If you’re not interested in how I started listening to Podcasts jump straight into „Why you should listen to [more] Podcasts.“
If you’re already listening to Podcasts and don’t need any more convincing jump straight into „My Top 5 Podcasts“
I didn’t always listen to Podcasts
I would describe myself as a very musical person. I’m not saying I’m awesome at creating it, but I do listen to a ton of music throughout the day. You would usually never meet me without my headphones on. On my way to the gym. Going to the train station. Strolling through the city. Grocery shopping. Basically travelling anywhere. There was always music accompanying me. And of course it brought me a lot of joy, but seeing how much time I actually spent listening to music was outrageous. All this time could’ve been used with a little more purpose.
So why and when did it change for me
In early spring 2018 I travelled to the U.K. for surfing several times in a very short period. This came with huge amounts of travel time. From my home city of Leipzig to Berlin Schönefeld Airport and the flight to London Stansted, followed by a massive 5 hour 300 miles/500 km drive to Newquay, South Cornwall. Why I didn’t take the flight directly to Newquay Airport you might ask? 1. Renting a car was still cheaper than the more expensive ticket to Newquay. 2. I needed a car down there anyways to move around the spots and adjust to swell/wind conditions. 3. My girlfriend was living and working in between, so I would stop there for a short visit.
The first time I took the trip I didn’t really sleep at all the night before. My inner clock wasn’t quite working and I left my apartment around 4am in the morning. Thanks to that I was super tired jumping into the car at the airport. I figured that I would need something else than music to keep me engaged and awake. Luckily I had been saving up a podcast.
I‘m following a YouTube channel called Abroad in Japan.One day I stumbled across the fact that he started a podcast with the London RadioDJ Pete Donaldson.It kept me engaged as well as entertained and protected me from falling asleep.
Once I started I just kept listening
I felt like I found a better way to spend all those dull hours. Especially longer drives with the car, on the train or on the plane. From here on out it wasn’t a big leap to the next podcast. It pretty much added itself almost automatically. And once again I knew the host through YouTube. (I might be spending too much time on there, but hey I don’t have regular television) The original channel was called Shred Show.I‘m saying „was“ here because the host got a calling from the surfboard company Firewire Surfboards to run their kind of „behind the scenes“ page called The Wire.
Learning valuable lessons while listening to surftalk
This page also features a podcast and its content is completely different to what used to make up the Shred Show.
It’s not just analysis and talk about the newest surfboard shapes anymore. The first episode I listened to was having Rob Machado as a guest. His friend and therapist Christian Glasgow also joined the host Chris Grow for the episode. They talk about mental health in general, Robs specific situation back when he was leaving the World Tour and the mental state of high level competing athletes.
I was pretty much blown away by learning something about surfing, getting insight into Rob Machados personal life and still picking up on psychiatry related facts, all in one podcast. And the cherry on top – it was a breeze to listen to.
For me this very episode became an eye opener to the value podcasts hold and I started searching for enticing podcasts that would educate whilst also entertain me. Seems like I’m asking a lot of creators these days.
Why you should listen to podcasts
I guess I can say that everybody has „no-flow“ times throughout their day. And I would go ahead and say for the most of us it‘s travelling to work or school. Doesn’t matter if that’s a bus or tram ride, a walk, a bike ride or a full train/car commute. Either way you’re spending time with your brain in standby mode.
The ACS (American Community Survey)found that the daily commute by public transportation on average is at least 29.8 minutes if you’re living in South Dakota. And an enormous 57.2 minutes if you’re living in Nevada.
(The reason I‘m using data from the U.S. is for obvious reasons. The United States are in these things pretty representable for other western countries as well, but it has a huge population. With that huge number of people comes a quality size of sample and better representation of reality.)
That’s some serious time every single day. The rough average of all states comes in at around 43 minutes. It adds up to 3.5 hours a week, 14 hours a month and 168 hours a year. Imagine all the things you could learn during those minutes, hours and days.
Putting it all together
Now we know just how much time we have to listen to podcasts, if we used the given hours of commuting or driving the car. I didn’t even touch on several other times throughout the day, where you’re able to listen to a podcast. Like when vacuuming your apartment, walking to the gym, shopping groceries or anything else that doesn’t require full brain attention.
Of course knowing the numbers, and knowing the ways podcasts helped me wont quite do it for you. You have to decide for yourself how you want to spend your given time and what to do with it. But in case you’ve drawn the conclusion to invest in yourself and your personal development, just start listening to podcasts today.
Head to your favorite podcast app like the built-in „Podcasts“ on the iPhone and start browsing. I will provide you with my Top 5 to give you an even easier start.
My Top 5 Podcasts
First of all please notice that the order of appearance doesn’t reflect their ranking. These 5 down here are just my favorite channels to follow and the ones I catch up on regularly.
1. The Abroad in Japan podcast
This is the podcast I started out with and if you haven’t read that story already go back top to that part here. This podcast is about everything Japan. Where to go, what to eat, what to do and not to do, general news and pretty much everything you can think of that’s related to Japan. The intro says it is „the best place to learn about Japan without actually being in Japan“ and I would sign this statement.
Chris Broad the host and his co-host plus friend Pete Donaldson have a very nice connection and synergy going on. They’re funny without trying too hard and it really feels like there’s information flowing in between these two instead of just presenting it to the listener. It’s updated on a weekly basis every Wednesday or Thursday depending on where your live in the big wide world. If you’re interested in Japan I highly recommend to give it a try.Find it here.
2. The Wire Podcast
This was the second podcast that jumped into my sight. Explaining here how that occurred. This Podcast is built around Surfing. You usually get a guest that’s tied to the Surfing World in some way or the other. There’s Pro Surfers like Rob Machado, Surfboard Shapers like Daniel “Tomo“ Thomson, Firewire CEO Mark Price or people that are more loosely tied to the Surfing World, like recently The Band Switchfoot, joining the channel. Recurring themes are of course surfing, sustainability, environmental issues and surfboard tech. One episode for instance Kelly Slater talks about his newly established brand Outerknown, that’s all about sustainability in clothing.
If you have any interest in the above mentioned themes, or just feel like you want to get some insights on your favorite surfers, this is a great way to start with a podcast. It is easy to listen to and still educational. Find It Here.
3. The Ground Up Show
This one is a little different than the two above. It is hosted by Matt D‘Avella. He also runs a YouTube Channel, which I would definitely recommend you to check out. He recently added another YouTube Channel exclusively to watch the video version of the podcasts. Matt D‘Avella himself is a videographer/cinematographer/editor, or whatever name you want to give it. He produced a Documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things that you’ll find on Netflix. The podcast isn’t as much about minimalism, though it is a recurring theme throughout the episodes. Matt basically invites all kinds of creators to talk about their craft and you’re certain to pick up something new every time you listen to it. Recent episodes are themed „When to Quit & When to Stick“, „Setting Life Priorities“ and „The Power of making Decisions“. Definitely the best podcast on this list for creators or those who want to become such. Find it here
4. The Dave Ramsey Show
This podcast is hosted by Dave Ramsey as the name would suggest. According to this Wikipedia Article „David Lawrence Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American radio show host and businessman.“ it goes on about his biography „As a real estate investor, doing business as Ramsey Investments, Inc., he built a rental real estate portfolio worth more than $4 million by 1986. The bank that was financing his real estate was sold to a larger bank who demanded immediate repayment on the loans. He was unable to pay, and eventually filed bankruptcy in September 1988.“
He also wrote a pretty famous book called The Total Money Makeover
That much about his life and own experiences. During the show he takes on callers and answers their questions. Those questions are usually related to smart and conservative investing, getting out of debt and living financially well. He really puts a lot of effort into connecting with his callers and you can really feel how he relates to them. Through his answers you’re certain to learn a lot about finances no matter if you’re are indebted or not. And odds are somebody already asked your question. Find it here.
5.Seth Godin‘s Startup School
The final podcast on my list is not a podcast in the traditional way. It has 15 episodes in total and is more like a finished course. The host Seth Godin Is talking in front of an audience about how to StartUp a company. If you want to have a StartUp perfect, if you don’t, you will still learn a lot about how businesses work. The 15 episodes include topics like „Freelancer or Entepreneur“, „Appealing to Consumers“ and „Cash Flow“. He wrote a book as well, and it‘s titled This is Marketing – You can‘t be seen until You Learn to See. The title pretty much suggests whats It about but I haven’t read it myself yet.
Listening to this podcast helped me understanding business better and what it takes to start a new company or to start an anything to be honest. There are so many lessons that aren’t strictly limited to StartUps, like defining, finding and reaching your target audience. Find it here.
Medical Student, Semiprofessional American Football Player and Surfer. Trying to bring valuable lessons to you in writing inspiring stories about people who touched my personal journey through life.
If you can take away one single thing from every story, I reached my goal.