Ignite the Conversation

Fire Starter Sessions

Albert Schweitzer once said, “In everyone’s life, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those who rekindle the inner spirit.” Author, speaker and creative business strategist Danielle LaPorte is for many such a person, capable of helping others rekindle. Oprah’s life coach Martha Beck says “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.”

Danielle’s soon to be released book, The Fire Starter Sessions, is a window to her soul’s work, part inspiring sermon and part practical action workbook. I’ve been a long-time reader of her WhiteHotTruth blog at DanielleLaporte.com, and have gone though the digital program, now called The Spark Kit, that inspired this book. I got a chance to interview her recently about her book, her life and her own dreams.

LaPorte was born to young parents in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. As an infant and young child, she accompanied her mother to college classes. She remarks “I am grateful that I was exposed to a big world at a young age.” She never graduated from college, but as her work-life began, she was conscious of her own natural gifts. She was good at telling people’s stories. This led to a career in public relations. She was later recruited to lead Washington, DC think-tank, researching future trends for the likes of politicians, media and even the Pentagon. Her next venture was creating a lifestyle/image consulting company, which attracted international buzz and big-time investors. LaPorte says that somehow her authentic vision got lost in the shuffle, and the company imploded. She learned a great deal through this painful demise, and started over with a blog, some small speaking gigs and a few coaching clients.

Honest about her failures and lessons, she likens herself to a phoenix rising from the ashes, and she started over with nothing. Slowly and surely, she attracted new readers, more clients and more speaking gigs through her work. She no longer does individual sessions, but her book and her internet presence allow her to reach many people.

Separated into three sections; Mojo, Moxy, and Results, the premise of the book is that we all deserve to have happy, fulfilling lives, but this requires intention, thoughtful choices and action. There are 16 sessions and worksheets under headings such as “Defining Yourself On Your Own Terms,” “The Strategy of Desire,” “Visioneering,” and “How You Show Up In The World.” Laporte says she was inspired to inspired to create this program based on past work with coaching clients. “You become a trailblazer by virtue of being your genuine self. It’s that simple- and that profound,” she states.

She resisted putting her process into a “seven steps to success” formula suggested with big name New York publishers. Her book has an interesting layout, with contemporary fonts of various sizes, and main take-aways in bold. There’s a bit of salty language that she’s known for, with plenty of love and humor on the pages as well. Well-chosen quotes from the likes of the great masters like Emerson and Rumi are mixed in with contemporary wordsmiths such as Seth Godin, Lady Gaga and JayZ. The book is just a starting point for a multi-media experience, with resources listed for a reader’s forum, videos, downloadable worksheets and even music playlists for creating a “FireStarting” mood. She encourages and welcomes connection through social media, listing her website, Twitter and Facebook pages, and gives suggestions for starting local Fire Starter groups.

Whether you are just starting out, full of possibility, or you feel like you’re at a crossroads, stuck in a creative rut, and ready to make changes, LaPorte’s book could be just the ticket. You might find a few pearls of wisdom that’ll help you see more clearly, and move forward with action. Of course, to really benefit from the book, you have to do some “homework.” It helped me to read through it once, then go back through revisit the worksheets: lists to write, big questions to ponder. I think the greatest “aha” moments will come through sincere effort. Are you ready to reflect, write and act?

Through her own journey and those of her client’s, LaPorte’s become a passionate crusader for leading an authentic life at home and at work. The themes are universal yet she uniquely and skillfully communicates issues and solutions that us move from dream to reality. She’s created that for herself, and describes almost every day as ideal, writing, traveling, and spending time with her fireman husband (how perfect) and their eight year old son. There are more books on the horizon for Laporte, and for that, I am very grateful.

The Fire Starter Sessions book is available locally in Fargo at Zanbroz, SHANNALEE, Barnes & Noble, and Catalyst Medical Center, as well as online at many of the top etailers.

Are you local?
I will be hosting an “Ignite the Conversation” book night covering The Fire Starter Sessions on Tuesday, May 1st at 6:30pm at my clinic, Catalyst Medical Center & Clinical Spa.

To RSVP for the book club, visit www.CatalystMedicalCenter.com.

About Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the forthcoming book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”

If you haven’t yet listened to my recent heart to heart conversation about fire, desires, soul, sustenance, beauty, and boys, you can listen here.

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