Wildfire vs Foxfire: Which One Will You Use to Grow Your Business?

Which One Will You Use to Grow Your Business?

Which One Will You Use to Grow Your Business?


Article by Kimberly Manning
Photo Credit: Angel Quintana
Magazine: Issue #21

There are two types of fire that appear in the woods. One is big and brash and can burn your house down, while the other is cold to the touch and glows. Lots of people talk about wildfire, and surely it can move your business to new heights fast. But it’s foxfire that will build your business for the long term. 

Managing the burn

Many business owners pine for wildfire to engulf some part of their enterprise – a product featured in Oprah magazine, a PR initiative gone viral or an offering whose demand blows the doors off your PayPal account. Sure, this is awesome and amazing, but it’s not sustainable. Not only is it difficult to manage your business during a wildfire, once the fire burns out, you may be, too. To be truly successful, you need to build your business for the long term. 

A different kind of fire

Foxfire is a form of bioluminescence, light emitted from a living organism, which in this case comes from fungi that live on the forest floor. Also called “fairy fire,” foxfire can be dim or bright enough to read by. In folklore, Fairy Fire is magical and its location marks a treasure buried below. 

So how do you make foxfire in your business? 

Find your magic. What is it that you are, do or sell that is unique? When you have real clarity around your unique brilliance, intersect that with your prospective client community. There lies your buried treasure.

Scour the forest floor of your business to see what’s not working. Yup, take a good look at where things aren’t jiving, where sales are slack and where you’re not congruent with what you’re doing. There is gold in the solutions to these problems and will light up your business. 


Relish a slow, cool burn. It’s easy to get bamboozled by an entrepreneurial and general culture that practically worships wildfire. Resist the temptation. Slower and steadier will build your biz for the long run. You’ll find it easier to focus and plan, aspects of life and business will be more manageable and you will still enjoy the benefits of fire. When you create foxfire in your business you won’t get burned.

Foxfire isn’t as audacious as wildfire, but it will grow your business. And probably not burn you out. If wildfire engulfs your business it will be a wild ride. Foxfire is different. It will illuminate your business from the inside and that’s a longer term strategy.

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