Working as a retailer can be a grind.
You’re the boss, and while it’s great to have processes, teams, and other things set up to minimize your business’s reliance on your personal time and energy, it’s not always possible to get away from things.
That can result in your work/life balance being pretty hectic, and make it hard for you to find personal time to:
- Do errands
- Read and learn new business strategies
However, all of these activities are crucially important if you’re going to keep your retail business thriving.
Exercise is crucial because you need a healthy body and mind to handle the daily rigors of business. Errands are important because it’s hard to focus on your work when you have a massive personal to-do list piling up. And learning about new business strategies is mandatory, because – in order to thrive in the long run – you need to outsmart your competition.
But where do you find the time to do all these things? That’s where podcasts and audiobooks come in.
The Beauty of Learning While Doing
While nothing can beat sitting down and focusing on reading a business book cover to cover, podcasts and audiobooks are the next best thing.
And for a busy retailer, they’re a lot more practical. On the Tim Ferriss podcast, General Stan McChrystal details how he had to completely ditch normal books and switch to audio books instead, because he simply didn’t have the time to read during his career in the military.
He would listen to audiobooks while working out or doing his morning shower. While this might seem trivial, that time adds up over the course of weeks and months. You can easily finish a podcast episode or two a day, and a book a week if you devote an hour or so a day to listening and learning.
The HUGE benefit of listening to retail / business info instead of reading it is that you can do other activities while you learn. For example, you can turn your morning and evening commute into learning time.
For some people, that’s a significant chunk of time.
Try listening to podcasts and/or audiobooks while:
- Going for a walk or run
- Doing the dishes, the trash, the laundry, and cleaning up around the house
- Mowing the lawn or gardening
- The Best Podcasts For Retailers
Without further ado, here are some of the best podcasts and audiobooks for retailers.
#1: Tough Retail Talks
This podcast is perfect for retail executives and owners who want to stay on the cutting edge of the retail industry. There’s plenty of actionable, practical advice packed into these interviews with retail experts.
Rave Review: “Worth the listen. Brief episodes that provide good content.”
Best episode to check out: How Rue La La Is Improving Customer Experiences With Data
#2: Retail Nightmares
This hilarious podcast focuses on the lighter side of retail.
This is a great choice for tough days when you need some comic relief, or for times when your brain is fried and you just want to unwind.
Hosts Alicia Tobin and Jessica Delisle interview retailers, entrepreneurs, and comedians in an effort to explore the inner workings of the retail industry in a fun way.
Rave Review: “Retail Nightmares makes me look forward to Mondays. Not only is this podcast fantastically funny but it is filled with kindness and joy. The theme songs are also the greatest. Can I get “Puppo of the Week as my ringtone?” Keep up the great work ladies!”
Best episode to check out: Episode 99 with Chris Bowman
#3: The Jason and Scot SHow
One of the newer podcasts in the retail space, Jason and Scot are two “everymen” who are also retail experts. This podcast is basically their conversations and “talking shop’ with plenty of expertise thrown in.
Rave Review: “Jason and Scot do a great job distilling topics in the ecomm and retail with a good mix of facts and expert perspectives. Definitely looking forward to many more episodes – this will be a must listen.”
Best episode to check out: E-commerce Deadly Sins: The 15 worst mistakes the E-commerce companies make (and how to avoid them)
Mixergy is a podcast that is oriented towards entrepreneurs in general, focusing on their founding stories and the lessons you can learn from them. Big name guests include Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, and Tony Hsieh from Zappos.
Rave Review: “Andrew is really great at interviewing startup entrepreneurs, investors, and technologists, and his interviews keep getting better. You can really tell that he has a passion for helping his guests find the life-or-death stories that paint a vivid picture of what it means to build a business today.”
Best episode to check out: How To Produce Like A Linchpin By Understanding Your Lizard Brain – With Seth Godin
#5: eCommerce Fuel
eCommerce Fuel is probably THE podcast when it comes to online retail. There’s no other podcast that comes close to the breadth and depth of ecommerce centered information presented here.
Rave review: “Andrew Youderian of eCommerce Fuel always takes time to provide the highest quality info on eCommerce and business. He is a thought leader in the industry and brings together some of the top ecommerce experts – so subscribe!”
Best episode to check out: How to 100x Your Business In 3 Years
The Top 3 Audiobooks For Retail Entrepreneurs
Podcasts shine in the “tactical tips” department. They are extremely relevant and up to date, and their conversational style makes them perfect for little actionable snippets of information.
However, information is only one piece of the retail entrepreneur’s journey. You also have to possess the right mindset, the right attitude, and the right strategic vision. This is where audiobooks excel, as they have more “dense” ideas and stories contained within them.
Usually, audiobooks are best consumed in chunks of at least 20 minutes – making them ideal for your commute, business travel, or a nice walk.
Daymond John is best known for his appearances on ABC’s Shark Tank, a show that puts entrepreneurs looking for funding in the hot seat. However, before he was in this position, he was hustling his own clothing line (which he stitched himself) on the streets of Queens, New York.
This book recounts his journey and the lessons learned from it, along with strategies that you can use to dominate your local market – without aggressive spending. Daymond also shares stories from Shark Tank contestants that spice up the narrative.
“I run a small business just north of Seattle. Over the years, the ups and downs, we have had times that the Power of Broke would have helped us excel. Instead, as the book describes, we threw a little dinero at it and… that solution didn’t work or didn’t work as well as a Power of Broke solution.
I would recommend this book to anyone that runs a business or that wants to improve their financial situation.”
James Altucher is a serial entrepreneur who launched several successful businesses and made lots of money, only to lose all of it (and then some) in some truly epic meltdowns.
In Choose Yourself, Altucher shares the mindsets that have helped him crawl out of each slump in his entrepreneurial career, and how you can avoid making the same mistakes he did. (Hint: self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur).
If you’re already on your entrepreneurial journey, parts of this book may seem like “preaching to the choir”, but the lessons are invaluable regardless – even and ESPECIALLY if you’re currently experiencing a lot of financial success.
“Altucher has no reason to hold back and nothing to hide. Because of this, the story reads with sincerity. I love hearing the truth of the worst parts of his life thus far – like spending Thanksgiving alone eating a turkey sandwich and making up stories that he’s a psychic on Craigslist just because he needed to feel the connection at such a low point in his life.
Everyone wants to be the millionaire but nobody talks about the struggle.”
Gary Vaynerchuk grew to popularity after using Youtube content marketing to great success with his family wine retail business. His dynamic, unapologetic personality leads people to either love him or hate him.
However, many, many people LOVE Gary V, and they send him questions all the time on social media. This book is a collection of those questions and answers in a rapid-fire format organized by themes.
Rave review: “With a world polluted with Internet gurus and social media experts that are trying to push the same tired lines and tactics, Gary is the REAL deal…
Loved every minute, smiled the whole time, can’t wait for the next one!”
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best podcasts and audiobooks out there for retail entrepreneurs, you have plenty of “ammunition” ready for your next long commute or errand session.
Life as a retail entrepreneur can be hectic, but it’s important to keep learning regardless – and these podcasts and audiobooks let you do just that.Tags: audiobooks, entrepreneur advice, learning on the go, podcasts, retail entrepreneurs, retailers