When we announced the OTA Builder Program last fall, we couldn’t wait to see what names and faces would reach out. We loved envisioning what 2016 would like along with all the stories we would tell. But, if we’re being honest, there was one name we were hoping would be on the list of OTA Builders: Amos Kolbo of Bismarck, North Dakota. Amos is a serial entrepreneur, social creator, serial connector and fantastic community builder. In short, he is OTA. We look forward to him participating in our Black Hills event in the fall of 2016, but until then, we are excited to announce Amos as the Builders’ Lead Mentor, Den Mother, OTA Cheerleader, Inspiration Leader and all-around incredible friend. He will help us to lift up the Builders in a unique and beautiful way, and we’re so happy to have his support through this program. Meet the great Amos!
Name: Amos Kolbo
City/Town: Bismarck, North Dakota
Where else can we connect with you online?
Who is your community?
I have an amazing community surrounding me:
– Young Life. I’ve had the opportunity to do life/mentor high school students for the last 14 years.
– My wife and I created and teach a class called #HUSTLE at South Central High School, our alternative school in Bismarck. It’s a course focused on students engaging their hopes and dreams. They will interact with workshops, think tanks, and mentors. Topics and projects will be ever-changing. They’ll discover more of their individual gifting and the story they plan to write with their lives.
– My wife & I are very involved in the entrepreneurial/creative world and try to help, motivateand foster the dreams/goals people have in our community.
-We started Co-Studio, which is a space we created for entrepreneurs to create and further their dreams, all while fostering a spirit of community among creatives in Bismarck.
– Overseas community. We sponsor three children in the Philippines and Ethiopia. We have traveled and visited them and we continue to be involved in their communities.
Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.
Each day is very different for us due to the sheer number of people we have in our lives, and our commitment to them. I wake up and spend time in God’s word and prayer first thing. I will make smoothies, then walk to the studio side of our home to start work for the day. I check and respond to any new Co-Studio inquiries. Then I do the financials for our 3 companies (Carly Loves Amos Photography, Co-Studio, and Atikin Properties). Then I start culling through images from our latest shoots. Our main line of work is wedding photography.
Then we will have lunch or go out to lunch with someone in the community who wants a little of our time, which could be for a million different reasons. It sometimes takes an hour or two depending on the situation of the asker. Then back to the studio to keep going through images. During this time, I get the opportunity to listen to a lot of books and podcast while taking notes. In the evening, we attend Young Life meetings/functions, adventure with Young Life kids, hang out with new and old friends, or plan our next adventure and how to serve the world around us. We’re usually in bed about 1:00 a.m.
What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?
I want to be able to help people a lot more. I believe that success equals contribution. I would like to spend more time effectively helping people get where they’re designed to go and tap into what lives in them.
If you could do any job, what would you do and why?
Be a life coach, for the reason stated above.
What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the OTA region when it comes to your career?
The community. People care about each other and their well-being. That means everyone wants to help and see you succeed. Help and knowing you are not alone goes a long way! The economy is great as well so that definitely helps with profits and opportunities.
At what intersection do you live your life?
I live at the intersection of Contribution and Chaos.
Where do you think good ideas come from?
Openness and collaboration.
What’s one current trend you think will change the world?
What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?
Take the fist step no matter how small.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
Starting a board shop at the age of 16.
What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
Staying in an unhealthy relationship too long. Get out of anything you know is not right or going anywhere early to eliminate more loss.
Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?
For the world.
Who is the most connected person in your life, and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?
Keenan Hauff. He’s so involved in the start-up community and has arms wide open to everyone.
Who is the most creative person in your life, and why?
My wife. Photography, life and relationships.
Who is the most community-focused person in your life, and how do they impact their communities?
Dan Eastgate. He is our Young Life area director. Besides Young Life being his job, he is dedicated to meeting with people in the community by crossing generational boundaries.
The OTA Builders are a group of individuals who thrive on possibility and use all opportunities they are given to grow both in their careers and in their passions. We seek creatives who are tenacious and strong-willed movers and doers and are driven to make a significant impact on the people around them and the community they call home. These people recognize their talents and capabilities and find ways to continuously grow and learn from them. Why is this you?
Hopefully from what you’ve read up until this point, it’s clear this is exactly what I am doing already. Being an OTA Builder will open up possibilities to do more.
What project will you focus on as part of the OTA Builders Program?
The #HUSTLE class at South Central High school.
Spark Group, which will explore taking healthy risks by asking the question,”what small risk can I take the next two weeks to push either myself or my community to make the world a better place?” The following Spark Group will be a time to share what risks, and consequent victories, were made in a 2-week time period. The idea is to build little by little until huge goals that once seemed impossible are accomplished.
Bosses – This is a group for younger male entrepreneurs. (Lady Bosses already exists in Bismarck. My wife started this group and it has been very successful.) We’ll come together each month with goal planning, accountability and fellowship to help each other move forward.
What change / advancement do you hope to achieve as part of the OTA Builders Program?
With #HUSTLE I will see outcast kids, hardened by life experience, find hope, possibility, and drive to be awesome at what ever they put their minds to.
In the Spark Group, I will see a city/community of people start taking risks to lead them where they want to go! Without risk there is no conflict and without any conflict in your life, you are not living a good story. A good story is a normal person overcoming conflict to do something great and bigger than themselves. Spark will spark that.
Bosses will help male entrepreneurs in the area not feel alone. When you are your own boss it is easy to feel alone in your crazy grind. If you don’t have anyone to be accountable to, less is accomplished. This group should fill those voids and will also be very encouraging knowing that they are not alone is this crazy journey of being an entrepreneur.