It’s a simple thought that has profound consequences.
If you wish to be the best, you must study the best.
If you want to be amazing at golf, study the great golfers.
If you want to be an amazing comedian, watch the great comedians.
If you want to be a world renown hypnotist, you’d be wise to study the greatest hypnotists in the world.
Never before has it been easier to study the masters of our craft. Whatever you do, whatever you’re into, you can find someone in the world who’s amazing at it and better yet you can subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Start following people you’d consider a mentor in your line of work.
For the past 5 years I’ve been listening to some of the greatest storytellers of our time. They study their craft, they try different things and they keep their audience coming back for more every week.
I regularly listen to Ira Glass from the This American Life podcast. Ira is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever listened to. If Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule is true, I’d be willing to bet that Ira Glass has told stories for well over 10,000 hours. He’s simply brilliant to listen to.
Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner from the Freakonomics series of books (Freakonomics, Super Freakonomics, Think Like a Freak), movie and now a podcast. I think Freakonomics should be one of the books you have to read in highschool, much like Shakespeare, but a new and improved fascinatingly remarkable Shakespeare.
Another long time favourite of mine, RadioLab. You have to listen to it to believe it. But Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich entertain week in week out. The production on RadioLab is probably the best out of any podcast I’ve every listened to. The saying “you never get more out of something than what you put in to it” couldn’t be more true for RadioLab. They tell some of the most fascinating stories.
In the marketing world, I like listening to the Six Pixels of Separation podcast. The host Mitch Joel is Canadian, he run an agency out of Toronto and Montreal. He always ends up asking the most interesting questions, he’s one of the smartest marketing minds in our world, you’ll see a lot more of Mitch Joel in the future. (oh yeah, and he’s CANADIAN! That’s awesome)
The BeanCast is another of my all time favs. Bob Knorpp invites 3-4 guests who’re are notable marketing minds from all over the world, you get a diverse opinion on many topics from Social Media to traditional advertising. Some of my favourite episodes are the ones with Peter Shankman, Edward Bouches, Scott Monty, and of course Saul Colt.
One last honourable mention goes to WNYC’s Planet Money Podcast. Always a new and interesting topic that the hosts seem to spin into the coolest story you’ve heard all week. You have to listen to Planet Money at least once, you’re guaranteed to learn a lot!
I want to be an amazing storyteller one day, I know that will take a lot of practice, but that’s the hard part you can’t fake past. But it’s never been easier to find our mentors, to follow our hero’s, and to watch the very people we look up to.