BrainSell’s Jim Ward and Sonja Fridell Featured in BostonVoyager
The interview below was published in BostonVoyager on June 26, 2017
Meet Jim Ward and Sonja Fridell of BrainSell in North Shore
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Ward and Sonja Fridell.
Jim and Sonja, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Jim: I started BrainSell in 1994 in a one room office in Topsfield with the idea of building an innovative technology and consulting company – a sharp pivot from the family business that I had inherited. I wanted to build a business unencumbered from family expectations and restrictions. One that also didn’t follow the standards of corporate America. I had a few tenants that were important to me. I wanted people first as my priority. No partners. No loaned monies and thus bootstrapped.
Eight years ago, I met Sonja Fridell, now the president of BrainSell, while shopping for cowboy boots in Hampton, New Hampshire. As a recent journalism graduate from the University of New Hampshire, Sonja was doing what all young journalists do – building a portfolio and working a day job.
I’m a big book reader. Many of the ideas that I’ve used come from great business books and some unique readings like The Alchemist. At the time (2008) I met Sonja I had read Inbound Marketing by Dharmesh Shaw and Brian Halligan founders of Hubspot. From each of those readings I drew some basic conclusions. Inbound Marketing was how I purchased via internet research and from the Alchemist I became aware of my dreams and to recognize omens.
After Sonya sold me not one but four pairs of boots, I decided that I had stumbled upon a unicorn that could help my business grow: a journalist that understood content for inbound marketing efforts was hard-wired for sales and marketing. When she said “I’m graduated as a Journalist major that was the omen I needed to follow suggestions that Inbound Marketing spoke of. As a result, Sonja and I did an event and invited Dharmesh Shaw to speak and we fill a room with over 100 people. Seems we hit the mark.
Fast forward until today, we are a leading provider of unrivaled business process strategy, best-of-class software and implementation services. BrainSell has an impressive portfolio of local, national and a few international clients. We have built everything with a lean agile team of “entrepreneurs”, meaning that everyone on the BrainSell team is empowered and incented with no cap on earnings or potential.
We help businesses improve profitability, transform business processes and better manage customer relationships.
BrainSell is currently headquartered in Topsfield, Massachusetts with remote offices in Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Lexington (KY) and the Greater New York City area.
Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.view all articles
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