12 Epic Podcasts for Side Hustle Ideas You Can Start Too
You have a full-time job. A Martian day would be great for those extra sixty minutes. But you still want to make an extra buck from your talents. Or you want to start a side business and have the idea sewn up on a yellow pad.
No time? Think again.
One of the best ways to get priceless advice for you multitasking side hustle beasts is through podcasts. Absorb the success stories, unearth tons of ideas, and keep chugging on with whatever you’re working on.
We’ve put together a list of 12 podcasts you’ll want to start with. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this list. Regardless of the kind of side hustle you’re looking to start or grow.
A podcast about what it takes to create a new business.
In its very first season, Startup puts the focus on the launching of its own production company Gimlet Media. That season appears to have even inspired a TV show starring Zach Braff.
In seasons past, Startup has followed a struggling dating service and documented the rise and fall of American Apparel’s Dov Charney. The latest season switches gears as they follow one company for an episode or two at the most.
The show is focused on individuals who have thrown their entire lot into launching a business. The personal stories bring out the trials and tribulations and offer the lessons to take a side hustle to the next level.
Startup is also a great listen for keeping you grounded. A lot of startup or side-hustle podcasts can paint an overly rosy picture, but Startup always shows you everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A podcast about nurturing a creative small business.
If you’re looking for a good podcast on starting a creative home business — say an Etsy store or a design firm — Elise Gets Crafty is a great listen. With 120 episodes to date, there’s a huge backlog of episodes for you to pick and choose from. A ton of fascinating and entrepreneurial guests give you a lot to learn.
You’ll find tips on how to use social media to promote your side business, tips for those of you just getting started, how to grow your business, how to sell online , and there’s even an entire episode dedicated to the side hustle. In it, Jenny Bravo reveals how she self-published a novel while working a day job.
Each episode features an interview with a creative entrepreneur, with a focus on a theme. The podcast does appear to have a mainly female audience. Most, if not all, guests are women as well. But there’s no reason fellas can’t find a little bit of inspiration in the podcast as well.
Stories about innovators and the innovations they built.
Like Startup, NPR’s How I Built This takes a deep dive on a company or entrepreneur’s genesis. The guests include high profile investors and business people like Marc Cuban and Barbara Corcoran and the founders of household names like TOMS, Whole Foods, Zappos, and Virgin. In many cases, the companies start out as side hustles, and their growth leads them down an unexpected path.
TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, for example, reveals that his multi-million dollar company started out as a one-off charitable project. Founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler’s travel book empire Lonely Planet grew out of a small guidebook they put together as they pursued their passion for travel — all on a shoestring budget.
10-minute bites of side-hustle wisdom.
The Side Hustle School is a great show for those of you who don’t have too much time on your hands. The episodes are usually around just 10 minutes long, making them a great listen for a short commute or a lunch break. Host Chris Guillebeau doesn’t record interviews with entrepreneurs but rather narrates their origin stories.
With a new episode every day, you’ll find plenty of inspiration as you get to hear how these entrepreneurs came up with their concept, as well as their results.
You’re probably listening to the podcast on your favorite podcast app, but be sure to visit the website every now and then to get a handy summary for each episode. It includes the business model, skills required, complexity, and profit potential.
A podcast which will give you new ideas to think about.
The TED Radio Hour is not a podcast that’s exclusive to the side hustle or startup topic, but you can find advice and inspiration for figuring out what you want to do with your life.
It will take some digging to find the podcast episodes that are right for you, and the choices will probably be somewhat subjective, but there are many lessons to be learned while listening to TED podcasts.
And if you noticed a similarity in the voice of the guy who hosts How I Built This and TED Radio Hour — it’s because they’re both hosted by Guy Raz, who has an amazing talent for drawing out his guests, and then sitting back and letting them tell their story.
Weekly interviews for building your side business from scratch.
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn is a weekly podcast with over 270 episodes to choose from. As the name indicates, it’s all about doing that initial work of setting up a business that can generate income for you long after your initial effort.
That’s not to say that the ideas or businesses covered in the podcast are all make it and forget it businesses. They may require weekly updates, or a daily check-in of some sort, but you can continue to generate income from them in the long run.
A recent episode showcased two YouTube travel vloggers as an example of what it takes to get started on YouTube.
The episodes can be long as he takes a deep dive speaking with his guests and generates a lot of interesting information and ideas for those looking to either start a side hustle, or take their side hustle to the next level.
7. Two Inboxes
Learn how to manage a side business when you have a tough day job.
Two Inboxes is a relatively new Forbes podcast where all guests are climbing the corporate ladder, but are also working on a personal side hustle. Host Molly Ford Beck herself is a side hustler, with the podcast part of her day job, but she also runs a lifestyle website by night, among other things.
Her guests include Amy Peterson (a lawyer for the Detroit Tigers and the co-founder of a jewelry company) and Marie Sornin (who works at Twitter by day and is an artist by night). The guests share their background story: how they got into their fields, what their day job and side hustles entail, and what it’s like to take on multiple roles.
Molly’s conversation style makes it feel like you’re listening to two friends chatting, which might not be to everyone’s taste. That said, the stories are fascinating, and are chock full of useful advice.
Find your mojo if you are thinking of a creative side-hustle.
This is another great option for creatives trying to add to their income from their talents. Creative Pep Talk is a combination of episodes with host Andy J. Miller (or as he calls himself, Andy J. Pizza). There are two main kinds of episodes on the podcast.
In some, Andy gives you a “pep talk” on a variety of topics like getting out of a career rut or finding your creative superpower. In others, his guests share the insights they’ve learned from their creative career.
An illustrator himself, the artwork for each episode is a bonus when following this podcast.
Learn how to bootstrap your small business and improve your life.
The title of this podcast says it all. Steve Chou’s personal story inspired him to create this podcast, and accompanying courses. When his wife became pregnant with their first child, she quit her job and they started an online store which made over $100,000 that year. And now he’s sharing the wisdom.
With episodes on how to use social media platforms like Instagram, how to break into an already saturated marketplace, and an episode in which he interviews Darren Rowse of Problogger, the podcast this is a great podcast for people looking to bootstrap a small business.
10. Work in Progress
Find your purpose.
Slack’s podcast, Work in Progress, isn’t specifically about side hustles but is full of lessons that can be applied to that space. It’s “about the meaning and identity we find in work,” which is a large part of figuring out your side hustle. Each episode has a couple of stories linked together by a theme.
A recent cookie-themed podcast, for example, looks at one of the big mysteries of the restaurant business. Who writes the fortunes in fortune cookies? In the same episode, they tell the story of a baker with Down’s syndrome who launched a successful cookie business.
Scale your business with the help of these inspiring stories.
A few of the guests interviewed on this podcast include a stay-at-home mom, a freelance photographer, and accountant. As host Dallan Wright says in the intro, Freelance to Founder provides a look at these freelancers’ “highs,” but also puts the spotlight on the challenges they face.
Freelance to Founder is particularly useful for those of you looking to scale your side hustle into something even bigger.
The podcast is produced by Millo, a company that offers advice on starting a creative business, and they also have a free guide to finding clients — but you’ll have to sign up to their newsletter to get it.
Listen to actionable tips from successful solopreneurs.
The Side Hustle Show is podcast with a robust community around it. Find actionable advice on everything that it takes to keep up with a business on the side. Nick Loper hosts the show and his guests share their advice on just about everything you could imagine: bootstrapping, energy levels, crowdfunding, taxes, conflict of interest, and much more.
The Side Hustle Show also does a great job of showcasing the variety of side hustles out there. Some even generate a lot of passive income.
Episode 188 tells the story of Matt. He started his business with a gumball vending machine bought on eBay for $36, and filled it with gumballs from a retail warehouse club. With well over 200 episodes, you’re bound to find something that speaks to your own personal needs.
Other Ways to Generate Income
If you don’t want to make the commitment to a side hustle, you might want to consider micro jobs for extra cash. You could put some effort into making something you love work for you — like playing video games or selling an old domain name .
What side hustle are you working? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share your favorite podcasts for inspiration and ideas.