Creative Leader | Social Media Nerd | Digital Junkie

Story | Day 2 Notes

Welby Altidor

  • Visual storytelling doesn’t begin in a blank space, it begins in a space of opportunity.
  • Don’t limit your creative collaboration team. Don’t limit it to artists and creatives. Include scientists, engineers, developers, ect.
  • Not all beautiful things are useful, your creation has to keep the audience in mind.
  • Sometimes you need to put non-perfect work out there
  • Everytime you complain about people not collaborating, you are not collaborating.
  • Try to create experiences that transport people.
  • Perfect enough is actually great, because perfection is unattainable
  • Institutions by definition try not to change, so how can you challenge the status quo?
  • Inspire people towards change
  • "It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation…. Period." - Michael Jackson
  • Dumb ideas very often lead to great ones. Don’t miss the “dumb”
  • Break your rules, but not your principles
  • The creative process is like a spiral, it starts quite large, but eventually gets more specific and focused
  • Great work transcends what you intended

Jon Collins

  • Every person and culture craves story
  • We crave story because we crave something deeper
  • Good explanation isn’t just explaining what something is, it’s explaining why something matters
  • Stories are always more useful than explanations
  • Storytellers should wrestle with the question why
  • Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars)
  • You need talented people to tell you to keep going in order to keep you going.
  • Make sure that you are doing something that is worth the time you will give up to make it happen

Melissa Weigel

  • Don’t be afraid to think the impossible
  • Focus on the collective experience
  • How can you use technology to bring people together?
  • Audience + spaces + digital media = new forms of communication
  • Humans are sensory beings, we don’t just take in information, we experience it
  • The beauty of the visual language is that you don’t need words to tell a story

Barton Damer

  • Unsure what your passion is? If you’re up at 1am working on it, that’s your passion.

Tony Hale

  • If you’re not practicing contentment where you are, you won’t be content when you get what you want
  • People look at fame as the ultimate known, but if you are known by God and known by people who love you, that is all the fame you need.
  • It’s easy to fall into the trap of of finding your identity in what others say about you, the critics, the reviews, etc.

Story video

  • Everything in life can either be tragedy or trajectory
  • Would you be willing to be wounded deeply in order to be used greatly?

Story | Day 1 Notes

Jonah Lehrer

  • Creativity is the act of redeeming a moment, an idea, or a memory, into something new
  • Before you can create something good, something that will last, you must love what you do.
  • Worry about the why, because once you have a why, the how takes care of itself
  • If the creative process isn’t testing the limits of your endurance, you’re probably not doing it right.
  • The only reason that anyone is willing to stick around long enough to make something good, is because they love it.
  • If you’re in love with what you do, what you love the most isn’t the top, it’s the incline
  • If every failure made us quit then we wouldn’t get good at anything.
  • The persistence of love is the willingness to keep coming back and facing our errors
  • He who has a why to live, can bear with any how - nietzsche
  • Struggle a little, because that’s the only way you will know what to struggle for.
  • Creativity is always painful
  • What society values: the product. 
  • What the creator loves: the process
  • We seek distractions, because anything is easier than doing what we love.
  • Find meaning in the hard work, because that’s the only meaning that lasts
  • Worry about the why, because once you have a why, the how takes care of itself
  • When you lose all that you ever wanted you finally discover what you really need

Matt Knisley

  • Are the photos that we are taking, just taking up space. Are we too wrapped up in capturing the moment, to allow the moment to capture us.
  • The more I let my heart connect with the story, the more I can connect my lens with it.
  • We need to be captured by the moments in our life
  • No photo or piece of art will ever do the experience Justice, u less you allow yourself to be present and feel it

Christopher Chapman

  • History is storytelling
  • You don’t always have to show everything to be able to understand a story
  • Story is king, it informs everything
  • No CGI or animation can save a bad story
  • Ask why all of the time
  • Make them feel they understand the story, even if they don’t know all of the details
  • "Berm experience" - get people into an environment where they are protected and isolated from the outside world and distractions
  • Story cannot be fake
  • Never ever let anyone tell you that you are not a storyteller
  • There is no right or wrong way to tell a story.
  • Story is a connection between the reality of humanity and human beings.

Sarah Lewis

  • If success is an event, mastery is a journey
  • Success is aiming at the bullseye, mastery is knowing that it doesn’t matter if you can’t do it again and again.
  • Mastery means being in a constant state of beta
  • Are you reserving a space for wonder in your creativity?

Story Conference

On October 2nd & 3rd I am taking my creative team to Chicago for Story. 

Story is a gathering of creators, dreamers, and storytellers who all believe that there is still great art to be created. 

Follow along here on the blog for session wrap-up posts and you can follow me on Twitter for lots of live tweeting. I will also be live tweeting from the Church Marketing Sucks Twitter account. 


Down Fifty!

On May 1st of this year I began a 5 month weight loss journey to try and lose 50 pounds in 5 months. I’m stoked to say that on September 19th, just over 4 1/2 months into my journey, I did it! I am down fifty! 

That means that I am now down over 113 pounds since I was at my heaviest a few years ago.

You can watch my 50 pound loss video HERE.

What’s next? My journey continues! My next goal is to cross the 300 pound mark and hit 299.


CommEx Alaska : How Social Media Has Helped Make Music Throughout Alaska


How Social Media Has Helped Make Music Throughout Alaska 
DJ Spencer Lee

Don’t take a one-size fits all approach to social media. What works on Instagram doesn’t mean it will work on Facebook or Twitter

Post stories, events, media more than once to make sure your entire audience is seeing it.

Interact with other people, and post things that other people can interact with you about. 

Put your passions, interests, and personality out there on Social Media.

You have to be active, it isn’t just enough to be on there.

How can you utilize Social Media trends to deliver something innovative? Can you use TBT, MCM, WCW in creative ways?

You have to figure out what your specific social media audience is in to, and what they respond to. 

Look for ways to take something that started on Social Media and take it IRL. You may develop a friendship / relationship. 

What are the “unique perspectives” that you have that you can show people through social media? Backstage? People getting ready? Crowd shots? Use those and let people see things through your eyes!

If you’re doing things for a client in a social media role, make sure and use your personal accounts to promote the event as well because it shows the client that you are involved and invested


CommEx : Alaska Communicators Exchange : Session 1

Session 1: “How to get clicked, read, liked and shared: Social Media writing best practices” by Ann Wylie

Social Media writing needs to be:

  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Easy

If you can’t write your story idea on the back of a business card, you don’t have a story idea

80% of tweets are “me now” focused. Rutgers University

57% of Gen Y-ers say that social media is for narcissists

Blog like you are the best trade magazine in your industry- Kipp Bodnar

70/20/10 Test:

  • 70% of your social media posts should be sharing info (white papers, tips, hot-to)
  • 20% of social media posts should be connecting with others (RTs, comments, responses)
  • 10% of social media posts should be “chirping” (me focused / me forming content)

The #1 most retweeted word in the English language is “you” make your tweets about your readers.

Make sure that your social media “voice” sounds like a person, not a PR department

Cut through the clutter

  • keep it short
  • make it readable
  • get rid of gobbledygook

Every time we add a link we are asking people to make a decision

Write Facebook posts at a 5th grade level, tweets at a 6th grade level, blog posts at an 8th grade level

If it looks easier to read, more people will read it

1 sentence summary under the headline is the most read piece of content on a post

Online headlines should be 8 words or less

Most unshared punctuation? The semicolon.

Know the reason for what you do online, not just the rules on how to do it


So, Why Don’t You Guys Have Kids?

That’s a question that we get a lot.

We’ve been married for almost 9 years, we have an absolutely amazing marriage, we like kids, almost all of our friends have kids (seriously, our friends REALLY like to breed), yet why don’t we have any of our own?

The answer isn’t easy.

See, we could possibly have kids. The issue isn’t infertility. However my wife has something that would make pregnancy incredibly high risk for both her and the baby. This may be selfish to say, but I’m not willing to risk the life of the woman I love for this. I want to be her husband more than I want to be a father. 

So, natural childbirth seems out of the question for us. 

Yet, we know that God is still good.

What about adoption? We are absolutely pro-adoption, and more times than once we’ve gone online, done research, and began to take steps towards that process. Yet every single time we’ve felt God say “stop.”

Why? We have no idea.

Yet, we know that God is still good. 

God has given both Sherri and I a strong passion and desire to step into the mess of people’s lives. Whether its financially in times of need, or relationally in times of despair, stepping into a need seems to be a way that God has wired us. We have thought many times that perhaps God would bring a child into our life through a young mother who can’t care for her baby, or some other situation like that. But that hasn’t happened.

Yet, we know that God is still good.

So as of right now, we have no idea what the future holds for us in this area. We have a guest room that one day may be a nursery, or perhaps it always remains a guest room.We know that we are called to invest in the next generation, so we will continue to do that through nieces, nephews, and the children that God has brought into our life while we wait and see how His story unfolds. 

Not having children can often be an area of contention in a marriage, yet for us that hasn’t been the case. Since day 1 we have felt like we are in this together and on the same team. For 9 years our marriage has continued to get better, and we have continued to grow closer. And if a lifetime of that is what God has for us, than I am all in!

Not having kids is not “lonely” or “empty.” We don’t feel like we are missing out, in fact we are convinced that if this is God’s will, it’s because of what he wants FOR us, not what he wants to keep FROM us. 

Ultimately, we want nothing more than what God wants for us.

Because we know that He is still good.

"when we become people who press into producing, rather than press into abiding, we take on the unnecessary burden of producing fruit in our life, instead of allowing God to do that, and we begin to live a rhythm that we were never created to sustain." I recently wrote this article for the Church Marketing Sucks website. You can read the entire post HERE. 

"when we become people who press into producing, rather than press into abiding, we take on the unnecessary burden of producing fruit in our life, instead of allowing God to do that, and we begin to live a rhythm that we were never created to sustain."

I recently wrote this article for the Church Marketing Sucks website. You can read the entire post HERE

I was recently given an amazing opportunity to write for the D6 Family Blog about my experience at the D6 Conference last year. You can read my post HERE.

I was recently given an amazing opportunity to write for the D6 Family Blog about my experience at the D6 Conference last year. You can read my post HERE.



I’m doing something new. And terrifying.

I’m putting my weight loss / health journey out there for the world to see, and I would love to have you follow along.

Check out my DownFifty journey.


How Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Came Between Me And Jesus

Two days ago I received an amazing package in the mail. Jack Links Beef Jerky had teamed up with Klout to give a perk to all online social influencers to help drive awareness of their new “Small Batch” beef jerky line and my perk had arrived!

I opened the box and saw three delicious bags of jerky (peppered, original, teriyaki) and I couldn’t wait, so I ripped into all three bags and began sampling!

Absolutely delicious!

That evening when my wife came home and saw the open bags on the counter she said “You know that we gave up meat for lent, right?”

Oh. Crap.

I had completely forgotten!

Never once while I was shovel feeding dried meat into my face hole did I think about this!

Not only did Jack Links provide me with delicious beef jerky, they also gave me the opportunity to be reminded about the graciousness and forgiveness of God.

What other kind of beef jerky does that?!


An Exciting New Venture…

I am excited to begin a new adventure today with the launch of A.L.creative! Creative coaching, leadership, and consulting to help your business, organization, or ministry achieve their creative best. Check us out at 

It amazes me how often this is the exact message that I need to hear.

It amazes me how often this is the exact message that I need to hear.


Why Do I Give Up Meat For Lent?


I love meat. Probably in an obsessive sort of way. Almost every meal we eat includes some form of meat. 

Breakfast? Eggs with bacon, sausage or ham. 

Lunch? Sandwich meat.

Dinner? Steak that is stuffed with chicken and wrapped in ham. 

Get the point? Even Ron Swanson thinks I eat a lot of meat.

So why do we keep giving up meat for Lent? Because it’s inconvenient. 

Every single day, at least 3 times, we have to intentionally do something that isn’t routine for us. it gives us the opportunity to remember and think about everything that Christ has done for us as we figure out what the heck we are supposed to eat.

Also, giving up meat has been amazing for our relationship! It gives us lots of time together, cooking, shopping, looking for new recipes, and eventually going to Qdoba for veggie burritos when a recipe turns out horrible. 

Still trying to decide what to give up? Choose something inconvenient, where multiple times a day you are reminded that you are sacrificing for reason.

And one day, when we get to that great big BBQ smoker in the sky, where there is no more Lent and no more sacrifice, I will eat brisket in the presence of my Lord forever.

But until then I will remember His sacrifice in my own, inconvenient way.