The public’s perception of entrepreneurship is skewed. News stories on entrepreneurship often give inordinate focus to ‘buzzy’ businesses whose size and disruptive force threaten to upend whole industries. Every article about entrepreneurship seems obsessed with well-funded giants that wish to change the way everything is done. To experienced entrepreneur Jacob Baranski, it can often feel overwhelming.
Jacob Baranski believes that any thorough examination of modern entrepreneurship would show the field to be differentiated, creative, and well-meaning. How does Jacob know this? He listens to podcasts.
Seriously, podcasts. In no place is the complexity and diversity of entrepreneurship more evident than in the wide variety of podcasts focusing on them. Jacob Baranski has quite a few favorites, any of which would leave no doubts as to how entrepreneurship can be big, small, disruptive, traditional, and everything in between.
Entrepreneurship podcasts have taught Jacob Baranski that what really links entrepreneurs of all types is the drive to create something new. Entrepreneurs build businesses, make money (of course), and reach for their goals as ethically and responsibly as possible.
Businesses Big and Small
One of the wisest lessons to be taken from business podcasts is that there are many entrepreneurs whose goals are greater than endless growth. Many wish to simply provide an excellent product or service, and often do some good as well.
Monocle: The Entrepreneurs, a podcast from the Monocle 24 radio network and offshoot of the eponymous magazine, is a favorite of Jacob Baranski. It examines many types of creatives, usually in punchy, individualized interviews of the entrepreneurs, all in episodes of less than thirty minutes.
A recent episode featured a new sunglasses brand from Australia, Good Citizens, started by a dad after his two young sons grew concerned about the dangers of plastic pollution. He began a business that recycles plastic bottles into classic, stylish sunglasses, and has seen great success, all while keeping waste to an absolute minimum. Jacob Baranski bought a pair after listening to the episode!
Monocle: The Entrepreneurs is a podcast full of great ideas. Another Monocle podcast, Monocle on Design, focuses (of course) on the creative and design aspects of a business.
While Jacob Baranski loves all things Monocle, he appreciates Monocle on Design in particular as it dials into designers and the design community around the world through an inspirational (if Eurocentric) view. It demonstrates how there is so much more to entrepreneurship than just making money.
A recent episode focused on the design scene in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. The entrepreneurs profiled were small artisans, focused on traditional crafts and production methods, producing fine ceramics and woodworking products. For them, entrepreneurship is much more about keeping things small and high-quality, in order to better serve their customers’ needs.
Specifics and Universals in Business
What Jacob Baranski has learned from the myriad of podcast stories is that the more specific the experience of an entrepreneur, the more universal the lessons and advice they provide.
This truth is demonstrated by The Woodtrepreneur. An authentic, down-to-earth podcast that features the host interviewing a small business owner in the wood industry each week. They discuss in-depth the problems, simple mistakes, and perseverance it takes to start and run a business related to wood.
Any listener might think this podcast wouldn’t be of interest to anyone outside the woodworking hobby and industry. But the discussion is always interesting, and the host often finishes episodes by asking the week’s guest to present a marketing or business challenge they’re dealing with, and they will discuss possible solutions to the problem.
This goes whether the guest is running a full-time business, or just making money woodworking as a side job. Even those not interested in ‘woodtrepreneurship’ will be intrigued by the issues addressed in the podcast. It is worth the time of anyone in business.
Another Jacob Baranski’s favorite podcast that focuses on a wide range of entrepreneurs is How I Built This, an NPR podcast hosted by Guy Raz. The stories are interesting and inspirational, and clarify each business’ mission and issues for the understanding of budding and existing entrepreneurs.
How I Built This, along with the venerable NPR business news podcast Planet Money, present economic and entrepreneurship news from unusual, sometimes outsider perspectives. They provide opportunities to learn new, unexpected lessons about business.
The Complex Experiences of Entrepreneurs
Jacob Baranski recommends entrepreneurship podcasts to those interested in business because they are vast resources that are available to both the general public and experienced entrepreneurs alike. The choices are so expansive that any aspect of a business is likely to have at least a few podcasts regularly discussing its news and issues.
The Nomad Capitalist, for example, provides a great deal of insight into the complications of international business and entrepreneurship, on a global scale. The podcast is insightful about the policies of business-friendly countries, it explores the complications of international tax obligations, and it provides a good intro to the cryptocurrency phenomenon.
Masters in Business from Bloomberg, while U.S.-centric, is an excellent look into the world of finance, Episodes often feature interviews with experts with insights that illuminate the more complicated aspects of current business conditions.
To Jacob Baranski, the advantage of exploring the world of entrepreneurship through podcasts is the wide range of options available. There are always new things to be learned, things that can be applied to anyone’s entrepreneurial efforts. There are innovative strategies, creative ideas, unexpected inspiration to try out and explore.
One of the wisest things Jacob Baranski ever heard in a podcast about entrepreneurship was from the episode mentioned above, about the dad making sunglasses from recycled bottles. It took hundreds and hundreds of prototypes for him to get the process right, but when he had it, he had it.
He stated that, in entrepreneurship, naiveté is a wonderful thing. If people knew every problem they’d face trying to start and run a business, they’d never do it. But there are always smart, driven, creative people out there, willing to take those chances. That’s the spirit of entrepreneurship.
About the author
Jacob Baranski is a passionate entrepreneur and an ardent supporter of sustainable growth companies. A lifelong learner, he believes in investing in himself and fostering relationships on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Jacob regularly practices yoga and meditation.