They say you become an approximation of the five people you hang out with most. Given that I’m a writer who works from home three days a week, that would be two actual other people, followed by me, myself and I. Luckily, I listen to a lot of podcasts. Yet I know a lot of people don’t, so here’s a few reasons why you should.
Firstly, there is a whole heap of them out there, so you’ll be able to find something to suit your mood. Secondly, because there are so many, if you have a niche interest, with a bit of hunting around, you will find one about your odd subject of choice. If you don’t, you can always start one yourself. There’s even podcasts on how to make podcasts. See what I mean? Plethora of information. Finally, in order to get you to listen, people essentially give away a condensed version of their content for free. This is a great way to try before you buy, especially in the world of business, where conferences and books can cost a fortune. Go on. Give it a try.
So, without further ado, here they are (with twitter links to their creators/presenters):
Top podcast of 2014
See what I mean about a niche interest? My long-held secret crush for pens and notebooks finally blossomed into true love due to these men. Which sounds much nicer than calling them the pen-pushing enablers they really are. The shows are always fun and informative, and for anyone who does a lot of longhand writing (or drawing), just knowing some of the best pens out there can make your life so much easier. They do the hard work so you don’t have to. Plus, they are a super nice pair of guys following their dreams, which I always admire (you can check out Brad’s Nock Co pen cases here. They are awesome – my Hightower goes everywhere with me).
Top Businesses Podcast
I’ve put this under business, but it is so much more than that. Michael’s tagline is that it is a podcast about intentional leadership, but I think it goes much deeper. It certainly deals with brand and platform, alongside how to be a better leader, but it is not actually all career specific. A lot of what Michael focuses on is the principles and ethics which lie beneath these decisions, and in a cut-throat world where a lot of people will do anything to get one foot further up the ladder, it is a refreshing reminder that honesty and integrity on the things that really matter. It is about achieving your goals and ambitions in the right way, not ‘at any cost’.
Top Writing Podcast
In my humble opinion, anyone who is – or wants to be – a writer should be listening to this podcast. I’ve actually been listening to it for years, but during my little writing sabbatical at the beginning of the year I was able to go back and re-listen to many of them to get the really good stuff out. For a podcast which is only 15 minutes long, it is amazing that they manage to get so much useful information into an episode with four people talking. Each of them brings a different perspective to the topic, meaning that even if one person’s tips and tricks don’t work for you, there is a good chance that someone else’s will. Also great if you like reading in general, comics and occasional buffoonery.
Top Getting Up Podcast
Now, you might not think that ‘Getting Up’ is a category, but let me assure you it is. It might never have been called that before, but early rising has been a hot topic in 2014. I’ve been getting up at 6am to write for years now. I’ve not made it to 5am yet, but I think 6 is a pretty reasonable compromise. It’s not easy, even when you’re getting up to do something you love. Jeff’s podcast is a good way of not only finding that motivation, but also tips and tricks to make it easier once you’ve dragged your sorry backside from under the duvet on a cold, dark Monday morning. Covering productivity and healthier living, this podcast has matured greatly over the past twelve months and it has been great to follow Jeff’s journey through this.
Best Health & Wellness Podcast
Another misleading header, as although this podcast started out as health and fitness, it has now grown into having a nice catchup with friends talking about whatever the topic of the day is. And that is just fine with me. Janice gets a mention here because although she’s technically the producer, she has become the other half of this comedy act. The thing that I love the most about this is that Jillian talks with complete honesty – there is no hiding behind the PR company here. It’s like sitting round in a coffee shop with a bunch of friends that you know are slightly crazy but you love them anyway. The serious stuff gets slipped in there somewhere along the way without ever sounding too preachy.
So that’s my roundup. It’s been a good year for consuming audio material and seriously, if you haven’t tried podcasts before, then go find one. Free and easy, just like libraries. What do you have to lose?