What is a Podcast and Why I love them

What is a Podcast?

Often, I find myself introducing episodes of my list of the best podcasts to friends and my audience but I forget that not everyone has heard of a podcast.  So, let me back up a bit and explain what is a podcast is and why I love them.  A podcast is basically a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet.  The word “podcast” is a portmanteau combining the words “broadcast” and “iPod.”  The reason I started listening to podcast episodes is that I loved watching and listening to stories from multi-millionaire and billionaire founders of companies.  I would watch Jason Nazaar on Docstoc Tv (now the CEO of Comparably) do fireside chat interviews like the one below on YouTube:

Then I would watch Sarah Lacy on PandoDaily do interviews like the one below of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso (who now also has an amazing podcast and book called GirlBoss :

Now this worked out fine as long as I was at home with my WiFi.   But YouTube videos kill your data when you are on the road. I mean literally ate up my entire monthly allowance in one session.  What was I to do on my long trips out of town that I used as my version of Car University?  Then I heard about the reemergence of this form of audio broadcasting on the internet that I could download at home and listened to later – Podcast.  And in the midst of searching all these wonderful topics, I discovered The Tim Ferriss podcast.  I started with the Jamie Foxx interview and it blew my mind. The strategies he uses to craft his career is simply amazing, I was hooked!

Then one day I was listening to my playlist of the best podcasts and a teaser of the Arnold Schwarzenegger interview played.  At the time I was looking for another episode but was so interested in hearing the part left off of the teaser, that I immediately searched “Arnold” + “Tim Ferriss” in my podcast player (since I knew I would spell Schwarzenegger incorrectly without going to Google).  It worked and I was listening to another of Tim’s episodes.  I learned so many things I never knew about the Governator and starting thinking of ways I could emulate his success strategies.  So it’s no surprise that I had to write a post about it, Tim Ferriss Podcast: Arnold Schwarzenegger Net Worth – 15 Strategies to Emulate.

How Do I Find the Best Podcasts?

what is a podcast

Earlier I mentioned that the podcast episodes mentioned above were discovered during my search for wonderful topics.   I guess finding good material to listen to is one of my guilty pleasures.  The number of friends that request my list of the best podcasts is definitely growing.  Not only am I being asked for my favorites, but also for specific podcast episodes that will best apply to that particular person’s situation.  Can you believe this? I guess it’s my job to help everyone with the best podcast listening for free.  But I can’t lie, I like doing it so I really can’t complain.  But with so many podcasts to choose from, I mean literally everyone is starting a podcast these days, how do I find good ones?

The answer is 3 fold.

  1. Blogs and Email list – This is the first way I started discovering the best podcasts content.  Some of the bloggers who had email lists which I was a subscriber of like Zac Johnson, started their own podcast .  One day he emailed me a link to his with an intriguing title like How Timothy Sykes Turned $12,415 Into $3 Million Trading Penny Stocks, and I was hooked.  Others did the same, I’m a sucker for value-packed content, and next thing you know, I’m listening to all their podcast episodes.
  2. Podcast Episode Guest- Most of the podcasts I listen usually have a guest that has accomplished something.  Often I have never heard of the guest, but they have these amazing stories and to no surprise, they also have their own podcast.  So then, I’m looking at all their titles and downloading their podcast with even more amazing guests. These become new additions to the best podcasts list.
  3. Podcast Directories, Podcast Managers, or Podcast Apps –  These are like the Google search of podcast episodes.  Apple is the creator of the podcast revolution.  Thus, iTunes is the leader when it comes to podcast discovery.  Every podcaster wants to get more reviews and high rating on the iTunes platform.  They show the top podcast in each category and even have a new and noteworthy section (this is their own version of the best podcasts list of unknowns).  My personal favorite is the Podcast Republic app on Android.  It has most of the top shows by category provided by Apple, but you can also time-stamp notes automatically while listening. This is great if you want to hear a certain section again later with more focus.

Because I’m somewhat of a nerd when it comes to interesting research, I search for as many titles as I can possibly think of regarding subjects my friends or I have an interest in.  I think of the questions people ask me, and try to find titles that help solve the dilemmas or dlemmas they are facing.  Then I search terms like “sleep, accounting, organize, growth, seo, credit cards, debt, investing, marriage, money, and relationships”.  The examples I find are titles like these Turning $70 Into A Multimillion Dollar Instruction Web Site or Top 10 Ways to Sleep Smarter which you can listen to below:

 

Why I Love Podcasts

The reason I love listening to podcasts is more than just about how entertaining they can be.  They provide prospectives that you would never hear unless you were in the room with these people.  I can download a podcast from one of the podcast manager or podcast apps and start learning about the strategies entrepreneurs used to build their business, how athletes prepare for success, or how someone stays happy in their romantic relationships.  If I am not in the mood to learn and just need to laugh, they have that too.  It is simply amazing and it is free.

After listening to a podcast episode about a guy over 60 years old that stays in shape just by teaching his body how to burn fat, I lost over 15 pounds.  I simply applied the things he said and not even perfectly and I lost the weight.  Most of it has stayed off for over 6 months now.  The crazy part is that I still eat my guilty pleasure, cake (but not as much).  Another helped me sleep better so I wasn’t as tired throughout the day.  And another helped me avoid pitfalls while building a business.  The shared story of an entrepreneur allowed me to learn from someone else’s mistakes and not make my own.  It is like having hundreds of mentors right on my phone.

But, those are my selfish reasons for my love of podcasts.  My favorite, absolute favorite reason I love them, is hearing the feedback from the people to which I introduce the podcast episodes.  One day I received a text from someone that knew about my passion for listening to podcasts.  She was feeling a little down, had a long drive ahead of her, and wanted to hear something funny.  Now as you can tell, I mostly listen to podcasts about money, business, and entrepreneurship.  So it is not so easy for me to shoot out a funny one, but I had to try.  So I looked on the Top Comedy podcast section for anything I had heard about.  Since I had not listened to them, I was not confident they would meet her needs.

But then I remembered this Revenge Gone Wrong podcast episode.  It was about a girl that was mad at her ex-boyfriend, so she sold the secret he told her about Ashton Kutcher to a tabloid magazine.  I sent this episode to her and continued with what I was doing.  Not too long after, I was receiving a fury of text messages on my phone.  I got a little nervous thinking an emergency was happening.  But when I looked at the messages, it  was a bunch of comments about the podcast.  She literally couldn’t believe what was happening in the story.  I could just see her crying of laughter so I had to call. “So you like it,” I said, she laughed and said “yes, yes, yes…I haven’t finished yet but I had to talk about it with someone before I forgot”.  We agreed to speak again after she finished listening to the entire podcast.

She called back so happy and said it was just what she needed.  In detail, I heard about why it was so entertaining.  Afterward, I asked if she would like more episodes like this.  Of course, she said yes.  It was like music to my ears.  I was able to provide value to someone by simply sharing a podcast that I just happened to know about.  So what is a podcast to me?  It is a channel to bring joy into someone’s life.  It  is a tool to provide knowledge to anyone seeking it.  These things make me love podcasts!

Dissolution

Now we know what is a podcast. We discussed how to find the best podcasts and why I love them.  Hopefully, this writing has inspired you to go find your own and listen to the ones I shared.  My list is ever growing and I’m sure yours will be too.  Please share your favorite episodes in the comments.  I have a list of my favorites coming soon. Maybe we’ll call it Dlemmas Best Podcasts List. What do you think?

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