Non-marketing specific podcasts to boost your business brain

Our Social Media Manager, Sarah A. Parker, likes to opine on all things social media from time to time, so we’ve given her space to do just that here on our blog. She’ll cover everything from the new and unusual to the outdated and annoying. Got something she missed our something you’d like her to cover? Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks

A while back I reviewed some social media/marketing podcasts and that was when I discovered that most BUSINESS! podcasts are not for me. (I do not want to spend twenty minutes listening to a guest and host congratulating one another on how amazing they are. If you are amazing, you will show that through your humor/knowledge through the course of the episode. The rule of show, don’t tell seems to have been lost to many of these podcasts.)

I did briefly mention the podcasts I subscribe to that aren’t strictly social media/marketing related in that piece, and I thought it might be a good idea to expand on why I enjoy them and what from some specific episodes has stuck with me.

Another reason to break outside of industry chatter? If we’re in an echo chamber of our own industry at all times, we’re going to become monotonous robots of jargon and buzzwords. Listening to and doing things that are not directly related to work often spark some of the best work-related ideas we do have. It’s easy to get stuck in feedback loops, so I hope this can help break you out of any you might find yourself in.


I always learn something new from this podcast. It’s one I can re-listen to old episodes from and never get bored, because there’s always something new to take in, and they often update any rebroadcast episodes with new information.

The episode Big Returns from Thinking Small reminded me of that excellent advice we so often ignore that says we should break big goals down into small, actionable chunks. There’s good evidence that this works for everything from governments to personal habits, so why not apply it to this week’s to-do list?

By the Book

Self-help books and business books often overlap in that they promise to teach you the secret to “x” if only you read them. Fortunately we now have the hosts of By the Book to read and live by self-help books- some of the business variety!- for us and report back on the results so we can decide wether or not each one is worth our own precious time.

A recent episode, What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, struck a chord with both hosts and with myself. We know it’s bad to talk to ourselves negatively and we know it’s mortifying to have full conversations with ourselves in the shower, but it’s also possible that doing the latter to stop the former can have us feeling better about ourselves and therefore doing better at our jobs.

I did order this book and I haven’t read it yet, but I can offer the small proof that just listening to the episode on the way to work the day I had a Social Media Manager EGOT day took me from being stressed out to in a good mood and ready to just have fun with it all.

It’s good to have those tools to make that frameshift in life when we can.

The Nuanced Life

This one is a spin-off from Pantsuit Politics (another I highly recommend if you enjoy actual nuanced conversations around political topics from two women with different viewpoints instead of talking heads yelling at each other) and hosts Beth and Sarah talk about everything in their lives, including work.

In the episode Reconciling Our Digital Selves with Our Souls they take on some tough questions around the digital versions of ourselves we are and have been building. Good food for thought, even if there aren’t any straight answers to be had.

Parting recommendations

Other podcasts I’m a devoted listener of include LeVar Burton Reads, StarTalk Radio, StarTalk All-Stars, The Infinite Monkey Cage, Conversations with People Who Hate Me, Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, and most recently, Science Vs.

If you’re wondering how I have time for all of these, I don’t watch much television as I am a cord-cutting Millennial monster.

What are your favorite podcasts? Got a good one I missed? Come tell me all about it on Twitter @SparkerWorks.