The start of the Firewalking International story
Who would have guessed that a small idea would eventually evolve into the development of one of the world’s leading authorities and market leaders for Firewalking? That is exactly what happened when Stephen Brown attended a Motivational Conference and Firewalk back in 2009. That event marked the beginning of the Firewalking International story.
He remembers that experience as clear as day and is still in contact with Brian who led that Firewalk. At that stage Stephen had just started his first business, The Adventure Team. That company was the next step in Stephen’s career in the adventure industry. A few years later, he closed that company and set up another company. This time taking people Coasteering (jumping off cliffs into the sea).
Four years after that first Firewalk and with a new company, Stephen was offered the opportunity to lead 3 Firewalks in Ireland. All that he had to do was get trained as a Firewalk Instructor.
What happened after Training as a Firewalk Instructor
It’s not very often someone starts a new business with bookings confirmed before the company is operational. That was the very fortunate position Stephen was in. He was able to develop the brand before the training. And the website was ready to go live. All he needed to do was complete the training. Which he did in Sweden with Eight Directions.
That was in early October 2013. By the middle of November Stephen had delivered 4 Firewalks. The first Firewalk was 1 week after his training. It was in a friend’s garden, with 20 friends aged from 8 – 78. The other three Firewalks were for Charities. Nothing like trial by fire!
The next two years were go, go, go!
Stephen knew that the Irish market had brilliant potential for Charity Firewalks. He wasn’t so sure about the corporate market. And decided that wouldn’t be a big part of his development plans. Over time his theory proved wrong. He got bookings to work with more and more Global Organisations based in Dublin.
The “hopeful” plan for Firewalking Ireland was to deliver 10 Firewalks in its first year. You can imagine the shock when 10 became 18! And year two was close to 30 Firewalks. Fortunately, Stephen had a dedicated team of people and lots of family support. They kept the Coasteering business going while he developed Firewalking Ireland.
Firewalking Ireland needed to change
A couple of developments happened for Firewalking Ireland in 2015. The website and company name showed that Firewalking Ireland was setup for the Irish market. Yet, enquiries came in from all over the world. Not all of these enquiries resulted in confirmed Firewalks. But it was obvious that the Global demand for a professional Firewalk provider was there.
The cogs were turning. And Stephen knew that a brand that appealed to the Global Market was needed. Very soon, Firewalking International would become the parent company of Firewalking Ireland.
One challenge remained. A lack of accredited Firewalk Instructors in Ireland. And Stephen needed to expand his network.
More training required
Stephen was invited by Rolf and Asa Beckman from Eight Directions to attend a 5-day course in March 2015. The course was to be held in California. And it was led by Tolly Burkan, the man credited with starting the modern Firewalking movement. This was a fantastic opportunity to learn from three very experienced Firewalk Masters. A personal and professional development bonanza.
It was while in California that Stephen met James Hunt. James had just completed training as a Firewalk Master. And he would eventually join Stephen in the delivery of Firewalk Instructor Training Courses and Corporate Firewalks.
That Summer, Rolf, Asa and James would all meet Stephen again. This time in Ireland. Stephen had asked the Beckman’s to train him as a Sweat Lodge Keeper. James completed that training with Stephen.
In October Stephen was back with the Beckman’s. He went to Sweden to assist on a Firewalk Instructor Training Course. The man was on a mission to increase his knowledge and skills.
Becoming a Master
The Firewalking International story was one of continued growth through 2015. And Stephen knew there was so much more potential. Creating a network of trusted and professional Firewalk Instructors was still a high priority. It was crucial for the company to flourish.
Stephen sold his Coasteering business at the start of 2016. This freed up more time for Development of Firewalking International. And in April of that year, Stephen headed to Singapore and Bali. This time to complete his training as a Firewalk Master.
Now the Firewalking International story was gaining momentum!
What’s happening now?
As the Firewalking International story unfolds, we have an ever growing network. We are delighted to have several partners and associated Firewalk Instructors scattered across the Globe. An International Network of Firewalk Instructors has exciting potential for all involved. We are still working on it.
To help with the development of our network we instigated a few events. The 1st International Firewalk Gathering was held in 2017. And plans are afoot for another one in 2018. We also instigated the Gift of Giving and International Firewalk Day.
We have recently soft launched The Business of Firewalking. This offers support and training for start-up and established Firewalk Instructors and Companies.
January 2018 kicked off with a big Corporate Firewalk in Morocco. Plus two other Corporate Events in Ireland. Long may they continue.
We still get enquiries that are financially difficult to service. Delivering events around the world is easy for us. However, for some potential clients the travel costs are prohibitive. We are confident that this is resolvable. And it’s not the worst complaint in the world
Today, we are still following the same principles and guidelines we started with. Provide world class Firewalking Events with a focus on the Global Development of People.
We are loving the adventure and we are very grateful for all the support we receive. From customers, colleagues and our families. It really feels like we are still at the beginning…