Shrimp Tank – Seattle: Episode #10

Last week, we welcomed Tom and Sean Jones from TV Jones, Inc. Tom Jones has been making guitar pickups and guitars for decades and is one of the leaders in his field. He’s made guitars and pickups for such starts as Brian Setzer (Stray Cats and Brian Setzer Orchestra), John Mayer, Nancy Wilson (Heart), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), and Joe Walsh (The Eagles) to name just a few. Check out their website to see more of their artists.

But before you do that, watch the video below and listen to the podcast of Tom’s story.

Listen to PODCAST (40 minutes)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

On Being Johnny Cash

From my May column for the Kitsap Business Journal…

Last month, I was in Bogotá, Colombia, to speak at a conference. I stayed an extra week to visit with family, as I am half-Colombian on my mother’s side. I have five aunts still living and scads of cousins. It’s always a joy to mix business with pleasure, especially in such a cool city as Bogotá.

I was sitting with my aunt and two cousins on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in her living room that overlooked the mountains in the distance. The view was spectacular and I had that feeling of being a continent away from my normal world. That changed suddenly when the radio station we were listening to made a switch in programming from its Latin music to one I was very familiar with. As I was absorbing the ambiance of the classic South American city, I recognized the unmistakable dulcet tones of … Johnny Cash. I literally did a double take. Here I was in Bogotá and the voice coming from the radio was a legendary American country artist. I might as well have been perched in Nashville.

It doesn’t matter your age, the area you live in, or your taste in music. If you’re an American over about 20 years old, you know the name and the sound of Johnny Cash. Although he passed over a decade ago, Johnny Cash developed a symbol so powerful, that millions of Americans can picture him in their mind by just listening to his music. Now that’s brand.

When I say Johnny Cash, you probably picture the ruggedly handsome man in black, with wavy jet-black hair and a guitar slung over his shoulder. You hear the deep, rich, baritone voice with a slight twang that drips with heart and soul.

How badly would you like to create a brand like that for your business?

If you’re smart, then pretty badly! We all want to be “top of mind” when it comes to our profession, whether we offer a product or service. The question becomes, how can we become like Johnny Cash?

Without belting out a rendition of “A Boy Named Sue,” I’ll share with you my five strategies and tactics to Being Johnny Cash …

1. Create a Look.  Johnny Cash was “the man in black.” Heck, he had a song by the same title. He became synonymous with the bad boy image of his time by always being dressed head to toe in black. What “look” can you create through consistency? Consistency in marketing is critical. It includes your logo, your signage, your documents, your letterhead, and your social media presence. When people see your work, they should immediately be able to identify you.

2. Create a Sound. Johnny Cash’s voice is so unique, once you’ve heard it, you will always recognize it. How are your products or services unique? What separates you from your competition? If you aren’t unique and an object of interest, why would anyone do business with you over someone else? Cash’s voice drew people in. How does your exclusivity and image of difference do the same?

3. Create a Following. Johnny Cash certainly wasn’t the only country-western singer of his time, yet he created an immense following of loyal fans. Do you have that? What kind of a business community are you building? What value are you providing so that people will follow your writings; listen to your speeches; buy your products at any cost; or seek you out because of the experience of others? Entertainers are skilled at creating “groupies.” Maybe you need some, too.

4. Create a swagger. JC was one of the original entertainers with “swag.” The term swag comes from the hip hop music industry and means superlative style. JC had superlative style based on the machismo that he exuded. Do you have swag in your persona? Now, I’m not talking arrogance; rather a powerful self-confidence. If you don’t have supreme confidence in your ability to help others with your products and services, then why should they? The first sale is to yourself, and you need to buy in big-time.

5. The Music. Johnny Cash reached into people’s souls with his music. It was often describing pain, sorrow and loss that his audience could identify with. He also sang with humor to lift spirits. What’s your message? Don’t have one? You’d better get one then, and a good one. Your message is about how you improve the conditions and lives of others, and you’d better “sing” it in a way that causes an emotional response. Logic makes people think; emotion makes them act. Too often, business people like to express themselves logically, and lose the attention of their audience because they couldn’t uncover the emotion.

Bottom line — People of all types are hugely successful in this world when they have a consistent message that engages the masses and do it in a confident manner that touches people’s emotions. Johnny Cash did that. So did Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Mark Zuckerberg. If you’re not doing it, you must start. Take a look at my list and start moving boldly forward. If you are doing it then keep learning, growing, and developing your brand so one day, you will be as legendary in your world as Johnny Cash is in his.

14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps business leaders and executives to become stronger leaders, grow their businesses, and enrich their lives.  He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; e-mail at or visit his website at


Extra Points – Back to the Future

This week’s focus point…  14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

Back to the Future

As we were driving home last night from Easter dinner with Barb’s parents, I was playing the 1980’s classic album Sports by Huey Lewis & The News on my iPhone. My friends Lee and Curt and I wore out that cassette tape on a post-high school graduation trip to California in 1983, but that story is for another time.

My mind wandered to another Huey Lewis song that was a track on Back to the Future in 1985. I was reminded of a Facebook post from my nephew Kyle recently that stated that next year (2015), we will be as far away from Marty McFly (the Michael J. Fox character in the movie), as Marty was to 1955 (where he took the DeLorean back to).


For people of my generation and older, that realization is stunning. Time flies fast and furious when you allow days to turn into weeks; weeks to turn into months; and months to turn into years. Spring is in full bloom and perhaps this is a good time to be reminded to stop and smell those proverbial roses. Or, maybe a better way to say it is to just slow down and be in the moment. I often catch myself racing around for a day and before I know it, it’s gone. Too much of life and opportunities are at your disposal when you are simply paying attention to what is happening right here and now. Be in the moment in your conversations, your activities, and your business, and the lives of those you love. That way, you won’t ever be in need of going back in time and wondering where it all went….

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”
~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Join my new weekly  Unleashed Google ON AIR Hangout today at 12 pm PST / 3:00 PM EST. This will be our topic of discussion. It’s free, it’s cool; and your invited. Come join us and bring your questions and observations to this week’s topic.

Extra Points – The Beat Goes On

The Beat Goes OnDan at EMP

Last Friday night, I had the honor of serving as the Master of Ceremonies for a fundraising event called “Poulsbo’s Got Talent.” This off course is a knock off version of the popular television show “America’s Got Talent.” The competition featured 17 acts that all involved either singing or dancing. There were individuals, bands, old, and young…all coming to have some fun and show their “stuff.”

What impressed me so much was what I witnessed in all the acts, regardless of age or talent. What made each one of them so good was how easy they made everything look. For instance, there was a duo of high school aged boys who did a sort of dueling percussion routine. One would give his bit, and the other would (without a word being spoken) basically say “Oh yeah?” and do his deal. They were both brilliant and really had the crowd engaged and captivated. They did all of this was a grace and an ease about them. So much so that you’d think, “That doesn’t look that hard.” Based on my horrible drumming abilities as displayed at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, I know that is NOT the case.

What makes you valuable to others is that you are able to make the hard look easy; the complex look simple; and the chaos look calm. That’s why people use your services. They can’t do what you do, and you are able to make it happen quickly, efficiently, and without stress.

In order to be at the top of your game, you need to make sure people know how you can help them; show them the value you create; and basically turn the problem into a solution quickly. Now, you may not have a crowd screaming they love you while cheering for an encore, BUT you just might have a lot of money going into your bank account and business that needs no encore!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“You know the good old days weren’t always so good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”
– Billy Joel from “Keeping the Faith”

Extra Points – Rock Star

This week’s focus point – Being a rock star

I always wanted to be a rock star. I think I still do.

I was reminded about this on Friday when Barb and I went to a concert by Hotel California, a tribute band to the great 70’s rock group, The Eagles. These guys were very good, a lot of fun, and had the house rocking all night. I found myself singing to every song, which apparently I’ve never forgotten. These guys (at least for this night) are rock stars.

We spend a lot of time dreaming about being rock stars, when in actuality we probably already are in what we do. If not, we should start dreaming about that!

What’s it take to be a rock star in your business? What does it actually look and feel like? How will you know?

You need to become a thought leader; top of mind in your industry; and someone who keeps the house rocking in your world. This is more than “customer service,” which may be the most over-used phrase in business. It’s about completely delighting your clients; rising above expectations; and being the first choice when they need something you do. Are you there now?

Don’t dream of being a rock star; get out on stage today and rock the house!

This week’s quote – “We do not see things as they are. we see them as we are.”  Anais Nin

With my wife at the Hotel California concert