Over the past four days, my wife and I have been glued to the TV, watching the wildfires spread throughout northern Colorado Springs. We recently moved here, and it seems we’ve brought the heat and the forest fires with us from Austin. For those of you who haven’t heard about all of this, here are a few pictures from the area:
Seriously–if you’re the type who’s into prayer–please, please be praying for the amazing 800+ firefighters, their families, and everyone who’s been affected by the mayhem so far.
It’s been surreal, actually, seeing this destruction and incredible natural disaster in such up-close detail.
What’s also been amazing is how easily the trees have gone up in flame. Watching the live feeds, the explosive nature of each plume, as another tree was consumed, was almost unbelievable to us.
And it got me thinking.
I used to be in Boy Scouts. I’ve gone from Tiger Cubs all the way through Eagle Scout, and I’ve gotten my fair share of merit badges and patches.
One of the things we used to spend a lot of time on was starting fires. There’s actually a specific “award” (really a badge of honor, but meant to be a “safety” award) called the Fireman’s Chip. You earned a Fireman’s Chip if you had successfully completed the safety courses and fire-building lessons.
Of course, we all had a Fireman’s Chip (because fires were cool!), but for all of the safety rules and exercises we’d had to learn, actually starting a fire could be tricky.
To start a fire, you need a few things:
- Fuel. This takes the form of tinder, kindling, and larger “fuel” logs–three differing sizes of dry wood.
- A spark or flame. Usually we used matches, sometimes a flint and steel.
- Oxygen. Or air, really.
So it shouldn’t be that difficult to get a fire started, right?
As we’ve seen, and are currently seeing, sometimes conditions naturally form that allow for fires. The hot, dry climate, combined with a lack of rainfall and a propensity for fueling flames has created this monster of a wildfire that hasn’t been seen around these parts–ever.
But it’s not always like that…
As I can attest, starting a fire sometimes isn’t quite so easy.
Sometimes the fuel would be completely water-logged, and even if we could get it lit it would smoke like a chimney.
Sometimes we’d be out of matches (or just trying to be cool Boy Scouts), and it would take an hour for a decent spark to be created by the flint.
Sometimes we’d even try using the “bow” method (I’ve seen it done, but I never could get one lit by myself).
No matter what, we had to get that fire started, but it sometimes took the combined efforts of multiple patrols and some adult supervision.
How this all relates to a platform
You’re trying to start a fire–online.
You want people to get “infected” with your message, and spread it to others on their own, causing a “wildfire” of activity.
But you just can’t seem to get the fire lit.
Sure, you’ve had some success:
- A few books sold
- Some Tweets and RTs from big-name authors and bloggers
- A viral blog post that got lots of Facebook traffic
But overall, you’re nowhere near where you should be. That “fire” you’re trying to light keeps flickering, smoldering, and then dying.
And you don’t have the “lighter fluid” or “super-dry fuel” you need to really get it going.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
I’m working on something that might help. I’m not ready to announce anything just yet, but stay tuned–I’m excited about it, and I think you will be, too. It will help you launch the platform you’ve always wanted and known was possible, and it’s going to be easier than ever as well.
The details aren’t all there yet, but if you’re interested just let me know. You can email, leave a comment, or use the contact form, but I want to hear from you. If you think it might help you out in some way, let me know!
The fires have gotten me thinking about what’s next–what will be built in place of what’s been lost–and while it’s certainly a humbling and eye-opening experience, it’s important to keep focusing on the good.
These fires are bad. Homes are being destroyed and families left without their belongings. So again, please do whatever it is you do–hope, pray, meditate–and send your thoughts along to these residents and others affected.
As always, thanks for reading, stay safe, and take care!