As you slowly build up and you share what you know with an authenticity, you will be able to grow your experience and authority and your online reputation so much better than going out there and hyping with the thousands of others that should not have anything in consulting at all.
AMA (Ask Me Anything) interview with Loren Weisman, a musician turned accidental business consultant. Loren is a brand precision marketing strategist, speaker, author and host of Wait What Really OK” is A Methodical, Comical & Informational Podcast.
In today’s interview, Loren shares his career journey into consulting, the concept of intention vs. perception, and some of the common pitfalls he has witnessed over the year with his experience in the profession and with startup companies.
Listen to the Episode Here:
We’re doing an Ask Me Anything or AMA. AMAs are when I have the utmost pleasure of connecting with either seasoned or former consultants and they give you advice. Our guest is Loren Weisman. He’s got an interesting background. He’s a musician, turned what I like to call an ‘accidental consultant’. He has a cool title, Brand Precision Marketing Strategist. He is also a speaker. Just as his interesting background sounds, you’ll enjoy my conversation with Loren. He shares not only about how he started out as a musician, a little bit about the music industry, but then how he ended up pivoting and getting into consulting and shares his nuggets of wisdom. I launched my book, The MECE Muse, and I had my launch party. It was so fabulous. Thank you so much for those that took the time out to attend the party in person. Those that attended it virtually, those who were not able to attend but sent me text messages and tweets and emails and LinkedIn messages, I really appreciated it. It was so amazing for two reasons. One, I got a chance to connect and celebrate this milestone of my book launch of The MECE Muse, but what’s cool is that The MECE Muse is officially an Amazon best-seller. It is making its way up the charts on Amazon within 72 hours. It became the number one new release book in the consulting category.
It’s so surreal, given the amount of work to put this book together that we’ve made it this far. The MECE Muse is also currently number two Kindle book in the consulting category, and it’s also ranked number five overall bestseller in consulting category in general. It was an awesome launch. I’m super thrilled. I know that this book is going to change a lot of lives. I set out almost a decade ago wanting to be the mentor that I wish I had. I started to get calls and emails that people are reading the book, they’re enjoying it and it’s only available on Kindle now, unless you got an advanced copy, but people have been starting to absorb it. I cannot wait to see the lives, the change, the career trajectories that are changed because of this book. I feel like I’ve met my mission. I get goose bumps talking about it, thinking about it, and knowing that I created this legacy. I’m very excited for this moment. Check it out. If you haven’t already, go on to Amazon. We have both the Kindle version that’s available for immediate download. It’s at a reduced price, so check it out while it’s still at that reduced price. There is a paperback copy of the book. You can pre-order it. It’s going to be released on February 20th. With that, I’m super excited to share this interview with Loren.
Interview with Loren Weisman
Loren, thank you so much for joining us on The MECE Muse Unplugged. How are you doing?
Thanks for having me. I’m doing great.
This is going to be a great conversation. I’m so impressed with your background. I was very excited to connect with you. Before we delve into the interview, can you maybe kick off with the introduction of yourself to the go-getters of The MECE Muse Unplugged?
I’m a Brand Precision Marketing Strategist and Counselor. In a sense, it’s a consultant, it’s a coach, it’s whatever term you want to use. I look for more of a psychological operation standpoint of how you’re reaching with your brand, with your business, with your goals, with your budget and with your time. Are you spending too much time in certain areas? Are you following methods from other coaches or strategies that are either outdated or they don’t have the full picture? Maybe someone’s explaining, “All I did was this,” but they had $500,000 behind it. We look to specialize and individualize what the best path is and what the best message is that’s your message. Because when you come from an authentic and personalized base, you’re going to be able to capture a greater audience with your product, your service, your consulting or whatever else that you’re putting out there, over a sea of spam emails and pre-written templates.
Maybe for those that are unfamiliar with the type of consulting work you do as a brand precision marketing strategist, can you take it down for us? On a day to day, what does that mean that you do and maybe even share how you got into this line of work?
I started as a drummer. I was a musician coming up. I never thought I would leave music. Some people spend twenty years getting in. I spent twenty years and then I got out. In being a drummer, I got to do something called ghost drumming. What that consisted of was signing a confidentiality or an NDA, coming into a studio and playing for someone that either couldn’t play the part. Maybe they were unwell, maybe they had too many drugs or too much alcohol in their system. That entire experience got me to see an array of the entertainment world of investors, of how things were working. That crossed over into television and the music production. The entire time, it was discovery for me of everything from a soda brand to a multi-million dollar music brand to an author putting out a book. Then in my second to last book, I was on a book tour and more people were coming out that weren’t musicians. I started getting hired as a business consultant by accident. Mostly what I do and my goal is to come in and be with a given client for a short and as inexpensive time as possible. It’s a mixture of looking at everything that they’re doing with a different mindset and a different eye then saying, “From a budgeting standpoint, from a strategy standpoint, from a social media standpoint, from logos, colors,” all of it. To summarize it very simply, I look at intention versus perception. A given client, a given product, what is their intention and what is the perception? How is it being perceived, and how can it be met halfway, because you can’t please everybody, to get your business out, your message out and the theme that you want in the most effective way?
You mentioned the ghost drumming. I find that fascinating. I didn’t know that that was an actual role. Since it is media entertainment, it sounds like you’re almost like a backup singer.
It’s exactly like that. I was in the New York City studio and a guy came up to me and he says, “You’re tall, you’re hairy and you’re scary. You’re never going to be a rock star, but you seem pretty grounded. I could probably get you gigs playing for a lot of them if you can keep your mouth shut.” That’s how that world started for me because I’m not pretty.
You sound like an awesome person to hang out with. That’s definitely for sure. You mentioned in that introduction, the intention versus perception. If someone is new in consulting or aspiring, trying to get into consulting work, maybe share what’s the big a-ha moment you had when you learned about intention versus perception and how critical that is for a consultant to have as a skill.
As I crossed over into consulting, it was built off of the experience that I had, the successes and the failures. A lot of younger consultants, you may have a lot of great ideas, but you’re coming up against a wall of, “Why should I hire you to tell me what to do when you haven’t done it yourself?” Authority and expertise are key, but at the same time, if you don’t try so hard to challenge and be that hype machine and you explain where you come from, what your voice is, what your views are, the things that you grew up with, these can identify how you may be looking at things in a different way.
I get spam emails from 21-year-old consultants that explain how they can take my name to the top and they can do this and they can do that. One off, they haven’t even looked at me. Second off, I’ve already done all of that stuff for myself. Third off, when I go there, I don’t see any example of them except for hype. To dial back the hype, to come in the humblest way possible, to identify what is basically the failure analysis, you don’t have as much experience, so how do you grow that experience? You share and bring across all the experience that you have. Did you grow up in a different country? Maybe you can bring a product or a person or a business to understanding the culture of that country and how to crossover. Do you love animals? Maybe you can bring something to different businesses that want to do cross-marketing with animals. Regardless of where you want to be, as you slowly build up and you share what you know with an authenticity, you will be able to grow your experience and authority and your online reputation so much better than going out there and hyping with the thousands of others that should not have anything in consulting at all.
I’ve been a consultant my entire career, and I see that. I have mentees that from time to time, they feel that way. There’s this imposter syndrome that people sometimes feel like, “I’m so young,” or, “I don’t have experience, how can I bring or create that expertise?” I love how you said about authenticity and authority. Let’s say someone who’s getting started, they’re in the throes, they feel like they’re the hype and they don’t want to be the hype anymore. They want to be concrete, solid and experienced. Anything else you can share from your background or experiences that they can do to help round out? I know you mentioned authenticity, but anything else from a mechanics, operational perspective?
What you mentioned there first though, that’s the perfect place to start. One is humility. I’m realizing that I need to come in a little bit more real. The second thing that’s still tied into that humility becomes the identifier. Business consultant can be a very broad term. It’s why I chose brand precision marketing strategist. I’m still a business consultant, but it looks at different aspects of strategy. If you look up the term ‘business consultant’ online, there’s the widest array. What area of business are you most passionate about? What do you love? What do you want to do, and why do you want to do it that way? In that, that can help you develop your business. Second, I call it the fake business. Take the time and create that business that would be doing everything that you told them to do in your mindset, in your views, in your organization.
For example, in one of my books, I talked about a band that doesn’t exist. The band was called Kitty Likes Avocado, and it was named after one of my cats that I dropped some avocado on the floor and he went ballistic. Inside of this book, I built this band with a bio, with a brand, with a logo, with all the information, with all the pieces, the stage plots, the promo, the posters, the recording budgets, everything that I would have wanted. By putting that inside of this book, it showcased to people a greater sense of, “Here are things that you can get both for free, and if you want to dig in a little bit deeper and work with me, I can explain more of the details.” Create your template. Don’t use a template from some other life coach or some other business coach or using templates or examples of things that you don’t understand. Create what you know. If you’re interested in, let’s say fitness fashion, create a false fitness fashion line. It doesn’t have to turn into something too big, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but you can create a brand and who knows. Maybe as you create that thing and use that as an example to show other clients, it might get this leverage of people saying, “I want this.” You bring out you. When you stand out as you and don’t follow the droves of followers and fakes, the right people are going to look to you and the right people are going to hire you.
To the point about creating a fake type of scenario, there are tons of case study, go-to market simulations out there. If you tap certain consulting firm websites, you’ll see them out there. It’s not about doing case studies specifically for recruiting which is great, but what Loren is alluding to sharpening your saw and building that muscle through creating opportunities in addition to your day–to-day work. The simulation and the case studies are great ways to build that and to start from a vantage point. Thank you, Loren. It sounds like you had an amazing background, and I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface of your background. What would you say is advice you would give your younger self, knowing what you know now?
Knowing what I know now and not to come off negative, my biggest failure analysis is trusting too early. I genuinely want the best for everyone. I want people to succeed. Any of you, as consultants or aspiring consultants, if you are truly doing it because you want to help someone see success, then it’s a beautiful and moral thing. Inside of me wanting to see success, and at times wanting to benefit financially too where I should have stopped, I kept going. Where I should have closed down, where I should have moved on, I pushed it another step. I trusted in a lot of places that I shouldn’t have. I don’t regret it. I have no regrets whatsoever. Some people say, “You’ve got to regret.” The losses that I took have made me the consultant I am now.
There was one project that cost me and a team $4.3 million. It was devastating, it’s the stuff that nightmares are made of, but had that not occurred, it would not have brought all these other opportunities. To look back at my older self and to say, “Do your due diligence. Double check. If somebody says it on the website, go find three of their clients and talk to them. Go ask more questions.” Because sometimes in our heart, when we love something so much, when we see the opportunity, when we see the options, we ignore that sense of, “We’d better check into this.”
What would you say is the coolest thing that has ever happened to you in your line of work?
There was a reality show that I was doing some consulting on, and it was a pretty large one. There were all these people telling this particular person what to do. I came in, I sat down and they had a very up-guarded thing. and everybody wanted something. I viewed it as a situation where, “If I can create this, this can leverage so many more opportunities for me.” I didn’t look for the high pay. It was the same thing in how I started my drumming career. I asked for 25% of what all these other consultants and coaches and strategists were asking. I laid out, “This is what I want to do. This is why I want to do it. This is how I believe it will work. This is when it has to happen. This is what we do before it. This is what we do during it and here’s how we follow it up after.” When that happened in that moment, to watch that thing happen and unroll on television, to watch certain headlines come out, to watch things on the news, not to say that it was contrived but to an extent it was, but it showed at the highest level of how brand penetration can move a product and can move a person out there. It was a pretty big highlight in all that. I do love the small businesses and I love the hands-on stuff but that big one was pretty cool.
In terms of next steps, if someone wants to get a hold of you and to connect with you, how can people reach out?
People can connect with me at LorenWeisman.com. Anywhere on social media, Loren Weisman on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I have a podcast myself called Wait What Really OK. Mainly, if you connect with me, connect to look at the things that you can take from me and use for your business and yourself. Everything that I talk about with people and showcase, it’s all proof of concept with me. That’s one thing I want to tell all of you consultants. If you have an idea, test it, prove it. Don’t say, “Somebody told me, I heard, I read, I saw.” Test it out. One other thing, do a whole bunch of sit downs for free. A lot of these consultants that made their millions, they don’t talk about that in their books. A lot of them sat down. It wasn’t getting into the door and becoming a consultant. A lot of them had said, “I have some wonderful ideas. I want to do an hour with you. I’ll do it for free. Just consider me.” What a great way to get your voice, your ideas and your authenticity out there for free. It’s not shortcutting yourself because that one person is going to tell ten.
Thank you so much, Loren. I call it a power pack interview. You gave our audience so many different ideas and toolkit things that they can use. You mentioned your podcast show. I took a look at it and was intrigued by the subtitle, “A Methodical, Comical Podcast.” Can you maybe share with the audience a little bit more about the podcast show?
The show is a business and branding style podcast and it’s just for me, in all honesty, all transparency, it’s an audio that I have that comes out once a week. The show talks about different elements of what I apply and I make sure that when I apply those things, I work on the title of the podcast so that it optimizes. I fill out the tags, I put in the bio, it’s making every piece of content that much stronger. Inside of that podcast, it allows people information in a down to earth way of, I call it the ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’. It’s not the hype about something, it’s this is what it is, this is how it’s done, this is how I’ve seen it applied, and this is why I think that way.
Go-getters, check that out. That’s WaitWhatReallyOK.com. It’s been a pleasure Loren, to connect with you. This was fantastic. Thank you so much for making time to join us.
Thank you for having me.
If you have a specific question or feedback about this show, feel free to drop us a line, MECEMuseUnplugged@Gmail.com. I’d like to thank Loren for being a guest on the show, and thank you, my go-getters, for tuning in. This is Christie Lindor signing out for The MECE Muse Unplugged pop-up podcast. Here’s to your journey to greatness.
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