The late, great success, author David J. Schwartz, wrote in his best-selling self-help book, The Magic of Thinking Big, “The mind is what the mind is fed.” Having grown up in an environment where I was not surrounded by successful entrepreneurs, I often found myself frustrated that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I was feeding my mind a steady stream of negative quotes, lyrics, movies and data, and it wasn’t until around the age of 18 while reading Napoleon Hill’s legendary book, Think and Grow Rich, that it occurred to me that my network was going to ultimately determine my net worth.
It became apparent that I was never going to achieve success in the world of business if I was not intentional about surrounding myself with people who had already built their multimillion-dollar business empires, people who could teach me what they actually did to become successful and not just theories about how to become successful.
I cold-called, emailed, mailed and struggled for years just to get an appointment with many of these top performers. These people were all so intentional about where they spent their time and money that they were nearly impossible to get ahold of to schedule an appointment with. However, when I finally did get an opportunity to meet billionaires and millionaires, such as the founder Skyy Vodka, the founder of Hobby Lobby, George Foreman, David Robinson and the president of QuikTrip, I found that these successful people all oozed with wisdom that just seemed to seep out of their pores. I felt myself learning through osmosis just by being in their presence. Their firsthand experience and specific tips on how to run a successful and scalable business seemed to be almost instinctual. Their mastery of marketing, management, sales and accounting blew my mind.
Shifting The Approach
Now, you and I find ourselves living in a world of technology where podcasts are able to bridge the gap between you and the guru. You can now sit down and with the click of a button, find yourself listening to billionaires (like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman) who take the time to break down their advice into palatable doses. But despite this unprecedented access to free, sage-like wisdom, many entrepreneurs don’t listen to these income-increasing and mind-expanding podcasts because they “ran out of time.”
And so, as your unofficial business coach, here are three ways to save time and three podcasts every entrepreneur should be listening to:
1. Stop watching TV. According to The New York Times, the average American spends five hours per day watching TV. Having spent years working directly with countless millionaires, I have discovered that rich people pride themselves on having big libraries and poor people pride themselves on having big TVs.
2. Put your cell phone down. According to CNN, the average American devotes nearly 10+ hours per day to screen time. Psychology Todaypublished an article titled “Is Your Smartphone Making You Dumb?” and, unfortunately, the answer is yes. With countless distractions, combined with an inability to set digital boundaries, the intellectual gap between the thoughtful, deep-thinking bosses and their chronically distracted employees is growing.
3. Stop engaging in debates with idiots. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace and that most do so repeatedly,” a CBS News article reports. Whether referencing data about employee theft, chronic lateness or disengaged employees, it is now conclusive that more than half of the workforce is simply a part of a growing population segment I refer to as “the idiocracy.”
Although I am proud of The Thrive Time Show podcast that we produce, to avoid sounding too self-serving, I would highly recommend that you check out the following entrepreneur-focused podcasts:
1. The Tim Ferriss Show: This award-winning podcast is hosted by The New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss. He focuses on providing you with long-form interviews with the titans of business. Tim’s stoic and deeply researched approach to podcasting provides incredible insight for any entrepreneur who really wants to know the tactics and strategies of the world’s most successful people.
2. Masters Of Scale: This podcast by Reid Hoffman is focused on teaching you how to grow your business from zero dollars in revenue to millions and even billions. The production quality of Reid’s podcast is wonderfully detailed and his personal journey to success is nothing short of epic. If you are looking to learn practical tips to grow your business, this is the podcast for you.
3. Entrepreneurs On Fire: This podcast was awarded “Best of iTunes.” John Lee Dumas has actually interviewed over 1,700 guests including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and other top entrepreneurs. John’s passion for entrepreneurship comes through in every episode and his daily content production is legendary. If you are looking for a daily dose of entrepreneurial inspiration, you will love this podcast.
My friend, it’s very important that you guard what you put in your mind and that you recognize the profundity of David J. Schwartz when he wrote, “Your mind is what the mind is fed.” Turn your drive time into podcast and learning time and your level of wisdom will increase. Remember: The more practical education you are learning, the more you are growing.
Clay, Founder of the business coaching platform Thrive15.com, has founded several successful companies & co-produced five children.