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The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms
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The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,783 ratings  ·  234 reviews
The Fire Starter Sessions is an apathy-kicking, integrity-infusing guide to defining success on your own terms.
As the creator of “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” Danielle LaPorte’s straight-talk life-and-livelihood sermons have been read by over one million people. Bold but empathetic, she reframes popular self-help and suc
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,783 ratings  ·  234 reviews

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Bri Saussy
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Though I love Danielle LaPorte's web presence and overall attitude, I was not sure how I would enjoy FSS because I had already purchased and worked through the digital version of the program (that is no longer available btw) about a year ago. I expected to get a lot of the same information, same worksheets, and same overall feel from the book as I had from the program-and to some extent that was the case. With that said, I LOVED the book and am so glad that I bought it. First off, its purty. Eve ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read about this book from a blog somewhere which directed me to her website at From there I went to and bought the Kindle version immediately. As I began to read just the first few pages, I knew this was more than just a read. So, I went to and downloaded the audio version read by Danielle, and as it is done when I want to pour a book over myself and let it have its way with me, I listen and read in synch to get a fuller version.

I am delighted to
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I'll start this review with the disclaimer that I did very few of the sessions that Laporte suggested in the book so I can't speak as to their effectiveness overall, though my sister spoke of them positively.

This book is part self-help, part affirmation, and part guide to personal soul searching. There are definitely some valuable ideas and questions to be found within it. My personal favourite was "How do you want to feel?" which is posed to be a alternative to setting specific goals. Rather t
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Damn, this book is good. I highly recommend it for anyone who is considering change, of any form. Not only do you feel driven to set out to conquer your dream, but you want to help others with theirs, too. Empowering, inspirational, I want to read a chapter every morning to get a kickstart.
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for any creative entrepreneur.
A.E. Shaw
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012

So, I read a lot of 'things like this', of the motivational, you can do anything, sort of thing, and the nice thing with this is that Laporte has also read these, thus her content is both summarising and expanding upon and adding to many things with which I was already familiar.

It's firm, but kind, inspirational and peppered with just enough practical suggestions and questions to ask yourself. I particularly like that it draws on the ideas of being self-employed and self-sufficient as much as j
Sep 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Disappointing Danielle is great as a blogger but it is challenging to give much credence to a book that is so poorly written and edited. My 16 year old niece could have done a better job stringing together pithy comments and real world insights for a high school social studies class and I didn't make it past the second chapter.
Petula Darling
Mar 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
Making it through the cringe-worthy writing proved to be very challenging, so I decided to take the author's advice to not do anything hard and I stopped trying.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been a big fan of Danielle's for a while now, having followed her on, then on to her new site, I had bought the digital version of this book (called the Spark Kit back then, now since retired) last summer, and devoured it. So when I went ahead preordered the hardcover, all I was expecting was pretty much a paper version of what I had already bought.

Boy, was I wrong.

The Fire Starter Sessions delivers the same message that the Spark Kit did, a message ab
This was kind of boring and uninspiring. The design is really annoying in a lot of ways -- it's bulky, and then there are pages where quotes are made huge and others where they're made small. There didn't seem to be a lot of heart here, almost as though you'd only really love this if you were an insider who knew the author or her other work.

Lauren Moz
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed LaPorte's take on dealing with life and work, and there were definitely a few "yeah, that's me and that is the change I should make" moments when reading it. I didn't do the worksheets, but feel there may be a time I will go back and fill them in. It's a good "remind you" book to go back to when feeling like you are stuck or just need a verbal kick in the butt. I highlight sections that seemed relevant to me, so I treated this like a regular ol' textbook.

After a while, however, I did s
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Timing. Is. Everything. Just one chapter into this library copy convinced me that I must own it. As I transition from traditional work to that of a self-employed artist, Danielle's voice gives me perspective and hope, while asking questions that show me how much I already know. Nothing woo-woo about it with ideas that zing on every page -- quotes from others and original gems from Danielle.

"Your most valuable currency is what comes most naturally to you."
"Being well-rounded is highly overrated.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This is like 'artist's way' for new yorkers. It reminds me of Julia Cameron a lot, but coming from a completely different angle, hooked up to a completely different power supply, for a completely different audience. Laporte hails from the 'Jack Kerouac' school of beat poetry style motivation, which isn't a bad thing. But I am vaguely dissatisfied with it, which is simply a personal reaction. I'm sure it would speak volumes to others.
Jess Macallan
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow, this book is amazing! Danielle Laporte offers quick-witted inspiration, with straight talk, eye-opening exercises, and a healthy dose of quotes and comments you'll be tempted to highlight (though the book's so pretty, you just might have to resist). This book is a game-changer for anyone who's ever asked, "What am I supposed to do with my life?"

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book!
Rachel Dixon
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: helps
Fantastic read for those of us who need a push. I quite honestly laughed and cried. The layout is gorgeous. The advice is easy and perhaps that which has been read before, but organized brilliantly. Recommended if you are on the verge of something big and need a bit of a workbook to figure out what that thing is or how to do it.
Just did not resonate with me. Some of the points were good- i.e. Fear and criticism chapter but a lot of it just ran counter to a service based lifestyle
Margot Note
"Passion will always more you in the direction of your authentic self" (31).

"You don't know until you ask. More often than not, you get what you ask for. Professionals have been around the block and they know what it costs. Going back to ask for more money after the fact will feel next to impossible. Start higher and you can flex for less if need be. No budget is ever written in stone. If people can see the value, they'll find a way to find the money. And... exceptional people get exceptions" (
Alexis Johnson
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me this is absolutely a 5 star book. Couldn't have come to me at a more appropriate time. There's so much to say, but it's a lovely, to-the-point work that does exactly as the title implies--starts a fire. Her breakdown on the myths of "time-management" and "life balance" blew me away and make so much sense after years of relentlessly pursuing those two things, only to find out that they really don't exist. I was starting to realize this before I read this book, but now it's crystal clear. I ...more
Vmichelle Skinner
So this is a brilliant book, but it wasn't what I was expecting. It's directed at business, entrepreneurs, career, etc, but you can take the ideas and apply them to your life in general, even if you're a stay at home mom (ahem). For some reason I was expecting it to be a tight process you go through where you come out at the end with some direction and guidance - more like a business plan. What this actually is, is a series of essays and brainstorming sessions. Each one gives you insight and dir ...more
Katrina Sark
Oct 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
p.xxii – When we’re spirit-fatigued, we tend to make weak decisions. We compromise.

p.xxix – anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you. (David Whyte, poet)

p.22 – Be careful what you’re good at – you could end up doing it for years.

p.26 – Eventually, I started giving up trying to be good at stuff that made me feel bad.

p.31 – Your curiosity is your growth point. Always.

p.70 – When you feel good, you act smarter. If you act out in anger, things usually don’t go so wel
Egia Chaparyan
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Послание автора читателю началось с того, что это книга для женщин. Почему? Кажется, сегодня, вроде в эпоху стирания границ, все равно остается контрастное разделение между мужским и женским мирами. Согласно нему мужчина - рационален, а женщина - эмоциональна. Как поверхностно. Дэниэлла Лапорт написала отличную книгу, но чуть не лишилась верного читателя. Мы, мужчины, тоже чувствуем, ищем себя, смеемся и плачем, любим и страдаем, представляете? Образы и ожидания лишают свободы, преумножают огран ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh, so that's what a life coach does! I had wondered. Laporte takes her varied life experiences, including running a think tank, starting companies, being a Mom, attending a White House function with purple hair highlights, as well as readings from a variety of self-help books, poetry, song lyrics, and more, and provides exercises to help the reader live life to the fullest. I liked the references to a variety of sources and the worksheets she provided, and although they mostly felt familiar tha ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jillian by: Eva Jorgensen
I loved this so much! Eva Jorgensen, the printmaker behind Sycamore Street Press, recommended it to students in her printing class and I got the audiobook. One of my favorite sections was "the perils of justifying yourself" and you can find a link to an article she wrote about it here:

Overall, an excellent read and props to LaPorte for having the guts to admit that she goes to an astrologer! So many people do and never admit it:) Whatever your feelings on
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-improvement
This book is a mix of serious business prompts, mixed with a little bit of the Artist way, mixed with a little bit of Attraction books (everything happens for a reason!). I love the fact it's not one of the thousand books about business -only- but also have some spiritual and creative prompts to work with - even if you don't have a career. (like me). I've found that some questions are quite confronting.. which is a good thing actually, if you want to know what you are doing and WHY you are doing ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Another self help book and a perfect example of: "Those who can do, those who cannot teach"

This book may be great for people who need instructions or affirmation of their life; but for those of us who have a good life, know how to be an adult and know what we want and how to get there, its a poorly written book by a life coach who really seems to me to be someone who could never hold a decent job.
Bad quotes that we have all heard before in one shape or another. Sad that so many have been made to
Lael Jepson
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shechanges

I wish this book wasn't over. It kind of made me sad to move it into the "read" was that good. Quite simply my favorite book. Ever. It took me months to read it, not because it was heavy or dense, but because it was expansive and not to be rushed. It was like a plate of magnificent truffles - every sentence was rich, wishing I could spend some time alone with it on an island to just chew on it. Before moving onto the next.
Read it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just read it.
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am usually immediately turned-off by books about personal success involving the word "soulful." (It's right there in the title itself.) But Danielle's book, unlike other self-help books, or, like the best kinds of self-help books, is grounded in the current but based on timeless wisdom. The Fire Starter Sessions is like a simultaneous boot to the butt and face. Get up, do something. Life will happen. Let this book help you let life happen.
Kamsin Kaneko
Apr 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-help, unfinished
I could not finish this book. It's fluff, no substance at all. Pop psychology and quasai spirituality mixed in with goal setting? I picked up this book when someone was giving it away. I don't enjoy her blog, or style of writing so I probably should've known to stay away. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that bothers me most about her writing, perhaps just the fact that it's bad writing and even worse content.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: motivational
For me, it was like reading a watered down version of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and Vein of Gold.

To be honest, I'm over these types of books and only read it to start with because it was on a reading list in a course I'm doing. I acknowledge that my rating is probably not objective.
Debra Fournerat
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Use big font when you have no big ideas.
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Danielle LaPorte is a member of Oprah’s Super Soul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.”

She is author of The Fire Starters Sessions, and The Desire Map—the book that turned into a day planner and journal system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators. Her next book
“If your goals aren’t synced with the substance of your heart, then achieving them won’t matter much.” 9 likes
“When you hang with your tribe, you feel invigorated, recognized, and understood—you can’t underestimate the powerful effects of being fortified in that way. When you have your tribe on speed dial, you’ve got all the resources you need to fuel up, fly straight, and head back out to face the world at large.” 8 likes
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