHER Podcast
Hosted by Kacia Ghetmiri, The EmpowerHER Podcast is a must-listen for female entrepreneurs. The EmpowerHER Podcast” is dedicated to providing inspiration, motivation, and practical advice for women looking to build their confidence, pursue their goals, and create a life they love. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, including personal development, entrepreneurship, mindset, fitness, and wellness.
Ghetmiri often features guests from various backgrounds — including successful entrepreneurs, influencers, and experts in various fields. These guests shared their personal stories, insights, and actionable tips to help listeners take action and make positive changes in their lives.
The podcast aims to empower women to step out of their comfort zones, overcome obstacles, and chase their dreams. It resonates with a diverse audience of women who were seeking encouragement and guidance in their personal and professional journeys. Recent episodes talk about “navigating regret,” “identifying your income goals,” and creating a plan with small steps towards big goals.
#3 Women at Work by Harvard Business Review
“Women at Work” is hosted by several individuals affiliated with HBR, including Amy Bernstein, Amy Gallo, and Nicole Torres. These hosts are experts in the field of workplace dynamics and women’s issues.
The podcast primarily focuses on topics related to women’s experiences in the workplace. It addresses a wide range of issues — including gender equality, leadership, career advancement, work-life balance, diversity and inclusion, negotiation, and various challenges and opportunities that women face in their professional lives. You’ll find a mix of inspirational stories and solid business advice for both owners and employees.
Recent guests include Muriel Wilkins, Jen Dary, and Martha Jeong. Our favorite series from this podcast is the “How to Manage” series — which discusses how best to approach different issues as a woman in business. These issues range from conflict in the workplace to negotiating on behalf of your team.
“Women at Work” is available to stream on various podcast platforms and directories — including the Harvard Business Review website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other popular podcast apps.
#4 Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
Next on our list of the best business podcasts on Spotify and beyond is “Masters of Scale.” This business podcast is hosted by Reid Hoffman — a well-known entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and co-founder of LinkedIn. The show is known for its engaging and informative content focused on entrepreneurship, startups, and business growth.
What sets “Masters of Scale” apart is its emphasis on storytelling and its use of creative and thought-provoking scenarios to explore key entrepreneurial principles and growth strategies. “Masters of Scale” features a wide array of influential guests from various industries, including tech, finance, entertainment, and more. Guests have included famous entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sara Blakely (SPANX), Eric Schmidt (Google), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), and many other business luminaries.
#5 She Did It Her Way
As the name suggests, “She Did It Her Way” focuses on entrepreneurship, female empowerment, and the journey of women who have successfully built their own businesses or careers on their terms. The podcast is hosted by Amanda Boleyn. Boleyn is an entrepreneur, business coach, and advocate for women’s empowerment. She created “She Did It Her Way” to provide a platform for female entrepreneurs to share their stories, insights, advice, and business strategy.
You’ll hear stories about starting and scaling an online business, digital marketing and branding, leadership, work-life balance, mindset, and more. Listeners can expect practical advice, actionable tips, and motivational stories from the guests.
#6 Being Boss
The “Being Boss” podcast is one of the most popular business podcasts aimed at creative entrepreneurs. It is hosted by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon — two experienced entrepreneurs who share their insights, strategies, and experiences to help creative professionals and business owners thrive.
Emily Thompson is a seasoned entrepreneur, author, and creative thinker. She co-founded web design and development studio Indie Shopography. She also has a background in branding and marketing. Kathleen Shannon is a brand strategist, designer, and author. She is known for her expertise in helping creatives and entrepreneurs build strong personal brands.
If you’re interested in taking a second look at your firm’s social media strategies or your personal brand, “Being Boss” is the podcast for you.
#7 The Unmistakable Creative Podcast
Seventh on our list of the best business podcasts is “The Unmistakable Creative Podcast” — an inspirational and thought-provoking podcast hosted by Srinivas Rao. You won’t hear any business news or business hacks on this podcast. Often abbreviated as “Unmistakable Creative,” this podcast focuses on creativity, personal development, entrepreneurship, and the remarkable stories of individuals who have pursued their passions to forge unique paths.
The podcast features in-depth interviews with a diverse range of guests — including artists, entrepreneurs, authors, scientists, musicians, and other individuals who have achieved success in their respective fields. You might recognize some as world class performers! The conversations are typically relaxed and conversational — allowing guests to share their personal stories, insights, and the lessons they’ve learned on their creative journeys.
#8 The Indicator from Planet Money
For changes in the economy, small business news, and a wide range of other business topics, you can’t miss “The Indicator” from NPR’s Planet Money. Launched in 2018, “The Indicator” provides listeners with insightful, engaging, and often quirky stories about the US economy, finance, and the broader world of business. Cardiff Garcia is the current co-host of “The Indicator.” He is also an economics reporter for NPR. Cardiff brings his expertise in economics and financial journalism to the podcast.
Ideal for your morning commute, the podcast follows a relatively short format, with most episodes lasting around 10 to 15 minutes. This concise format is designed to deliver key insights and information in a brief and digestible manner.
#9 The Honest Designers Show
Another podcast for small businesses operating in creative fields is “The Honest Designers Show.” The podcast is primarily aimed at graphic designers, illustrators, and visual artists at all levels of expertise. It caters to both seasoned professionals looking for insights and newcomers seeking guidance on establishing their design careers.
The podcast is typically hosted by a group of four designers: Tom Ross, Dustin Lee, Lisa Glanz, and Ian Barnard. Ross is a designer, entrepreneur, and the CEO of Design Cuts — a popular online marketplace for design resources. Lee is a designer and the founder of RetroSupply Co., a platform that offers design tools and resources for digital artists. Glanz is a designer and illustrator known for her whimsical and colorful creations. Barnard is a lettering artist and designer who specializes in calligraphy and hand-lettering.
This podcast covers a wide range of topics relevant to graphic designers and visual artists. These topics include design trends, creative block, client relationships, pricing and negotiation, portfolio building, time management, and social media marketing. The hosts share their successes and failures, offering practical tips and honest perspectives on navigating the challenges of a design career.
#10 WorkLife with Adam Grant
Last on our list is “Work Life with Adam Grant.” Adam Grant is a renowned organizational psychologist and a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has written several best-selling books — including Give and Take, Originals, and Option B. Grant is known for his research on work, motivation, leadership, and organizational culture.
The podcast delves into a wide range of work-related subjects and phenomena. Adam Grant examines common workplace challenges, offers evidence-based solutions, and interviews experts and thought leaders to uncover practical insights and strategies for improving work environments.
Which Podcasts Caught Your Attention?
We have given each of the podcasts listed above a listen from time to time, but one of the most interesting is #10: Work Life with Adam Grant. This podcast is especially interesting to us at DesignDash because it examines our beliefs around the separation between our work and home lives. At DesignDash, we believe in work-life integration because it’s impossible to separate the two.
As a creative entrepreneur, you find inspiration for design projects and art pieces all around you at any time of day — not just when you’re at work! Adam Grant puts it well in this article on LinkedIn. Grant writes that “work-life balance sets an unrealistic expectation of keeping different roles in steady equilibrium, [but] I prefer work-life rhythm.”
Let us know which podcasts you listen to in the comments below.