I can’t take credit for the term Five2Nine. It was actually Mike Kobzik that came up with it. Mike was my original partner with Five2Nine. He originally intended to call it ‘Nine2Five’. At the time I was thinking that didn’t make sense since we both had full time jobs but eventually I think Five2Nine came out of a typo and stuck. It fit a lot more at the time considering we were totally weekend warriors.
That being said, I really took the idea of making something out of my passion very seriously. With my flexibility in the day time and my commitment to the plan really allowed me to put a lot of time into Five2Nine.
Eventually I was trying everything that came to mind to a) find my voice b) gain an audience c) gain credibility. All were subject to trial and error. The fact was, while I was a decent kayaker I kind of came out of nowhere in terms of media production and being on the scene. Ultimately I go back to timing as because of the way social media was growing I don’t think this was a strange occurrence and somehow I was able to sneak in the door.
By that time I had secured sponsorships from Level Six (the first real company to support me), Goal Zero & Jackson Kayak. I have since left Level Six but still have a great respect for them and their support. The latter two I am still a part of to this day.
With all the trial and error (I really wasn’t afraid to fail at that time) it was really CURRENTS that not only defined me but allowed me to really find my true voice in terms of media production and storytelling. I really put my all into it and it paid off. I made a name for myself in the whitewater and paddlesports genre and built some incredible relationships that I still value today.
I really want to emphasize the part that it was a ton of work. I say this with complete honesty to anyone reading this post: if you want to make something of your passion, no matter how outlandish it is, you have to work for it. It doesn’t come easy. Persistence and constant dedication is important. In the end Mike Kobzik left the project as he was unable to put the work necessary into it. (or at least to the level that I was)
I delivered 20 episodes of CURRENTS over three years. The first year was one a month and as the production value, story depth and locations grew it became more spaced out.
I still look back on that series with pride. I see all the mistakes and I am sure as years go on I will see more. But what I also see is the willingness to jump all the way in and just go for it. I don’t talk to many media people (now that I am all in) that are willing to do that. To follow a passion means taking chances and sometimes doing things for more than money. Sometimes it really pays off and sometimes it doesn’t but no matter how many times I failed or fell on my face or said I was throwing in the towel, I learned something along the way.
I hope that I look back on this blog post in a few years and think the same thing.