Our Mission...

is to inspire others to continuously develop the best possible versions of themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually.

Why "Build The Fire"...

We chose the name “Build the Fire” while having a philosophical discussion about personal growth and self-improvement. In each of us, there exists the capacity for greatness that can be metaphorically thought of as a fire. The onus lies upon us to ignite our fires and become motivated to push ourselves past our comfort zones and into our growth zones.

It is our goal to help make the distinction between the simplicity of success, and the amount of effort it takes to get there.

To learn more about Build The Fire and to start building your fire (literally and metaphorically), be sure to read our inaugural post here.

Who We Are


Mark is a professor of communication and a student of life. The professor side of him is fueled by the passion to help others open their eyes to see the beauty in themselves and in this world. The student side of him is driven by the fire to continuously open up his own eyes.


Chad is an ice hockey junkie-turned-academic with a penchant for random acts of kindness and people watching. He is fascinated with the potential for growth that lies within the human spirit, and desires to help others understand how to discover the potential that lies inside of them.


Chris is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor by profession, and a friend to many by passion. He believes the most fulfilling life is one spent mastering yourself and serving others. He has written 5 books on personal growth and Jiu Jitsu. His most recent, On Jiu Jitsu, is now available on amazon. Chris's Jiu Jitsu Academy, Matakas Jiu Jitsu, will be opening in Burlington, NJ this summer.

Join The Fire

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Mark Brehaut, Chad Daniels, Chris Matakas - Beautiful lake view