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Unleashed: How to Thrive as an Independent Professional

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Episodes

64. Sunny Bates one of the master connectors of the 21st century

5/21/2018
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Sunny Bates is a legend and one of the master connectors of the 21st century. She is one of my heroes and it was really a privilege to have the chance to meet with her at her offices in Midtown Manhattan. Sunny is on the Board of Directors of Kickstarter, an Advisory Board Member at the MIT Media Lab, a Brain Trust Member for the TED Conferences, and an Advisory Board Member for the American Theatre Wing, which means she gets to vote for the winners of the Tony Awards. Sunny operates...

Duration:00:38:57

63. Celine Teoh on customer retention

5/7/2018
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Our guest today is my good friend, Umbrex member Celine Teoh an independent strategy and marketing consultant in the Bay Area whose functional specialties include data-driven marketing strategy and execution, strategic planning and business planning. On this episode, we discuss steps firms can take to improve customer retention. We also discuss the benefits you can derive from journaling – in terms of productivity, creativity, happiness, and centeredness. Celine has been journaling...

Duration:00:42:19

62. Paul Millerd on the future of work

4/30/2018
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Our guest today is a good friend of mine, Umbrex member Paul Millerd. Paul has experience at McKinsey and BCG as well as the Board & CEO Advisory Group at Russell Reynolds Associates, one of the top executive recruiting firms in the world. He currently has a wide portfolio of activities – he is a real Renaissance talent. He is currently an independent strategy consultant, a career coach, the host of a podcast, Boundless, an active writer who puts out great posts several times a week. He...

Duration:00:39:42

61. Whit Pidot on the travel industry

4/23/2018
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Our guest today is Umbrex member Whit Pidot, an independent consultant who was formerly a Partner in the Travel practice at McKinsey. His clients include the CEOs of some of the top travel companies in the world including airlines, rental cars, and hotels. Whit has been fascinated by the world of travel from an early age. As a hobby, he has been running a travel agency on the side since college. In today’s episode, we first explore some of Whit’s favorite travel hacks for business...

Duration:00:49:08

60. Joachim Fischer on lean operations

4/16/2018
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Our guest today is Joachim Fischer, a mentor and good friend of mine who was an Expert in the Operations Practice at McKinsey when I got to know him a dozen years ago Joachim is the only McKinsey alum that I know who started his career as an apprentice cabinetmaker. As he explains on the show, the training he received as a cabinetmaker has been incredibly relevant to his career, probably more important than anything he learned in college. He still spends a lot of his free time building...

Duration:00:50:27

59. Tsavo Neal on consulting firm websites that generate leads

4/9/2018
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Our guest today is Tsavo Neal, who has thought hard about how consultants can generate more client leads with their website. Tsavo has written dozens and dozens of posts on this topic and you can find all his work on his website, tsavoneal.com, which is a valuable resource. He’s got examples of best-practice consulting websites, dozens of specific ideas on how to raise your visibility, tips on how to convert website visitors into leads, and much more. Tsavo has many valuable insights on...

Duration:00:44:44

58. Aner Ravon applies AI to market research

4/2/2018
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Our guest today is Aner Ravon, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Zirra, a technology company focused on market analysis, using big data and artificial intelligence. Aner and his co-founder recognized a real pain point for investors and anyone else doing research on smaller companies: it is very time intensive to search the universe of sources and pull together a basic set of facts. They thought, wouldn’t it be nice if we could use artificial intelligence to scan public sources and...

Duration:00:46:20

57. David Topus talks to strangers

3/26/2018
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Our guest today is David Topus, who helps his clients turn reputation into revenue. I think that’s a pretty great positioning, encapsulating what David does in four words. And that’s what you’d expect from a professional who has been running a strategic sales messaging firm for over twenty-eight years. In the first half of our discussion, we cover personal branding, with a focus on how to enhance your LinkedIn profile. In the second half of the episode, we discuss David’s most recent...

Duration:00:50:17

56. Jonah Gruda on tax considerations for independent professionals

3/19/2018
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Our guest today is Jonah Gruda, a Tax Partner at the accounting firm Mazars USA, LLP. In this episode, we discuss a wide range of tax-related topics relevant to independent professionals. We cover differences between various structures including LLC, S-corp, and C-corp. Before our conversation, I thought LLC was the obvious choice for most independent professionals, but Jonah made me realize that there are many factors that go into the equation and you really want to sit down with a...

Duration:00:57:49

55. Rak Chugh on Byte Academy and edChain

3/12/2018
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Our guest today is Rak Chugh, the Founder of Byte Academy and the Architect of edChain. We met in his office in Midtown Manhattan. Byte Academy provides training in python development, FinTech, Data Science, Quant Algorithms, and Blockchain. They have a full-time program with modules that last 14 weeks, and a part-time program designed for working professionals. Their students include recent college graduates – even some with Computer Science degrees – as well as mid-career professionals...

Duration:01:04:16

54. Molly Leeds on finding healthcare insurance

3/5/2018
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Our guest today is Molly Leeds, a benefits account manager at Brown & Brown of New York. Molly helps small and medium sized businesses to obtain the best package of employee benefits to fit their needs. In our discussion, we focus on healthcare benefits. If you are a solo, independent professional with no employees and no partners in the United States, your main option for getting health insurance is Obamacare, via healthcare.gov. But if you have at least one employee, or you band...

Duration:00:50:03

53. Johnny Warstrom CEO of Mentimeter

2/27/2018
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Our guest today is Johnny Warström, the CEO of Mentimeter, which is a tool that can help you make presentations, workshops, and meetings more interactive. Here's a link: https://www.mentimeter.com/ The tool lets you take a live poll of your audience, and the results get updated real-time in your presentation. The audience doesn’t need any special hardware – just a phone or any other device connected to the Internet. When I interviewed Johnny, I had not yet used the tool. I just got...

Duration:00:33:12

52. Josh Boltuch CEO of On Demand Ops and Fancy Hands

2/19/2018
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Our guest today is Josh Boltuch, the CEO of Fancy Hands and its subsidiary, On Demand Ops, and in this episode we talk about both firms. Fancy Hands is a network of thousands of U.S. based virtual assistants. You sign up for a set number of requests per month and pay a fixed monthly fee. Each request can be pretty much anything that can be done on the Internet or by phone – whether that is calling your utility company to complain about a charge on your bill, or researching the best BBQ...

Duration:00:41:03

51. How to outsource research tasks using Upwork

2/12/2018
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Outsourcing research tasks via Upwork is a superpower that every independent professional ought to master. In this episode, I provide a range of examples that illustrate the types of tasks that I have outsourced to freelancers on Upwork, and then I discuss tips and tricks on how to use the platform effectively.

Duration:00:18:42

50. Forty-five tips on working with staffing firms

2/5/2018
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For many independent consultants, staffing firms are an important channel for getting connected to project opportunities. This episode presents 45 tips for independent consultants on how to work effectively with staffing firms and become their go-to resource.

Duration:00:28:12

49. Will Bachman on Getting Some Things Done

1/29/2018
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On the show today Julia Bunte-Mein is back. Julia, a brilliant and accomplished sophomore at Harvard College, spent a day with me on a Winternship. On our last episode, Julia interviewed me about the advice I’d give to my college-age self, and related topics. On today’s episode, I share the tips that I’ve learned on Getting (Some) Things Done. I loved David Allen’s classic book titled Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. His system was a bit too complex for me, and...

Duration:00:25:58

48. Will Bachman interviewed by Julia Bunte-Mein on advice for his college-age self

1/23/2018
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On the show today our guest is Julia Bunte-Mein, a sophomore at Harvard College, who spent one day with me over her winter break on a Winternship. I’m pretty sure that I learned more from Julia than she did from me over the course of the day. One of the things I learned was that if I were applying to Harvard today, I would have had a lot less chance of getting in, as the bar has been raised over the past couple decades. Julia added real value on Day One. Little did I know, but she has...

Duration:00:56:36

47. Chris Doig on enterprise software selection

1/1/2018
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Our guest today is Chris Doig, who has thought more about enterprise software selection than anyone else I know. I’d like to thank David A. Fields for introducing me to Chris. Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Wayferry, a boutique consulting firm with a very tight focus: their entire focus is on helping enterprise clients select software. The firm has developed its own proprietary software and processes to support enterprise software selecton. Chris is also the author of a book that was...

Duration:00:54:53

46. Diane Mulcahy, author of The Gig Economy

12/27/2017
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Our guest today is Diane Mulcahy, a McKinsey alum and the author of The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want. Her book grew out of the MBA course at Babson that she developed titled “Entrepreneurship and the Gig Economy,” which was names by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the U.S. Diane’s book is structured around her ten rules to succeed in the gig economy, and in this episode...

Duration:00:44:47

45. Roger Lee on IT for independent professionals

12/20/2017
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Our guest today is Roger Lee, the owner of F1 Consulting. Roger provides remote IT support for independent professionals, home offices, and small businesses. He helps his clients with network design and installation, cloud services migration, remote monitoring, and offsite data backup and disaster recovery. One of the tools that Roger mentions in this episode is LastPass, a password manager. After Roger and I spoke I adopted LastPass myself and I strongly recommend it. Roger asked me to...

Duration:00:33:36

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