I recently picked up a new book by Danielle LaPorte entitled, The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful & Practical Guide to Creating Success On Your Own Terms. Now normally I am somewhat hesitant to read anything that claims I can be successful. I realize it seems a little incongruent considering my chosen profession is helping individuals to be successful in their lives. Let me explain, I am leery of any book, CD, movie, video, business investment, or anything else, if I will only pay X amount dollars in XX number of installments it will transform my mundane existence into a life full of meaning, purpose, wealth, gold, health, white teeth, charming personality, precious metals, drive thousands to my web site, and guarantee dogs, cats, and the opposite sex will find me irresistible.
In past centuries these pitches were reserved to snake oil salesman, but now they can be found in most email in-boxes, no matter where you live. The motivation industry is rife with get rich quick money schemes that promise you success in every aspect of your life with little or no effort on your part, except for a few dollars. I recently looked at a life coach’s package offered at $24,000. Another person was offering a one day seminar for $20,000. Sorry, maybe they are worth it, but I’m not convinced. So as I said, I’m a little leery.
Ms. LaPorte’s bio says she was a former executive for a future-studies think tank and a communications and business strategists, all without a college education. Since I have a soft spot in my heart for those educated by life experiences, I was willing to look at her book and I’m glad I did. She is the real deal. Nearly all of her ideas caused me to think about what I believe and, more importantly, why I believe it.
The book is divided into sixteen sessions and Fire Starter is a an accurate name for the book. The more I read the more excited I became. She shoots straight from the hip. At times it is liking reading a stream of consciousness, think trying to drink from a fire hose, but the message is solid. The front flap gives you a taste of what to expect:
- Life balance is a myth.
- Being well rounded is highly overrated.
- Screw your principles (yeah I know…this one took me a while to digest, but trust me).
- We have ambition backwards. Getting Clear on how you want to feel in your life and work is more important than setting goals
I am never shy about recommending what I think is good…and this is very good. In the future I will illustrate more of her philosophy, but in the mean time, you might want to consider at least looking at it at your local bookstore.