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Episode 5: The power of the podcast

By Michael Cameron. On Sep 28, 2014.

As I continue to share my podcast with the world I am realizing that I am in fact not the last person on the planet to discover them.  I thought I would take the time to talk a little about the value that I see in podcasts in general, talk a little about the technical side of getting started listening to podcasts and then talk about some of my current favourite podcasts so that you have a place to start.

Why Podcasts?

If you are anything like me and love to continually learn then I think you will find podcasts as a great way to do exactly that.  I think of the podcasts I choose to listen to as the audio vegetables for my brain.  Yes, I love music and listen to a variety of playlists and radio stations but I tend to think of most of the music I listen to as the junk food in my audio diet.  While they taste great and are extremely enjoyable they really do not do much for my personal development.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you should cut music out of your diet but for me adding some brain food to my diet was important.

While I have been enjoying Ted Talk and other educational/motivational videos for a number of years I have just recently discovered podcasts.  The thing I love about audio podcasts over video Ted Talks or youtube channels is that you can ingest them just about anywhere.  It is certainly not appropriate to watch a video while driving but listening to a podcast is certainly a great use of your in car time.  I listen to podcasts during my work day to both challenge my mind as well as keep my motivation up.  I listen while doing chores around the house or while I am working out.  All of this gives me ample time to ingest thought provoking content from a variety of different perspectives.

The other thing I love about podcasts is the sheer amount and free access to high quality content out there.  You can find podcasts on just about any subject you could imagine.  You can find content from some of the most notable individuals in any field.  For me, sales, leadership, entrepreneurship and personal development are the subjects that I find most interesting.  Podcasts give me direct access to the thoughts and inspiration of some of the best in their field.  Just last week alone I had the opportunity to listen to the likes of billionaire Peter Thiel, the first outside investor in Facebook and the founder of PayPal.  I listened to Ed Catmull president of Pixar animations.  I have heard discussions on business concepts from some of the brightest minds at Harvard as well as hearing best practices from some of the best and brightest from our industry.  The access to information is staggering.  Not to mention free!!  The ability to access insights from the worlds best and brightest is really not something we should take lightly.  It is a great privilege and one that I plan to continue to utilize and my hope is you will as well.

How do I listen to a podcast?

Let’s talk a little bit of the technical side of this.  OK Mike, you’ve got me excited about the potential of these things but how do I actually listen to them?  I won’t rewrite a full tutorial as there are many good ones already in existence.  You can listen to podcasts easily on your mobile device by simply downloading a Podcast app and subscribing to your favourite ones either by way of a search or by adding the URL directly.  Here are some links to some good tutorials I found for a variety of different platforms:

iPhone
Here is a tutorial directly from Apple.  There are other apps that you can use to listen to podcasts but this will get you started.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3281

Android
http://www.androidcentral.com/top-5-best-podcast-apps-android

Blackberry??
http://crackberry.com/podcasts-blackberry-10

Windows
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-ca/how-to/wp8/music-and-videos/play-my-podcasts

What should I listen to?

So now you have the why and the how.  Let me give you a start to the “What” by sharing with you some of the podcasts that I am currently subscribed to:

1) Connecting the Dots with Mike Cameron
Come on, you didn’t really think I would start with anything other than my own did you?
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/connecting-dots-entrepreneurs/id919006080

2) Harvard Business Review IdeaCast
The HBR IdeaCast is our weekly audio podcast, bringing you the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management. Subscribe on iTunes.

3) The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him “the world’s best human guinea pig,” and The New York Times calls him “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-tim-ferriss-show/id863897795?mt=2

4) I Love Mortgage Brokering
For all you Canadian Mortgage Brokers this is a must.  Scott Peckford, a broker out of Kelowna interviews brokers from across the country to get insights into their best practices.  There is always something you can take away from an episode.
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/i-love-mortgage-brokering/id897731323?mt=2

5) Ted Talks
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. On this feed, you’ll find TEDTalks video to inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination from some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers, speaking from the stage at TED conferences, TEDx events and partner events around the world. This podcast is also available in high-def video and audio-only formats.
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/tedtalks-audio/id160904630?mt=2

6) Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel

https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/six-pixels-separation-marketing/id157616278?mt=2

So there you have it.  My top six podcasts picks for this week.  I certainly have others on my rotation but this will get you started or search the itunes store and let me know what you find.  Please leave your favourite podcasts in the comments section so others can explore and enjoy.

Your thoughts?
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