I was chatting with my friend Elizabeth the other day over some lovely northern California Sangiovese. We’d met up for happy hour and it was a glorious, sunny afternoon.
She asked me how my podcast was going. I told her I had just recorded an amazing conversation earlier that day with a man who is both blind and a para-Olympian.
“I have met so many incredible people through podcasting,” I said, grabbing a handful of Marcona almonds. “It has opened worlds I never imagined I’d visit, all because of my guests.”
“I know, right? Isn’t it cool that we have access to so many interesting voices via podcasts?” she said.
Yes, it is very cool that we have access to so many interesting voices and perspectives via an app on our Smartphones. This is the new reality, and it’s changing listening habits across demographics. For example, I rarely listen to radio anymore. Why would I? A podcast is so much more interesting and valuable. If I need to know what’s going on the world, I can scan my Twitter feed.
Which brings me to the two podcast recommendations I have for readers who are interested in living an extraordinary life.
#1: The first podcast recommendation I have today is hosted by a woman named Jenny Blake. It’s called the Pivot Podcast, and it’s based on her book, Pivot: The Only Move that Matters Is Your Next One.
On her show, she talks about the concept of pivoting, and why it is an essential concept to grasp in our fast-paced world. She argues that most of us are in one form of a pivot or another at any given time, and through conversations with today’s entrepreneurial thought leaders like Shane Snow and Mike Michalowicz, she brings to light many of the most common challenges we face navigating today’s high-tech and social landscape.
How to choose the right kind of business to start is one of her favorite subjects to discuss. I loved her the second I heard her say, “Not everyone who has a business of their own wants to scale it to 100 employees or more.” Thank you, Jenny! More people in this entrepreneur-crazy climate we live in need to hear that message.
She also talks about the book-writing-marketing-launch process, as she just went through it over the last year for Pivot. So for any aspiring book authors out there who are planning to go the traditional publishing route, Jenny is a great resource for the day-to-day doings that accompany this feat.
Finally, Jenny Blake has a voice that smiles in your ears. Listen to one of her episodes and tell me that you don’t hear it and I’ll tell you you’re crazy. 🙂 Seriously, her voice is a perpetual smile.
#2: The second podcast I’m recommending today is by none other than James Altucher. It’s called The James Altucher Show and you can also find it here on iTunes or over on his popular blog. What I love about James is his transparency and authenticity. In a word, he’s real. Real is refreshing.
James has deep discussions with a range of people he admires. He’s featured people like Mary Karr, the famous memoir writer. He’s also interviewed business icons like Mark Cuban and Tim Ferriss, as well as online media mogul, Arianna Huffington. His conversation is free-form vs. scripted, so you never know exactly where he’s going to take his guest. Some people may find this style a bit too loose, but I really enjoy it and always walk away from listening to an episode with notes I’ve typed on my Smartphone.
In a nutshell, James is very smart, very insightful, and navigates each interview with grace and conviction.
Now for my book recommendation.
Steven Pressfield is well known for writing the book, The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was eventually made into a movie starring Will Smith.
One of his lesser known but arguably more important books is a little one called, Do the Work. In it, he tackles a subject all creatives (and certainly non-creatives as well) are all too familiar with:
He writes, “The enemy is our chattering brain, our list of a million excuses as to why we can’t get to something or finish a project…” When I find myself struggling to push through a tough round of resistance, this tiny book saves my ass every time. Why?
Because when I read it, I remember that I’m not alone out here trying to slog through something that isn’t coming to me easily. What person on this planet hasn’t faced the dragon of resistance at one time or another? It’s so reassuring to have a voice who gets to the point and makes you laugh about what a pain in the rear it can be to be human sometimes.
I own both the hard cover and audio versions of Do the Work and I love them both. He reads the audio version, an added bonus to making his ideas come to life. Mr. Pressfield’s wisdom and wit help me keep things in perspective, and I’m always grateful about that. You might be, too.
A Happy Hour Well Spent
As happy hour came to an end, I asked Elizabeth what she was listening to right now (Keepin’ It 1600).
“You’d like it,” she said. “The guys are fresh and intelligent.”
Then she asked me what I was listening to right now. I told her about James and Jenny.
“I think you’d like Jenny,” I said.
She smiled and thanked me for the recommendation. Even in this highly connected world of ours, where information about anything and everything is but a click or tap away, I still value the personal touch of a friend’s sincere suggestion.
I hope I was able to do that for you today with 2 podcasts and 1 book.
What podcasts are you listening to right now? Got a great book title you’d like to share? Post your recommendations in the comments below.