When Marketing Feels Like Starting a Fire with Wet Wood

October 21, 2020 | Weekly Marketing Tip

I went tent camping with my family last week at Big South Fork (seven of us in one tent). It’s beautiful there! We camped for five days, and it rained almost the entire trip (nothing like waking up at 3:00a to find the tent leaking). Thankfully, we stayed dry most of the time, and everyone had fun.

One of the challenges I undertook was starting a fire with wet wood. We were planning to cook dinner over the fire one night, and well, when my kids are super excited about that, I’m going to do my best to make it happen. And in doing so, it struck me that running and growing a business can feel a lot like starting a fire with wet wood – difficult, but not impossible.

Today’s video is to encourage anyone who’s ever felt like growing their business or nonprofit was like working with wet wood. Maybe you’re feeling that way today. Be encouraged. You’ve got this. Keep giving the fire oxygen and wait to see what happens.

Full transcript below.

Full Transcript

So this is not the typical weekly marketing tip. This is coming fireside, from a camping trip. And so you probably hear all kinds of noise. My kids are running ’round in the woods and, it’s been raining the last couple of days. That’s my wife photo…video-bombing I guess, technically this isn’t photo-bombing. And so sometimes marketing your business is a lot like starting a fire with wet wood. And that is exactly, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing this afternoon. It’s been raining, we’ve got all kinds of tarps set up, to try to keep us dry. And it just kind of struck me that sometimes when you’re trying to grow your business, sometimes things catch fire very quickly, and take off like a rocket. And sometimes it takes a lot longer. It takes a lot of effort. And so we’ve been working on this fire for about an hour and because we want to cook dinner, over the fire. And when you have five kids, and each of them is excited about cooking over the fire. Well guess what dad’s going to do. So I’m a human bellows right now, and you probably hear my kids screamin’ and hollerin’ and trying to get each other’s attention right now, running around but anyway.

Just a bit of encouragement for you. Stick with it, there are no silver bullets when it comes to growing your business. Somebody tells you that, they’re lying. Occasionally there’s some things that work a lot better than others. And the goal is to find those things; be wise. But at the same time, don’t sweat it. Sometimes even the right things take a really long time to get traction. And yeah sometimes it’s like trying to start a fire with wet wood. It’s what you got. And you do your best with it. And you keep pouring oxygen on to it, to keep it moving, to keep it going. And at some point it’s going to catch, and you just got to keep at it.

So just let that be encouragement to you. Even if you feel like you’re just blowing air on to wet wood. It can still catch fire. It just takes a lot longer. So stick with it, and you’ll get it.


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