Have you been bitten by the entrepreneur bug? Have you been dreaming of starting your own small business or monetizing a hobby? Maybe you caught the fever when you were just a kid dominating your neighborhood with the sweetest lemonade around. Or maybe you’re just tired of working for “The Man” (or “The Woman” for that matter) and have realized that you can do it for yourself.
Whatever’s motivating you to start your own business, I applaud your decision. Having run two companies of my own for years, I know how exciting and rewarding it can be. But… I also know that it’s not always easy to get started. SO many questions to answer. SO many things to do.
How will you find customers? How will you market your services? What about all the *UGH* administrivia?
And those questions don’t even begin to touch all the mental and emotional turmoil—good and bad—that can come with going into business for yourself.
But don’t throw in the entrepreneurial towel before you even start! Even with all my experience, I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know where you can find a heck of a lot of them—YouTube.
It’s not just for music mash-ups and funny felines. YouTube has a wealth of real advice and practical help. Whether you’re still wondering if a small biz is for you, you’re stuck in the idea stage, or you’re just feeling alone after years of running an established business, there is a channel (or 27!) out there to give you the tips, tricks, and advice you need.
So, grab your beverage of choice, whip out your phone or tablet, and get watching these 27 extra-special YouTube channels to deal with your most-pressing entrepreneurial dilemmas.
1. Marie Forleo
MarieTV has a cult following among her fans—and for good reasons!
Marie lets her quirky but caring personality shine through in her Tuesday episodes that give you both down-to-earth tips and inspirational advice. Her own bio probably says it best: “I often say if Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah and Jay-Z had a love child, it would be me.”
2. The Valley Girl Show
Business doesn’t have to be boring! Watch The Valley Girl Show to see Jesse Draper engage some of the biggest names in business (think Sheryl Sandberg, Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk and Jessica Alba) in real conversations about tech and business.
The show has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Fast Company. And Jesse brings out the most in her famous guests by getting them to talk about their entrepreneurial journeys, from past experiences to future goals. Check out the show, which is, as Jesse says, “like ‘Ellen’ but with guests you’d only see on Charlie Rose or MSNBC.”
3. She Takes on the World
That’s media entrepreneur Natalie MacNeil, who’s ready to conquer the universe in her weekly episodes. In fact, she even runs “The Conquer Club”, which she created to help women start their own businesses and brands and connect with each other.
She weighs in for about 5 minutes per video on everything from time planning to the question of whether you should give your friends and family freebies from your business. The She Takes on the World channel is loaded with videos so you’re sure to find an answer you’re looking for.
Femgineer was started several years ago by engineer, blogger, founder, lecturer, and mentor Poornima Vijayashanker. Her goal was to help people in tech—and especially women—take their careers to the next level.
So it’s obvious that this channel will be useful for you if your company will be tech-based, and it even includes her mini-courses on speaking at technical conferences and the lectures from her course at Duke University.
5. Levo League
Levo comes from the Latin word for “elevate” and that’s exactly what they want to help you do when you watch the insightful interviews on their YouTube channel.
For example, Levo League’s Office Hours series lets you hear the advice of world-class founders and leaders on building a business and your own career. You can even submit your own questions for future guests, or you can just enjoy Levo League’s super bite-sized clips answering just about every kind of question you could have as an entrepreneur.
6. Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.
If the thought of marketing your biz makes you weak in the knees, Nathalie Lussier’s channel is the one for you. As a digital strategist, Nathalie knows the power and importance of online marketing, and her videos are made to set you straight.
She lets you in on the tools you need to develop your business, get more website visitors, improve your social media, and build killer WordPress sites. And don’t miss her free 30-Day List Building Challenge email course if you want to really add to what you learn from her YouTube channel.
7. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those names—and one of those personalities—that you don’t easily forget. He’s a true YouTube star, having started with a wine channel in 2006 and now heading a 400-person media business that serves some of the world’s largest companies.
But his YouTube channel is still down-to-earth covering subjects like how to use Instagram for your business or write good email copy. Ever loyal to the platform he started on, he uploads several new videos a week, and you can even tweet him your questions at @AskGaryVee.
8. Derek Halpern
Get into the head of your customer with Halpern’s Social Triggers videos. They look at psychology and human behavior as it relates to marketing.
Derek likes to get your attention with shocking titles like “My dog got neutered. I got a lesson in sales”, but there’s always a valuable insight behind the hype. Stop wasting time searching for answers to marketing mysteries by watching the Social Triggers channel.
9. Evan Carmichael
“I believe in entrepreneurs.” How can you NOT want to learn from someone who lives by that motto?!
Evan built and sold a software company while still a teenager and became a venture capitalist while still in his early 20’s. His goal is to help a billion business owners—and you can be one of them! Watch hisdozens of videos about famous entrepreneurs or his hundreds of “Ask Evan” answers to detailed questions about starting your own company.
10. Every Elon Musk Video
Made by his fans and for his fans, the descriptively-named Every Elon Musk Video channel is a collection of all kinds of clips featuring one of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs of this era.
Whether or not you’re looking to revolutionize society with your business, you can still learn a thing or two from Musk. The videos cover personal moments like how he avoided a nervous breakdown and how he uses his iPhone. And they offer more than a little inspiration on dreaming big and making those dreams a reality.
You’re sure to know the name of this business magazine and website, but have you gone to the YouTube channel? As you might expect, it’s chock full of content, so you’ll have plenty of choices of topics to dive into.
Give these playlists a look to start getting motivated and educated by successful entrepreneurs and businesses from all fields: Forbes Entrepreneurs, Forbes Power Women, Forbes 30 under 30, and Forbes Midas List.
Entrepreneur Magazine brings you the latest information and ideas in these short daily videos.
They range from cutting edge topics like starting a Bitcoin-based business to inspirational advice from business-world icons like Tony Robbins and Richard Branson. And remember to head over to the playlists for collections of how-to videos on practical business topics.
13. This Week in Startups
Hosted by entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, the This Week in Startups channel focuses on what’s new with tech companies and what lessons you can learn from them for your own business.
The in-depth interviews will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the digital world while also giving you insights into what you need to consider when you’re setting up your own startup.
14. Capture Your Flag
Go after your career dreams with the knowledge and inspiration from Capture Your Flag. This channel is a set of documentary interviews with “60 up and coming leaders”.
The interviews are broken down into easy-to-watch 1- to 5-minute videos—so you can see exactly the parts you’re interested in, or binge watch them all! Be sure to keep clicking “View More” on the videos page to find all the interesting conversations with these inspiring entrepreneurs.
15. Google Business
Get advice from THE company that’s synonymous with the web and online advertising from Google’s own YouTube business channel. You’ll probably be surprised to find out that the tools they offer for your business go far beyond just AdWords.
Tune in to learn what’s new with Google services for online marketing from the regularly-posted short videos. And you can hear from online powerhouses like Buzzfeed, Shopify, and Etsy in the longer interview episodes.
16. U.S. Small Business Administration
Started over 50 years ago, the Small Business Administration provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with advocacy, financial, and counseling services in person and online, and their YouTube channel is one of their digital efforts to educate people who are starting their own companies.
The SBA’s library of long and short videos are full of practical information and advice and also includes recordings of their live events, like the extensive Small Business Week seminars.
17. Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is a leader in business education, and they share a range of resources you can educate yourself with on their YouTube channel.
The Entrepreneurship playlist includes almost 100 videos profiling and interviewing business founders and even sharing elevator pitches. And the Engaging Leaders series gives you a front-row seat to the Columbia’s guest speakers who tell about their successes and challenges in entrepreneurship so you can reflect on the lessons yourself.
18. Stanford Graduate School of Business
One of the most prestigious MBA programs offers a range of videos on leadership that can deepen your understanding of management for business. Plus the channel features lectures, lessons, and series from the graduate school.
Recent uploads include everything from “Dressing for Impact” to “Making Your Message Media Friendly”, and the LOWKeynotes playlist shows off student presentations about their ideas to change the world for the better through business.
If you like to learn by example, Stanford also offers its ecorner channel, which, in their words, provides “Knowledge and inspiration, one entrepreneur at a time.”
The channel is organized into playlists of 5-10 short clips from chats with business leaders across a range of industries, or you can choose to watch the entire long-form interview. Featured guests include executives from Pixar, Yelp, Nest, Code for America, and many, many more.
20. Kauffman Foundation
The Kauffman Foundation is “a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success.”
The Foundation’s YouTube channel supports its aims with a collection of videos on topics like networking, growth, and crowdfunding. But my favorites are the whiteboard animation videos on the Kauffman Sketchbooks playlist. These charming and informative videos explain concepts clearly and concisely with cartoon-like drawings that come to life before your eyes.
21. Y Combinator
Y Combinator has funded almost a 1,000 tech startups, with many, like Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit, going on to fantastic success. Their YouTube channel shares their public talks by the founders of companies like these.
If you’re particularly interested in the experiences of women at startups, this channel has videos from businesswomen like Adora Cheung of Homejoy Inc, philanthropic pioneers like Grace Garey of Watsi and Kiva, and technologists like Ruchi Sanghvi, the first female engineer at Facebook. And videos from the past two Female Founders Conferences are collected in the playlists.
22. How to Start a Startup
Produced by Y Combinator, this 20-part lecture series features different high-powered entrepreneurs sharing their wisdom on getting a business off the ground.
You’ll learn how to raise money, how to hire and manage employees, and even get legal and accounting basics. Plus there’s a transcript for each lecture, so you can read along as well.
23. Startup Grind
Take advantage of both the YouTube channel and the monthly in-person events of Startup Grind, an international organization for entrepreneurs striving to connect people building companies.
The videos range in length from a few minutes to about an hour, and show off Startup Grind events from around the world. Have a look at the talks with influential and interesting businesspeople. And don’t miss the Female Founders playlist for role models for your entrepreneurial efforts.
24. Behind the Brand
Bryan Elliott of Behind the Brand web show brings you experts you can learn from to build your own business. The constantly-updated channel is filled with profiles of entrepreneurs from online guru Seth Godin to YouTube star iJustine to Shark Tank shark Daymond John.
You’ll get answers to small-biz questions like how long to give a great idea that isn’t working, how to get marketing attention without a budget, and how to deal with failure. And you can zero in on inspiration from entrepreneurs, brands, authors, actors, and athletes via the channel’s playlists.
25. CreativeMornings HQ
Aren’t exactly a morning person? Make the morning hours easier and be inspired by founders and makers from around the world with the CreativeMornings breakfast lecture series.
Organized by amazing designer and businesswoman Tina Roth Eisenberg of swissmiss fame, CreativeMornings is a free, monthly event series in New York. But you don’t have to travel to the Big Apple to attend—each and every talk can be found on this YouTube channel! Don’t know where to start? Head to the Shorts playlist with short clips from favorite talks.
I know you’ve heard of TED talks, but do you know what TED stands for? Technology, Entertainment, and Design. And did you know that TED is also so much more than those three broad fields?
For example, there is a treasure trove of TED Talks out there about…wait for it…entrepreneurship. To find them, simply type “entrepreneur” into the search function on the TED YouTube channel. Once you’ve enjoyed looking around, just try searching for other related terms (like “small business” or “startup”) to find even more of these unique and informative talks from the cultural phenomena that is TED.
27. Skillcrush TV
Last but SO totally not least (!), our very own YouTube channel. Yep, the Skillcrush Team has a lovely set of videos on useful topics for you to enjoy right here and now.
Since you’re looking to launch your own business, I especially recommend ones like “How to Get Your Clients to Pay You More”, “How to Write a Site that Sells and Compels”, and “Legal Do’s and Don’ts for Freelancers”. But why not watch them all?! You know you want to!
Image credit: CC by Alessandro Valli.