The Best Podcasts for Starting a Side Hustle

My Favorite podcasts about side hustles

My entire side hustle journey of selling on Amazon and running affiliate websites got started about 4 years ago thanks to a podcast.

I googled 'how to make passive income' and came across Smart Passive Income which was a website with advice on starting your own side hustle and a podcast as well.  One of the podcast interviews was with someone like me who had a day job, but also sold stuff on Amazon and made quite a bit of money doing it.  That day changed my life as I dove down the rabbit hole of side hustles and making money online.

Over the last few years I've listened to hundreds (probably thousands) of hours of podcasts on a wide range of subjects from finance, economics, business, technology and murderers (if you haven't listened to Serial yet, go do it now).

The reason I like podcasts so much is that you can learn new things while you're working on other tasks.  I listen to podcasts when I'm driving to work, at work, while I'm mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, etc. Being able to learn things while I'm on the go with other chores has freed up a ton of time for me to learn that I wouldn't have had otherwise. If you've never tried podcasts before, give them a shot.  Even if it's not about starting a side business, there's a podcast out there for EVERYTHING and you should be able to find something you like.

After all this time I've compiled a list of the 11 podcasts I'm subscribed to that focus on side hustles and starting your own business.  Here they are in order with my favorite at the top.

#1 - The Side Hustle Show

The Side Hustle Show is one of the only podcasts on this list where I listen to every single episode.

Some other podcasts are hit or miss, where some of the guests aren't interesting or are just not relevant to my businesses, but The Side Hustle Show is perfect. The host is Nick Loper and he focuses his interviews on people who are mostly running side hustles of their own.

Every once in a while there will be someone who has a full on business making millions of dollars per year, but for the most part it's people who have found unique side hustles in interesting niches.

One of the recent episodes was about someone who buys used boxes, pallets and other industrial goods from local factories and resells them to other companies that need them.  It's something simple that anybody could do, but you'd probably never think of it on your own because it's so obscure. 

Nick does an AMAZING job of finding interesting stories like this one and asking the perfect questions.  When I listen to other podcasts I'll usually find myself dying on the inside, thinking "WHY DON'T YOU ASK THEM ABOUT X" but Nick always asks the right questions and never leaves you hanging.

If you aren't sure what side hustle you want to start, this is an awesome podcast because it exposes you to a huge variety of options. It's also great for people with existing side hustles because you can find past episodes where Nick interviews someone that's a little bit further ahead on their journey and you can use their wisdom to help grown your own business.

One of my favorite series of episodes is when Nick interviewed Rosemarie Groener who runs a personal finance site called The Busy Budgeter.

Nick has actually interviewed her 3 separate times.

The first time was back in November 2015 when her site was making $5k per month. 

The second time was in October 2016 when her site was making $20k per month.

And the third time was in February 2018 when her site was making a whopping $100k per month.

As awesome as it is to hear about someone making 6 figures per month from a "side hustle", it feels like there usually isn't anything relevant for me to learn.  It's like being 15 years old and your driver's ed. instructor is a NASCAR driver.  Yah it's cool he drives a race car, but I don't know how to use a manual transmission so it's all kind of lost on me.

But going back and listening to each of the interviews with Rosemarie is an eye opener because you hear her journey and her struggles and you can see how she went from a totally achievable $5k per month to the mind blowing level of $100k.  She shares everything with Nick because he's trying just as hard to learn what her strategies were for growing to that size.

That's just one example of the awesome stuff Nick puts out, but almost every episode is like that where you go from beginner level knowledge to an in depth understanding of how that person's side hustle works and how you can do something similar. 

I can't recommend this podcast highly enough.  If I could only listen to 1 podcast on the list, this would be the one.

#2 - The Authority Hacker Podcast

Coming in at a close second, the guys over at Authority Hacker do a great job of breaking down the tactics they use to grow their affiliate sites and run their own branded site, teaching people how to make money through affiliate sites of their own.

Unlike the Side Hustle Show, Gael, Perrin and Mark at Authority Hacker only focus on building websites.

  If you're interested in online marketing and building affiliate sites, this is your go to resource.  Every episode is about this topic but since it's such a huge topic, they always have new things to cover, new guests to interview, and things to teach you.

I got started by reading on their website, then later subscribing to their podcast, and eventually buying their $599 course.  So obviously I trust these guys completely and after all my time reading their content and listening to their podcast it's obvious they know their stuff and are committed to helping other people learn how to do what they do.

If you're interested in building an online business this is a great place to start.  Every episode is packed full of actionable content that you can immediately go and do. 

#3 - The Empire Flippers Podcast

The Empire Flippers Podcast is run by the guys from Empire Flippers (duh) which is a market place for  buying and selling online businesses.

This podcast only focuses on online businesses but it's a little more diverse than the Authority Hacker podcast because they talk to all sorts of business owners from software as a service (Saas) to general entrepreneurs like Tim Urban from Wait But Why.

Side note - Wait but Why is by far the best website I've ever seen in my life. If you've never read it, go do it now. SO, SO good. He covers a bunch of topics like why A.I. is going to revolutionize the world and why we procrastinate.  But he doesn't just write a blog post.  He researches for months and months and writes huge, 50k+ word long posts that cover the topic so in depth that just by reading it you'll know more than 99.9999% of the population.

Back to Empire Flippers...This podcast is another one where I listen to almost every episode that comes out.  The guys who run the podcast, Justin and Joe, live in the Philippines and have run online businesses for a looong time.  They used to create their own Adsense sites and eventually started selling them. After a while they realized that instead of building sites and selling them, they could just run a market place that focuses on connecting buyers and sellers of online businesses.

They've got a ton of experience in the online marketing world and know it inside and out.  They ask great questions and have super interesting guests.

This podcast doesn't have as many actionable pieces of content, but that's not a bad thing.  Sometimes it's just fun to listen to an episode and hear the story of the person being interviewed instead of trying to take notes and remember everything you hear so you can go act on it later.

#4 - Tropical MBA

The Tropical MBA podcast is #4 on my list and it's different than any of the first 3 podcast I've already mentioned.

The Tropical MBA (or TMBA as they call it), is more about the lifestyle of entrepreneurship. The guy son the TMBA don't cover specific strategies or tactics, but focus more on the entrepreneur themselves and what their life is like. 

How they got into business, what their goals are in life, how they're building that life, etc.

A while back, the TMBA guys ran an online business selling valet parking booths, like the one that the valet attendant would stand at.  They got into the ecommerce game very early and built up a nice business dropshipping these booths. Eventually they sold their business off and now they focus on running a private group of entrepreneurs that hosts meet ups around the world.

They don't have specific strategies and tactics for building side hustles from scratch in 2018, but that's why they don't try to cover those topics!  It's nice to listen to someone who knows what they know and focuses on covering that. The TMBA guys never try to pretend like they know everything or that they can give advice on all topics.

This podcast is definitely one I'd put in the 'easy listen' category where you can be working on other things while you listen to it because you don't have to remember everything you hear. Most episodes are like hanging out with your buddies who are talking business and the TMBA guys do a great job of it.

#5 - How I Built This

How I Built This is the first podcast on my list that's professionally produced.

All of the other podcasts are 'professional' in that they sound great and have really high production value, but How I Built This is put on by NPR which runs a ton of other podcasts (all fantastic by the way).

Each episode of HIBT is an interview with an entrepreneur that started a business you've probably heard of. HIBT is different in that they always focus on interviews with high profile people. You'll almost always know who the person is that is being interviewed since they're usually founders or CEOs of billion dollar companies.

This show is another one that focuses more on the story and less on the actionable insights. It's mostly about hearing the first hand story from the founder about how they started their company and grew it. The host is Guy Raz and he does a pretty good job of asking questions that evoke good responses but sometimes it leaves some topics uncovered. I usually find myself wanting to hear more in depth questions to really get to know the entrepreneurs even better but since the show has a stricter format and tighter time constraint, no episode can go that in depth since most of the founders are starting their story 20+ years ago when they first started their company.

#6 - Freedom Fast Lane

The Freedom Fast Lane podcast is a little unique in that it often has great content, but sometimes gets a little annoying.

The host is Ryan Daniel Moran and he's started, sold and currently runs several different online businesses. He knows his stuff and his network of people he usually interviews is also really talented and knowledgeable.

The reason I say the show gets a little annoying sometimes is that Moran has a huuuuge obsession with capitalism. He even bought the domain capitalism.com for millions of dollars and he ends every episode by reminding you that Capitalism and Entrepreneurship are the answers to the world's problems.

He's a little too hardcore on the anti-government, pro-business thing but he doesn't really harp on it too much.  You know where he stands and he's 110% behind that position, but he's never preachy about it and it doesn't make the show any worse.

This podcast is probably in the 50/50 zone where 50% of the episodes are great and I listen to the whole thing, learning new insights or strategies for business. The other 50% are mostly just him chit chatting with another person who runs a $50 million per year business and is so far down the path of business that you can't learn a ton from them.

Overall it's a good show, if not just for the episode where he replays Grant Cardone giving a talk at a conference he sponsored. Seriously, go find that episode and listen to it, it's amazing.  He even blasts Grant Cardone before the episode starts because he paid Grant a bunch of money to come speak at his conference then Grant basically spends the entire hour patting himself on the back and talking like a squirrel on cocaine. It's hilarious and fun to listen to because you usually don't get people that honest on a podcast, especially when they're talking about another person in their industry who is well known.

#7 - Bigger Pockets

Bigger Pockets is one of the biggest real estate communities in the world and their podcast is a fantastic resource if you have any interest in real estate.

A lot of people in the financial independence community use real estate to build huge amounts of wealth and this podcast has so many interviews out there that you can easily find one that fits your situation.

They have episodes that range from people who started flipping houses to teachers who own 20 rental properties and became millionaires in less than 10 years. I'm not actively looking to get into real estate but I still listen to the occasional episode just because the hosts are so entertaining and their guests are usually regular joes who did a great job of building huge wealth through real estate.

#8 - Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income is hosted by Pat Flynn who created Smart Passive Income after being laid off from his day job.

He got started with an affiliate website and eventually created his own product, teaching people how to pass the LEED exam for architects.

Since then, Pat has gone on to form a huge business around blogging.

In the past, I think I probably listened to about 90% of the episodes Pat put out but now it seems like it's more like 10-20%. A lot of the podcast episodes now are more wishy washy kind of topics like mindset and behavioral psychology. Some of it's interesting but when you have a huge list of podcasts to listen to like I do, I just find myself skipping a lot of these episodes as they seem to rehash the same stuff as previous guests.

This isn't a knock against Pat at all.  He's a really good interviewer and has a great personality for podcasting. He keeps the guest laid back and relaxed which makes it easier for them to loosen up and share their story.

When Pat interviews people who are actually working on a business that applies to something you're interested in, the content is amazing and I usually listen to the entire episode from start to finish.

The SPI podcast is at least worth giving a shot, you can probably find some episodes in the archives covering a topic you're interested in that will give you a taste of the show so you can see if you like it.

#9 - Niche Pursuits

The Niche Pursuits podcast probably would have been #2 or #3 on the list but it's not very active now days and I'm not even sure if Spencer Hawes is still making episodes for it.

Spencer got started building affiliate sites then eventually founded a software called Longtail Pro which is a keyword research tool. 

He ended up selling this business for a life changing amount of money in addition to selling his Amazon FBA business for 6 figures. Since then he's seemed to relax a little bit on the podcast, focusing more on launching a webapp that I love called Tablelabs and a WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliate marketers.

Spencer knows internet marketing inside and out and his episodes were the perfect mix of interesting story from the interviewee and actionable tactics. It's sad that the podcast has stagnated because the content was so good.

There are 128 episodes in the archive that you can check out. If you're interested in building online businesses I'd highly encourage you to give some of them a listen. Be warned you may want to turn the speed up to at least 1.5x since he speaks kind of slowly but it's great content so it's worth it.

#10 - Side Hustle School

I'm not a huge fan of daily podcasts like Entrepreneur on Fire. The idea is that they crank out a ton of content and basically flood the internet with their names/faces to get notoriety. This works but since they have to make so much content, no episode is very in depth.

The Side Hustle School podcast unfortunately falls victim to this.

About 1 in every 5 episodes has an interesting story from someone working on a cool side hustle that I could learn from, but the episodes are never more than 10 minutes long and about 1/3 of the episode is commercials. 

The episode format is just the host reading the story so there aren't any interviews or any deep insights. Some of the stories are interesting but it's hard to get into and the episodes are pretty easily forgettable. I'm still subscribed to this podcast and I like to listen to it but it's not as good as some of the other ones on the list.

Wrap Up

Hopefully this list gave you some ideas for podcasts to listen to to start your next side hustle. If you know of any that are missing from the list please leave a comment below! I love to find new podcasts and would be thrilled to find some new ones I haven't discovered.

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3 comments

  1. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for listing Freedom Fast Lane as one of your favorites, even if you find my anti-government rants annoying. 😉

    I’d offer to try to limit them, but, you know, I try to be honest! 🙂

    And, yeah, Grant Cardone. I was just as frustrated as I sounded.

  2. Hey – thanks so much for appreciating the Empire Flippers Podcast and including on your list!

    #3 too…sweet!

    We’re in good company too. I’ve listened to more than half of the podcasts on this list myself.

    I’m trying to get better about publishing more often too. I love it, but it is time consuming to put together, heh.

    Glad you liked the Wait But Why episode. My FAVORITE blogger, by far!

    Check out the recent interview with Rand Fishkin. I thought that was one of the better interviews I’ve done so far…

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