A former think tank exec, business strategist and publicist, Danielle LaPorte is one of the most popular—and original—personal development and career-advice writers online. Forty-something, tattooed, and versed in Buddhism and P&L statements, Danielle is a gifted motivational speaker, and has been featured in Elle, Body + Soul, More, Vogue Australia, Better Homes and Gardens, Globe and Mail, the National Post, Huffington Post, Entertainment Tonight, USA Today and BusinessWeek.com.
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Excerpt from book:
the truth punctuates
You shouldn’t take advice from someone you don’t really know,who hasn’t dreamed big, or suffered for a spell. Or with whom you haven’texperienced at least one major religious holiday. The Sessions that await youabound with righteous persuasions and advice. Thus, you and I should get a bitmore acquainted. So before you get to the business of soulunfurling and ambition refining, andtaking my word on any of it, allow me to introduce myself by way of a verydefining moment in my life.
We had the corner table at JJ Bean Café on Commercial Drive andSixth. There were loan documents, term sheets, and talking points piled next tomy peppermint tea. I was looking to Lance, my investor and mentor, to give mesome straight-up sage advice. My company was being torn apart by a clash ofwills and motives. It was wretched. Everything was on the line: hundreds ofthousands of dollars, five years of full-tilt labor and love, long-termrelationships, reputations—a very big dream. I had a lawyer (two of them). Ihad a business coach. I had a Buddhist shrink. What I needed was a friend withhard-core business acumen—someone who knew the ropes and who knew me.
I had that desperate “Whatshould I do?” crease across my forehead. I was pushing hard for answers,somersaulting over Scenario A or B or . . . Z. Lance made it clear, with his eyes twinkling.He said:
You must be kidding me. Free? I’d never feltso trapped in my life. The pressure was a whole new phenomenon in my nervoussystem. Bankers were calling my cell phone, investors were having clandestinemeetings without me, and my once beloved business partner and I hadn’t spokento each other in months. . . .
trial by fire: how I got here
I have a degree in faking it till you make it. I earned it, andthen I burned it. In 2000, I was wearing a black suit and loafers, with astraight bob haircut. As executive director of a Washington, D.C.–based thinktank of world-class futurists, I shopped white papers to the Pentagon and theWorld Bank. I wrangled an incredible team of quirky, Mensa-level thinkers tosurmise and analyze potential outcomes for the AIDS epidemic in Africa,possible global water shortages, chaotic social meltdowns . . . and stuff likethat. In terms of think tanks, it was Candy Land. Smart, fast-moving, andfunded. Almost daily I was asked where I went to college (I didn’t), and tosign yet another nondisclosure agreement (which I did). From nine to five, Iread about weapons of mass destruction and scenario planning; on weekends, itwas Rilke’s poetry, Jiddu Krishnamurti’s theology, and the latest Rolling Stone.
James Carville said that “D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people.” Thinktanks are a bit glam in the Capitol. But behind my title and White Housesecurity pass, I was managing a raging impostor complex. I craved pop cultureand mysticism. My, uh, progressive attitudeclashed with the policies and posturing that is the fabric of the politicalscene. In my first month in town, I showed up to a White House meeting withpurple stre“Danielle LaPorte is scary smart, yet so kind and practical that she kindles the fire in you without causing you to feel consumed by the flames. She has the knowledge you need to succeed. Lean in and listen close. What she has to say is what our spirits need to hear.”
—Martha Beck, author of Steering by Starlight
“The revolution you’ve been waiting for, it will shake up and wake up every aspect of your life. Danielle LaPorte offers soulful wisdom to create a blueprint for moguls, spiritual rock stars, and lovers of life. Skinny-dip headfirst into this hot and fabulous book. I dare you.”
—Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Diet
“Danielle’s passion leaps off the page, and reading a few chapters of this book will ignite you into action.”
—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“Danielle’s work is jam-packed with keen insights and a force of energy that pushes you in invaluable ways. The content is practical and ignites the mind in ways that could change your career and life.”
—Scott Belsky, author of Making Ideas Happen
“The Fire Starter Sessions is the new, bad-ass Artist’s Way.”
—Linda Sivertsen, author of Generation Green
“A mesmerizing blend of soul, smarts, and grit, The Fire Starter Sessions is a revelation. A virtual road map to a more engaged state of being. One that starts in the heart and burns its way into every fiber of your being.”
—Jonathan Fields, author of Uncertainty
“Danielle LaPorte is the rockingest, most authentic, and truly lovely guide to lucrative self-realization I know. Buy this book and find yourself . . . and your future.”
—Rebecca Walker, author of To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism
“LaPorte has made something that’s inherently difficult look easy: makes us aware that the power was with us all along. Harder than it looks. Well done, Danielle.”
—Hugh MacLeod, author of Ignore Everybody and Evil Plans
“Danielle does something incredibly refreshing with her work: she tells the truth, straight up. Money, failure, power, appreciation—The Fire Starter Sessions doesn’t leave anything out of the mix, and Danielle pours it on with a heaping dose of encouragement and possibility thinking.”
—Barbara Stanny, author of Overcoming Underearning and Secrets of Six-Figure Women
“Fresh, compassionate, practical, sassy, designed (and design is one crucial way that content becomes useful), wise, engaging, and, above all, different.”
—Michael Bungay Stanier, author of Do More Great Work and End Malaria
“The Fire Starter Sessions shows us how to do what the world tells us we can’t: be unapologetic about our deepest desires and live a life beyond our wildest dreams. Danielle reminds us that all the passion and inspiration we’re seeking lies within us—and she guides us to uncover that beautiful fire and share it with the world.”
—Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie
“The Fire Starter Sessions is a modern masterpiece that will impact millions of lives, for generations to come. It’s outrageously inspiring, wise, and actionable. I simply cannot recommend it enough. Prepare for a religious experience. You’re going to fall in love with this book.”
—Marie Forleo, MarieForleo.com
“I don’t know about you, but a spreadsheet has never made my hair stand on end, my pulse race, and my brain surge with creative ideas. Read this boo