I am a recovering CNBC addict. There, I said it!
In 1996, the last semester of my undergraduate accounting program at UT Dallas, I worked for two Merrill Lynch retail sales offices as an intern / co-op. At that time I was very interested in the financial markets and wanted to learn more about being a broker as a career path. What did it entail, what were the job requirements and what did it take to be successful in that industry? I had already applied for and been accepted to a few MBA programs and I was going to focus on finance. By this time I had already two years of experience in multinational companies that were generating billions in revenue and I had a career plan I was going to pursue. I watched business programs and talked to business leaders all the time. I was a SPONGE regarding business-related material, reading business magazines, watching TV shows and talking to my father about business (President of a large multi-national company at the time). It is safe to say that I did (and still do) see the world through a different lens than others do.
Fast forward 15 years.
- I have worked for two regional investment banks in research. I saw the dot com bubble up close and personal having followed telecommunication service companies. With the job came some press. I’ve been on CNBC (back in early 2001). I’ve done the local nightly news a few times as well (Fox 4 in Dallas back in 1999 if my recollection is correct). I’ve been quoted in Barrons, the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Business News and other publications.
- I have worked in the mortgage banking and closing service industries. I’ve seen the impact of the housing bubble up close and personal. Who hasn’t been impacted the credit cycle bubble?
Here is a list of shows I watch regularly that I feel could help SMB owners and Entrepreneurs. I suggest these TV shows because they help me improve my business acumen and overall knowledge about what is going on in the business world.
- Bloomberg Game Changers on Bloomberg – Great ideas & lots of old fashioned hard work leads to enormous success. Great profiles of people like Marc Andreesen – Netscape Fame for a start, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, Twitter founders & Anna Wintour of Vogue fame just to name a few episodes.
- American Greed on CNBC – To remind myself that the world has lots of SCUM suckers in this world. We don’t want to turn into these people!
- Shark Tank on NBC – Great to see idea creation by the entrepreneurs and valuation calculations by the “sharks” like Mark Cuban – I think most of these sharks would say that most entrepreneurs think their businesses are worth too much pre-revenue. Ideas are cheap & execution isn’t easy!
- Modern Marvels on The History Channel or International History Channel – How technology impacts us. Basic ideas can have a profound impact on the world.
- History Channel – History has a way of repeating itself. While times change people and behaviors don’t.
- America: The History of Us – special on The History Channel and available as a DVD set on Amazon or at your local Best Buy. Loved watching this series.
- Suze Ormann Show – Suze isn’t afraid about telling people the truth and giving them the tough love they need in financial planning. Similar message to #7 below.
- The Dave Ramsey Show – His conservative financial advice (personal finance) is well worth listening to. Trying to take his advice to heart more and more these days. Spend less and save more!
- Charlie Rose – Great Interviewer – I don’t watch all of them (DVR but delete most political stuff) but he gets great information out of people! He asks the RIGHT questions at the right time!
- Strategy Session with David Faber on CNBC – Faber has earned awards for a reason – he is sharp and his show is great!
- Squawk Box and Squawk on the Street – I watch both in the mornings to learn what is going on in business since most business news breaks before and after the bell rings on Wall Street. I’ll typically listen to the 2nd show on the way into work via XM Radio
- CNBC specials – especially the CNBC Original Production shows. These are great because they provide great insight into various industries. You get to hear first hand from industry executives about the positives & negatives impacting the industry, how they are addressing them, etc.
- CNBC Titans – Similar to Bloomberg’s GameChangers mentioned above but produced by a different financial news channel. These are great for learning about the history various industries and the leaders behind many of the top companies.
- Mixergy.com with Andrew Warner as the Host – Great interviews with entrepreneurs and leading thinkers
- TheRiseToTheTop.com hosted by David Siteman Garland via the web (previous link) or via your ROKU box / ROKU 1080P box where you can watch the interviews via TV if you have one – Great interviews with entrepreneurs and leading thinkers. The bonus here is that David shows you what is happening with websites. With over 280 episodes of his show (many computer-based interviews done via Skype and recorded on ScreenFlow) David has taken his content and pushed it through to a new source.
Do I watch all of the above shows? Absolutely not as I have a life and don’t intend on being a couch potato! The bottom line is that I tune into the above shows from time to time and my DVR is my best friend (I store up to 10 of each of the above). I catch up on the shows whenever I can depending on what I feel like learning more about.
Other resources: Skills to pursue to become a successful buyers agent