“Oh, I’m just a 23-year-old; I don’t know anything, will you come on [my podcast] and talk about your story?” 

This was the simple approach Ryan Atkinson (a senior in college when he began) took to asking some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, like Josh Clemente and Alexandra Zatarain. To his surprise, most agreed, and with 56 episodes and counting, The Business Cloud does a great job of discovering valuable and interesting pieces of advice.

Perhaps Ryan’s podcast origin story itself is a key lesson. Rather than complaining about what he didn’t have, Ryan just asked for what he wanted. As a note, he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes early in life and has had to manage that since. In our conversation, he described it as being like living with another person that you’re responsible for, (an eye-opening image that offered me insight into a situation many live with that I knew little about). Ryan believes that the first step to any successful endeavor is to take a chance on yourself, and perhaps that need to develop early independence is where that comes from. It is certainly reflected in his interview style.

His youth makes this a different show to listen to, somehow feeling fresher than other business shows. When he discusses topics with his guests, it offers insight into what people of this generation actually think. We discussed the future of the workplace as an example, and how we hope that companies will start to honor productivity over mere attendance and allow for schedules that accommodate each individual’s peak window of productivity.

Among his favorite guests is David Concannon, who was one of the first people to discover the Titanic, and who was hired by Jeff Bezos to bring back the engines of the Apollo spacecraft from the ocean floor.

The Business Cloud is set for a long future and should be absorbed by all of us that will benefit from a direct insight into the up-and-coming leaders and employees.

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Episode Quotes

  • “My podcast has a wide range of guests that come on to talk a little bit more about how they got started, what their business ideas were, challenges they’ve overcome, and sacrifices they’ve made. And this is generated more for the younger twenty-something audience, just to learn a little bit more about their stories and experiences from them.” (01:35-01:54 | Ryan)
  • “I really leverage my age; that’s a huge thing I do.” (2:30-2:33 | Ryan)
  • “Once you have a podcast, it really just opens the door to conversations– that’s why I started it. If I didn’t have a podcast, my guests probably wouldn’t have talked with me.” (2:43-2:52 | Ryan)
  • “One of my favorite concepts is ‘closed mouths don’t get fed.’ Really hone in and think about that. If you don’t ask, you’re not going to get it. Some people today say, ‘Oh, I don’t get anything.’ Well, did you ask? Did you put yourself out there and really expose yourself and ask?” (4:34-4:52 | Ryan)
  • “If you’re going to work remotely, you’re going to have to take that extra step to really embrace your values and make connections. Grab someone from another department and ask them to meet up to talk about what they’re working on.” (12:48-12:58 | Ryan)
  • “If I want it, I’m sure there are millions of other people who also want it as well. So, I think I have a unique advantage in wanting to start a business and also be in this specific diabetic industry.” (14:21-14:33 | Ryan)
  • “Personally, I think diabetes has made me super independent just because I always have to take care of myself. I’m basically living with another person. There’s an imaginary character next to me; I’m controlling their health.” (15:20-15:43 | Ryan)

Episode Links