I have a major girl crush on Danielle LaPorte. Many of you may already know this. Danielle is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com, which has been called “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality.” She’s an inspirational speaker and business strategist, and she totally rocks my world. I met Danielle at her Fire Starter Session in New York City in September. Spending the day with her, furiously jotting down her burning questions and steely insights, catalyzed what has become quite an unraveling, reworking, and reinvention for me over the past ten months. It is largely thanks to Danielle that this site exists. My private Fire Starter Session with her in January was incredibly rich with content, practical advice, and sunshine blown up my skirt (Danielle’s words), which was just what I needed at the time. She is badass meets high priestess, business guru meets channel. She is all that and more, and I’m over-the-moon-and-stars ecstatic and grateful to share this interview I did with her last month with you, dear readers.
If you’re jonesing for a piece of Danielle’s brilliance immediately after sampling this appetizer of an interview, check out her Fire Starter Sessions: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs. It will rock your stockings off and get your business creativity mojo going in a huge, spiritually grounded, and totally rock star kind of way.
Note: This interview was originally conducted and recorded over the phone, and then transcribed into written form. Since Danielle is the queen of authenticity, and this site is, after all, called AuthentiKate, I’ve chosen to preserve the colloquial speech patterns from the interview even though it’s now in written form. This way, you can pretend you are listening to the two of us fabulous femmepreneurs as you read! Enjoy.
What are you most afraid of that you’re doing anyway?
Well, when I get asked the question, “So what’s the one thing you’re afraid of in your life?” I used to say, “Well, not much.” But the one thing is, I’m afraid of not living up to my potential. So, I’m living up to my potential, no matter what.
Now we’re going to do some free association. When I say a word, you just say the first thing that comes to your mind.
I shouldn’t apologize for this but . . . happiness. Okay. Happiness.
Scared. Safety . . . safety makes me scared.
What is one thing that you’re compelled to tell people over and over again . . . either the same people, or different ones?
You know. You know the answer. You know, people say, “Well, I’m torn.” Well look—no, you’re not torn. You know, it’s just what you know is difficult. And I totally understand being torn. There are some things I’m torn about right now, too. But—but you know the answer. You know what you want. And it may change. It may change day to day. But right now you know what you want. You know what’s right for you.
What do you love about your life, and why?
You know what I love about my life, in addition to my kid, who makes everything just sweet and hilarious? What I love about my life is my freedom! I can do what I want. I can do what I want. You know, I launched my book, and I took the week off pretty much, which is totally counter-intuitive. I should be cranking. But I love that. You know I just—because I just moved houses, I’m, you know, I’m a bit beat. So I slept until ten o’clock today. And then I got up and put my mascara on. And I’ll probably work until like two in the morning. And I will be—I will be so blissed out at two in the morning with, like, my tribal music playing, and a candle going and rocking the social web. And who knows what tomorrow will bring? I may work all day. I may go get a pedicure. I’m free.
What activity can you recommend to anyone that takes less than five minutes and will help them thrive?
Oh, well this is immediate. I can give you something that’s faster than the speed of light. You can think happy thoughts.
I find that, often, people (meaning myself) are unaccustomed to telling the truth. And my question is, what do you suggest for those of us who’ve been raised to be afraid of the truth, if we want to start to peel back the layers and start telling it like it is?
Hang out with people who do tell the truth. Learn from example. Get interviewed. Start telling the truth to yourself.
Here’s a formula: Start telling the truth to yourself in as many ways as possible. And then start telling the truth to a few more people. Extend. I see it as concentric circles. So, you can tell yourself the truth when you look in the mirror. You can tell yourself the truth when you’re journaling. You can tell yourself the truth when you’re getting dressed, when you’re dancing, when you’re getting yourself off, when you’re going shopping. There’s lots of ways to tell yourself the truth. You can tell yourself the truth by drawing it out. Yeah, it’s about expression. And then tell one good friend, and then tell two good friends. And then start telling the people you work with, and then start telling strangers.
And it doesn’t mean telling people your deep, dark secrets, because I believe in privacy and I believe in healthy boundaries and all that. But telling the truth could be expressing to the guy in the cubicle next to you that you want to write a masterpiece novel, or that you hate [your] job or that you want to have cocktails with him. I think there is huge power in telling people about what your dreams are—[your] aspirations, your ambitions. I think it empowers them. It empowers. It’s the ambitions, the dreams themselves. It empowers you and empowers the person that you’re sharing the dream with.
And were you always somebody who told the truth, or is that something that happened later?
I think I always had the muscles for the truth. I think I’ve always been, um, outspoken. It’s been helpful to just be kind of mouthy all along. But you can be mouthy and not be telling the truth, right? In my twenties, my motto was: Fake it ‘til you make it. And then my last company crashed and burned because there was an element of faking it going on. You know, it was very deep. It wasn’t even conscious. It was unconscious inauthenticity.
What’s on your desk right now?
I have a beautiful pot of orchids with—I think I counted twelve blooms on it—that was a gift to me from Hiro Boga. She’s way cool. She’s a business intuitive. And she sent me these when I did my preorder launch, and these flowers talk to me. And they tell me, “Go team, go!” Yeah. The girl infused them with some weird magic mojo. And I have a little carnelian stone which is about creativity. And then I have some piece of glass which my kid thinks is a magic quartz crystal and I’m just going with it, like: “That is the most powerful crystal I ever saw!” And I have rechargeable batteries because I am eco-friendly. And a measuring tape to hang my new photos. And anything else fun? Some kids’ pictures from my kid because he’s a great post-modernist artist. And I have a little magnetic clip full of fortunes, from fortune cookies.
What do you wear when you write?
Uggs. I wear chocolate brown. The low—not the low, low ones—the medium-calf Uggs. Because I am more brilliant when my feet are warm. And I have to be comfortable when I write. Like I can come home from a gig looking totally hot, and forget it! I’ve got to got to put on some leggings and my Uggs or some baggy jeans. But it’s really about the Uggs. And amber oil. I’m always wearing it. I never leave the house without essential oil. I get some crazy amber oil from this woman in Albuquerque who gets it for me from this guy in Bali.
Do you ever just do nothing? And if so, what does that look like?
I’m really bad at doing nothing. Even my nothing has some kind of seeking to it. So, nothing for me would be reading. That’s not doing nothing, that’s for sure. Even meditating looks like nothing but it’s really something. Who wants to do nothing? I don’t want to do nothing. That’s why I think Julia Cameron’s “Artist Dates” work because it’s a “do-nothing” in disguise.
What books are on your nightstand right now?
Well I just dusted off Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It’s really time to read that again. I just got Laura Day’s How to Rule the World From Your Couch. I’m excited about that. I’m into changing your past like she talks about. I’m into Rework by the 37Signals guys, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. It’s really good. And I just got Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun.
And the final question is: What, who, or how do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be me with abandon. And compassion.
More on the Fire Starter Sessions:
How’s your cash flow and your mojo?
Does your vision match your reality?
Does your brand match your soul?
Worksheets that help you draw conclusions, quick videos with motivational punch, connections to current thinkers, practical smarts, and frank wisdom—THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS is packed with inspiration that you will put to use.
Danielle has worked with 462+ entrepreneurs in her 1-on-1 Fire Starter consults (which are $500 and booked six weeks in advance and SO FREAKIN’ worth every penny and more – I’ve had a one on one for my personal brand and for Team Northrup and have gotten oodles upon oodles of value for both.) For CEOs, coaches, artists, retailers, bestselling authors—from site design to big dreams—Danielle’s strategies combine passion with pragmatism to get to fulfillment and cash.
Each chapter is its own “Fire Starter Session” that includes: e-book components, video inspiration or interviews, and worksheets.
Some of the sessions are: True Strengths & The Metrics of Ease; Branding: Clarifying the Diamond of You; Products & Services: Making Stuff That Feels Good to Make; Money: More is More, Enough is Plenty; Web Design & SEO: Your Virtual Real Estate . . . and dozens of tips and motivating perspectives.
In addition to getting Danielle’s deep and detailed knowledge, THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS brings you contributions from some A-league marketing strategists, pro-bloggers, branding experts, and creativity coaches.
Whether you’re in the early idea phase or a well-established rut, Danielle’s thorough, witty, and experience-based advice will most certainly light a fire under your . . . aspirations.
The fine print: I’m super proud to be an affiliate with Danielle.