How Podcasts Can Fuel Your Personal Growth

As you may know if you are a regular reader of my blog, I started a weekly podcast on February 14th. It is called, "This Is Your Life.” Since that time, I have become a more regular podcast listener myself.

Photo courtesy of © Signage, Image #4112642

Photo courtesy of ©

As Mike Elgan, opinion columnist for ComputerWorld, said,

Podcasting is the most under-appreciated, under-utilized media ever. Some people never try it. And many who do wind up giving it up unimpressed. Too bad. A new study found that students who listen to lectures on podcasts test better than those who listen in class. Podcasting is a powerful educational medium, second only to books, in my opinion. But unlike reading books, you can listen to podcasts while doing the dishes.

Here are six reasons I enjoy listening to podcasts:

  1. You can find shows for your specific interests. Compared to radio programs, podcasters have almost no overhead. As a result, they don’t have to appeal to a broad audience to recoup their investment. They can target small, narrow niches. All it takes is a someone with a passion and some expertise. As a result, there are podcasts for almost any topic imaginable.
  2. You can listen whenever you want. Podcasts are truly an on-demand medium. Unlike radio, you don’t have to tune in when the show is broadcast. Instead, you can subscribe or download episodes and listen whenever it is convenient for you—whether on your morning run or on your daily commute.
  3. You never have to miss a show. Similar to blogs and news sites, RSS technology makes it possible for you to subscribe to your favorite podcasts and be notified when a new episode is available. In fact, most podcast apps will automatically download these episodes as soon as they are published. If you get behind, no problem. You can listen at your own pace.
  4. You feel connected to the podcaster. Dan Miller pointed this out to me when he was explaining why he loved podcasts. Media doesn’t get much more intimate than having someone else’s voice inside your head via earbuds. Because of this phenomenon, I feel like I really know the podcasters I listen to regularly. I have found myself even more connected than what I experience through following blogs.
  5. You can listen while you are doing something else. This is also why I love listening to audio books. I am able to redeem those times when my mind is otherwise idle—while exercising, on a commute, stuck in traffic, waiting in line, working around the house, mowing the lawn, etc. As a result, I feel like I am constantly being exposed to helpful and even inspirational content.
  6. You can easily share shows with friends and colleagues. If you listen to a great radio show, how do you share it? You can’t—unless, of course, the show also records a podcast. The content evaporates as soon as the show is over. With a podcast, you can share a link to the most recent episode or even shows buried deep in the archives.

The bottom line is that you have more control. You can listen to what you want, whenever you want, as many times as you want.

But what if you have never listened to a podcast? How do you get started? In the old days of podcasting—say a few years ago!—it was a hassle. You had to subscribe to a show in iTunes, download episodes to your computer, and then connect your device, and sync the two together.

Those days are over. Now you can subscribe and download shows directly onto your device, thanks to several inexpensive apps. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Install a dedicated podcast app. I use Downcast on my iPhone. However, Pocket Casts and Instacast are also options. All three programs are excellent and sell for the exact same price: $1.99. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy these programs are to use.
  2. Subscribe to a few shows. Use the programs search function to browse by category (e.g., “Business,” “Health“, or “Technology”) and see the most popular programs. Or search manually to find the more narrow, esoteric programs.

    Here are ten podcasts I am currently subscribed to:

  3. Find a regular place to listen. Just decide when and where you will listen to podcasts. I listen every morning when I am exercising. I no longer have a commute, but I also listen while running errands in the car.
  4. Share your favorites with your friends. This is the easy part. Because I get so much valuable information from podcasts, it is natural for me to talk about them. Increasingly, I am finding myself talking to friends about the shows we are listening to.

If you haven’t tried podcasts, I suggest you give it a two-week trial. Experience the value first-hand. Perhaps this medium won’t work for you. But it might just open up a whole new world.

Question: What are some of your favorite podcasts? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

Get my FREE video series now!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Patricia Zell

    I don’t make a habit of listening to podcasts. I am visually oriented, so I’d rather read something than listen to it (for example, I read the transcript to your podcast yesterday). To me, listening demands that I pay attention to things other than the information being presented. I go much faster when I read and I comprehend more. That said, I have noticed that my students are mostly listeners, to such a point that if I want them to read something, I have to make sure they can hear it (via me reading aloud or an audio book).

    Also, I like to spend my time thinking my own thoughts (often after reading something) than to continually listen to what others say. When I want clarification, I ask God for understanding and then I wait, I read for further information, and I think. 

    • Michael Hyatt

      You make a good point about thinking. I think we spend too little time processing information. I usually listen to a podcast or audiobook for half my morning run. Then I turn it off and think.Thanks.

  • Jon Stolpe

    I listen to the Daily Audio Bible Podcast (by Brian Hardin), The Dave Ramsey Show Podcast, The Relevant Podcasat, and several of the pocasts you listed.  I just came across the new 9 Thumbs Podcast which has been good so far.  Finally, I’d recommend Life As A Steward Podcast which provides from great tips for living with intention.

    • Loren Pinilis

      Woah – glad you enjoy the Life of a Steward Podcast, Jon! Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve enjoyed recording the podcast, so it’s great to hear that it’s a worthwhile listen.

      • Jon Stolpe

         No problem, Loren!  Keep up the great work.

  • Dave Anderson

    For me the car is a dangerous place.  I found talk radio, sports or any subject, makes me sleepy.

    I will have to try it exercising.  I have yet to capitalize on podcasts on a regular basis.

    Do most people give away their podcasts now?  Wasn’t there a time when you were paying for them?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don’t know of any paid one. All the ones I listen to our free.

      • Dave Anderson

        Thanks.  I like free!

    • Brett

       Dave… they are nearly all free (at least there are plenty of free ones that it’s almost unnecessary to find pay podcasts). The good thing about these things vs. sports and talk radio is that if you find quality speakers/content, they actually uplift. I’m weird that way, though. Music can lull me while an engaging speaker can activate and enliven my brain.

      • Dave Anderson

        Brett, I am the opposite.  Music keeps me going.  But you are right.  I just need to find the right ones to listen to and I will probably be able to listen on the road.

        • Michael Hyatt

          I also don’t think it has to be either/or. I am a great lover of music too.

          • Brett

            Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of rest from turning off the talk and switching on some music I love. Music used to be a part of what I did for a living, so it’s always nice.

            The podcasts, on the other hand, tap into the fact that if I had loads of cash, I’d probably just be a full-time student for the rest of my life.

          • Eric S. Mueller

             I have to switch off the podcasts every now and again to listen to music.

          • Brandon

            Just so you know, there are also some GREAT music podcasts out there.

            Coverville is a cover music podcast, usually popular bands covering other popular bands.
            Noise Pop is a British indie music show.
            CD Baby is its American Version
            VGMpire is a video game music podcast. Yeah, that’s how niche this can get… Oh and that show is GREAT if the topic interests you.
            The iClub series is decent as well, the have iRock, iCountry, etc.

            I’m surprised Dn. Hyatt didn’t mention his own AFR podcast, At the Intersection of East and West. As a person looking to move to Orthodoxy, it was brilliant. I would say it’s on par with Fr. Damick’s Othodoxy and Heterodoxy series. Volumes of info for free.

            In response to the original question, I have almost a hundred podcasts I listen through in the week. I found that most release once a week and my job allows for 8 hours of audio time, so my content requirements are a little higher than average.

          • Dave Anderson

            Agreed.  I also have learned that turning off all media for awhile when driving is relaxing as well.  Some of my best ideas come then.  Also, if I turn down the noise of the world, I find I can hear “the still small voice” of God speaking to me me more easily.

            Silence is a lost discipline in our day and age.

          • Michele Cushatt

            Yes, silence IS a lost discipline. I speak on that topic quite often.

            “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he doesn’t know how to stay quietly in his room.” ~ Blaise Pascal

      • Jeremy Statton

        For me, the podcast fills my mind with information. Music let’s me think about the information, so I do both. It’s funny how we are all different.

        • Tim Peters

          I am in the same boat Jeremy.  I need a blend of both.  

    • Eric S. Mueller

       I’ve never paid for a podcast. I know of a few that require payment. Some will provide part of a show. Dave Ramsey provides one hour of his show for free, but you have to join his program to get the other two hours. Another podcast I listen to runs 2 hours; one free and the other only for members.

      I know of at least one other that is paid. I’m not paying for it. Most people who podcast either do it as a hobby that got out of hand, or use it as an extension of their brand.

    • Joanna

      There is still a few paid ones around. The ones I can think of are personal development or language learning ones. Paid podcast subscriptions are definitely in the minority though. 

  • Joanna

    A few of my favourites are 

    Drive Time Devotions ( )- Drive Time Devotions works through books of the bible a few verses per ten minute program. They strike a good balance of depth and accessibility. Thinking Allowed ( )- Thinking Allowed interviews people researching interesting things in the social sciences. They usually cover two topics per half hour show. As a sociologist, I find it a good way to keep up with what is happening in other segments of my field, but it is presented in a way that should be interesting and understandable to non-sociologists. The World In Words ( )- The World In Words covers interesting language and linguistic related news stories and research findings from around the worldDownload This Show ( )- Download this show is a weekly program covering technology news and developments, particularly focusing on social media. It has only been going for a few months but has been very good thus far. Shows are about half an hour long. It is also worth checking out iTunesU if you are an iTunes user. You can download courses from universities all around the world. I’ve been listening to the Geography Of World Cultures course from Stanford and have been finding it really interesting. 

    • Joanna

      Whoops, looks like something went really wrong with my formatting on that comment. Hopefully it is still readable enough

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing these. I will check them out.

      • Tim Peters

        Harvard Business Review is good.  And as always you can never get tired of Zig Ziglar. 

        • Paul Helmick

          Ziglar’s are great!!  I love how they have gone through, edited and packaged and preserved some of his best talks!

  • Brett

    I couldn’t agree more. I probably overdo it on the podcasts and have forgotten what music I like to listen to! But they have been so great to (a) help provide training for my business career,  for my sales efforts, general business acumen, and leadership and (b) help me stay grounded through some great faith-based podcasts (either sermons or general Christian leadership.

    What’s amazing is how something like Smart Passive Income has helped me in my insurance career. So many transferable concepts. I wrote two posts on my favorites:

  • Steve Hawkins

    I have about a dozen podcasts that I listen to in a given month to pass the time in my car (Zig Ziglar calls it “Automobile University”). When I listen to a podcast that makes me stop and consider something, I’ll pause it and spend some time processing my thoughts. 

    This week, I was listening to “Car Talk” and a woman called in about a problem with her fuel gauge. After listening to the call, I paused my iPod and questioned why my gas gauge doesn’t bounce between full and empty when I drive. After researching the question on, I learned that a microprocessor in the fuel gauge circuitry finds the “moving average” in the tank and transmits that information to the gauge. My research led me to thinking about patience and how I should apply a moving average to my emotions when I’m in difficult circumstances. 

    As a new blogger, I find that podcasts can lead me down an interesting thought trail that I can share with others. 

    • Dave Anderson

      Very cool analogy and lesson Steve.  As a blogger who started just over a month ago, finding new sources of inspiration is a great reason to listen to more podcasts!

      Find my site at  (Anderson Leadership Solutions).  I’ve been blogging 3 times a week for a 6 weeks now.  The content is still coming out of me but I could always use new inspiration.

      Good luck with your blog.  I will track it down.

    • Eric S. Mueller

       Steve, that’s a fascinating idea to apply a moving average to emotions.

    • Michele Cushatt

      I’ve discovered the same thing, Steve. After listening to a podcast on my morning run, I usually come home with a blog post or article idea. 

  • David Tonen

    I find that podcasts keep me connected and on the cutting edge of topics of interest to me. As a marketing guy the two best ones I know of are Marketing Over Coffee and Six Pixels of Separation.
    Like you Michael, I started podcasting as well. It takes more work than most people might think but not because of the technology/production aspects. Its like blogging…you have to think through the flow of the show to keep things engaging and on topic. How I do that is through a conversational  approach where each episode I talk with experts that can help church leaders understand strategies for and the value of effective ministry communication.

    For anyone interested here is the link – I welcome feedback:

    • Tim Peters

      David, I agree on podcasts helping stay connected and on cutting edge.  

  • Eric S. Mueller

    I’ve been heavily into podcasts for years. I got a Windows Mobile device in 2003, and then discovered MP3 audio, which set me free from the tyranny of talk radio (commercials drive me nuts). It was annoying having to manually transfer files back and forth. I got heavily into iTunes when it incorporated podcasting.

    I got my first iPod in 2006, and have been hooked on the platform ever since. I listen to podcasts a lot. I’ve had to decide to quit listening to quite a few over the years.

    I’m currently subscribed to about 40 podcasts. I was thrilled to get your recommendation for Downcast. Now I don’t have to lug my laptop around with me on short trips to keep updated on podcasts.

    Of the 40, a random sampling are your podcast, Dan Miller’s 48 Days, Andy Stanley’s leadership, Dave Ramsey’s show and Entreleadership podcast, Skeptiko, Stand to Reason, The Dividing Line, Saddleback, Theology Unplugged, Gnostic Media, What On Earth is Happening, Peace Revolution, Several of Reasons to Believe’s podcasts, and quite a few more.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Great list, Eric. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Trey Smith

    Thank you for the podcast suggestions. I listen daily to:  Walking Through The Word (New Testament in a year)

  • Dale Melchin

    I especially enjoyed your comment about “having someone’s voice your head.”  I think that concept itself ties very well into the last couple of blogs especially the “Stop it!” and “Better Questions” Posts.  Sometimes we’ve had our own negative voices in our heads for so long that we need other voices to help drown it out.  Podcasting may be a new therapy!

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I hadn’t thought of that, Dale—”the new therapy.” You might be right!

      • Dale Melchin

        The thing is in my study of Ancient Traditions (which hasn’t been to deep, but a lot of breadth) from Orthodoxy to Taoism, and even in some of the secular therapies there is large emphasis on repetition in the reprogramming of the mind. Podcasts provide the opportunity to feed the mind plenty of good things and eventually flush out the bad over time if properly applied.

  • Peter Walters

    Because in my preaching I like to tell stories I listen to The Vinyl Cafe which is one of the most downloaded podcasts in Canada.  If you want to be a better storyteller you need to listen to Stuart McLean.  My first blog post was about going to see him live for the first time.

    • Jeremy Statton

      Sounds like a great resource.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I just subscribed to the Vinyl Café. It was iTunes Best Audio Podcast of the Year 2011. Pretty impressive. I can’t wait to listen. Thanks.

    • Steve Hawkins

      I downloaded the Vinyl Cafe of iTunes as well. Great show! Thanks for sharing. 

    • Rachel Lance

      Excellent recommendation – thanks, Peter!

  • John Richardson

    Podcasts are great, Michael. I’m just surprised they haven’t caught on more. I’ve found some interesting applications for podcasts over the last few years that work well.

    On my Android phone I use Stitcher which is a streaming podcast app. It works well on my commute and doesn’t fill up my phone’s memory with previously listened shows. Unfortunately you are limited to their database so you may have trouble finding specific content. (Not sure if yours is available?)

    At home, I like listening and watching podcasts on my Apple TV. The videocasts are especially great from TED, with a lot of inspiring content. Podcasts are the best “free” app on the device!

    As a creative, I really enjoy the Mosaic church podcasts from Erwin McManus. If I’m at home I like to watch them, or listen while in the car. The link is

    With your podcast, I just download it to my phone, and play it while driving in my car. My Mazda has a bluetooth audio system, so it automatically plays over my car’s Bose speakers. Full Michael Hyatt fidelity!

    • Barry Hill

      Didn’t know Erwin McManus was doing a podcast—gonna have to give that one a listen!

      • John Richardson

        His recent “Artisan” series is amazing. His last podcast in the series called, “Beauty,” is a must listen. As a creative, Erwin speaks my language. You can get both the audio and video series on iTunes.

        • Jim Martin

          Thanks John for mentioning the McManus podcast.  I wasn’t aware that he had one.  Just subscribed.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I appreciate the suggestions and the fact that you are listening to my podcast.

      • John Richardson

        Thanks for your post today, Michael. It was nice to connect with a couple of podcasts that had fallen off my radar (Catalyst and McManus). Just for the heck of it, I looked to see if my old podcasts were still on iTunes. I typed my name in and voila… three of them from 2006. I may have to revive my podcast, if I can get a software/microphone setup that works well.

  • Nathan

    Econtalk by Russ Roberts is fascinating. He is an economist of the libertarian strain at George Mason U. He interviews a wide variety of thought leaders on a vast set of topics. Some examples are an ant researcher on how colonies behave, a Frito Lay executive who walks through potato chip manufacturing, Dan Pink on what motivates people, and Nassim Taleb on his book The Black Swan.

    • Joanna

      Thanks Nathan. Hadn’t heard of that one before but it sounds really interesting. Going to look it up now

  • Ben Goertz

    I use Stitcher for iPhone. It’s free and it has the best interface and recommendation engine. I use it at least 5 hours a week. Love it!

    • Jeremy Statton

      Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Barry Hill

       That’s like the third or fourth recommendation for Stitcher that I have seen—guess I have to check it out! lol.

  • douglasandrews

    Hi Michael!  I am thrilled that I listen to 6 out of the 10 you listed.  I will check out the other 4.  I have followed Pat Flynn and the Smart Passive Income from day 1.  His information is outstanding.  The only other podcast that I listen to that is not on your list is, I believe a friend of yours, Andy Andrews.  I have read all of his books, follow his posts and listen to his podcast.  
    You are right, podcasts are awesome and I look forward to your podcast every week!

    • Barry Hill

      I am a BIG Pat Flynn fan, too! He is great!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That was a total oversight on my part. I have added Andy—and apologized to him!


    I’ve been doing podcasts for my Mind Mapping Insiders membership group for several years now. I’ve found that the act of writing the content of a podcast forces me to think things through at a deeper level before I share them. In much the same way that a teacher needs to know his or her material thoroughly in order to teach it to the students, I think the same is true of podcasters.

    It’s also a powerful platform for learning. I once took a year-long online course by Yaro Starak on how to be a more effective blogger. He parceled out the lessons, one every 2-3 weeks (using an autoresponder) in MP3 and transcribed formats. I found myself listening to his teachings in the car, walking the track at the health club and many other places. These podcasts were always supplemented by additional materials – worksheets, links to relevant websites, interviews with subject matter experts, and more. It’s a great way to learn!

  • Ben Matthews

    The challenge I have with podcasts is the time investment.  With a blog post I’m able to quickly scan to see if the content is something I want to read in depth.  With a podcast (minus the transcript) it’s difficult to know if it’s going to be a valuable use of time until after I’ve already made the investment.  For the last year I’ve set aside about 5 minutes each morning to read the blog posts.  More time than that is difficult to digest into the routine, despite my belief that I would enjoy the podcasts.

    • Michele Cushatt

      That’s a good point, Ben. The only time I listen to podcasts is while I’m doing something else (running, cleaning, driving). Then it doesn’t feel like a waste of time if the content isn’t what I’m looking for. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d listen to them either. The other challenge is quoting a section of content. If I hear something I really like, I want to tweet the quote. But by the time I get back to my computer, I’ve forgotten it! I then have to relaunch the podcast to recapture the quote.

    • Joe Lalonde

       Ben, I found it beneficial to squeeze podcasts into my daily commute, while exercising, or other activities that I’m already doing. If it’s not good information, I can click the next button and hop to the next one. Might be something to think about.

      • Ben Matthews

        Joe – I’m a train or bus commuter so I normally have the laptop open and am reading blogs, doing e-mails, etc on the commute (doing it right now!).  I like both podcasts and listening to personal growth digital books and have done just as you suggested in the past.  Right now I just don’t have a block of time where it fits into things I’m already doing.  My situation may be unique, but right now I miss the 5 day a week blog posts!

  • Jonathan Thompson

    Most podcasts are educational and entertaining.

    So if you want to entertain yourself while on the go, you might as well learn something in the process.

    It is better to educate the brain cells than to tickle them.

  • Jim Woods

    Michael, I’m so glad you shared these thoughts. I’ve been listening to podcasts for years and I love them. There is no better way to learn and stay inspired while you are doing something else. Audiobooks are great too, but often demand more attention than a podcast does. 

    • Jim Martin

      Jim, you are so right.  It really is amazing at what is available through podcasts at no cost.

    • Joe Lalonde

      I’m with you on the audiobooks vs podcasts. Podcasts are great for grab and goes whereas the audiobooks take a larger amount of concentration. Any podcasts that you recommend Jim?

  • Rob Sorbo

    I’ve been listening to your podcast, which I really enjoy. I don’t see myself subscribing to too many more, though. I generally exercise with music, I have a fairly short commute, and my work generally requires too much focus to have stimuli going on in the background. Also, I’m not the best at paying attention, so I would absorb very little of what I listen to if I tried to multitask.

  • Jack Lynady

    Loved talk radio. Loved teaching tapes and CD’s. Now, I love podcasts and downloads. My favorites right now in no particular order are, Free Agent underground, ransomed heart, and The Unofficial Linchpin Podcast. They are all great and personal friends too. Michael I like yours too…not bad for a rookie. The first one u did u must have said “I don’t want to leave any blood on the ground” or something to that effect about 25 times. U are getting much better. ;)

  • Lucille Zimmerman

    I have been enjoying podcasts for years. The shows  I listen to while jogging are
    -Andy Stanley
    -New Life
    -Copyblogger – (Internet Marketing for Smart People)
    – free lectures from iTunes university (mostly psychological topics)

    • Michele Cushatt

      I know how much you enjoy New Life, Lucille. I started listening to that one because of your recommendation!

  • Rick Yuzzi

    Podcasts are great for the morning commute. I’ve not had the time to download any lately (my device is older, and doesn’t run apps), but when I did it was a good way to pass the time and learn a topic. There were two or three that I used to listen to by  Christian philosophers, and I felt like I was getting a PHD in apologetics. 

    • Jeremy Statton

      I do the same, Rick. I can’t change the amount of time I spend in the car, so I use it better by listening to podcasts.

    • Barry Hill

       The commute is a big one for me, too!

  • Jackie Anderson

    Agree with all you said. I have listened to podcasts for over 6 years. Even when we lived in West Africa and the download took so long. My regulars while marathon training currently;
    It’s Your Life
    Passion City Church
    Relevant (lol on dreadmil and I know alll the music and movies my 4 kids 15-22 are into)
    Living on the Edge on occasion

    I have learned so much I don’t know what I would do without my nano 1st generation ipod. We don’t have TV at home so I often listen while I read/watch the news headlines on the dreadmil. Reward, I can read in my down time at home.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Marathon training involves a lot of podcast listening time. :) Good for you, Jackie. And thanks for sharing your list.

  • Travis

    Great Topic! I appreciate the insights and thanks for the blog recommendations

  • Meg Davis

    Cool. I’ve wanted to plug in with podcasts for a while but finally started with yours. Thanks for making them accessible to blackberry users!

  • Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

    I have several regular podcasts, and I really love the format.  On my iPhone right now are by Justin Lukasavige, Entreleadership with Chris LoCurto, Free Agent Underground with Kevin Miller, If God is Real by Jennie Allen, In The Loop with Andy Andrews and Andy Traub, Learning to See with Ian Morgan Cron, No More Mondays, Scott Wimberly’s Living Your Dream, This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt, and 48 Days by Dan Miller.

    Michael, I can’t believe your list does not include In The Loop with Andy Andrews.  Andy has even mentioned you a few times, and that may be the podcast I most never want to miss.

    • Jim Martin

      Joseph, I am glad you mentioned Andy Andrews’ podcast.  I was unaware of this.  Thanks.

      • Joe Lalonde

         Jim, you won’t be disappointed with Andy’s podcast. His storytelling abilities are amazing and he always presents a gripping show.

      • Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

        If you aren’t listening to In The Loop,  . . . well . . . I guess you are out of the loop!  Andy is America’s Noticer.

    • Michael Hyatt

      That was a total oversight on my part. Andy’s podcast is definitely on my list.

      • Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

        I suspected.  I didn’t think you could miss that one.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Plus, he’s a very close friend—or at least he was before today’s post!

          • Joseph Iliff of SeekOutWisdom

            I imagine he still is because of Decision #6.  He would have greated today with a forgiving spirit.

  • Dan Winters

    Big podcast fan

    Two favorites

    2. Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
    1. Econ Talk with Russ Roberts -by far the best because of Roberts. He has opinions and he challenges his guests when he disagrees, but he has mastered the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable – a lost art in 2012, in my opinion. Although most shoes are about finance and economy, he strays into all sorts of interesting fields and the show is rich with cross- disciplinary applications.

  • Wayne Stiles

    I love listening to podcasts on my iPhone because of the feature that allows me to listen twice as fast. (Notice the “2x” in the attached image). That way, I can listen to twice as much in the same time. (It doesn’t sound like the Chipmunks, either.)

  • 48DaysDan

    Michael, thanks for the call-out here.  I’m delighted you’ve jumped in the podcast world. Yes, I find my podcast listeners to be much intimately connected, loyal and responsive than those reading my books, blogs or newsletters.  It’s amazing.  

    I use Stitcher – it’s the bomb.  I have your podcast and the others I listen to regularly all cued up there – quick and easy access.  My favorite listening time is early in the morning when I’m on the treadmill, thus making success deposits in two areas of my life at once – physical and personal development.  

    • Michael Hyatt

      You were a huge encouragement, Dan. I wouldn’t have started without that!

      • ljgrohn

        On the topic of 48DaysDan, I believe the link you gave to his website goes to the wrong web address. Thanks so much for the post.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Did you click through from the newsletter? I actually fixed it on the blog last week. Thanks for letting me know.

  • gholtslander

     Umm, just how long do you guys exercise in the morning? I like the podcasts, I just don’t have any periods of “not me actively doing stuff” where I could listen to so many podcasts. Maybe I’m missing something in my approach?

    • Barry Hill

      The great thing about the technology is that you can do it while almost doing any “mindless” activity. Mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, in the car (for those of us who live in Washington DC that is a considerable amount of time) If I am paying bills or filing paperwork… etc.

    • Jim Martin

      Like Barry, I look for the times when I am doing mindless activities that do not require thinking.  (Commute time, cleaning up the kitchen, etc.)

  • Caitlin Muir

    When I moved across the country, it was hard for me to find a church. I had moved from a Jesus culture (where it wasn’t popular to be a Christian) to a very Christian culture. The churches reflected that difference heavily. I would listen to podcasts from my church back home during the week while I was trying out new churches on the weekends. 

  • Brent Peterson

    Great suggestions Michael. I’ve long enjoyed Andy Stanley’s Leadership podcast as well as the direct messages from Northpoint. I also subscribe to the messages from Willow Creek in Chicago, Southeast Church in Louisville, Immanuel Church in Springfield VA, and Timothy Keller in NY.

    What advice do you have for starting a podcast to share our own voice?


    • Michael Hyatt

      I would start by listening to The Podcast Answer Man’s ”Learn How to Podcast 101.” It’s free and provides an excellent foundation.

  • Paul Clifford

    The only time I listen to the radio is when I’m in the car with other people.  I’ve listened to podcasts exclusively since 2004.  I love being able to get exactly what I want when I want it, not “so so” content at only certain times and horrible content at others.  I love them (of course I did literally write the book on podcasting in churches). ;)


  • Adam Rico

    I consistently listen to your podcast Michael as well as Dan Miller’s. I also recommend the No More Mondays podcast with Andy Traub and Justin Lukasavige. Justin Lukasavige has his own podcast called Coach Radio that is really good.

    Both are well done and have helped me come up with new business ideas. 

    Your podcast was an instant favorite of mine so thanks for the great content.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Adam.

  • Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.

    Hi Michael, I really appreciated your fresh take on this subject. As an author/blogger, I would love to see an article advising the best strategies for POSTING podcasts. For example, my website isn’t very user-friendly for this sort of thing (it’s not WordPress based, and I have to get my web designer’s help to upload videos, mp3’s etc. – as a result, I don’t upload videos or mp3’s!). Any tips on pod platforms to use?
    Thanks so much!

    • Barry Hill

      Dr. Susan,
      Have you checked out the podcast answer man?

      • Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.

        Hi Barry – thanks SO much, I just checked out his website and I’m sure I can find whatever I need there!

        • Dave Stachowiak

          Hi Susan,

          Cliff Ravenscraft (the Podcast Answer Man) has indeed been super helpful for many of us who host podcasts. The best place to start on his page is this link, which will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about getting started…and it’s free:

          All the best in getting your show up and running!Warmly,Dave

    • Michael Hyatt

      I host my audio files on However, I don’t publish my podcast there. It is strictly for hosting. I use the PowerPress WordPress plugin to embed my podcast into my blog. I create a separate blog post for each episode and assign it the “Podcast” category. I then set up a separate Feedburner feed that refers to this WordPress category feed. I then submit the Feedburner feed to iTunes, Blackberry, Zune, Stictcher, etc.
      My setup is precisely what Cliff Ravenscraft at the Podcast Answer Man recommends.

      • Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.

        Fantastic, thank you SO much. Michael, you continually astound me by your commitment to answering people personally and so generously, you are a great role model for me! Bless you.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Susan. I wish I could do more!

  • Sean Boisen

    I’ve been a podcast devotee for several years now, and it’s the main (initial) reason i got my iPod Touch: Downcast makes listening to podcasts far easier. It also lets me listen at 1.5x speed: it rarely reduces my comprehension, but gets me through a lot more material.

    I mostly listen to technology podcasts: Seminars on Long Term Thinking (SALT) from the Long Now Foundation is one of my favorites, because it’s material you really don’t hear anywhere else. And there’s lots of great lectures in iTunes, especially the Stanford business area. Even those with video often work reasonably well as audio only (you don’t need to see the lecturer).

    • Jim Martin

      Sean, I did not know that Downcast had the option of listening at 1.5x speed.  Interesting!  Glad you mentioned this.

      • Michael Hyatt

        In fact, you can crank it up to 2x, which is what I typically do.

  • Sean_p_tinlgey

    I, too, am a fan of Dan Miller.  Have been listening to him for a few years.  I also enjoy NPR’s Fresh Air, I don’t listen to each episode, but it’s nice to have the library available and listen to the ones I choose.  I also joined this year as part of my “new year’s resolutions”, my goal is to “read” a book a month.  Just finished the Steve Jobs biography, now I’m on “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.  In a perfect world I would rather sit down and read a book but my lifestyle does not allow that so podcasts are an excellent alternative, I usually listen on my 30 minute commute to and from work.

  • Barry Hill

    Great to see Pat Flynn on your podcast list! I am a big fan! He is such a genuine guy, too! 

    • Joe Lalonde

       He’s great, isn’t he? I just started listening to him and have enjoyed him immensely.

  • Angela Schaefers

    Great article and tips! So true- there are tons of podcasts that are very helpful on many topics. I encourage everyone to listen in to Your Story Matters podcasts, where people around the globe share their stories. These stories cover several topics, but each are stories of hope, perseverance and the power of the human spirit. It’s amazing how inspired and encouraged we can be by one another!

    • Jim Martin

      Angela, this sounds very interesting.  Hearing the stories of others across the world can be very insightful.

      • Angela Schaefers

        I think so too Jim! When I get a message from someone in another country that has heard something from a guest here in the US, it reminds me that our ‘stories’ really are not limited to our gender, race, religion etc. I am always seeking more global guests and their stories have been well received from our US listeners too!

    • Joe Lalonde

       That sounds like an awesome podcast Angela. Adding it to my list right now!

    • Joe Lalonde

       Went to add it to my phone and can’t seem to find a feed for it other than in iTunes. Do you have a direct link to the feed?

      • Angela Schaefers

        HI Joe- the feed for the shows at my website is: feed://

        I welcome your feedback! :)

        • Joe Lalonde

          Thanks Angela! Just added it to my queue. 

        • Joe Lalonde

           Listened to two or three of your podcasts and must say they’ve been enjoyable. Looking forward to more of them Angela!

  • Andrew Acker

    Podcasts are so educational and valuable. I love them. I’d have to add Any Andrews as a favorite that was listed, as well as the BS report with Bill Simmons, just to add some sports love to the mix :)

    • Joe Lalonde

       Andrew, the AA show has been great. I really liked episode 28 and the story of Andy Traub giving the guy one of Andy Andrews books. What has been your favorite episode?

  • Loren Pinilis

    I’m a podcast addict. I am subscribed to probably 50 or so. I don’t listen to nearly every episode, but it’s nice to have a lot of options to choose from when I do want to listen to a podcast.
    Some additional recommended podcasts:
    – Stand to Reason
    – The Accidental Creative
    – The Connected Kingdom
    – The Nutrition Diva
    – Blogcast FM
    – White Horse Inn

    • Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing your listen Loren. There’s a few on there that I’ve never heard of that I’ll be checking out.

    • Srinivas Rao

      HEy Loren,

      Thanks for the shout out. I  always wonder who listens to our show since most of them are subscribed via itunes, If you haven’t been to our site in a while, stop by because we’ve made tons of changes. We’ve even launched a Magazine. 

  • Jeff Jones

    My favorites are 48 Days, Zig Ziglar, EntreLeadership, Joyce Meyer and In The Loop with Andy Andrews.  And btw, I invested in The Podcast Answer Man to help me get set up with my own podcast, and it was the best $ I could have ever spent. 

    My podcast is about Life on the Road with Big Daddy Weave and running a Small Business at the same time.  It’s called Build Your Business From the Inside Out, It’s here at: 

    • Joe Lalonde

       Jeff, I’ve heard about you from the guys at Free Agent Academy and the work you’re doing with the custom drum sticks. Keep up the great work and congratulations on starting your own podcast!

      • Jeff Jones

        Thanks Joe!  I hope to make it to an event in CO with Kevin.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Cliff Ravenscraft (a.k.a. the “Podcast Answer Man”) is amazing. He really helped me too. In fact, he is still helping me.

      • Jeff Jones

        Michael, your podcast sounds great!  Once you get started it is addictive!

  • Joshua Tolan

    I used to listen to podcasts in the “old” days when you had to go through itunes, but I eventually got tired of that. I didn’t even know that there were apps for podcasts now! I’m going to start listening to my favorite pastors again!

    • Jim Martin

      Joshua, Downcast (mentioned by Michael) is impressive.  Like you, for a long time I went to iTunes.  The apps are so much easier.

    • Michael Hyatt

      These new apps make all the difference!

  • Greg

    I love this post. I have been a big fan of these for years. I listen to them while working out, washing dishes, or while on my commute. Thanks for sharing what you subscribe to. I also listen to the 48 Days, EntreLeadership, & Grammar Girl podcast. I also enjoy Dave Ramsey, This American Life, NPR Science Friday among others. 

  • Joe Lalonde

    I agree Michael. Podcasting has been such a blessing to me as I drive to and from work everyday. It allows me 40-60 minutes soak in the wisdom of other leaders.  I can only imagine the amount of content I’ve received because of this.

    While I listen to quite a few podcasts, here are my top five:

    48 Days with Dan Miller
    In the Loop with Andy Andrews
    This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt
    Internet Business Mastery
    Andy Stanley Leadership

    And let me toss in Smart Passive Income as a close sixth, only because I’ve just started to listen to Pat. So far I’m loving him!

  • Solomons Porch Radio

    I couldn’t agree with you more Michael! What a better way to listen to ideas that you like on your free time and have it commercial free. We wanted to empower men through Christ to be better for their families/community and found that we could reach the whole world from our home! The idea trying to reach our little community turned into a global ministry! FYI….we really enjoy your podcast.

  • Pingback: Podcasting and Learning « Why isn’t the future what it used to be?()

  • Travis Dommert

    I have enjoyed your podcasts, Michael…and indeed it is more engaged sort of experience, like you are “plugged in”…but the length has been a problem.  Perhaps until now.  You just made me realize the problem: I’ve been listening on my computer!

    A 30-45min podcast seems eternal while on my laptop, and I end up either half-paying attention to the podcast or half-paying attention to what else I’m doing…neither of which works.

    I’ll download the app you recommended and start making better use of my walk thru the parking deck, the commute, or other downtime.  I’m excited about this, thanks!

    • Eric S. Mueller

      Most podcast apps (including the built in one on iPhones) allow you to play at more than 1x speed. You hardly notice the difference, and you can listen to a 1 hour podcast in about 30 minutes at 2x speed. 

      • Travis Dommert

        Great tip, thanks Eric!

  • Theron Mathis

    This is so true.  Thanks for the recommended lists as well.  Ancient Faith, In the Loop, and Catalyst were already on my list.  I am adding some of the others now.

    I also subscribe to the GTD podcast.  It’s not consistent when it posts, but when it does they are great.  

    I use a Blackberry and adding podcasts can be a bit clunky, but it can be done, and it is easier than transferring from iTunes.  

    I spend a lot of time in my car, so podcasts and audio books allow me access to a wide range of content, and helps me redeem the time.  

    I have find out a nice trick in iTunes.  Anytime I run into an author or speaker, I search their name through the power search, and lo and behold I can often find a couple of interviews and podcasts that can be downloaded.   iTunes University is also an incredible resource.

    Thanks.  If I could only implement and assimilate all the great ideas I get to hear.  

  • Tom Perry

    Podcasts are wonderful!!  I listen every day at lunchtime for 20-60 minutes, plus on the drive home and running errands – just plug my phone into the car stereo & hit “play”.  I also listen while doing chores around the house or even mowing the lawn – though sometimes I can’t concentrate in those situations and end up having to listen again.  ;-)

    In addition to some of the great leadership resources out there, the “medium” of podcasting also allows me to sit under some extraordinary Bible teaching that I would not normally have access to.  Pastors and churches (big AND small!) from all over the country make their sermons available via podcast.  It’s an awesome way to study, learn and grow via listening to some of the best Bible teachers and Gospel preachers out there.  You can download an entire weeks/months-long series of messages and listen to them straight through in a matter of a few days.  It’s also a great way to stay “caught up” on the talks from your own church when you are out of town or serving in another part of the church.

    Some of my favorites/recommendations are:
    Andy Stanley Leadership
    Perry Noble Leadership
    Newspring Church
    Passion City Church
    North Point Community Church (both the “recent” and “best of” podcasts)
    Drivetime Devotionals (from Saddleback Church)

    I have enjoyed many others, but found that I had to limit myself to 8 or 10 at a maximum so that I could “keep up” with them all at a reasonable pace.  I’m going to add yours, Michael, b/c I have just recently seen it pop up on my radar – and I also just learned about Andy Andrews’ podcast today, so I’ve gotta try that one, too!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tom, for giving my podcast a try. Let me know what you think.

  • Barry Pearman

    I add them into my Kindle touch and listen to your podcasts when I am driving. 

    I also listen to Rob Bell at Mars Hill. 
    Thanks for the great podcasts. 

  • Agatha Nolen

    Thanks, Michael for writing about podcasts. I do a three-times per week blog and my platform allows me to record and attach a podcast of the “reading”. I don’t have a huge following yet, but a number of friends subscribe and like to listen on the way to work or while they exercise. I like podcasts, too and have them authomatically download through itunes like John MacArthur and Andy Stanley. Do you see any value in “reading” your daily blog post and making it available as an alternative to the written version? I know you talk about your separate weekly podcast, but how do you feel about recording each of your stories too?
    My podcast is at:

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m pretty much out of bandwidth, so I don’t think it is something I could do. Thanks.

  • Barb Raveling

    I really like the Life of a Steward podcast. Loren Pinilis gives good advice on time management from a Christian perspective.

  • Srinivas Rao

    Hey Michael

    Some great ones on this list. I’m one of those weirdos who hosts a podcast but doesn’t listen to that many.   I noticed you started yours a while back. If you’re up for it, I’d love to have as a guest on BlogcastFM. I think you’d have some really profound insights to share with our audience about publishing, blogging, and everything else. 


    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words and for your interest. Please contact Joy at joy at michaelhyatt dot com. She makes the decisions on my media appearances. Thanks again.

  • tjohn5

    I have a micro cassette recorder with  me on my commute to remember thoughts (type them up later).  I’ve actually thought of carrying one with me while running.  My memory is good – just short!

  • Paul Helmick

    Bought into the concept of ‘automobile university’ long ago – and have found that Podcasts rule – via bluetooth headset or bluetooth in the car – started out and listened to several years of Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders – - and have found that it’s most amazing and time saving way to learn and connect with others… have since found dozens of other extremely high quality podcasts and have made them a staple of the 30-45 minute morning and evening commutes.  Michael – truly appreciate your sharing your insights in this format as well – certainly drives engagement higher and really let’s you communicate with people in a incredibly effective way.

  • Dave Cochran

    I couldn’t agree more about podcasts.  I’m a producer of my own podcast and listen/watch several others.  The biggest problem with podcasting is there is no sustainable business model for podcasting unless you can act as your own business manager/advertising manger all while producing your show.  

    • Michael Hyatt

      You can use it like Dan Miller does to drive engagement and sell his conferences and other products. Thanks.

  • Holger Meier

    I love the medium of podcasts.  I listen to them when I travel and when I run. 

    It is amazing how close you get to know these daily podcast presenters.  I live in Durban, South Africa, and recently met the team from one of my favourite podcasts  MoneyLife by Crown Financial Ministries at a speaking engagement here in Durban.  It was like meeting “old friends”.  

    I listen to TWIG, The Dave Ramsey Show, The EntreLeadership Podcast, This is your Life and the ZA Tech Show on a regular basis.  

    If I hear or read of an interesting person, e.g. Marcus Buckingham, I search itunes for their name. It is amazing how often you find interesting interviews recorded as a podcast.  What an amazing resource.

  • John Gallagher

    I have really enjoyed your podcasts thus far, Michael.  I listen to most on your list and add Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd” for my sports fix.  I am going to have to break down and buy an iPhone.  I still have to sync my iPod so it is a bit of a hassle to stay current, especially with a daily show like the Herd…

  • Mike freestone

    I ran 8 miles yesterday and listened to Podcasts the whole time. It was a first. I usually run with music to keep the tempo up but it was great. I subscribed to over half of what you recommended and also started using Downcast on my iPad and iPhone. Trying to make the most out of my downtime and travel. Very inspiring post and I of course subscribed to your podcast.

  • Debbie from Mississippi

    I listen to podcast when I am getting dressed each morning, during long drives, and while exercising.  I listen to your podcast (recently recommended by a friend at work), and Walk in the Word by James MacDonald, and sermons by Dr. Tony Evans.

  • Michael Good

    I love podcasts for so many of the same reasons. 

    In fact, podcasts changed my life! 

    It’s because of the podcasts I started listening to that I find myself on the journey I’m on today. 

  • Cre8tv

    Can I add a shameless plug for a different kind of podcast? I started the Song-A-Day podcast January 1 this year, and I’m creating a fresh guitar improv every day of 2012. It’s at or in the iTunes store under Merrick Vincent Dupea. If you get tired of listening to people talk and just want to hear the raw creative process of building songs, please drop in. There are electrons enough for everyone to download a few!

  • Cliff Ravenscraft

    Loved this post Michael!  Thanks for spreading the word of the value of podcasting in our daily lives. :)

  • TNeal

    I’m curious. Does what you say about iPhones apply to iPods? I listen to audio books on my iPod every day as I walk the dog. I know eliminating the download to computer then syncing to iPod would make podcasts more appealing. Right now I feel like podcasts tie me to my computer rather than free me to listen as I walk or drive so I don’t listen very often. I like both your podcast list and would love to add a few to my must-listen-to list.

    • Eric S. Mueller

       Depends on your iPod. If you have an iPod Touch, you can buy Downcast or another podcasting app and that should help cut your tether to iTunes. I’m not sure if there is a solution for the classic iPod or Nano.

      • TNeal

         Got a classic (which sounds cool if we’re talking cars but not so much under the circumstances).

    • Michael Hyatt

      I am not sure. I would give it a shot. As as you have wireless, you should be good-to-go.

  • Pingback: How Podcasts Can Fuel Your Personal Growth | Michael Hyatt « yourdreamproject()

  • Dave Young

    Can you share your technical setup? What mic? What editor? Are you doing it yourself?

  • joyceglass

    Thanks so much for your podcast & suggesting the Downcast app! It is awesome!!! I now can stream instead of worrying about downloading podcast on my iPad & iPhone & they sync !! Love love LOVE IT!!

    Plus I did not like on the iPad it saved podcast in alphabetical order, & there was no way to tell what I had listened to or not. &&& you had to download daily – no way to subscribe!! Video podcast took up a lot of space & were put in a different app from audio. I understand why, but not very handy.

    Downcast Rocks!! Thanks so much!!! I have been meaning to tell you this for weeks!!

  • steveborgman

    Michael, I’m intrigued by your interest in the Ancient Faith Podcast.  I have a friend who converted from Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy, and we’ve had a lot of great dialogue.  How did you get interested in Orthodoxy?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your interest. It all happened as as I read church history. I just started reading earlier and earlier writers until I found the Apostolic Fathers (second century).

  • Pingback: 3 Things That Young Leaders Need Starting Out | John Bossong()

  • Lois Ridley

    One of my favorite podcasts is Marnies Friends. Another is Christian Women Affiliates podcast group of shows. They have several that I enjoy=)

  • Suzie Farthing

    Thanks for this post, Michael. I am an avid listener to podcasts, and I also produce one of my own (One Love for Nurses). Actually, I was turned on to your work and podcast by listening to Cliff Ravenscraft’s podcast, the Podcast Answerman. Thanks again for your podcast and keep up the great work!

  • Abby Hatch

    Thank you! I listen to your podcast, and had several others I was interested it. Never realized it was so easy! Pocket Casts installed. Excited to start listening. :)