Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Jon Ekstrom. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Jon, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Owning a business isn’t always glamorous and so most business owners we’ve connected with have shared that on tough days they sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have just had a regular job instead of all the responsibility of running a business. Have you ever felt that way?
I literally never wonder what it would be like to have a regular job again. I had a regular job long enough that I remember how resentful I was of the perception that my time did not belong to me. I am wired for anxiety as it is, which, in a self-directed environment, propels me to action. Who do I need to call? What am I behind on? Ultimately: How do I rid myself of this feeling? When I worked in a big corporation, since things necessarily move much more slowly, that anxiety manifested as existential dread. I couldn’t do much in terms of direct action when things were giving me anxiety, so I mostly just felt full of resentment and fear. I don’t miss that in the least.
Jon, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Deft Communications is a communications consulting firm, with specialties in content creation and podcasting. In a nutshell, organizations need content for a variety of audiences – sometimes it’s their own employees, sometimes it’s elected officials, sometimes it’s simply some subset of the general public. What we do is help craft a strategy that will execute communications activities in service of some business goal. Does that mean working with reporters? Does that mean writing a high quality newsletter? Does it mean creating a new wholly-owned communications channel via new podcast? Generating a meaningful strategy isn’t always easy, nor is generating the raw material in service of that strategy. We do both. We do it at a high level, and have for the last 7 years.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Nothing is more powerful or effective than a recommendation from a satisfied client. There’s a quote from a professional wrestler named D-Von Dudley that was something to this effect: “I don’t care if we’re wrestling in front of 50,000 people or 25 people. There’s a good chance someone is in that audience that has never seen me wrestle before. I want them to walk away feeling like they were entertained and that they got their money’s worth.” That has always stuck with me, and it propels me to do my absolute best for every client I work for. I want their memory of my work to be that I was creative, that I delivered on-time and on-budget, and that I was a pleasure to work with. Because I know at some point someone in their circle will ask them who they used for the services I provide, and I want my name to always live in a positive place in their memory.
We’d love to hear the story of how you turned a side-hustle into a something much bigger.
While in my corporate job, I started a podcast on the side where I interviewed people I knew about what they did, how they did, how they got there, and what makes them successful. I am endlessly curious about people, so this is something I did all the time anyway, I just happened to put microphones in front of us. I built that show a brick at a time, worked tirelessly around the margins on it, and grew it little by little. At about 50 episodes, I got written up in the Denver Post. A year later I was profiled in the Denver Business Journal. The year after that, I won Best Denver Podcast in our local alt-weekly. It was after about 3 years of creating high quality content that people started to ask me if I could produce podcasts for them. And from there, I added more clients to the point now where I have at least a half dozen shows I produce and the podcasting portion of my business portfolio is heavier than my communications consulting.
- Website: https://www.deftcom.us/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joatpod/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoATPod
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-ekstrom-4788008/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoATPod