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The number 4 is extremely important in the native American Culture

The number 4 is extremely important in the native American Culture, for the simple reason that four is all around us: west, north, east, south are collectively referred to as the four corners of the Earth, or the four winds.

There are four seasons –winter, spring, summer and autumn- and also the four basic elements of life, which are earth, wind, water and fire. We humans experience four stages of life, namely, infancy, childhood, adulthood and elder years. And we should not forget the four great virtues, generosity, fortitude, bravery and wisdom.

Four is at the very least significant as a concept and organizing people and Native Americans believe it has powers.


My friend Joe is a firefighter and during one of our conversations he told me that one of the first things they teach them during their training is to recognize the four elements of the fire and when battling one, just concentrate in killing one of those elements. It makes sense to me now when I see those huge brush fires on TV and you see the firefighters digging a ditch around the area of the fire, they are trying to eliminate one element: the Fuel, because they know that at that moment water will not do the trick, therefore digging is the best line of defense.

In business works the same way, if one element is missing, no matter how successful your venture is, it will gradually die, the four components also have a codependent relationship, we must take care of all four elements.



Since very early in my life I saw the significance of the number 4 and the way nature has used that number in so many ways. We find the number 4 being significant in science, technology, religion, biology, chemistry, physics, sports, etc.

As an Entrepreneur, I wanted to see if the number four had any significance in my daily life or if it played a role in my businesses and I never realized how important it would become.


The four elements of fire:





Heat from the chemical reaction


Fire is impossible without all four components and a fire, no matter how furious, will sputter and die if deprived of any of them. Together they form what’s called the “Fire Triangle”. And it symbolizes the four components and their codependent relationship.


Fire occurs when electrons released from fuel join with oxygen in the surrounding air. Energy is stored in the fuel’s molecular bonds.  But those bonds are very strong. The fuel’s electrons, for the most part prefer to remain where they are. But when fuel is heated, its molecules, along with oxygen molecules in the atmosphere become active. As energy is transferred to the fuel, its electrons begin to orbit farther and farther from the nucleus. The more the fuel is heated, the more active its molecules become until they eclipse or reached the ignition point. At this moment the bonds suddenly sever, releasing electrons from their orbit, and the fuel ignites. In a chemical jailbreak, freed electrons rush away from the fuel and join, instead with oxygen from the surrounding air. As they do, the reaction gives off light and vast amounts of additional heat, which in turn, perpetuates the reaction. Heat is the energy output of fire.

And now, what does fire has to do with marketing?

Well, it provides the perfect metaphor for any business marketing strategy.  Every element in the fire triangle, every force in the chemical reaction corresponds to the marketing process.

Consumers are the fuel. There is money stored in their wallets, but there is a very strong bond between consumers and their money. They won’t give it up easily. Marketing provides the activation energy that starts the reaction. Heated by promotions, consumers become more excited. When their level of excitement eclipses their purchase threshold, the consumer has reached the ignition point. The bond to their money breaks and they exchange it for the promoted product or the promise of the experience, our product. And our product is the Oxygen and the concentrations of oxygen vary depending how remarkable the consumers find our product or service. Finally, when the customer is thrilled by their purchase, their temperature increases. They become enthusiastic evangelist who recommend it to their friends and family. If the product disappoints them, they cool. The customer’s reaction is like the combustion reaction and provides the energy output that either spreads or extinguishes the fire. Interested customers, a remarkable product, effective marketing, and the positive reaction of satisfied customers are the four essential ingredients to a successful business no matter the industry.

You can not survive without all four, and a business, no matter how successful, will sputter and die if deprived of any one of them.


Fuel = Customers. And the marketing that brings them in.  

Oxygen = Our Product….The beautiful and delicious dishes.

Heat = The Great Service and outstanding dinning experience

The heat from chemical reaction = The Customer word of mouth.


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