As artists, it can be easy to burn out if you’re not putting any creative juices back into your life. You need a podcast community that's going to bolster you up when your favorite project flops or you're in a rut.
Below, in no specific order, are some of my favorite podcasts that have inspired or cheered me on when I was in a creative funk. Those hard times looked like me wandering the streets of Manhattan during lunch breaks, listening to podcasts while trying to regain more creative energy than I was putting out; walking to Grand Central Station was a favorite. If I ever had a hard day, I knew I could get an inspirational recharge from any one of these unique podcasts about developing yourself, your creative business skills or hearing how other entrepreneurs conquered their domain.
One way I get inspiration is hearing crazy analogies that Andy J. Miller throws down in his show. He takes you on a mental journey and pushes you to stretch your artistic abilities and explore business options. My favorite quote and episode: “If you’re only playing in the shallow waters of creativity, you’re only going to reap shallow rewards.” episode 144 - You Are More. I came across this podcast last year because Andy’s colorful illustration caught my eye- he’s a talented illustrator and I'm glad I noticed!
The business advice that Reina Pomeroy and Christina Scalera offer is gold. They and their guests answer many questions that artists have as solo-preneurs or small business owners. Visit their website to get the valuable guide “50 Ways to Hit the Ground Running When You’re Starting Your Creative Biz”, it’s a useful one! Favorite episode: 116 How to Find Your Creative Process + Voice, with Tara Larson.
You like that play on words? Gold digger - Goal Digger! Jenna Kutcher is super down to earth and I love her. Her podcast is pitched towards “creative girl bosses” but is helpful for anyone trying to figure out the necessities of getting a business or creative work off the ground. Her guests include female experts from a variety of industries that tell their story on what it takes to succeed. I’m hooked on this podcast because every episode is so applicable. You can go through old episodes to tackle problems you’re currently trying to solve. Favorite episode: 59 Why You Need a Brand Not a Business.
This podcast is valuable to many artists that do projects in the after-hours of jobs, showing how even the craziest of ideas can become profitable if done right. Side Hustle School is created by Chris Guillebeau, author of "$100 Start Up" (also a great book, I recommend it). Chris releases three short podcasts a week with an entrepreneur's tale of how they started a side-business while working full-time. The steps are broken down to help you realize it’s a matter of time, persistence, and genius in order to fill an underrepresented business niche. Favorite episode: Cat Lover Creates Cat-tivating Portrait Series.
Think of all the big entrepreneurs out there and it’s likely that Reid Hoffman has already interviewed them. Entrepreneurs, such as Mark Zuckerberg, tell how they worked from small-scale ideas to leading large-scale businesses and it’s fascinating. Applicable to creatives because it shows how they work through issues and find creative solutions. Hoffman, a LinkedIn co-founder gives fantastic advice that's specific enough to know how to test your ideas in every show. His quote “if your projects don’t embarrass you, then you’re not releasing early enough,” still echoes in my head. Give it a listen, you’ll oddly find that you enjoy listening to their ads from Zip Recruiter as well. Favorite episode: #4 Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in Imperfect is Perfect.
Every Monday I look forward to an episode of How I Built This to be released. It gave me serious joy to listen to as I commuted from Brooklyn to Manhattan in a packed subway car (and that’s not an enjoyable experience by itself). This podcast is hosted by Guy Raz and is about “innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” Each story helps you realize that anything is possible, while also feeling like you’ve known these people your whole life. It’s good storytelling, everyone! I love hearing how each innovator overcame their obstacles. These episodes were some of my favorites: Dermalogica: Jane Wurwand and Kate Spade: Kate & Andy Spade.
Last fall my roommate introduced me to Marie Forleo (by email, I wish it was in person) in which she forwarded the newsletter of her weekly show “Marie TV”. I’ve been hooked ever since. Recently Marie’s team launched the audio version of this into a podcast for wider reach, which is great, but make sure you watch it at least once because the playful analogies are worth seeing. Marie’s main goal is to help you become the person you most want to be. It casts a wide net, but does a wonderful job giving actionable steps to achieve more. Occasionally there are longer shows that include guests who also give great advice. It gives a down-to-earth perspective and leaves you feeling more confident to tackle life. Favorite episode: How to Make a Big Career Change When You'er Afraid You'll Fail.
If you ever wanted a personal cheerleader, Alison is your woman. The show is called Awesome with Alison because her #1 objective is to get those awesome vibes flowing in your life. Her pumped-up attitude is infectious, plus she and her husband give insightful life and business advice. I really got into it when her friend came on the show in episode 9: Five Years to Live with Melanie Day, and talked about living with cancer and how she makes the most out of every day. If there was ever a time I pretended not to cry in front of people, it was listening to this episode at lunch in a corporate eating-area. “No I’m not crying!” My favorite episode: 28 Why it Doesn’t Matter That Other People Are Already Doing What You Want To Do.
There you have it, that’s my list of favorite creative podcasts and I’ve been dying to share them since they've helped me so much. I hope they inspire you as much as they've inspired me. Let me know in the comments below about other creative podcasts out there. Am I missing any?
P.S. Huge thanks to all of these podcast creators, you're in my heart and in my ears every day.