A Conversation with Will Bachman, Co-Founder of Umbrex
Will Bachman is the Co-Founder of Umbrex, the first global community connecting top-tier independent management consultants with one another and matching consultants with clients. Prior to establishing Umbrex, Will spent four years as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and, before that, eight years as a Submarine Officer in the U.S. Navy.
Listen in as Will discusses how independent consultants can help their clients find work that they love—work that is both fun and through which they can make a real impact. He also touches on what the next generation can do to find professional success amid the growing prevalence of the gig economy.
WHAT IS FEARLESS GROWTH WITH AMANDA SETILI?
We all want to do work we love, and as leaders, entrepreneurs and employees, wouldn’t it be great to create workplaces where work feels like play?
Where people are tuned in to changes going on in the world around them? Where they’re constantly learning, spotting new opportunities, and taking action to go after them? These traits are essential to an organization’s agility and success.
In the Fearless Growth podcast, Amanda Setili and her guests explore the mindsets and choices that lead individuals, leaders and their organizations to outstanding performance.
Amanda Setili 1 (00:05):
We all want to do work that we love. And as leaders, entrepreneurs, and employees, wouldn’t it be great to create workplaces where work feels like play, where people are tuned in to the changes going on in the world, around them, where they’re constantly learning, spotting new opportunities and taking action to go after them. I’m Amanda Setili stilly. And this is the fearless growth podcast where my guests and I will explore the mindsets and choices that lead you and your organization to outstanding performance today. My guest is good. Friend will Bachman will is the co-founder of Umbrex a global community.
Amanda Setili 2 (00:45):
Connecting independent management consultants with each other and matching consultants with clients before starting his own consulting practice 13 years ago will was an engagement manager with McKinsey and company and was submarine officer in the us Navy. He has a degree in physics from Harvard and MBA from Columbia and is a graduate of the Naval nuclear power school. So you get the idea that he’s smart, but he’s also one of the nicest and most generous and collaborative people. I know. Welcome. Will Amanda Setili. It’s really a pleasure. Glad to be here. Yeah, so, well this is the fearless growth podcast. And one of the things that I really would like to explore with you today is how we can help people find work that they really love work, where they have both fun and impact, and it really fits them where they feel excited to come to work every day.
Amanda Setili 2 (01:33):
So one of the things that I wanted to explore with you is how have you done that? Cause it seems like you’ve done that really well, but I imagine, or maybe this isn’t the case that you’ve had jobs at one time or another in your life that actually didn’t fit your abilities and passions well at all. Is that ever happened to you? And if so, what did you learn from it? Well, I think that’s true and I love what you’re doing, Amanda Setili with your show. I’d say I’ll answer the question first. I want to say we had one tip that I learned from Daniel Gilbert about finding what you’ll enjoy doing is that humans are actually quite bad at predicting what they are going to enjoy doing or not enjoy doing. So a good way is to ask other people who are doing that thing and how they like it.
Will Bachman 2 (02:13):
I learned that in his book stumbling upon happiness, but in terms of jobs, that weren’t a perfect fit for me. So I’ve only really had a couple jobs before became an independent consultant. I was in the Navy for five years and then I was at McKinsey for five years and both of those jobs and elements that I loved and elements that I didn’t love so much. I loved a lot of aspects of being a submarine officer, super fun, going to see drive into submarine, being engineering. Officer watch, start up there, actor do drills, do maintenance. A lot of that was fun. I didn’t love parts of it. I love parts of McKinsey parts. I didn’t like so much. So I think at McKinsey, what I learned was I really love consulting. But I didn’t necessarily love doing it in the context of a big consulting firm.
Will Bachman 2 (02:57):
It felt to me that one of the, I didn’t love about that was there was like so many layers of supervision on top of supervision and overhead that you would start working on Monday for a Friday meeting with the client. And like, as soon as you got done with one meeting, you’d start preparing the document for the next one. And it felt like most of what you’re doing was preparing, you know, documents and then sending it to the, the engagement manager for review and then the partner for review and then the director of client services for review and, you know, continuing just to iterate on the document as opposed to actually serving what the client needed so that I didn’t love that part of it. Just the overhead of it. I also didn’t like physically the nature of it. I’m realizing that now, which was, you know, get this expensive McKinsey resources and literally one time I’m not, I mean, I am not kidding at a big pharma company.
Will Bachman 2 (03:51):
There was six of us crammed into not getting about this, a broom closet. Like literally, literally there were a broom closet and there were blooms in it. I mean, it was a fairly big broom club broom closet, but it was basically the junk room where they put all the office furniture and stuff. And there was so much room in there. We couldn’t even move like one night in the evening after everyone had got home, there was no, there was no room for us to move. There was all this extra furniture and it was just like the desks and brooms and stuff. I was a hero to the team. I was a business analyst because I took desks out of that room and chairs and I took them up to other floors and just drop them off and like random empty offices and make space for us.
Will Bachman 2 (04:32):
And I was like the hero for the team, or it was all these extra like reclining chairs. Like you couldn’t even get in there. So I didn’t love that. I just, you know, it wasn’t efficient. I said, my dream in life is to have an office with my own phone and my own door that I can shut on my own room and my own internet connection. That’s good. So I sort of, I’m living that dream right now. You know, I have my own office with a door that I can shut and a phone that I can make phone calls. I probably like 10 times more efficient than I was at McKinsey. So those are some things I didn’t love about that. That’s so funny. I actually found that the, and I was there earlier than you. The firm was smaller when I was there. Then when you were there, so things could have been different.
Amanda Setili 2 (05:14):
And I think that the Atlanta office was a particular, this is just my view, but I think the Atlanta office was phenomenal. And I also worked in Kuala Lumpur for Malaysia, for, for McKinsey. I thought that the overhead in some ways was very useful because I learned so much from the feedback that I got on my decks, you know, I do my first shot at it. And when it would come back from the partner, it would usually be some really good advice. So I’m really grateful for those years that I spent at McKenzie that taught me some things. But I do remember a lot of funny little crammed in spaces that we had to work in. And in some ways, you know, it’s like being in a submarine. Right.
Will Bachman 2 (05:56):
Okay. Yeah. I’m sure that the Navy makes sure that they designed those things for the right amount of space for the people in them. Yeah. I think that’s really saying something that your, your team room was worse than a submarine. That’s fair. Very interesting. Well, I mean, you’re crammed in a submarine, right. And often, particularly when you’re junior on board and you’re trying to get qualified, there’d be no place to study, but at least you could go back to the engine room and find some, you know, deck plate you could sit on and get the reactor plant manual and go through it. You know, even if it was 107 degrees between the main engines and you had to wear earplugs, but I mean, at McKinsey, you’re trying to write decks. You’re trying to be thoughtful. You’re trying to make phone calls perhaps, and you’re trying to get on the internet.
Will Bachman 2 (06:41):
And just, if you’re crammed elbow to elbow with someone, you could, you could fight a steam line rupture, but you could do that. But you know, trying to actually think they’re in, you know, be thoughtful about a strategy document while you’re just crammed elbow to elbow with people talking about other stuff is just super hard. I found super hard to be efficient when people keep interrupting you and you’re doing knowledge work. So I’m really thankful that you founded, or I don’t know if you were the original founder, but I think you were the founder of Umbrex, which is an global community of top tier consultants. Mostly people from Bain, BCG, McKinsey, and booze, and you’ve enabled all of us, all of us, independent consultants with a common background to be more effective in being independent consultants and to have each other to rely on when we need a particular piece of expertise or just need some advice about how to do what we do.
Will Bachman 2 (07:37):
So I’m very thankful for that. Well, thank you very much. Yeah. So we started Umbrex gene Lang margarita Soto and myself in 2015 and that rose out of some stuff that I had been doing since I started my own consulting practice in 2008, where, when I left McKinsey and started my own practice I felt a need to have a community of other people to help me get up to speed. You know, how do you write a statement of work? How do you write a proposal? What should I charge? How do I get health insurance and all these questions that I had when I was starting out? I figured I should connect with other people and who are doing the same thing. And so I didn’t see that existed. So I started connecting with folks and organizing events who was helpful to me, and I figured it would be helpful to others.
Will Bachman 2 (08:20):
So that grew over time. And then in 2015, we launched Umbrex as its own entity. And our mission is to help independent consultants thrive. We connect independence with one another. We have a guide on how to get started and set up your own consulting practice. And it doesn’t feel like work. It’s a lot of fun. Yeah, that is wonderful. I find that your newsletters and podcasts are so helpful. And whenever I attend one of the live on Brex events, as I’ve done in New York city, a couple of times you just have this common language with people where you can just instantly connect with them, because we all have shared passion for independent consulting and a shared background from some of these firms that trained us so well. So it’s very cool. So when you and I were talking the other day, you shared a 1932 quote from a person named LP.
Will Bachman 2 (09:08):
Jax is an Unitarian minister. And he said a master in the art of living draws, no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind, and his body, his education, and his recreation. He hardly knows, which is, which is simply prefer pursues, his vision of excellence through whatever he’s doing and leave the others to determine whether he’s working or playing to himself. He always appears to be doing both. So that is an ideal for me. And I actually feel like I’ve achieved that in my life. Every one of my jobs I’ve really feel has been very satisfying. I’ve been energized to start my day and I’ve been satisfied at the end of the day. And I think that this can, you can hit this Nirvana of work feeling like play both in corporate jobs and in the gig economy.
Amanda Setili 2 (09:53):
So you’ve interviewed 200 people on your podcast. You’ve worked for both huge organizations like the U S Navy and McKinsey. And now you’re running on that. Umbrex where you’re connecting independent consultants. What do you think are the factors that enable people to do work? That feels like play? Cause I’ve really been puzzled by this. I don’t know whether I’ve just been lucky or it’s my personality or whether there’s something that we can tell other people that will help them get to this state. What’s your advice on that? So a lot, a lot to say on that. So let’s see. I, I, there’s a quote somewhere that says, you know, amateurs do what they love, professionals love what they do. So maybe, maybe start with that. I’d say one tip would be, do side projects, do small experiments that are relatively low risk. If they fail where you can try things out and learn skills and just get experienced with something right.
Will Bachman 2 (10:53):
For me, I maybe started that like, you know, as early as junior high school, maybe earlier, but in junior high school, I started a school newspaper for the junior high. I went to Henry James high school called the Henry James Harold. That was maybe my first foray into publishing something and fast forward. I mean, college, I was on the Grimson as a photographer. And then I started a blog and, you know, as an independent consultant, just for a while, trying that out, none of those things were perfect fit for me. And I finally, you know, tried podcasting and I really enjoyed that. So I’ve now done over 400 episodes of my show unleashed and that just kind of fit, but there was other things that I tried along the way. So I think trying a lot of experiments that are relatively low risk where you maybe get to learn a skill, test, something out that’s invaluable.
Will Bachman 2 (11:40):
I’d say the second thing is learn to learn to, for me that one of the best ways to get information is talking to people then maybe other people are different and they learn better by just reading texts. But I find to get a real sense of the world quickly and answer my questions quickly. Speaking to people is one of the best ways to do it. So I’d say a good skill would be learning to reach out to people that you don’t know and ask them to speak with you. And and, and, you know, be able to convince them for some, you know, some reason to talk with you. So if you’re trying to learn about a specific thing, that would be a pretty good skill. I highly recommend the works of Steven Pressfield his work, the war of art and turning pro and his other series of books in that series are fantastic.
Will Bachman 2 (12:25):
Another tip I’d say would be Julia Cameron, where she talks about the morning pages. It’s the thing is in the book, the artist’s way, where for 15 minutes, every morning, you just write with no end in goal for it, no expectation to publish it or even to ever read it yourself. That can be very helpful for just finding out what even is on your mind, just writing with no particular purpose. First thing in the morning, the first 45 minutes after you wake up. So those are, those are some, some things that come to mind.
Amanda Setili: Well, yeah, fantastic. I remember you recommending the Pressfield book to me years ago and I did read it. It’s a really easy read, a quick read and it’s so inspirational because one of the big things I took away from it is if you have a big project in mind, whether it’s writing a screenplay or reorganizing your house, just break it into three pieces and get started like that.
Will Bachman 2 (13:20):
It, the thing that he impressed upon me is there’s these like demons are bad forces trying to keep you from doing what you’re really meant to be doing. And you just need to get past that. I don’t know. Did you, did you read it that way? I think the main theme of his work, a lot of these non the non-fiction that he’s written the war of art turning pro and the artist’s way, and a few other books is that his main thesis is that there is this force in the universe that he calls the resistance. That is an evil force, but it’s also impersonal where, you know, some people, you know, it’s going to relate it to writer’s block, where if you feel like, oh, I’m not the right person for this, or now is not the right time for this to create this thing.
Will Bachman 2 (14:02):
Or I’m not, you know, I don’t really have what it takes. It’s incredibly ingenious, but it’s also impersonal. So if you’re feeling this resistance to doing some creative work, you should actually not think that it’s personal about you in particular, but that’s almost a positive sign. It’s a compass that you can follow where you should, you know, dive into that resistance. And it’s like, you’re not special because you’re feeling that you’re not the right person, every single creator, every single creator feels that no matter how successful they are. And you have to use that as a compass to kind of guide you to the work that you’re intended to do for me, the idea that it was this impersonal force that everybody feels, and that you’re not special was hugely valuable. So big projects that I’ve taken on, like, I mean, starting the podcast was maybe easier.
Will Bachman 2 (14:53):
Cause I made it just a very small experiment when I started, but creating this video course, which was like 90 videos on how to start your consulting practices, major project. I kept feeling like quitting that, but then I just kept thinking about this. Okay, that’s the resistance talking. And once you can identify it and say, oh, that’s the resistance. Yeah. I get what you’re doing. You know, it’s this a very clever, universal and personal force. It’s trying to keep me from what I’m doing, what I’m intended to do, then you can just say, oh yeah, that’s the resistance. And just acknowledge it and and ignore it. Yes. That’s the thing that really came out for me from that book, it’s called the war of art. Yeah. Is this resistance is going to keep fighting back. Like you’re going to think that you make progress and then it’s going to rear its head again.
Amanda Setili 2 (15:40):
You just expect that, expect that and get past it. Cause you know, what’s going to happen. So that was great advice from him. And I agree talking to people to learn what they like. And don’t like about their jobs is so much more effective than trying to read something where it’s so sanitized and almost is meaningless to read about different jobs. I think that talking to people is super helpful. Yeah. So you mentioned the other day that you think that the gig economy is going to be growing and I totally agree. And you’ve got deep experience in this because you work with so many independent consultants and you know, of course there’s so many other kinds of, of gig workers, but you mentioned that to be, I think this is how you said it. There’s three things that people need to be good at to be successful in the future, defining what to do next self-directed learning and maintaining focus.
Amanda Setili 2 (16:32):
So just talking about the last one for a few minutes you talked about how in the Navy, your vessel was the worst in your squadron of eight and it became the best in the squadron and know your captain did, was placed the focus on two very specific things. It’s so useful. But I often find that people just have a really hard time picking what the two things are like. Yeah. If I knew which of the two things, then I could be certain, but I always have, maybe it’s the resistance saying, but maybe this is more important or maybe that is more important or are you sure you’re picking the right things because a lot of other people are giving you advice that something else is important. So do you have any advice for us on how to decide what should be your focus in life?
Will Bachman 2 (17:15):
Not necessarily your whole life, but just bringing focus to the next few months. Maybe, maybe what you’re most scared of. Oh, wow. Interesting. Because that’s where you’re going to grow the most. I think so I think I mean you can tackle a project and it’s so easy to get distracted. I mean, right now I’m doing one big initiative that sort of under, under the covers that I’ve been working on since September. And we hope to get it done the next couple of months, but along the way, so many other sexy, exciting ideas pop up. But I think you want to stick to the thing that is the one that you’re most trying to avoid, the one that you most fear and the one that and that’s almost a compass or a guide on what you need to be doing. That’s really interesting. So you’ve used that in your life.
Amanda Setili 2 (18:06):
Can you think of an example where, where that happened to you? I mean, you talked about creating the videos. That doesn’t seem all that scary to me, but maybe it was wow.
Well, let’s see. I mean just in a nutshell, so I had this idea, oh, you know, create this video course. Right. Okay, great. And does that mean, it’s one thing to say, oh yeah. Create this video course. So it took about 18 months for me to finally get the thing done, because first of all, I said, okay I have a lot of content. I didn’t know I was going to be 90. So, you know, how do I organize all this content? So I had to figure out like, what were, okay, so what’s the actual structure of this course. Like what’s the individual topics. And then I said, all right, how?
Will Bachman 2 (18:43):
I mean, then it was just the whole figure. Like I’ve never done a lot of videos, so where am I going to do this set up? So how do I actually set it up? What kind of, what should the background look like equipment? And then I kind of, I bought a camera and I bought like a white backdrop and stuff. And then I figured, okay, how am I going to actually read the, you know, the text of this thing to the camera? Because I wanted to do it as a video, not just as a, as an audio thing. So I didn’t went through this whole thing of, okay. I bought like an app for my iPad that can show you the transcript as you’re talking, can detect your voice. And it will pause if you pause, keep going, if you keep going.
Will Bachman 2 (19:22):
And then I tried a few episodes of that, but my eyes kept like looking at the, at the app. Right. So that was no good. Cause you can see your eyes are not looking at the camera. It was just a disaster. So I said, okay, so now, now I said, all right, what am I going to have to basically add limit and just look right at the camera and figure that out. So, okay. So now I spend three, three or four days. My, my patient dad turned the camera on, turn the camera off while I looked at the camera and, and did the whole thing. So then I had all this recording. Great. Okay. Well now how am I going to edit this stuff? So there was a pause of a couple of months where I had to find an editor and then, okay, where are you going to find an editor?
Will Bachman 2 (19:59):
That’s not going to cost, you know, $20,000 to do this job. So that was a whole project to finding an editor. And then I found an editor and he got through 10 or 15 of them and he quit on me. So I had to find another editor and then I get them all edited. Okay. So then then you have to create a website for it, right? Like how am I going to host it? And then they’re searching for that. And then it’s like, okay, am I going to make this free? Or am I going to charge for it? Whatever. Okay. I think I should charge for it because people will think it’s more valuable, so, okay. How do I create that? Like paywall thing. So then that’s a whole like, so there was just, I that’s only maybe 10% of the barriers you had to jump through.
Will Bachman 2 (20:31):
So like every single one of these things like, oh my God, I’ve never done this before. How do I create a paywall? How do I create the, oh, now I have to create a Stripe account to accept payment. It’s just like one thing after another, I’m just like, oh, you know, just record some videos and put them up there. But it was just this monumental effort. I mean, now that I’ve gone through it as like, oh, okay. I could do it again in sort of 10% of the effort, but just figuring all that stuff out was, was ed just every one of the steps along the way I thought, oh, I should just quit. This is just, it’s not. Yeah. Yeah. It’s so much easier. The second time you do anything. The first time I wanted to write a book, I had resistance for years when I finally did it, then you almost feel like, oh, anybody could do that.
Amanda Setili 2 (21:18):
Like, if that’s a sad thing to me is once I accomplish something, I think, well, that wasn’t that bad. Anybody can do that. So that’s not even that great of an achievement, but creating a course now that you’ve described the detail of it. To me, that does sound like a monumental achievement. Congratulations on that. Oh, thank you. I mean, there was just so many steps to get through, you know, and there’s no one to guide you, right? Or there are people to guide you, but then picking the person to guide you. That’s its own challenge. So, but I mean, I’m in awe of you for writing a book. That’s what I originally started with. In fact, in 2012, I had this idea of writing a book called unleashed and then said, oh, I’ll write a book on how to set up your own consulting practice.
Will Bachman 2 (22:02):
And then I even had the cover designed, which is the logo that I use for my podcasts now. And then I fried writing that for a couple of years and I realized I don’t have enough material. And that’s why in 2017, I said, okay, I’m going to start a podcast to gather material. So eventually I can write this book. So I’m going to all of you for writing your two books, which are, which I love. Thank you so much. It was very helpful to me also, similar to the way that you did your podcast together material. I started the strategic agility think tank to bring together corporate executives, to talk about what they were doing, to be able to identify and act on new opportunities that were emerging in this fast changing market that we’re in. And I gathered so many examples that were so pertinent to the agility advantage and to fearless growth, my two books.
Will Bachman 2 (22:47):
So doing something live with other people is super helpful for me at least to develop content that’s useful to others. So can people is this course ready for people to consume as where can people find it? Yes, it is. So it firstname.lastname@example.org. If you go visit our website, there is a time it says setting up your firm, there’s a link right on the website and you are welcome to check out the course. Good. And how much does it cost? So the course is retail price is $500 and I’d be more than happy to give listeners of your show, a discount code. And you could include that in the show notes. Why don’t we make it a why don’t make it fearless 50 and that’ll be 50, 50% off. Wow. Thank you so much. That’s fantastic. I want to assure my listeners that anything that comes from will Bachman is going to be highly useful cause you’re very organized.
Will Bachman 2 (23:45):
And so this is mainly about setting up the firm as opposed to how to consult or how to market your firm and things like that. What what’s the content mainly focused on? There is a bit in there about how to market. It’s not about how to actually be a consultant. So it’s not how to be a consultant, but if a lot of the practical stuff that I found that some other materials ignored, so it’s, it’s, what’s setting up the strategy or firms. So coming up with the name, what kind of clients are you going to serve? What kind of problems you’re going to work on? It’s coming up, it’s doing all the legal stuff of contracts. It’s setting up your LLC or your other form of entity. It’s the finance piece. How much do you need to save? How do you do invoices? How do you engage people?
Will Bachman 2 (24:26):
How do you pay people? How much should you set aside before you start? How much should you charge it’s technology? What are the tech tools you need? It’s virtual teams. So how do you build out your virtual team of other people to support you? One of the things is at a, you know, if you work at a professional services firm, in addition to getting compensation salary, you are being provided this cocoon of surrounding infrastructure as an independent, you have to set that up. And then also about marketing Audi, you do business development and actually generate some work. So it’s that whole overview and 90 videos. Each one is 2, 3, 4 minutes. So they’re short snackable kind of things. And there’s about 20 or 30 templates you can download. Wow. That sounds so useful. So useful. So I have a question about how you do what you do at Umbrex.
Amanda Setili 2 (25:18):
I’ve seen you in action in terms of you know, sharing ideas between consultants and having events and things like that. And you’re brilliant at that, but I haven’t seen much because I’m just not exposed to it in how you connect clients with consultants. And one of the things I’ve been wondering about is how much effort or how you do the process of setting objectives and scope for a project before looking for a consultant to fill it. Because what I find is that, that those first few conversations that you have with a client where they don’t really know what they need, they’re not even sure what their problem is, but I help them just shape. Here’s the problem we’re trying to solve. Here’s generally how we’re going to solve it. And here’s the, you know, clear objectives and how we’re going to know whether it was successful or not.
Will Bachman 2 (26:04):
I find that that adds a ton of value. Like a ton of value is in those first two weeks when you’re talking to the client. So to what extent do you do that with clients who are looking for consultants that you eventually connect, you know, to other people in Umbrex there’s a range of, of, of how we’d work. So in some cases, it’s the situation that you described where it’s somewhat uncertain or there’s maybe some ambiguity, I mean, a fair degree of ambiguity around it. In other cases, the person is perhaps a former management consultant, herself or himself, a former associate partner at, or a consultant at a another top firm. So they have a sense of the kind of profile that they’re looking for. And they might say, oh, you know, we’re looking for a former engagement manager level consultant who kind of knows the insurance industry and has, you know, led transformation type efforts, offshoring, or automation or outsourcing, or they’ll say, oh, we need someone who’s really done, you know, commercial due diligence before and knows the industrial, you know, has done industrial or done software as a service.
Will Bachman 2 (27:13):
So they’ll, they’ll kind of have a sense of what they’re looking for and what we’re doing then is finding the person with the right profile. And often then the client will interview two or three candidates. They’ll find one that think has the right approach. In some cases they’ll engage that independent consultant and the first week or two of the work is coming up and really doing the detailed scoping and the detailed kind of initial problem solving to scope out the work. So in some cases that’s actually part of the paid work is, is, you know, doing, doing that work that you described, that makes sense. Yeah. And other cases it’ll be more like we work together to actually put together more of a proposal upfront, but sometimes clients want to move so quickly though, look, I know what I need. I’m ready to have this person start on Monday and we’ll figure it out once the person gets on board.
Amanda Setili 2 (28:05):
And how do you go about finding the right consultant or do you just put it out to the whole community and see who’s available and then choose from those? Well there’s certainly a combination of things we do. So if some of the opportunities we will put out my weekly email that goes to the community and by the way, if listeners are interested in independent consultants, they’re welcome to to reach out to me if they’re interested in joining. So that’s one way, but we also know when we see one we’ve been, I’ve been doing this for 13 years. I know a lot of consultants. So in some cases, they’ll know, oh, this is a perfect, perfect project for, for so-and-so. And I’ll kinda have a good sense of who’s available right now. So I’ll, I’ll also be in a targeted way, reaching out to specific people that I think would be good fit for a specific project and asking me if they’re interested, if they’re available right now.
Will Bachman 2 (28:51):
So we will do typically a variety of methods. I’ll call people up, I’ll reach out text people, email people, we put it on the weekly email. And then we also ask, you know, sometimes people will re recommend someone or refer someone that they think would be a good fit, which we’re always very appreciative of. So the way we find the right person, it’s just a variety of mechanisms like that. That sounds great. So clients that want to have someone from the Umbrex community, help them out with something, they contact you and you’ll take it from there. That sounds perfect. Like to have a quick context discussion so they can email me. You’re welcome to include my email in the show notes. They can email me or reach out on our website. And we usually set up a quick 10 minute call, just so we can understand what’s the context.
Will Bachman 2 (29:37):
David eight fields calls us a context discussion. What’s the, what are you trying to accomplish? What are the goals? Why are you doing this now? Is there some, you know, initiating event when would you like the person or people to start? What kind of duration do you have in mind? Try to get a sense of what the budget is for it. You know, doing this kind of scoping questions and then we’ll go off and we’ll find them the right person. And we’ll usually try to get two or three candidates to that client within 24 to 48 hours. Wow. That is a fantastic service because clients tend to have their head down and working with other people in their company or their own customers or whatever. They don’t have time to have a network of consultants that they can draw on. So having you as a conduit to 500 people who might be fantastic at solving their problem is really valuable, right?
Will Bachman 2 (30:26):
So we have a database actually of about 8,000 independent professionals. Now it’s like, it’s like adding 8,000 independent professionals to your Rolodex. So, wow. So we’ve talked before about how we both think that the entire economy is going to be continuing to shift toward kind of a gig economy type role and somewhat away from having a job. How do you think that’s going to change the way people raise and guide their kids and the kind of education that they feel is appropriate for their kids and just how they help their kids to shape their own kind of, I don’t know, destiny or career goals and things like that. You have three kids and some of them are young and some of them are getting in the window for making some of these big decisions. I don’t know if I can speak for what other people will do.
Will Bachman 2 (31:20):
And people are often conservative with education and their kids, right? So there may be a pretty big lag. I could tell you some of the things that our kids have picked up. So my oldest, my son, Samuel, I didn’t encourage him to do this, but he, he and a friend of his Diego started a podcast. And so they have a show they’ve done over 70 episodes now of where their weekly show it’s called the half-blood report. And it’s all about the world of Rick Ryerson, who may not be really that well-known to adults, but he’s a young adult author. He’s one of the top 10 bestselling authors in the world of young adult or of anything of anything. So, I mean, his total sales are over a hundred million dollars. And one of the best selling author of the lightning thief, which was made into a movie, and it’s now going to be a TV show, Percy Jackson series.
Will Bachman 2 (32:09):
So their podcast is just on Rick Riordan and his world Rick ride. And also has this imprint a read-write with about 10 or so authors that are underrepresented communities. And so they send Alana’s ghost of interviewed. I think every one of those authors in the imprint and also Rick Ryan himself has been on their show and they’ve really established themselves in that genre. So I’m super proud of what he’s done there. Folks can go to the half-blood report, check it out. And I think that that’s one of the things that kids should be doing, right? And this generation of creating content, you don’t have to graduate from high school, you know, getting out in the world, you know, interacting with adults. It’s like, no barriers. Now there’s no gatekeepers. It’s not like you have to wait to ask permission to do this kind of thing.
Will Bachman 2 (32:57):
So I think that that’s, there’s like this incredible opportunity now to where, when I was in high school or there was just, there was no mechanism, right? I mean, I could have called up and said, could I have a call, but you couldn’t, oh, I want to, I’m going to create a pod. You’ll be on my show that like, it just wasn’t, it wasn’t possible. You could maybe have written something for a kid’s magazine, but there was fewer opportunities. So I think figuring out what to do next, finding what your something you’re passionate about and pursuing it. So the exceptional, a distinctive person who’s distinctive at something is probably going to be ahead of the kind of kid that I was, which was being more obedient and, you know, trying to be, you know, just good at school and doing all my assignments. I think that the, the kids who are taking advantage of the world and figuring out what they are interested in investing in that will be well-prepared for this world where people are going to care less and less about credentials when they can see what you’ve actually produced.
Amanda Setili 2 (33:57):
Such a good point. It does set a high bar though, in a way, because some people I think need to be directed. You know, it sounds like your son is very, self-directed very motivated and creative, but some people do kind of need other people to tell them what to do. And so there’s a little bit of stress there for a kid maybe who doesn’t know, doesn’t have the idea to start the half-blood report, this kind of wandering. So it’s just, it’s interesting know, I challenge us just a little bit, I’d say that’s that, that is more of an outcome of the way schools are designed of being intentionally designed to create compliant workers. I mean, that’s not mean that’s not a conspiracy theory. That was in fact, the intention in the late 19th century, when, you know, American business leaders realized that they weren’t going to have enough compliant workers for their factories.
Will Bachman 2 (34:50):
And they weren’t going to have enough compliant consumers to buy what advertising was pushing them. So they intentionally designed schools to instill a certain habits. So if you see a young kid, they don’t get bored, right? Like a kid that’s three or four or five, give them some toys. They don’t need to be told what to do. Right. So I think, you know, if we it’s almost, if we can avoid indoctrinating our kids and give them just the space to experiment and give them the tools, see what they’re going to do with it. That’s really great advice. I love the way that kids just naturally play and play is learning, but you know, the whole reason for is to learn. And that’s just what they’re programmed to do. They’re just like doing all day long every day is so wonderful. And if you can maintain that through adolescence and into young adulthood and into your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, you’re going to do better.
Amanda Setili 2 (35:45):
I think the, I think that’s right. I mean, if you can, if you’re fortunate enough to experiment and find things that are just fun for you to do that other people would feel is a burden, then that’s, didn’t do that thing. Right. So find things that you’re good enough at that seem fun and that no one else wants to do and that someone’s willing to pay for and do that. Good idea. Yeah. Yeah. Very good idea. So, one thing I’ve noticed about you is that you tend to set high goals for yourself. You talked about how you go toward the resistance, you do the thing you’re scared of, and you’ve generally excelled at everything that you’ve tried. So is this something that everyone should do or are there downsides to trying hard things going towards the resistance, doing what you’re scared of? Well, I guess it depends.
Will Bachman 2 (36:29):
What kind of life do you want to lead? I would definitely not say that I’m, I’m good at everything I do. Absolutely not because I tried a lot of things that I feel that and I moved on. So I think it depends on your personality style. So I get a lot of satisfaction out of accomplishment, right. Maybe, whereas for me, shorter term gratification is just less compelling. So I do a lot of what my life is deferred gratification. I don’t watch television to not to watch a lot of movies. I stopped reading the news like we talked about. So I, and I just get a lot of kick out of accomplishing things. So for me, it’s about writing out pretty on a very regular basis, writing down goals. So what are like the super long-term goals? What are the goals I want to accomplish in the next year?
Will Bachman 2 (37:18):
And, you know, putting that physically on paper and I’ll put it up on the wall. So I have on my wall right now, list of sort of projects over there that I want to accomplish over the course of the next year. And that just stays up and reminds me the other day, I found a similar list from 2019. Like it’s a goals for the fall of 2019. And it said, holy smokes. I accomplished like all of these, except for one. And just writing it down and having it there in front of you to remind you there’s a certain magic about that. So of physically writing it down and then, right. And then if you decide you don’t want to do it, you can cross it off. And then you know, that you made that decision. So it stops like niggling in the back of your mind going, oh, I should have done that.
Will Bachman 2 (37:59):
I should have done that. No, I crossed it off the list. It’s not on my list anymore. Make it explicit. Certainly find a cancel goals. I mean, you shouldn’t cancel them because you’re because you’re afraid of it. But maybe you just decide that you come up with something better. That’s cool. Right. One thing that I’ve discovered as an entrepreneur is, and as, I guess, just as an adult, right. Which is, there’s this beautiful thing when you’re a kid and even up through college where you can finish and be done, like you finish a course and you’re like, okay, quantum mechanics, I’m done. You know, I took the final exam and I have no more homework I’m just done done. The end of the semester is such an awesome feeling where you just have this clean break and you’re done. But you know, as an entrepreneur or at least as an adult, you’re never done.
Will Bachman 2 (38:44):
And I kind of came to grips with it only recently, which is that it seemed like my to-do list never gets any shorter. It’s always fills the entire page. Like how is that? It’s because as soon as stuff gets done and I’m like, oh, there’s other stuff I want to do. So I add it to the page. You could think of it as depressing, or you can think of it. Well, I guess I found my life’s work, but it’s just, it never goes away. It’s never like, okay, I’m done now with being an entrepreneur. I’m just, I’m, I’m done for the day. It’s, there’s always more stuff you can do. Always more contributions you can make and always more like exciting projects you could get pulled into. I used to think about like, why does bill gates keep working? You know? So I guess I figured it out cause it’s fun.
Amanda Setili 2 (39:20):
It is fun. It’s really fun. Do you have time for a couple more questions or do we need to drop off at the top of the hour?
We should drop off at the top of the hour.
Amanda Setili Okay, good. Good. So it’s been a great pleasure talking with you today Will, I’ve learned so much from you. And I think that we have a lot in common about how we think, which enables me to learn quickly from you. So I really appreciate you being on the show today, and I hope that everyone who’s interested in your video series will take advantage of the fearless 50 promo code that you gave us. And that every client that is listening will think about calling you when they have a specific need that they could fill potentially with one of the fantastic consultants that’s in the Umbrex community.
Will – Amanda Setili, that’s very kind of you you’re welcome to include my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. If folks want to connect, I’m happy to connect. And my email address, if folks wanna reach out it’s been super fun. Thanks for inviting me.
Amanda Setili 1 (40:15):
Thank you for listening to fearless growth. You can find out more about the show it’s at tilly.com/podcast, and you can listen on apple podcasts and Spotify. If you like what you’ve heard, please take a moment to write a review and give us a star rating reviews matter so much in helping others find us. Thanks for your support.
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