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Yearly Archive2017

Competitive Nature — Changing From Competition to Collaboration

Sport has existed since the origins of civilization due to our competitive human nature.

Sport: noun. An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.


Competition has been a staple of society throughout history.

The definition of sport can vary to some, with E-Sports (video games) and lawn games such as cornhole becoming nationally televised events these days!

People are finding ways to become experts at niche sports.


Recently ESPN2 showed a live Ultimate game for the first time. Parts of modern culture have grown bored of the classic “American” sports such as baseball, basketball, and football. Golf and tennis are growing due to this emerging trend, along with the World Series of Poker, bowling, darts, lumberjack competitions, “the Crossfit Games”, eating competitions, and even drone racing.

Humans love to see a winner; they also love to see a loser. The occupants of the Roman Colosseum wanted to see death every time.


Modern sports no longer have the death aspect, however the UFC is close! Some of the knockouts I have seen this summer have had potential to be lethal. This was so fast the poor guy had no clue what happened, and I’m not sure he ever will.

Competition is not just in sports, but in life. Everything these days is a competition, businesses, workouts, social media, the list goes on. I love competition, but collaboration brings better results. Obsession with sports in our culture is a problem that I am guilty of adding to. I love to watch sports, I love learning more about sports and the players, I like wagering on sports, and I most of all love attending and playing in live sporting events.


When my college Ultimate team, Colorado Mamabird, collaborated with each other we won the 2014 Collegiate National Championship.


Instead of always competing with people, try to collaborate and see if you can get results that you didn’t think were possible.

As much as I love sports, I believe as a society we will benefit more from working together instead of turning everything into a competition with winners and losers.


 

Random Acts of Content…How Some Companies are Failing in the Digital Space

Increasingly as businesses enter the online market, they fail to have goals, content, and targeting in place.

This results in “Random Acts of Content” where people are just creating content based on the day of the week.

This strategy can work, however a much better digital marketing strategy is to produce “evergreen” content that can be used over and over.

Fitting content into a content wheel or funnel, and then using sequencing and remarketing, will increase conversions. Once you have these sequences set-up, then you can just sit back and watch the funnel go to work with minor tuning.

Content is necessary for every step of the funnel: Awareness, Engagement, and Conversion. Companies that can successfully do this will warm up customers instead of hitting them with cold conversion ads.

This should be what social media managers should be doing, but instead they become prisoners of the moment, trying to come up with a witty tweet that could go viral or posting memes. No one will ever beat #NuggsForCarter and his epic campaign to the top of the twitter history books, so stop trying.

If you are producing content, whether it’s for your business or personal brand, think about your goals first. Producing content that fits your goals will be much better for engagement and conversion down the line.

Content strategy is more important now than ever before because consumers are being blasted by advertising on every medium. This had caused ad-blindness, where people just ignore ads that are being served.

Word-of-mouth is what social media is supposed to be used for, and the companies that adapt their strategies will be the success stories going forward. Creating meaningful communities online through Facebook is what the new mission of Mark Zuckerberg is, and he has gotten us this far. #ZuckerbergMusk2020

Amplifier Effect: Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Ever shared content on your Facebook public figure page, and no one saw it?


…..I thought so

It is likely a couple factors are causing content not to show up on Facebook, but there is a way to fix the problem!

  • Creating quality content is step one. If you curate interesting material that people will enjoy, Facebook’s algorithms will automatically bump your post into the news feed of your fans. If people spend more time engaging with the content, or watching a video, then it will get an organic boost from the robots who work at Facebook (kinda joking). Videos are a great way to engage people in 2017, therefore creating short clips can lead to further engagement. Also, expensive camera equipment isn’t necessarily needed because most people are watching things on their phone!

  • Next is determining which posts performed the best, without a boost. At first you only need a couple quality videos or blog posts, and you can boost these at the minimum rate of a dollar a day. When you pay Zuckerberg to boost content, you only want to be paying oCPM, which means that Facebook can optimize your advertisement to the best audience. Using this method, along with micro-targeting to specific audiences will lead to an increase in brand awareness, sales, or whatever the goal is. Boosting short videos that are a minute or less can lead to leads and further remarketing down the line, once you have a customer already engaged in your sales funnel.

  • The third step is to be genuine. No one wants to read or listen to fake articles that are the equivalent to Lorem Ipsum. Creating things that actually mean something will get you genuine followers. “Fake” has dominated the media over the past year, but fake followers never buy your products, they don’t collaborate on ideas with you, and they actually make you look like a fraud. Fake followers create a facade, that may trick customers with little awareness, into thinking that you have more authority than you actually do. 

All of these things will help, because Facebook amplifies what is already working. If a small audience has high engagement on a certain post, then it might be worth it to try and boost for a dollar per day. Testing across multiple audiences is the only way to figure out if what you are doing is working correctly. This can be done relatively cheap to figure out what works, however you must scale up what is working in order to see measureable change in your engagement.

Facebook will amplify good content with a small boost. Once things start working, the boost can be increased, but you have to know what content is going to work, and what saved, lookalike, or custom audiences that you should be delivering too. Happy boosting!

Looking At The World Through The Eyes of Another

How we view the world, depends upon what type of lens we experience it through


Capturing images can be used as a unique way to express how we see the world, or how we think the world should be viewed. Highlighting aspects of the human condition, the relationship between society and our environment, people doing amazing things; we as creatives strive to showcase life in creative ways through photography and videos.

Not surprisingly, my first camera that I could call my own was the original GoPro Hero, which I used to take selfies while fishing and record low quality ski edits. I enjoyed messing around with these pictures in free editing software, and my lack of ability was apparent. I would blow out the saturation and leave the pictures pixelated, among other things.

Looking back on my photos from when I first started taking them makes me laugh. I thought I was taking high quality pictures, but actually I was using a potato camera and over-processing my pictures. Everyone has to start somewhere though, and the first GoPro was the first brick in my photography foundation.

Wind River Canyon, when I first started to pick up a camera. Shit quality and horrible editing.

Honing my photography and videography skills has been a process. I upgraded cameras to a GoPro 3+, a Canon Rebel T5, and a Google Pixel phone. Recently, I bought a flexible tripod to use for long exposure shots and time-lapse videos. I feel like I am just scratching the surface of what is possible with the cameras that I now have.

Exploring other photographers on the internet helps give me inspiration, ideas, and tips about how I can grow as a producer and content creator. Most often when I send a direct message on Instagram to a photographer, they message back within that day to answer my questions or give little snippets of advice, which I find very helpful.

Technology of today has allowed the sharing of incredible photos everyday via platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These networks have allowed humans to see potentially anywhere in the world by simply clicking a location or hashtag. I believe this is the closest thing humans have invented to a teleporter! If you imagine yourself taking that same picture, on your own phone, and squint your eyes enough then you can take your mind anywhere around the globe.

Teleportation in the current era

Connectivity has ignited a global revolution, to save the very places that we live and play. The previous generations had no virtually clue what existed in the world before the internet, besides what they saw in person or the news, movies, and TV. Now that humans have the potential to realize what exists in the world, and how humans are destroying it via globalization, people are more motivated than ever to travel and take pictures to share online. Helping highlight exotic locations around the globe, to spark some feeling within people looking at that destination on their phone, could be an important thing for our world.

Within the next five years I think we will see these social networks start to have an influence over society’s views on the outdoors. We need to create a future that we want to live in; not some future that was created by the past, while we sat back and complained. Social media and the internet has created the ability to reach more people than ever before, the exchange of ideas across the world is instant. We should harness this power for positive change.

One of my goals in life is to use my cameras to help highlight the natural beauty of the world that we must work to preserve. Sharing images online is a very powerful medium due to the number of people you can potentially reach.

Teaming up with other like-minded environmentally conscious people from around the country and around the world is going to be the way that we create the change that we wish to see in the world. Send a message to someone who is inspiring online and see if they respond, it never hurts to try!

Ski Team Six: Protectors of Winter

SIGN UP IS FREE


If YOU want to team up with the prestigious unit, known as Ski Team Six, then get ready for the time of your life. We are fresh on the scene to take the media pressure off the now-famous SEAL Team Six, by completing missions in the mountains on skis; finding lost members, conducting safety meetings, snow sampling, protecting winter, and even investigating the infamous “shack shitter” who was lurking around Big Sky this past season.

Admiral RR with some Blue Steel

Members include Colonel Shreddington, The Blase’ Commander, Windlips, The Gaptain, Captain Kerlz, Private First Class Foster, First Lieutenant Leflay, Admiral R.R. and many more.

To get signed up, just go to one of the many shacks located throughout Big Sky. However squad members must be present to put you through basic training. You can also contact a member of Ski Team Six so that we can set-up a recruitment meeting by sending a smoke signal.

Members of Ski Team Six hiking to investigate the Dirtbag Party 2017 at Big Sky

The Search for Snow video series will detail our missions as we look to prolong winter. Here is episode 1, featuring a few different days in the mountains.

 


On a more serious note, we are looking to help prolong winter for this year and many years to come. We are protecting winter, it’s in our job description.

If you want to help future generations of shredders, sign up for Protect Our Winters and get involved. Here is a list of things you can do in your daily life to help reduce your personal carbon footprint and save the powder for yourself and for everyone! Thanks!

#ActOnClimate


 

How We Can Make Money On Facebook

Facebook has become a multi-tool social network, meshed with a multitude of other applications. What we use Facebook for is our own choice, but opportunity is knocking.

Making money on Facebook requires following a simple business model: Have a product that fits people’s needs, find the right customers through targeting, and have them tell their friends to repeat the sales cycle.


Product That Fills A Need

The only requirement for a good product is that it fills a need for someone, or fixes some problem that they had before purchasing the product. If quality of life is higher with a certain product, people are naturally going to communicate this to their friends verbally, on social media, and unconsciously.

I found my first product by cleaning out my closet, inspired by The Minimalists, and stumbled upon my old graduation gowns. Even though I didn’t have the cap and gown combination, it sparked an idea in my head. Universities across the country are about to host graduation ceremonies; meanwhile gowns of years past will be sitting in closets of alumni, while fresh graduates go deeper into debt purchasing a new one.


Targeting The Correct People

I was not going to get anywhere trying to sell my graduation gowns (without the hat) to anyone other than those who are graduating from The University of Colorado. Luckily, Facebook has a page that has “brought together” the class of 2017. I simply posted my message, trying to not sound like an advertising robot, and waited… for five hours. BOOM! It was that easy!

People NEED the graduation gowns to take pictures with friends and family, and I was offering mine for $12 less than the bookstore. It may not seem like a huge savings, but to a college student, an extra $12 means a couple more drinks at the bar.


Using Word-Of-Mouth Power

Once a sale is made, the only way that sales will grow through word-of-mouth is to actually have a positive impact on someone’s life. When I was first contacted by Christy, she only wanted one of the two. I asked if she had any friends who would also like to save money. Within five minutes she had sold the second one for me!

My only problem came when I ran out of inventory. People continued to message me about the gowns yet I had already sold them. I thought of how to fix this problem, and realized that all of my friends who graduated probably don’t want their old gowns. Eventually, I sold my old roommate Sean’s, for an even higher asking price then I got for mine.


Tale Of The Tape

This is the first time that I used Facebook to make money, while at the same time decluttering my closet. I didn’t even have to pay for Facebook to advertise my post because I posted in the correct target market. However, if we are looking for a larger target market, Facebook is easy to pay $1 per day to find the actual audiences that matter for our products.

Perhaps this is an idea worth running with: I could create an app where alumni can connect to college seniors where they graduated to sell their old once-worn cap and gown. Taking money away from the school bookstores and putting it back in the pockets of those who need it, like a modern day Robin Hood.

The Minimalists: Cutting Out The Crap

Minimalism: Less Is More

I was sucked into a documentary last night titled The Minimalists (available free on Netflix) which is produced by two bloggers on a mission to live simply, and teach the world to do the same.


The film tells the stories of other successful people who were not happy living the material life pushed upon us by modern society. After eliminating most of their non-critical possessions they were released from the shackles of society which allows them to learn, love, and live their lives in ways that actually makes them feel a purpose on the planet. Check out the impactful trailer below.

Minimalism is a concept where you only have the key items you need, such as one chair, one table, one fork, one plate, one glass. Eliminating all of the excess helps you focus and appreciate the things that you do have.


One of my favorite parts throughout the documentary is when they highlight the emerging trend of living small. Tiny houses and people living the #VanLife have been increasing in popularity after the recession. One of the people interviewed reveals “Living in the smallest space possible is the most responsible thing you can do for the planet.”

This makes you think about how large of a space you live in and how your carbon footprint is actually much larger than the size of your foot. Our country has a a huge storage industry just because people have been so caught up with acquiring more stuff, even when they don’t use the stuff they already have.

I would highly recommend watching this film, as I will be watching it again to pick up even more detail and inspiration. Next, I am going to start eliminating unnecessary possessions from my life so that I can focus more on what actually matters.

Think about what you could eliminate from your possessions and how it would help highlight the more important things in your life.

 

For My People…

Who is going to take action in the near future? Will it be you?

“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action” – Unknown


The next five years are those in which many will either make it or break it. Which side of the spectrum are you going to be on? Are you developing skills that you can use in a variety of future situations, or are you stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy?

Most people find themselves stuck on repeat mode, or even one-track repeat mode. Spotify has a feature called Discover, where new music, similar to the stuff you listen to, pops up in your feed once a week. This feature allows me to explore new music and find things that I never would have. People have to branch out and try discovering life, instead of jamming to the same old song day after day. The metaphor is a stretch but the point is that you should try hitting shuffle mode on life and see what happens when you break out of your comfort zone.


  • What you can do:

Taking control of your life requires making a plan. Set SMART goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Try to practice mindfulness in order to realize where your place in the world is, and how you can be beneficial to other people’s lives. If you are chasing money, re-evaluate WHY that is the end goal. Money is required for life, but projects that actually benefit other peoples lives will create a lasting impact on both you and them.

Update yourself on the latest trends in how people are working such as using Fiverr and Etsy to showcase skills and become freelancers to earn extra cash. Consider using one of these platforms to showcase your craft and see where your current abilities can take you.

Start thinking about the world in different ways than you have before. Things are happening that no one saw coming: Cubs winning the World Series, Sergio winning the Masters, or any of the other crazy events that have gone down recently. You can be next on the list of the unexpected.

Do something that makes an impact in another persons life. Say thank you to those who help you, and if possible find a creative way to do it. Give back more than you receive, and eventually you will get your return on investment. Invest love into those you care about and you will see it reflected back at you.

Build your personal brand in conjunction with those around you. Who knows where you will get if you dream big, set S.M.A.R.T goals, and take action.

My First One Hundred Day Ski Season: The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful

“The sport of skiing consists of wearing three thousand dollars’ worth of clothes and equipment and driving two hundred miles in the snow in order to stand around at a bar and get drunk.”– P.J. O’Rourke

telemark backflip

Skiing has been a major priority in my life ever since I can remember. My parents would take my older sister Brooke and I on ski vacations with our extended family, dragging us through blizzards and down black diamonds, trying to instill the love for the mountains into us. Despite the constant frozen tears I eventually learned to love the cold, snowy days spent on the hill with friends and family.

My Dad continued to push the sport upon me at a young age, and for that I thank him. I can’t remember the exact day that my love affair with snowy mountains started, but I am grateful for having a passion that I can indulge in every winter season.

Big Sky Montana

2016-2017 Season

  • THE GOOD

This season, I started working at Big Sky up in Montana, close enough to Canada to feel part Canadian. Working for the resort scanning lift tickets allowed me to ski everyday, which was a pretty sweet gig. Seeing the mountain slowly fill in, and skiing on a different snow surface day after day has made me enjoy powder days even more than I used to. Days when we got new snow were spent touring around the mountain and working on small tricks. I improved my skiing tenfold, simply because I was spending time in my ski boots everyday, spinning and carving my way down the mountain.

One of the things I am most grateful for this season is the relationships that I formed with so many new friends. I moved up to Montana only knowing a few people, and it turns out I didn’t spend that much time with them anyway. Friendly faces were everywhere; I was always out riding with someone different due to my position as the fastest ticket scanner in the West. My parents even got to come visit me and meet all ten thousand of the friends it felt like I had in Big Sky. Skiing with my Dad on his 60th birthday was a special day that I enjoy looking back on as one of my favorite this season.

  • THE BAD

The only thing that I would say could have been better this season was the total amount of snow that came down at Big Sky. It was considered a low snow year, and I was getting rained on while working in February! The lack of snow, along with a couple other factors, led me to part ways with my position at Big Sky. However it was fun while it lasted, and I still got my share of powder days.

It is hard to think of bad times at Big Sky because everyday seemed like a magical dream. If you look up Big Sky in a dictionary, you would see descriptions such as “Too Much Fun” and “Party Mountain” due to the dirtbag culture and friendly atmosphere around the base-area plaza and town center bars.

  • THE BEAUTIFUL

One of my favorite things this season was the shear beauty that is Montana. Only having visited Montana once before, this was a great time to see so many beautiful landscapes that I never could have dreamt of. My photography skills have been improving and I am motivated to capture the stunning imagery that Montana offers to adventurers. The vast mountain ranges and huge expanses provide photo opportunities literally in every direction you look.

All too often I found myself staring around at the landscape in awe. Mountains and rivers as far as the eye can see make for a great setting to spend time in. Wild animals dominate the scenery with bison on the plains, fish and eagles among the rivers, with elk, moose, and bears in the mountains.

Even though I have returned to Boulder for the time being, I will be back in Montana soon. Ski season is far from over here in Colorado; I have 114 days and counting. If you are here in Colorado let’s get after it! But Montana, save me a spot at the table, for I have fallen in love with the Big Sky state.

Volunteering to Serve Food at Your Local Soup Kitchen Works Wonders

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” -Mike Tyson

Serving food is one of the most generous things you can do for someone else. Can you remember the last person you cooked a meal for? Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen and see what happens. 🙂

I just attended a talk titled Poverty: What’s Really Needed for the Conference of World Affairs, at CU Boulder. Lara Gilmore was my favorite speaker of the panel, although they were all amazing. 

Along with her husband, world renowned chef Massimo Bottura, they have created a non-profit Food For The Soul. They are dedicated to using food waste to feed the hungry. The mission is simple, and it is working! They create soup kitchens that are crafted with beauty in mind, so that people can not feel ashamed to be eating and create positive relationships and connections to move forward in life.

Hunger and food waste are huge issues not only in the United States but around the world. The goal is to try and find a community based solution to these problems. They have a great idea and you can read more about it on their website http://www.foodforsoul.it/ or in this article from GrubStreet.

One of the biggest takeaways that I got from the talk is that everyone can and should go volunteer to serve food in a soup kitchen. It is a simple act and they are always needing help. You can create a new network of positive individuals. People who work in the soup kitchens are most likely going to be some of the nicest people you’ll encounter. 

This graphic shows how Food for the Soul is changing the way in which society can feed the hungry and impoverished.

I served in the Denver Soup Kitchen once with my youth group, but after listening to the panel today, I am going to volunteer again within the next month.

What do you think about the problems of hunger and food waste? Leave a comment.