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7 Podcasts for Busy Parents Trying to Juggle It All Podcasts are the way to go for busy entrepreneurs, who double as parents.

By Caren Merrick

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


I was a veteran of several startups long before I became a parent. And I continued to invest in and found startups after I became a mother.

It's a different juggle now. Before I had kids, I could literally work nearly round the clock, seven days a week and be devoted to every aspect of my growing startup. Now, I need to ensure I am devoting time and energy to raising our two teenage sons, all while growing my business ventures and career.

If you are a parent and an entrepreneur, you need constant sources of inspiration to encourage you, renew your vision, energize you and spark new ideas. You may also need to be reminded to keep a healthy perspective on what matters most in life and to find the humor in everyday.

I've found that podcasts are one of the best ways to get the inspiration I need to succeed in my role as an entrepreneur and a parent. Podcasts suit my schedule, as I maneuver competing priorities in my professional and personal life. I can access podcasts anytime, anywhere - from early in the morning on my two mile walk, or late at night as I sort through school forms.

As you manage your role as parent and entrepreneur, you'll get the flare of inspiration or encouragement you need from any of these seven podcasts.

I hope you enjoy my top seven podcasts for entrepreneurs, who are parents. If you are reading this on your iPhone, you can click on the title link for each podcast and the podcast app on your iPhone will fire up that podcast.

1. Subscribe to the EntreLeadership Podcast.

Do you stay on top of the latest business books on the best-sellers list? Me neither. I'd like to; every month or so I peruse the list and buy a book or two and there they sit on my bedside table longing to be read. Reading is a luxury when you are an entrepreneur and a parent. This is where the EntreLeadership Podcast has been a boon for me.

If there's a business bestseller hitting bookshelves, EntreLeadership will cover it, and during the interview, curate the best ideas from it (saving you tons of time). The interviews are engaging and personal, allowing you to get know the author. It's like getting a personal coaching session with the expert's best advice.

EntreLeadership is aimed at entrepreneurs and small business owners - yet anyone from a board member to a CEO of a public company, millennial and everyone in between -- can benefit from the excellent interviews, hosted by the smart and affable Ken Coleman.

Coleman is also a dad and shares parenting stories from time to time on his show.

A few of my favorite episodes include lively interviews with Patrick Lencioni and Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, Kevin Eastman, Director of Operations of the LA Clippers and Mari Smith of Supercharging Your Facebook Marketing.

2. Subscribe to NPR's TED Radio Hour.

NPR's TED Radio Hour will feel like a fun and much needed break from the hustle bustle of your life. It's really like a tasty piece of salted caramel chocolate with the nutritional value of broccoli. The stories are engaging and engrossing. You will find an idea that sparks new ways of solving a business problem or new paths of creativity and thinking every time you listen. It will also give you rich topics to share with your children around the dinner table.

In these podcasts, exceptional host Guy Raz curates the most amazing and riveting TED presentations around one topic. You'll hear the best stories and soundbites from several TED experts in a single broadcast. These are even better than the world-renowned TED Talks. Be sure to check out, From Curiosity to Discovery and Making Mistakes.

3. Subscribe to Gretchen Rubin's Happier.

I often recommend Happier because Gretchen Rubin shows us that we're all unique, and no "one size fits all" in how we form habits and keep them, or how we become happier, which is often due to those good and not so good habits we form. When we appreciate this, our work and family life is better.

Rubin is the mother of two daughters and co-hosts the show with her sister, Elizabeth Craft, who is a TV writer and producer and mom to a five-year-old son. There are relatable family anecdotes and excellent advice on habits that will propel your personal development and give you practical wisdom for your family.

Happier reminds you how simple it is to find a bit of happiness and not take yourself or your life too seriously. One of the reasons I love this podcast is that the hosts are disarmingly candid about their own foibles and offer good humor and practical tips that cover everything from work, marriage, parenting and good habits, one day at a time. I've found it breathes good humor and perspective into my busy days. And I'm in good company, as the podcast has been downloaded more than two million times.

Rubin is the author of several bestsellers Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. Don't miss her podcast on Creativity; it will cause you to smile, relax, and enjoy your process.

4. Subscribe to Michael Hyatt's This is Your Life.

As I've grown as an entrepreneur and a parent, my single hardest challenge has been managing my time with so many important activities on my calendar. Organizing ourselves and our time is all about self-leadership. Michael Hyatt is a leadership and productivity expert who offers practical, proven, actionable advice through his podcast, This is Your Life.

Hyatt's was the first podcast I ever listened to. It's what actually spurred me to become addicted to podcasts.

Michael is a father of five daughters and a grandfather. He has been a successful public company CEO, author and now, an entrepreneur, who knows a thing or two about helping leaders and entrepreneurs grow. He is generous with his advice and stories. His podcast is co-hosted by Michele Cushatt, a successful businesswoman in her own right and mom to six kids.

One of the most powerful episodes is called The Top 10 Characteristics of Lousy Leaders.

5. Subscribe to Sandi Klein's Conversations with Creative Women.

Conversations with Creative Women is ideal for men and women who are parents and entrepreneurs because each episode tells a story of a woman who has chosen a road less travelled in her business and life. The women are not the household names you have probably heard of. Rather, these are mere mortals, who have achieved extraordinary and unexpected success. It will cause you to think outside the box about your work and life.

We need to be reminded that while we have big audacious goals to achieve as entrepreneurs, one can have a profound impact simply by making a series of personal, courageous acts.

I especially enjoyed the episode that features Roseanna DeMaria, who has been a prosecutor, chief of organized crime and narcotics and was also an executive leader at AT&T and Merrill Lynch.

I was honored to be one of Sandi's guests. Sandy is a mom too.

Related: 6 Podcasts That Will Make You Richer in 2016

6. Subscribe to Mixergy.

As an entrepreneur you want to stay on top of the latest innovative ideas and businesses. Yet, where do you find time in your busy schedule? What makes Mixergy ideal is that every guest is a real entrepreneur. They have been there and done that - started, grown, sometimes failed and gotten back up to succeed. It's as if you are sitting with an entrepreneur and picking their brain over coffee.

Founder, host and family man, Andrew Warner, has started several companies, including one that grew to $30 million. He asks hard questions, and his guests are generous with their advice on what worked for them, what didn't and how they overcame internal and external challenges.

You will come away with dozens of ideas on marketing, positioning and product development that will propel you forward, whether you are just starting a business, growing a business, or considering a startup.

A good place to start is Mixergy's Top Podcasts from 2015. I was recently delighted to be interviewed by Andrew.

Related: The 10 Technology Items You'll Need to Start a Podcast

7. Subscribe to Dr. Timothy Keller's Gospel in Life.

In our multifaceted roles, building strong relationships is essential and should be a priority. Leading and growing a successful business hinges on cultivating good relationship skills with your team, customers, partners and even competitors.

Being a parent, who mentors their children toward being good at building relationships, doesn't just happen; you need to be intentional.

I like Keller's Gospel in Life because the main theme in all of his talks is to be a good neighbor.

Tim is the New York Times best-selling author of The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism and Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, which draws more than 5,000 attendees.

I appreciate Keller's warmth and generosity. His talks are deeply intellectual and draw on culture, science, art and history. Every time I listen, I gain a new insight on how to show more compassion for others and find at least one idea that simply helps me get along better with people. I often share these ideas with my kids and even read out Keller's tweets because they challenge us to be our best selves.

Related: Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

Listen to one or all of these while you are walking, driving, flying on a business trip, cooking dinner for your family or waiting in the carpool line. You will be inspired, affirmed, grateful, energized, better educated and better equipped to handle all the competing priorities you have in your work and family life.

Caren Merrick

Founder and CEO of Pocket Mentor

Caren Merrick is the Founder & CEO of Pocket Mentor, a mobile app and multi-media company providing leaders with daily advice, tools, and action plans to grow themselves, their teams, and their businesses. For tips on how to communicate for greater success, download Caren’s free guide, 7 Secrets To Highly Effective Communications. Previously, Caren was the Co-Founder and EVP of the enterprise software company webMethods, which grew from a basement start-up to a global Nasdaq company with $200 million in annual revenue and 1,100 employees worldwide. Caren serves on several private equity, financial services, and nonprofit boards and is an author and speaker.  

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