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Category: Inspiration

#WeMustBeBold – My Learns From OTA in 140 Characters

One of the things I’ve been forgetting in my beige hug is the power that social has to bring people together, to unite in one conversation with many voices. My co-worker/friend Melissa invited me to OTA this year and my faith in multichannel conversations via social was renewed. The movers/shakers/fantastic people at this conference are much better writers than I, so I bring to you what I learned from OTA in their tweets.

1. Figure out where you’re going before you get there.

3. Remember that Google only tells part of a person’s story. They don’t populate search results for the people, experiences, and hardships that got you to where you are today.

4. Associate yourself with greatness. It’s so easy to get caught up in going out and having a good time that we sometimes don’t really see the people around us. Are the people around you making you better?

5. Ryan Gosling will always support you. AND it’s ok to like The Notebook.

6. How are you supposed to know who you should surround yourself with? Antonio broke it down:

7. Despite being in the frozen tundra, we can trend.

8. 97% of everything is crap. So look for the 3% of greatness.

9. You don’t have to be a wizard of Keynote to be a great speaker and showing that vulnerability just makes you more lovable.

10. Honesty in advertising wins.

11. A good story is a great thing.


13. Create, create, create! The more you create, the better you get, the better you get the better you feel, the better you feel the better you create.

14. Know who you are, know your story, and know your headline.

15. Non-profits and charities can and should have beautiful brands.

Basically, I left Sioux Falls on Friday with my bucket of inspiration filled to the brim and spent three hours dreaming, imagining and strategizing how to convert that bucket into my reality. What that actually looks like, I’m not totally sure, but I do know one thing – #WeMustBeBold.


What is Social Media?

… One of the toughest, yet most thought provoking questions I’ve been asked in a long time. But to get a start, Random House says it like this:

social media

noun ( usually used with a plural verb ) Digital Technology . websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts: Many businesses are using social media as a means to generate sales.

Almost everyone who is passionately immersed (professionally and personally) in what they do is sometimes too close to the subject to give an objective answer.  And that was me in this case.  After the standard, “well that’s a very good question,” I took a moment to collect and realized that there was no need for objectivity in this case. What was needed was an honest conversation about what ‘being social’ actually means.

I was like ‘ello?

MEME-BLOG-social-media-explained-donuts‘Online communications used by large groups to share information’ – so cold, so high level, so not what I’ve based my career on. So what does social actually mean to me? Social media is about developing a community and building a group of people who are passionate about a cause, an organization, or an activity.  Businesses and organizations who simply ‘push out information’ are doing an injustice to the platforms and people within their community by not truly engaging. These communities are built of vibrant, two-way communication driven, people. The people who make up our communities have unique stories, personalities and points of view, but at the same time have a common bond between them.  Organizations ‘winning’ the social media game right now are those that recognize it’s more than a promotion channel, it’s an opportunity to tell the stories of their community and start real conversations about those stories.  Those that are simply using these magical avenues as pushing out marketing messages are missing the mark and the enormous opportunity they have to fill up our audiences trust buckets with the love and affection of their community.

Without people,we don’t have a community. Without community, we don’t have stories to tell.  What are we left with then? I wish I had some prolific answer, but unfortunately I don’t. I just know that no matter how big/small/tall/short/fat/skinny our social communities are, we have an obligation and honor of sharing the stories of our community and if we ignore that obligation, we miss the mark and potential of social.

What is social media? Simply put, it’s telling and engaging in the stories of your community. Have a fantastic Monday 🙂 -Max

Turkey is the reason for the season

Ok so turkey isn’t the reason for the season, but in thinking of what I’m thankful for, a lot comes to mind.

I’m thankful for…

  • My mum and pop who almost always pick up my phone call no matter the time of day.

  • My brothers who, while I don’t talk to enough, are always there to offer advice or hilarious Kevin stories.

  • A job that allows me the freedom to come and go, deal with bouts of creative anger and support my opinions on lots of things even though sometimes the corporate thumbs can squish.

  • My co-workers who are 1. Talented 2. Beautiful 3. Amazing.

  • My redic freelance clients.

  • My beautiful brides and grooms.

  • #Besties.

  • Living in a safe area… AND underground parking.

Finally, I’m thankful for you.  For reading this blog.  And following me on twitter @maxkringen.

So thank you and I hope your Turkey day is magical. -Max

Dude, you’re not 25 anymore.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 1.18.54 PMHoly crap. I’m not 25 anymore. What does this mean? Am I almost dead? How long do people live these days? So while I don’t necessarily feel any different, it is harder to recover from those stupid nights, you can’t quite charm your way out of some of the stupid stuff you say, and your hairline – it’s receding. But here are 26 things I want you to know about being 26.

  1. Most of the time, you don’t know anything about anything. That was true when you were 15 and that will be true when you are 65. You do, however, know how to be a good person and you know how to follow your heart. Keep doing that and you’ll be just fine.
  2. Don’t watch TV so much. Big Brother and Real Housewives will not miss you – sorry, but seriously.
  3. You’re 26. You’re not in college anymore. You know how to cook a healthy meal. Stop eating crap. And stop eating out so much.
  4. Maybe start drinking a little more responsibly. You’ve been in this game for awhile. However, unlike when you were 21 no one is going to think you are any cooler for taking that extra tequila shot. Slow down on the booze. Remember the Summer of Tequila Tuesdays? Yeah.
  5. Remember to always rock your bubble butt, your receding hairline, the unibrow you gotta manscape.  For the most part, you’re family was good looking.
  6. Be grateful for that moment when you decided to stop being such a sarcastic asshole and let your guard down long enough to fall in love and let someone fall in love with you. Even if it ends in heartbreak, it is still one of the greatest adventures you will go on.
  7. Speaking of adventure, keep doing it. Travel the world as often as money and time will allow because you know how invaluable those experiences are but don’t forget about the smaller adventures. Those weekend getaways with your best friends, the random trips to see Grandma Dolly at the Farmer’s Market, the evenings back in Enderlin remembering and reliving your roots. Those experiences are just as invaluable and they fill your soul.
  8. Always make time for your parents. They might live for another 68 years…but they probably won’t. Enjoy the time you spend with them. Don’t try to rush off the phone when they are telling you about their week. Enjoy getting to know them as their adult child and realize that they still have a lot to teach you.
  9. In fact, make time for everyone in your life. You have a lot of people in your life who you love and that love you, be grateful. You got really lucky with the people that love you. From Concordia to Dempsey’s to Sanford and PS, you’re one luck asshole. Don’t ever become one of those people who just get too “busy.” Make time for the walk in the park, the cup of coffee, the delicious craft beer, and the phone conversation. Make time.
  10. Posture. Work on that. That curve in your back is going to be a lot more painful when you’re 70, but stop trying to sit on that damn exercise ball. Falling off makes you look real unprofessional.
  11. You’re kind of turning into a grouch. Stop that. Immediately.
  12. Stop comparing yourself to your peers. You do you. You’re good at that.
  13. Stop worrying so much about what your job is going to be. It’s boring. Yes, you need to make money. But more importantly, you need to make a life for yourself. You need to make community. You need to make yourself and others happy. You need to make the world a better place. There are a lot of other things you need to make, don’t get so caught up in finding the dream job that you forget to make them.
  14. Keep shooting photos.  You haven’t gotten to shoot photos just for you since you started.  You now have that opportunity – DO IT!
  15. Keep going after the life that you want live. I am going to be really pissed if 65-year-old Max is sitting alone in a house in the suburbs with 10 cats. Unless of course somewhere along the way that is what I decided I want, in which case it’s totally fine. But seriously, no cats.
  16. It is good to have a plan but remember that it is OK to wander off the path a little and get lost. You have an amazing support system that will be there with you through it all.       
  17. Please don’t sell out. You’re better than that. I know sometimes it already feels like you’ve done that, but you really haven’t. You were just giving a kick ass opportunity. 
  18. Be thankful that you are the youngest in your family and you have been able to learn from the mistakes of your siblings. But also be thankful that you are able to learn from their success and the wonderful people they have become.
  19. Be fearless and be brave. You’re not always going to have Mom and Dad and their opinion/advice every decision you need to make. You are brave and you are fearless. Don’t forget it and go make a decision.
  20. Even though you really want a dog, wait. You can barely keep up on your laundry. Speaking of that, start doing your laundry more. And maybe start separating out colors.
  21. Same goes for kids. Just wait. I’m sure you’ll make a great dad one day but the Asians need to stay over there for a while.
  22. Read more books. Blogs are great. Online media is great. But don’t forget to close your computer every once and awhile and pick up a real book or a newspaper.
  23. Believe in something bigger than you. Something that you will never understand. Whether it’s God or the Universe just believe in something because when everything else fails, which is bound to happen, all you’ll have left is your faith that things will get better.
  24. Always spend time in nature. Go for a walk, go visit your friend’s farms, go to the lake.  Mostly go to the lake, a lot. Take it all in.
  25. Even though you and your friends think that everything will magically be better when you leave Fargo-Moorhead, it really won’t.  It’ll be the same people, just in larger quantities, but minus the amazing people that are already around you.
  26. Lastly, I think you’re wonderful. You forget this sometimes so I just wanted to remind you.