Behind the Scenes: Making a Contribution
This post is part of a series of segments we are calling, TEN7 - Behind the Scenes. They provide a peek behind the curtain of the work we do, showcasing the technical and creative energy that is the “secret sauce” of TEN7.
These posts allow our team to showcase their passion, lessons they have learned, and some of the tips and tricks that only come from dedication to their craft. We hope this series will help you understand the makeup of our team, what it’s like to work with us, and how we might be able to help you! Call us.
Hello. I'm Jonathan Freed
I am the Podcast Producer and social media manager for TEN7.
I was fortunate enough to escape Best Buy in 2004. At that time, my partner Lisa took me to a job search type of an organization meeting, and up to the microphones step this tall lean guy, introduced himself as Ivan Stegic of TEN7 and proceeded to blow me away with his knowledge of the web and engaging personality. I went up to him after the meeting and told him that I was contracting and asked if he might be interested in getting together and talking about work, which he did. He and I met and we knew we were going to work with each other right away.
So, several years went on, and I was bringing TEN7 projects and TEN7 was hiring me for other jobs. On my 67th birthday, Ivan took me out to lunch, and we're sitting there having a great conversation about kids and life. He leans across the table and says, “Jonathan, come work for me.” And I said, “Ivan, we already work together.” He said, “No, come work for me. I want you full time.”
I was blown away. I was probably the only 67 year old in what, 150, 200 mile radius that was getting a job offer that day.
Two days later he sent me a job description. which I immediately accepted and have been at TEN7 for five years.
In year two, I developed Meniere’s Disease, which causes random attacks including vertigo and loss of motor control. I was originally hired to do business development, because that was a part of my professional background. I knew that business development wasn't in my future, since I would not be able to meet with clients fearing a Menieres attack in front of the client. So, I tendered my resignation.
Ivan told me I was crazy, and requested a day to consider this.
I gave him a day, and he came back and said, “I've been going over your experience and history. You have a lot of audio and video production experience, don’t you?” And I said, “Yes, a ton.” He said, “Let’s do a podcast.” And 124 episodes later, our podcast is going strong and doing very well.
It has given me the opportunity to have the greatest old man job in the world, sitting at my desk at home, editing audio, creating graphics and editing video. I haven't had so much fun since my earlier days in my agency. And that's the story of how I got here today.
In those 20 years that I owned and was Executive Producer for my marketing agency Centor Freed, I had the absolute privilege and I mean absolute privilege of working with Jerry Stenstavold, the head audio engineer for Cookhouse Studios in the Twin Cities.
Jerry is a great audio editor. And this was with audio tape, a razor blade, and a splicing block. I intently watched him edit for phrasing, breathing and timing, over and over and over again until I actually understood it. I understood what it takes to let people breathe, and let people pause while answering a question.
So that when you listen to our podcast, you're actually listening to an audio magazine. Although the content is not scripted, it sounds like the two speakers, Ivan and our guests are sitting at the same table having a conversation. And I'm able to do that because of what I learned from Jerry all those years. And I love it. It's really one of my favorite things I've ever done in my professional career.
I'm not a revenue generator at TEN7, I don't do billable hours. It seems like I'm an extra load sometimes. But that's not the case. I really believe that the contribution that Ivan and I are making to the brand value of TEN7 is immense.
The podcasts cover everything from technology, business and the stories of the guests that join us. Most importantly, we're building a library that I believe has immense value. And for those people who do listen to our podcast, or see our work, I believe that our brand value increases significantly.
When people ask me about my job and about Ivan, I tell them I work for the most human person I've ever worked for in my life. In fact, he's probably the most human person I've ever encountered in the corporate environment. Our mission is Make Things That Matter, and Ivan takes great pride in making the world a better place.
I think if you ask anybody who has worked or does work with him, for him, would probably say the same.
So, I know that I'm making a difference in the fact that we do make things that matter. I know my contribution also matters as well.