How To Go Independent

An objective source to learn about independent business models

Podcasts I like (and you might too)

RecommendationSean KernanComment

Below is a transcript from one of our podcast episodes (Episode 18). Feel free to add your favorite podcasts in the comments section below. 

Note: If you are on a mobile device, the links I've embedded below will take you directly to each podcast's show page so you can start listening immediately. 
 Don't be this guy. Avoid road rage - listen to podcasts and make use of your commute to your employee-model firm.

Don't be this guy. Avoid road rage - listen to podcasts and make use of your commute to your employee-model firm.

I like podcasts so much, I started one. I have spent many hours listening to them over the last 3 or 4 years.  I find myself rarely listening to the radio anymore because podcasts give me customized educational and entertaining content available on-demand (mostly), without commercials.

The Sales Lion

The first one I’ll talk about is The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan. You’ll have to excuse the title ‘The Sales Lion.’ I found that a little bit cheesy at first when I found Marcus Sheridan, but Marcus is phenomenal. He is probably the guy who introduced me to the concept of content marketing, which was created in this digital world/digital era. Really, it goes back to any kind of media where you're educating people, and often giving away free information to become the trusted expert.

The old school version of this would be printing your article in the newspaper, where you are the trusted expert that the local paper or national paper has writing on a subject. Therefore, people are going to tend to ask you questions, and feel confident that you know what you’re talking about. Content marketing in the digital world is writing to be found by potential customers. Marcus explains a lot more eloquently than I can, but his general philosophy is: “They ask, answer.”

For example, for populating a website for our business, we would want to take the most common questions that people ask us all the time, and write them up as blog posts. Anything by Marcus Sheridan, his blog, his speaking engagements, his podcasts, I would highly recommend. With all these, I would start from the beginning, and go forward looking for episodes that I find interesting.

Marcus’ show is solo almost all the time. Recently he has done some interviews, but mostly he does solo shows. Each is approximately 25-35 minutes. I find them very interesting, and really look forward to each episode that comes out.

Behavior Gap Radio

Next, we have Behavior Gap Radio by Carl Richards. He is the sketch guy that has a column in the New York Times, and has made a kind of niche business in drawing sketches to illustrate either financial planning principles, or general principles that relate to financial planning.

Behavior Gap Radio is an audio version of his thoughts. He is a very deep guy. It is smart, very philosophical, good “mental state material” to get your head right for our business. They are usually only 6-10 minutes, sometimes even shorter than that. The podcasts are quick, easy, but powerful stuff. He also has a blog, and his New York Times column. Again, these are podcasts, so this is a great one that is industry-specific.

VA Podcasts

The next podcast is actually in more of general category. I have found a big benefit in using remote assistance, and other virtual assistance, but not necessarily for doing specific work for our industry. For example, in producing our podcast, we’re also doing other writing for the blog. I’ve been able to outsource some of the editing, and some of the actual writing to virtual assistants outside the U.S. That is very cost effective, and very efficient. It saves my time, and allows me to focus on my practice without spending a lot of time doing tedious tasks for this project.

My podcast recommendation is anything that has to do with virtual assistance. A couple examples would be EA Help (E.A. = executive assistant). They are a company in Atlanta that provides executive assistance, not just for our business, but for any industry. They have podcasted together for a while. There are a lot of good episodes, usually interviewing the executive assistant, and/or business owner who would use EA help services. I found that one was very useful.

Cliff Ravenscraft is known in the podcasting world as the “podcast answer man.” He put up a podcast a couple of years ago - I think it was just the virtual assistant podcast, somewhere around episodes 35-40. I felt like the podcast covered the topic, and that information, even if it’s 5 or 6 years or more old, is still very valuable. Chalene Johnson also has an episode or two about virtual assistance. 

XYPN Radio

My fourth podcast recommendation would be XYPN Radio, hosted by Alan Moore. XYPN (XY, as in Generations X and Y, PN as in planning network). That is a group of advisors who are willing, and able to serve Gen X and Y clients, especially on a fee-for-service basis. So, if you have a 34-year old prospect who makes good money, and is starting to have financial planning needs, but most of their money is tied up in their 401(k) because they have worked at the same place for 10+ years, the the ability to serve that kind of relationship on a consulting basis is becoming a phenomenon in our industry. XYPN is kind of for that.

Alan is a former practicing financial advisor. He just recently sold his practice (as I’ve recorded this recently). He’s partnered with Michael Kitces to create a network, and XYPN Radio is a great conversation on different topics. The most recent episode I listened to was about information security, and cyber security. A big topic, as you can imagine, in our industry. XYPN radio with Alan Moore is good podcast.

Radical Personal Finance

The next podcast recommendation is Radical Personal Finance with Joshua Sheats. Joshua is an amazing guy, another former financial planner. He spent about six years building his practice. He had the vision to see the opportunity that a podcast presented, as there weren’t any producing financial planner-type people that were creating content, so he tried (for context, he works for a large firm, and is not completely independent). He decided the best thing for him was to sell his practice, and create Radical Personal Finance full-time. Now he’s a couple years into that and has generated 300+ episodes already.

Joshua is prodigious. He generates an episode, not quite every day, but several episodes a week, and each episode is maybe an hour or longer. He’s had some that are several hours. He has deep ties in financial planning topics, and interviews some interesting people. For example, he had an interview with a husband and wife, who have seven kids, and lived in a modified RV van. He’s covered lots of different topics. He’s also had Robert Kiyosaki on the show (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), and Dan Miller of 48 Days to the Work You Love.

He’s had a different mix of subject matter (and guests, when he’s done interviews). I’ve even listened to several episodes that I would be happy to use as the answer to a client question if someone were to ask me about a certain topic. When it happens now, I tend to search his archives, and see if there’s some show he’s done on a topic that would explain it, and possibly in a more detailed way than I would. Also, it’s recorded, so the client can listen at their convenience, and replay it. Even though I’m not delivering the information directly, I still think the clients, if I find them a good answer to their question, are going to find value in what I’m doing. I think that’s a great little secret weapon in my business, and I recommend you take a look at it for yours.

Dough Roller

My next podcast recommendation is Dough Roller, hosted by Rob Berger. This is actually an older version of the Personal Finance podcast, which means it’s been around for about five years (as I write this towards the beginning of 2016). The website is Rob is still a practicing attorney, so he’s started this as a side gig, and he’s grown into something substantial. It’s pretty hard core personal finance, discussing frugality, saving, and investing.  He’s also a big proponent of passive indexing.

One recent episode that I haven't listened to yet, but interested in is called the Money Binder, or something that to that effect. In it, he lays out what he’s put together for his own family. If something happens to him, his wife can’t take care of their affairs, because he handles the finances directly for his family, and she is not very involved. That describes my family pretty well, so I will listen to it with interest. I have a folder with some good ideas, and that episode is an example.

Sustainable Business

The next podcast is called Sustainable Business, hosted by Josh Patrick. This one is about talking to small business owners - how to create, and run a sustainable business (which Josh defined as something that could last a hundred years, if you just want it to). Josh actually was a small business owner in a kind-of bread and butter, middle-America vending machine business years ago, and ended up in financial planning about 20-25 years ago, so he’s focused on small business owners in his practice. He actually had a blog in the New York Times (You're The Boss), before it was shut down years ago (the whole column, not his blog).

I found his post interesting in that blog, so I happened to find his podcast. He does mostly interviews with consultants, or other experts that were small business owners. He doesn't talk much about financial planning concepts, other than as it relates to business owner. For example, he did a show on 401(k) plans, and the angle was why business owners should consider those for planning, and benefits to their place.

Between Now and Success

The next podcast is also industry-related. It’s called Between Now and Success, with Steve Sanduski as the host. Steve is a long-time industry executive. He ran one of the larger coaching programs for a while, and now has his own coaching/consulting business. I find him very to the point, direct, and he touches on industry trends, current events, and conferences that he’s attended. He has a lot of interesting folks that he interviews, but some of the people are outside of the industry. It’s always interesting to see how he pulls lessons from other arenas, and also tries to look at the future, take advice on what you should be doing, where the pack is going, so to speak. Not just at today’s news.

The next two podcasts are sales and marketing focused. Not specific to our industry, but I find them to be great resources for how to think about sales, and marketing, and business in general.

Advanced Selling

The first one is called The Advanced Selling podcast hosted, by Bryan Neale and Bill Caskey. Bryan and Bill run a sales coaching business at Indianapolis, Indiana. They’ve had this podcast going for several years. They’ve recorded hundreds of episodes. It used to be weekly, but now they generate two per week. There are a lot of great concepts, and mindsets, and case studies they bring to the table. They’re working with people every day, every week, so they bring those experiences. People ask them questions, and they do a good job analyzing those, and providing their thoughts. They really play well of one another. They’ve worked together for quite some time. They’re very light-hearted but still serious about the work, so I enjoy the personality as well.

Duct Tape Marketing

Duct Tape Marketing is the next one, with host John Jantsch. John is a pretty well-known marketing author and consultant. I think his company is called Duct Tape Marketing. He’s also been podcasting, and blogging for quite some time. In the early 2000s, he had been in the marketing world for 25 or 30 years. He does a lot of work with small businesses, so maybe people that would be great clients of ours, and talks about how to frame their marketing efforts in the digital world. John has a kind-of real mid-western, dry humor, and enjoys his conversations with his guests. He does mostly interviews, and you'll find some fairly big names that he comes across in his podcasts. There’s a book by the same name as the podcast, and he’s also written a book called The Referral Engine. I think what John Jantsch puts out is pretty worth your time and attention.


This next one’s very much off the beaten bath a little bit for our industry. It’s called the Seanwes podcast. Sean McCabe is based in San Antonio. Sean is a fairly young guy, not even 30 at this point. He was more of a designer, and he’s developed a sort-of business-consulting podcast website, so I think the audience for this one is probably younger than me, but I find a lot of good strategy in his podcast. Also, he covers ideas on how to think about business, how to think about the world, how to think about marketing, and some motivation.

You’ll be able to tell from each episode’s title if it is something you might find interesting, but a lot of it is just having the right mindset. Despite how young he is, from what it sounds like, he’s done a great job building his business the way he wants - not having to restructure it later (as happens to some of us as we get down the road and find ourselves with hundreds of clients, of which only 70 or 80% are a good fit for us, and the way we want to do business). He’s built it from the ground up, and he’s kind of emphatic about that, so he just needs some good motivation. You’ll find a lot of episodes of the Seanwes podcast are good for that.

Good Financial Cents

The next one is Good Financial Cents by Jeff Rose. Jeff is a practicing financial advisor. He’s been one of the poster children for the new media blogging/podcasting way of doing things. He has written extensively about that, and why he dropped his broker/dealer affiliation. He’s done a good job building a heck of an audience with his blog. He uses his blog more than his podcast, but the podcast covers a lot more topics. One thing I take from Jeff’s podcast is that you don’t have to be an expert. You don’t have to have a radio voice. I certainly don’t feel like I’m an expert at producing this sort of content.

Jeff himself is knowledgeable, but he doesn’t seem like he’s such a rockstar that I could never grow up to be like him. He’s just done it, and like a lot of things in life, I think that’s a big part of it, just trying it, doing it, and getting better. I think he’s encouraging in that we can all have our own (written compliance approval of course) media empire, if we figure out how to crack the compliance code, which is obviously a big part of it.


The next to the last one would be the E-myth podcast, which is now called Onnit. E-myth has been around for 30+ years, born from the book of the same name by Michael Gerber back in the mid-80s. The idea of the E-myth is (E is for entrepreneur), that small business owners or some entrepreneurs go out to start a business, when, in reality, most of them (or us) are really just technical experts. We decide we don’t want to work for somebody else anymore. So maybe you don’t advise, or don’t necessarily get excited about starting your own business, but you just decide “I don’t want to work in someone else’s businesses, in the wire house, or insurance company. I want to have my own thing.” You like being a Financial advisor more than you like being a business owner.

That is the premise of E-myth (if you're not familiar with it). If you’re not familiar with the book, I would recommend you read it. It’s a very good book, and the e-myth consulting company was born out of that. This is the second version of the podcast that I’m familiar with. The CEO host interviews are usually existing former clients of E-myth (often with their E-myth coach). They do business coaching, and to have a coach along with the client makes for some interesting stories about the business, and how they work through their issues using an E-myth coach.

Anything by Rainmaker

The last podcast is actually more of a set of podcasts, or content. I will summarize anything that’s put out by Brian Clark, or his company, Rainmaker Digital (which is to be called Copyblogger). So, check out anything by Brian Clark, Rainmaker Digital, or Copyblogger. I find it very useful for marketing and copy writing. How to write for influence could be useful on how you craft emails, or for other marketing materials. Brian Clark started Copyblogger (as it was called then, in 2006). After several other podcasts, several other digital businesses, he had tried to start most of them successfully but he hadn’t quite figured out how to not make them service businesses. For example, he’s a former attorney, so he created some marketing for himself, and ended up starting to grow into a law firm (which is not what he wanted to do). So, he harnessed the power of the marketing he developed, and pointed it into another direction.

His story is very interesting. He’s kind of an old timer in internet-use at this point, even if now he’s only in his late 40’s. He’s just a really sharp guy - he seems to have the ability to see down the road more than most of us. I think anything Brian Clark, or his team (or teams) put out is something to consider watching/listening to/reading.

There you have it...a list of podcasts that are worth a sampling to see if you can learn from them like I have. You can find my own podcast in iTunes by clicking HERE (including the audio version of this article in episode 18).

If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments, or email me at