A Beginner’s Guide to Danielle LaPorte

Read the full article written by BY JESSICA WAKEMAN for NYMAG.COM here. Her first book, released in April 2012 by Harmony, an imprint of Crown, The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms, sought to teach people how to find more meaningful success — to ignite the “soul fire.” It was inspired by her visits to 16 cities in one year, during which she held group “fire starter sessions,” urging people to listen to their inner voices and follow their passions. At the time, LaPorte charged clients $1,000 for one-hour long “strategy sessions” — “I am not a coach; I have opinions,” she explains — for which she says there was a six-month-long waiting list. “I saw patterns happening with women about limitations,” she says. “Everybody wanted permission.”

LaPorte takes pride in being self-made through constantly reinventing herself. “I’d never even taken a writing course,” she told Forbes in 2012, when she was interviewed about being a successful entrepreneur. (The interview claims she got a quarter-million-dollar advance for The Fire Starter Sessions.) “I’m not even sure about my grammar sometimes. ‘Should that be I or me?’ … But I wrote the proposal, and I can sell ice to Eskimos, dirt to farmers. It’s easy to sell when you believe in stuff.”

In the particular book Woodley endorsed, The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul (which came out earlier this year), LaPorte argues that people are burdened by chasing ambitions when they should be chasing their feelings. “I’m hitting a nerve with people in terms of the ambition that’s crushing and feels too tight, reaching the goal and it feeling empty,” she explains. In The Desire Map, LaPorte writes, “You’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re chasing the feelings that you hope attaining those goals will give you.” (Also for sale are Desire Map workbooks, a journal, and a day planner.) She employs six people, all of whom work virtually from points around the globe.