Episode 500. Will Bachman, Unleashed: The Origin Story
February 15, 2023
Unleashed has been running for six years and has 335,000 downloads. In episode 500 of the podcast, host and creator, Will Bachman wants to share three things: the deep personal history behind the podcast, what listeners can expect going forward, and the impact it has had on him.
An Interest in Journalism
Will began his publishing adventures in junior high school when he started the Henry James Herald, a photocopied newspaper he sold or gave away in the lunchroom. He tried to start an alternate to the school newspaper in high school when he found the school paper to be a little less interesting than what he thought it could be.
Despite not having the opportunity to pursue his initial dream of starting his own newspaper in high school, his passion for journalism continued in college when he joined the Harvard Crimson. He became a photographer and learned how to develop film and print photographs, spending around 30-40 hours a week as a photo editor. He enjoyed this experience immensely, as it gave him a sense of being in the know and being able to see his photos in print.
From College to McKinsey
Will discussed his experiences in college, the Navy, and business school related to publishing. During his time in the Navy as a communications officer, he created a bulletin designed to keep the crew informed during a tactical readiness exam. In business school he created an elaborate cheat sheet for his fellow classmates to use in their exams. One day when walking into the exam room, he was thrilled to see almost 80% of the room using his cheat sheet. And later in his career at McKinsey, he had a dream of gathering together a collection of resources, but never had the time to execute it.
At McKinsey, Will had the idea of getting the whole business analyst class together every Friday morning to share tips and tricks they had learned from their projects.
The Birth of the Book
After being an independent consultant for four years, Will had an idea to write a book about how to thrive as an independent consultant. This was the birth of a book called Unleashed where he could share his experiences as an independent consultant. He designed a cover for the book with a dog leash and a dog jumping off the page which eventually became the logo for the show. Looking back on his life, Will realized that he’d always wanted to talk to people and then share what he’d learned, and that is the purpose of the show: to share practical lessons learned so people can apply them in their professional lives.
- 05:26 Taking cheat sheets into Business school
- 07:26 The birth of an idea at McKinsey
- 09:21 The creation of the Unleashed logo
- 11:06 Interviews that address a specific need
- 12:47 What Will has learned from the podcasts
- 13:27 Authors interviewed
- 15:10 The importance of having a podcast
- 18:49 David Fields episodes