Getting Started as a Scholarly Entrepreneur: 4 Podcasts for Academics Who Want to Start a Business

Are you an academic who wants to start a business? Here are 4 podcasts to help you combine your academic expertise with your entrepreneurial spirit.

In August of 2011, I boarded an airplane for my first flight ever. I was 35 years old, and flying was one of my top fears.

It was also my first paid speaking engagement as an invited keynote speaker for an event at a major university.

Nerves? Oh yeah. I was beyond nervous. But I did it!

I boarded all the planes to and from my destination. I led an awesome keynote workshop session for 200 faculty members. The feedback was great. I couldn’t wait to do it all again. This was my first major step into the world of entrepreneurship. 

My Story as an Academic & Entrepreneur: Start a Business

I’ve always enjoyed academia. If I could be a professional student, that’s what I would do. I enjoy writing, reading, exploring theories and ideas, and learning something new.

In 2011, I was working full-time at a university, but I was getting restless. Around that time, something about the academy started to change. Budgets were non-existent. Positions were being cut. Raises were nowhere to be seen. Egos were in full force. The campus climate felt different.

I needed more, and conversations with my supervisors made it clear that there were no opportunities. My creativity was stifled. My motivation was decreasing every day.  My frustration was increasing with every budget meeting.

I applied for a few jobs and attended a couple of interviews to see what else might be available. I just couldn’t find what I was looking for.

That’s when I put myself out there as a speaker. I hired a graduate student to create a website for me. I wrote a few guest blog posts, and I started working on my business idea during my lunch hour and every night when I came home from work. That’s when I created FLIP It Consulting (and eventually expanded the business and brand based on my name).

Fast forward seven years later, and now I’ve visited 39 states (and counting) throughout the U.S. (some more than once) with the hopes of visiting all 50 (Hawaii anyone? Does anyone need a speaker in Hawaii?).

Now, I’ve spoken to thousands of educators as we share ideas and explore current issues in higher education. I love it.

In 2015, I left my full-time university job to run my business full-time. This has given me the opportunity to spend time with my family, take care of my 3-year-old son, meet amazing people, and see this beautiful country.

Now I’ve reached a point now where I want to meet other scholars who are building businesses or side hustles. And, I’d like to like to share some of what I’ve learned.

I spent the past seven years studying business models, reading entrepreneurial blog posts, and listening to podcasts about business. For the most part, I’ve been on my own in this somewhat lonely journey. There aren’t many resources for scholars who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

If you’re an academic who has built a business (or is thinking about it) I’d love to hear from you. I call us “scholarly entrepreneurs” and I think it’s time for more of us to leverage our skills as academics and make our impact on the entrepreneurial world.

(If the pop-up box doesn't work for you, contact me and I'll add you to the list.)

To start the conversation, here are 4 of my favorite academic and business podcasts to help you start a business and begin your journey as a scholarly entrepreneur:

Academics Mean Business

Created by Dr. Lindsay Padilla In this new podcast, Dr. Lindsay Padilla interviews academics who have started (or are in the process of starting) their own business or side-hustle.

If you’re burned out from chasing that elusive tenured position or if you’re feeling constrained by academia, then this is the podcast for you. Lindsay’s interview style gets to the point, and she often explores the conflicting goals of the academic and the entrepreneurial mindsets.

Her “rogue” style is refreshing, her questions make you think, and her comments are on point. This podcast is what I’ve been looking for since I started my business in 2011. It's not a "how to start a business" podcast. It digs deeper into the challenges, emotions, frustrations, and inspirations we all face as we figure out how to combine our academic and entrepreneurial selves.


Created by Dr. Katie Linder and Dr. Sarah Langworthy In this podcast, Dr. Katie Linder and Dr. Sarah Langworthy discuss the intersection of academia and entrepreneurship. They bring two different perspectives to the conversation. Katie is a full-time academic and runs her business on the side while Sarah focuses on running her business full-time.

They explore the practical “how to’s” of starting a business as an academic: how to structure your business, how to balance all of the different roles and responsibilities, and how to carefully consider the pros and cons of creating a side hustle versus stepping away from academia to run a business full-time.

Flipped Lifestyle

Created by Shane and Joselyn Sams This Kentucky-based husband and wife team started building their online business when they earned 11 cents from an ad they placed on a website. 

They were teachers and now they have “flipped” their lifestyle, left their teaching jobs, and built a successful online business that allows them to spend time with their family.  They interview "real" people (not “experts") from their online community to help their members build and scale successful online businesses. And, as a southerner myself, I appreciate their accents. 

Smart Passive Income

Smart Passive Income was created by Pat Flynn. When I first heard the term “passive income” I thought this podcast might be a scam. I downloaded a few episodes back in 2013-2014, and I was immediately hooked. It was the first podcast I’d ever listened to, and now it is my go-to resource.

When Pat Flynn was let go from his job as an architect, he started building an online business using blogs and podcasts to share resources and advice. His work is based on the idea that you can serve your audience and build an online business without exchanging time for dollars.  Pat’s blog and podcast have been game-changers for me and my business.

What's Next?

If you’re thinking you want to start a business or side-hustle based on your scholarship, maybe these 4 podcasts will help you shape your ideas and inspire you to take the next step.

Face those fears (get on that airplane!) and make a difference in the world beyond the walls of the ivory tower. And as you do, tell me about it. I’d like to hear more about where you are with your business idea and what’s next for you. Send me an email: or connect with me on social media.

And, while you’re here, share your favorite podcasts in the comments below. I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to while I’m cooking, working out, or cleaning (#momlife).  

(If the pop-up box doesn't work for you, contact me and I'll add you to the list.)

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published