Self-employment can be lonely. It can also be difficult to motivate yourself and many who've had experience in 2020 of working from home have realised that it takes time to learn the best ways to work on your own without the hustle and bustle of a workplace that keeps the energy up. I can't work in silence for very long and I definitely can't work with the TV on in the 'background'. Music can be great but you need the right vibe for each task. So I often head to my podcasts app. It's taken me a while to find the ones that don't grate me because many can be intrusive and hosted by people who are overconfident and underdeliver. So I've asked friends and other self-employed parents which podcasts they subscribe too and I've put together a list. Not all are for parents and not all are for the self-employed. Some are for both. Others I've added because, as a parent, I believe it's important to listen to voices that challenge the status quo and bring to the surface the inequalities that infiltrate the world in which we are raising children and building businesses.
These are the programmes that best motivate me to head to my computer and be my own boss.
What I love about The Guilty Feminist Podcast, apart from how much it makes me laugh out loud, is that it's fast passed and always has more that one guest which provides variety.
It's a great mix of comedy, activism, challenging stereotypes within an unjudgemental space. Many of my eye-opening moments and opinions were formed listening to early episodes of The Guilty Feminist. Its humour and compassion make it a great place for both men and women who love a lively panel show. Hosted by comedian Deborah Frances-White, it's an honest reflection on social equality in real everyday life and politics. Plus, the show supports Choose Love who help to supply refugees with the essentials they need including items but also mental health support.
How will this podcast motivate me? With humour and energy. Just listening to this one makes you feel you're a part of a positive movement. It's a great one to listen to with morning coffee to get your ready to take on the world.
If you grew up in the 90s then you grew up with Fearne Cotton. Back then she was the happy fluffy face of kids TV, but Fearn’s grown up too and Happy Place proves it. Still uplifting, Happy Place tackles some big issues but with optimism.
Thanks to knowing nearly everybody in TV and music, Fearn gets some great guests and each episode is an interview. Through Feane’s gentle interview style we learn not just about the guests, but explore modern-day challenges and issues through their experiences.
How will this podcast motivate me? This one’s a bit of a herbal tea. It feels pretty good and it's great to have on and provide a backing track during tedious tasks.
iWeigh’s formula mirrors Happy Place in the way that each episode is an interview and that it explores aspirations of equality. However, the style is very different.
Hosted by Jameela Jamil, iWeigh’s guests feature activists, journalists, actors, writers and designers. Most of whom have been a minority in their fields. Some of whom have had to really fight for acceptance. It's not a lighthearted one. It is unashamed to be angry or saddened by injustice, but sometimes we need to be in order to lean in to change. Jamil's intros are far too long but she's a good interviewer and very eloquent in conversation. Although the language is not so child-friendly.
How will this podcast motivate me? Get the red wine out for this one. You probably won’t get a lot of work done during this podcast, so best for the evening. Being that it raises so many important issues though, I find myself inspired into scrolling through social and connecting with causes and other businesses who share my values.
This is a must-listen podcast for self-employed parents, freelancers and those with their own businesses. Extremely funny and the perfect length, this podcast tackles work-life balance, tricky clients and provides a load of tips and tricks for meandering the pitfalls of self-employment.
Hosted by Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland, who are themselves managing self-employment and kids, this tackles what self-employed parenthood is really like - the good, the bad and the ugly.
How will this podcast motivate me? Personally, I save this one for the tough days when I’m wondering why the hell I decided to freelance. In lieu of actual work friends, this podcast is the rant at the office coffee machine with a trusted colleague that allows you to vent, laugh, and then carry on.
Ok, so this has nothing to do with self-employment or having kids. However, I’m a big reader and know I write better and think bigger when I get my daily reading in. But I’m a busy woman too and I get nervous every time I choose a book that I’m going to waste time reading something I won’t love. That’s why I like to listen to reviews and author interviews, and the Penguin podcast is the leader as far as I’m concerned. They provide a general overview of the novel and insight into the writer’s motivation, yet they never tell you too much to negate actually reading the book. It’s spurred me to read books I wouldn’t usually read and helped to ensure that when I do get some blessed time to read, that it’s more than worthwhile.
How will this podcast motivate me? This is basically a hack to reading better, more relevant, books. It's avoiding judging by the cover and instead judging by what the author actually says about their work. Overall, I find most writers incredibly interesting people to listen to. This one is great for coffee breaks, car journeys and walking back from the school run.
Bossing it is the Podcast series from Found & Flourish, a membership community for female entrepreneurs. So it's a great one for self-employed parents. Well researched and straight-talking, this is a gentle podcast which is less intrusive than others. There's a great dynamic between the presenters. Many episodes provide advice and top how-to's, much like YouTube videos. However, what I struggle with on YouTube (apart from the very OTT nature and constant mispronunciation of the word 'niche'), is that there's no conversation about these so-called 'top tips'. Bossing it has the chat advantage and so is able to go further and explore that what, how, why and should, without it feeling too scripted. How will this podcast motivate me? This one is gentle enough to listen to whilst designing and doing work which doesn't involve words - I can't listen to and write words at the same time. They've been quiet during Covid but there's plenty to catch up on if you haven't listened before. This one is run by marketing and social media experts so is great for small business marketing advice.