Good morning all,
As I assume most will understand, it has been a day of mixed emotions here at the Holst household. I’m feeling overly blessed to have had the chance to share my life’s passion for fishing with many of you as the host of IDO TV for the last 17 years combined with sadness over the reality that IDO TV has come to its end. Today’s episode, filmed with two of my favorite people, Konner Kleist and PJ Vick, is, in fact, the final episode.
Coming to the decision to end the TV show was not an easy one. To help everyone understand why that decision was made I’ll share some details about what lead me in this direction.
As a few of you know I’ve had more than a few irons in the fire these past few years. In addition to hosting the IDO TV show for 6 months of the year I own In-Depth Media Productions (IDMP). IDMP started out as the production company responsible for producing the IDO TV show. About 5 years ago I made the decision to start focusing on offering advertising and creative services to clients outside of the fishing industry in addition to producing the TV show. Over the last 5 years the IDMP client base has grown exponentially which resulted in the number of IDMP employees more than doubling in that same time period while adding some incredibly talented people to our team. And every time I added people to the team, the client base continued to grow which has taken more and more of my time to manage as the CEO.
Two years ago I was presented with the opportunity to invest in an upstart lithium battery company called Norsk, Inc. I accepted this opportunity as the IDMP staff and I enjoy the process of working with small to medium sized companies that have good products but find themselves short on infrastructure and systems. My initial role was intended to be Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer but that later expanded to assuming responsibility for operations as well. Over the last two years Norsk sales volume and the complexity of the operations both took off like wildfire. To say I’ve been finding myself spread a bit thin at times would be an understatement.
Early on in the spring of 2022 several larger companies started making inquiries about acquiring IDMP and Norsk, Inc, separately. During one of the initial meetings one of the interested parties recognized how important IDMP had become to the current and future growth trajectory of Norsk, Inc and expressed interest in acquiring both companies in separate deals.
Talk about being presented with a decision. On one hand I had an offer to sell my ownership in not one, but two, businesses that I had poured my blood sweat and tears into building for the purpose of one day, if I was lucky, to sell those businesses. And the buyer was offering me the opportunity to assume a Chief Marketing Officer role for all their business units, that include a growing international presence.
On the other hand, if I sold the businesses I would no longer have the production team that I had built over the last 10+ years to continue to produce the TV show. As much as I like a good business challenge I had / have no interest in trying to replace a group of people that I consider some of the most talented and dedicated individuals I’ve ever met, not to mention that each of them have become family friends. Combine that with the fact that my new role as Chief Marketing Officer for the acquiring company would require all of my available time and attention and everything boiled down to a simple choice – sell the businesses and sunset the TV show OR walk away from the offers on the table and keep the TV show.
In the end, once I took emotion out of the decision making process, the decision was an easy one for two reasons.
1 – Each of my current employees would receive significant salary increases and benefits of the sale went through that I could never dream of providing as a small business owner. As a team all of us at IDMP have prospered. Over the last 5 years members of the IDMP team have purchased dream homes, saved significant amounts of money for retirement, added investment properties, all while growing their families. Accepting the offers would mean that the team at IDMP would be guaranteed economic security and prosperity long into the future and I wouldn’t be where I am today without each of them.
2 – For all their love, and support my family has shown me over the years they also deserve economic security. As I mentioned previously, I was building IDMP and Norsk, Inc. to sell those businesses and, as any small business owner will tell you, opportunities like this don’t come along every day. My wife, Cheryl, has been both an employee of IDMP as a Project Manager from 2019 – 2021 and an unwavering supporter from day 1.
I’d like to share this personal story, so please hang with me.
Back in 2008, about the time IDO TV really took off, I was deep into the process of borrowing $100,000.00 against our newly built home to invest in staff and equipment that I felt would fast track our growth. I was very confident in my business plan but keep in mind as a country we were deep into the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 and, while I felt my plan was solid, everything that was going on around us felt incredibly unstable and chaotic. As a newly married man, with a wife I loved deeply, I was all too aware of the fact that if my plan failed and I couldn’t repay the loan I would lose the house which, in most cases, also leads to a broken marriage. I remember sharing my business plan with her, talking about my fears around failure and I started focusing on all the reasons I SHOULDN’T do it. She stopped me and essentially said “if this doesn’t work one thing I’m sure of is it won’t be because you didn’t work your ass off.” She ended the discussion with something about if we lose the house we’d farm goats and be the happiest goat farmers that ever lived and that I should move forward with the loan. I can say, without question, of all the events over the course of my career, both the good and the bad, that one interaction with my wife where she showed me her unwavering support and trust did more to shape the direction of IDO TV and IDMP than any other.
How I’ve been blessed with such an incredible wife and partner I’ll never know!
So that brings me back to #2. To be able to provide for my family, and the family my young daughter will have someday, with financial security that should last generations is something I couldn’t pass up. Essentially, if I didn’t want to work another day I could move to the Keys tomorrow and buy a 39′ Contender and spend the rest of my days getting wrinkly in the gulf sun! But I’m not wired that way. I still have goals and the offer to assume the Chief Marketing Officer role for the group of businesses owned by the acquisition group did, and still does, feel like the perfect fit.
So that brings me, and all of us, to the end of IDO TV. It was an amazing journey that I got to share with a small group of some of the most talented and dedicated anglers in the Midwest… and all of you that watched the show each week.
For those that are wondering, the sale did not include the IDO TV show, this website or Social Media channels, so for those that like to call this place home trust that I’ll do my part to keep the community here for years to come.
Thanks…. everyone. It has been a crazy journey and I feel blessed knowing that many of you were along for the ride each and every week!