As a distance learner, you don’t have to be majoring in business to know that it’s a subject worth exploring. Business touches on nearly every organization—from hospitals to colleges to government agencies. These organizations have payroll that needs processing, news that needs to be shared, and employees who need to feel valued. All of that is part of business.
That said, learning about how business works while you’re still in school can help most distance learners have a competitive advantage over their peers once they start their career. If nothing else, being familiar with common business terms will help you sound more competent in an interview.
Business knowledge can also help distance learners determine what major to pick.
So, for instance, if you gain a little bit of marketing knowledge, and find you love it, then maybe you should consider majoring in it. Similarly, if you explore what human resources in a business looks like, and are turned off by what you see, maybe you should avoid pursuing an HR degree.
If gaining a better grasp on business sounds like something you may want, consider reading blogs or listening to podcasts. Here is a brief list to get you started.
Best business blogs
If you’re a distance learner who prefers reading to gain information, check out some of my favorite business blogs:
- Ramsey Solutions: While this blog covers a variety of topics, from budgeting to relationships, I want to highlight their business posts. Aimed primarily at business owners with 200 or fewer employees, the posts are useful for anyone wanting to start or grow a business.
- Seth’s Blog: Prolific author Seth Godin is a genius. His innovative ways of thinking about doing business and interacting with your customers have really benefited my own company. He publishes a new post every day, so there’s sure to be content there that appeals to you.
- Business 2 Community: Full disclaimer: I wrote for these folks years ago. But their content continues to be good. They write on general business trends and for various industries like entertainment, sales, and technology.
- Content Marketing Institute: Even if you don’t fancy yourself to be a marketer, you may want to be familiar with best marketing practices. Especially if you’re a budding entrepreneur, you’ll need to know how to market your product or service. This blog can help you do that.
Best business podcasts
Are you too busy reading for school to read multiple blogs on a regular basis? Here are a few podcasts to consider:
- The Entreleadership Podcast: This podcast gives a lot of helpful tips on thriving in the business world. It’s been around for years, so there’s a large library of past episodes you can peruse.
- How I Built This: In this NPR podcast, Guy Raz sits down with entrepreneurs all over the world to discuss their successes, failures, and lessons learned. This is great for distance learners who are interested in the stories behind some of their favorite brands.
- Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield: Primarily aimed at anyone who does marketing (including small business owners), the host deals candidly with a variety of topics that connect to business, such as overcoming feelings of unworthiness. Her candid style makes her content easy to understand for folks exploring the business world
- Business Wars: This podcast details the stories of famous business battles throughout the years. For instance, Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola, Southwest vs. American Airlines, and Pizza Hut vs. Domino’s. Throughout each story, the narrator provides dramatic reenactments of important conversations that happened during these times.
- Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran: The Shark Tank investor reveals insights into her own professional life and interviews successful entrepreneurs who dish out advice on what they’ve learned along the way.
- Business Made Simple with Donald Miller: What I like about this podcast is the insight Donald Miller provides on business. He helps the listener understand what might be going wrong in their business, and he gets expert tips from other successful business folks.
Distance learning requires a tremendous amount of brain power to be successful. But if you can spare some brain energy for business topics, you might find it worthwhile. Try reading or listening to one or two of these recommendations, and see what you think.