Danielle LaPorte on Finding Your Way, Telling Your Story, and Starting Fires

Danielle LaPorte Interview

Start where you are.

You know that tingling feeling you get when you’re listening to someone who inspires you to your core? Maybe it happens when you’re with a friend or mentor, or listening to a keynote at an event. Afterwards you feel on fire for days, maybe even weeks. You go into super-productivity mode because you want to make big things happen for yourself.

I live for that feeling. That feeling is what fuels my business. That’s why I surround myself with amazing people who keep me filled up with passion, inspiration, and drive.

Well, connecting with Danielle LaPorte, Author of The Fire Starter Sessions, was like that top-of-the-line ultra fuel you put in your car when you want to give it some extra love. I hope our interview will light a spark in you that ignites a blazing fire.

Here we go!

For more inspiration from Danielle, visit DanielleLaPorte.com and subscribe to her amazing sermons. She’s currently helping the amazing women entrepreneurs at LunaPads to get menstrual supplies to girls in Malawi so they can stay in school and graduate so be sure to support that amazing initiative while you’re there.

I also recommend you grab a copy of The Fire Starter Sessions.

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below telling us your key takeaway from the interview.

If you liked this video, please share it with your friends:

Get inspired! Check out @nataliemacneil’s interview with @DanielleLaPorte and win a free copy of The Fire Starter Sessions #FireSS [Click to tweet]

Grab a coffee and spend 20 minutes igniting your spark with @daniellelaporte and @nataliemacneil http://bit.ly/NI5veW #shetakesontheworld [Click to tweet]

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123 thoughts on “Danielle LaPorte on Finding Your Way, Telling Your Story, and Starting Fires

  1. Freaking awesome. Both of you!

    I actually had 2 key takeaway lessons from that. Firstly Danielle’s comment about how she should have spoken up more in boardroom meetings hits close to home. This was something I should have done w-a-y more often back in my days as a lawyer but I often felt intimidated or doubted myself; that I wasn’t enough or didn’t know enough to back myself and speak my mind.

    I was also struck by your key lesson from the book. Being only 18 months into life as a small business owner (my first), there have been more tears, self-doubt & low moments in the last 18 months than there have been in the last 18 years of my life. But I said yes to my change in career, from lawyer to personal trainer, and I’ve said yes to everything (including money struggles that are currently on my plate at the moment). It’s time for me to own that and move forward!

    Thanks for a fabulous interview!

    1. Thanks for your honesty Jen. It is so hard to start a business and people just don’t get how high the highs are and how low the lows are until they have gone through starting a business themselves. You know how awesome you are, I know how awesome you are, and you really just have to stick it out. My first three years were the hardest. I know three years sounds like such a long time but if you talk to a lot of successful entrepreneurs they will tell you that it takes 5 years to build a solid and stable business and brand. It’s all about perseverance, something I know you’re brilliant at being a personal trainer and all 😉

  2. just finished the fire starter sessions last night…i’m at a cabin in the woods taking time away to paint and write, so this interview was perfect timing & so resonated. that visualization was one of my favorite parts of the book & i was happy to hear danielle add a bit more on how to dissect the dream (as a talking easter bunny showed up for me with an amazing, color filled basket). also really loved each worksheet and the stories on value. the book has helped me ground my dreams…thank you 🙂 

    1. I loved the visualization too. At least twice a year I go to a cabin and disconnect and spend time in nature and write. I think it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself!

  3. Great interview! My takeaways are “Writers need to write”…it’s as simple as that…if you say you’re a writer, a baker, whatever, do it…you don’t need to reach a certain level before you can be that thing…just do it!

    I also like the idea of your life being your content…I read lots of blogs about other people and think they’re so interesting but I already have all that I need within myself! I don’t have to be the next -insert name- I just have to be the next Jummy.

  4. Love it! “Whatever is on your plate got there because you said yes to it”….totally resonated with me today. Thank you!

  5. Awesome interview Natalie! So much of what Danielle said had merit and relevance for me – the most meaningful is when she said “be current with my own consciousness.” It’s something that, as an artist and an individual, I’ve been doing…right down getting the haircut I’ve always wanted to have regardless of what my husband prefers!

  6. Hot interview Nat. I love you both. You’re both taking on the world in your own very unique ways. You’re real, your talented, your powerful, your vulnerable, your all these wonderful qualities combined and that’s truly a gift to us.

    1. In the book she words it “Finding your life purpose IS your life purpose.” It’s a journey! It certainly is profound especially since so many people stress out over not know what they want to do with their lives. As long as you’re trying new things and figuring out what you like and don’t like, you’re moving forward and that’s what matters!

  7. I did grab a cup of Turkish coffee, stopped editing stories (it’s a slow news day anyway) and listened. I just couldn’t stop taking notes. One of the main takeaways:  “Your life purpose is what you say it is. The world needs what you got.” – oh goddess this statement alone will save you a lot of time, money and energy. We’re so accustomed to having other people (family, friends, colleagues) tell us what to do, that we even ask someone else to find that life purpose for us. 
     Another “gem” is authenticity is a work in progress – truly. I stopped obsessing on what and what is authentic in my life and just live what is my truth in the present moment. 

    1. Love it Prime. And for the record, Turkish coffee is THE BEST. At the Cannes Film Festival I would go to the Turkish pavilion every morning and they would make me a coffee before I went off to the film market and other meetings. The Turkish film commission would lure people in with the coffee then seduce them into discussions about shooting their films in Turkey hahaha

  8. Love this interview Natalie and Danielle! The life purpose bit is so powerful, and I think we just need to be reminded of it so often… especially if you’re like me and you read a little too much self help stuff. 😉

  9. I love both of you! I only read the forward in Danielle’s book then had to give it back to the owner BUT what I did read was great. The whole “Whatever you have is because you said yes to it” totally resonates with me. We need to own our shit! 🙂

  10. I am sat here alone in a new country … no money …. some ideas and some energy still available to make things work
    and listening to you two today 
    is at the same tie both so real and so inspiring
    Thank you

  11. Fascinating interview. Thank you.

    I especially got the reality of our authenticity being a work in progress. I am back in a suit after a 5 year break being me and I know I said ‘yes’ to this so as to take care of money business. Perhaps Iearning to be authentic and fully show up in the world as ourselves at heart – loving and vulnerable and strong – is the purpose of life for any of us. 

    I am starting work soon with a great coach who I hope and expect to assist me out of this gap half decade (too long!). I want to begin to work towards my escape now and not sit on my a*s for a month until our work begins. I love Danielle’s process of visualising your dream outside your door.           

    1. Thank you for watching and sharing a piece of your story Penelope. I like what you said about learning authenticity and fully showing up in the world as our true selves -easier said than done for sure. Sending you lots of positive vibes and love for your new job and following your dream xo

  12. Thank you for this interview! I’ve been a solo business for almost a year, but still struggling … and then I heard “writers need to write” . Translate that to “dancers need to dance” and I have my plan 😉 I’ve always had a bit of trouble translating all the books and coachings etc to dance, because it is a different world from for example writing … I’m curious if the Fire Starter Sessions would be different!
    Michaela http://www.nakari.info

    1. Dance may seem like a different world than writing but I think the activities and strategies in both of our books apply. I took a quick peek at your website and I think you have a really cool niche. If you wanted to build a larger community online you definitely can! I see you being able to offer some online workshops by putting some video training on YouTube. You could build your community through a newsletter, and I think you could offer paid training materials to help other dance instructors teach this form of dance. Just a few quick ideas. You could also have a section that clearly outlines how people can book you to do events with them. How awesome would it be to have tribal dancing as a conference or team building activity?! Think about it. Thanks for watching Michaela!

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE this, 
    I enjoyed this while drinking my morning green smoothie. Inspiring. 

    I love the point you make about what is ‘on your plate’. I am working on a post about being busy and am going to share this and link to you lovely ladies. I have read the Fire Starter Sessions and have been recommending it to everyone. People constantly tell me ‘I don’t know what to do’, ‘I feel so lost’, ‘I don’t know what I want’. I tell them they this book!

    Thank you ladies for sharing. xoxo

    1. Thanks for watching with your green smoothie this morning! I drink green juice or smoothies to get my days started too and I feel they taste better when watching or reading something inspiring and vibrating at a high frequency 😉 Keep in touch xo

  14. “Your life purpose is whatever you say it is.” That was jaw dropping to me. I’m pretty sure I even sputtered a bit. Lately, I’d begun to feel as though I didn’t have one or, if I did, I wasn’t ever going to figure out what it was or be able to do it so hearing that was like fireworks exploding in and around my head. 

    And the “whatever is on your plate is there because you’ve said yes to it” even if I shouldn’t have. I had a Homer Simpson moment: DOH! Of course that’s true! How’d that slip by me?! That one was major! 

    Great interview, thanks to both of you. 

    1. I agree, it’s so simple in hindsight but I really needed that slap in the face with the “whatever’s on your plate is there because you’ve said yes to it” in big, bold letters 🙂 Thanks for watching!

  15. I really enjoyed your interview. I’ve been following Danielle for quite some time. I’m so glad she led me to you.:)

    1. Welcome to our community of revolutionary women Brandi! I’m glad Danielle led you to me 🙂 Please keep in touch by subscribing at the top of the page or come back often to visit!

  16. I can honestly say that I am outside of both of your demographic BUT I do love and find you both inspiring. After years in corporate and longing to have things “my way”..I am prepping for my next chapter and stumbled on to Danielle and now you, Natalie, as well as Marie, Kris and a few additional young women I find to be fabulous! Thank you for going after it and bringing your light to the world.  What an amazing time to be a woman in business and life!

    And Danielle..yes to Quality and Yes to “never agains” (I’ve had plenty of those in my 54 years) and yes to speaking up in the boardroom I have a bit of that going on today!  I resisted buyng Fire Starter Sessions…thinking…”not for me at this point in my life” and yet…here I am plugging in.   I will be traveling next week and will have some good alone time…I’m sensing a new book companion on this trip.! Be well my spunky warriors!

    1. Your message brought a huge smile to my face Cheryl. “Spunky warriors,” love that. Definitely take Fire Starter Sessions as a travel companion for your upcoming trip 🙂 

  17. Thank you for hosting Danielle!  Each place I see her I get new info/insights. Your aha quote is now my quote for the day, thank you for sharing that!  

  18. One of my most favorite things about Danielle is that she gives me permission to be me! Life purpose is what I say it is! So much empowerment in that statement and in owning that statement! Natalie, I am brand new to your site. I found you via Danielle. I’ve already picked up your book for my kindle app and can’t wait to read it. Table of Contents alone has me salivating! Your web content is brilliant! I’m sending friends here! Love the interview!

  19. Thank you Natalie for hosting an interview with the creative genius that is Danielle Laporte. I am an author (yep, I have YBBBP) and I write write write. One thing I struggled with is KNOWING what I offer the world, besides my deepest darkest truths 😉 

    In the interview Danielle asks what is it that people come to you for? what are they asking? And then I realized how people always come to me if they can not stand up for themselves and they need a person to speak up. So thank you for the interview because I learned something new about myself. People come to me because I have wisdom and courage to stand up for honesty.

  20.  Wonderful interview. My key take-away: “Life purpose is what you say it is.” This right here is such a shift for me. Being me, being an entrepreneur is what I say it is. I have permission to do what I want and what feels right to my soul. Thank you for sharing!

  21. I have been so lost since having had breast cancer a couple of years ago. I appreciate the interview and great information. You girls rock!

  22. Key takeaway is definitely the point on quality spending. It is something i have slowly learned through the years that I wish someone had told me when I was 20!

  23. Key takeaway is definitely the point on quality spending. It is something I am learning slowly through the years that I wish someone had told me when I was 20!

  24. Really like the visualization exercise along with feel it in your body…..that is how I know if something is really truely authentically me.  Yay for giving myself credit for being farther along than my mind lies to me about.  I create my reality – and I’m creating something fantastic.  thank you for your insights and shining your unique light onto us.

  25. Great interview. Realizing that what I put on my plate is my choice along with what I say my life purpose is, that is what it is. I am realizing that I have the choice and everything I need I already have. Yay Me!

  26. I could really use an extra copy!! I keep buying them for all my friends and I am almost broke! lol
    Great stuff… so powerful

  27. Thus has been a strange day of manifesting new ideas and experiences, and this video was only another happy occurrence. Thanks for the interview!

  28. Sitting in great peacefulness with the thought that it’s OK for certain dreams to say “not now”… I tend to get an idea and get swept up in making it real. Being able to distinguish the nows from the not yet is a growth edge.

    1. That’s a big shift I’ve made in my own life this year Erin. As an entrepreneur my mind is always thinking up big, bold ideas and while I write them all down, it gives me inner peace and clarity to fold the pages of those ideas that the timing doesn’t feel right for.

  29. Thank you for doing what you do! You are great & A great speaker.  I thoroughly enjoy your motivational messages!!!

  30. Wonderful interview! Im in the process now of discovering what “my way” is [vs. their way] it can be challenging to be your own model, but its good to know I’m on the right track. Your “aha” moment was so relevant, I wrote it on a post it and pasted it on the computer!
    I found you through LaPorte’s newsletter, but after checking out your site, I’ll definitely be hanging around here as well.

    Thank you both for the inspo!

  31. Love Danielle – for all her inspiration and insights, plus all the wonderful people she introduces me to. Great interview.

  32. Thank you both so much. Such common sense no bullshit understandings. When you hear them you go of course & it feels like embracing an old friend. Will definetley listen to this interview over & over & share it around.

  33. What an awesome interview! I loved “Your life purpose is what you say it is.” I’ve been wanting Danielle’s book for quite some time, I’d be so blessed to win it! 🙂

  34. I love how horrified you were that someone hadn’t heard of Danielle LaPorte!!
     
    Awesome interview, and yes you are very shiny!  I loved Danielle’s dream meditation, need to start doing that.  This quote jumped out at me:

    “Only the dreamer can interpret the dream” – Carl Jung

  35. Just finished listening to the interview. Great questions and soooo much enthusiasm for your guest the incredible Danielle.
    I really resonated with – what ever has turned up on your plate you said yes to it. So true. we make what we believe, right wrong, good bad. I really think that it why it is so important to be conscious and look at everything in your life. It tells you about where you are.

    Thank you again, appreciate your energy and insight.

  36. Wow, Daniele is always full of great thoughts and advice. I love the advice she gave on the memories in your conscience are the ones that need to be written and branded as yours. Don’t make up or dig, just use the ones that keep surfacing and you keep telling. Thanks for sharing.

  37. I love The Fire Starter Sessions. Yesterday I gifted my copy to a young colleague starting out on a new career adventure – It’s the perfect “find your own right direction” kit – so I could do with a new copy!

    Loved the video. This is my first time visiting She Takes On The World – will definitely be back to check it out on a regular basis. My key takeaway from the video is to start doing my dream job immediately – start coaching now, making things I love now – to grow my skills and my business naturally and build impetus for what’s to come.

  38. I have followed Danielle but this was my first introduction to Natalie MacNeal.  What a great interview. Your unassuming and thoughtful approach was the perfect counterpoint to Danielle’s eager conversational style. Loved the visualization description and reminder that what we have on our plate is there because we said yes to it. So true and so easy to forget.     

  39. An amazing interview.  My biggest take away would have to be ‘Your life purpose is what you say it is’ – love this and definitely going to start living it right now.

  40. At 57, I don’t know that I’ve ever truly lived my own life. When I became a mom 16 years ago I felt I found my purpose in life. As my son has grown and is moving more and more into his own life (as it should be) my purpose has shifted a bit. I write, I photograph, I’m a great vegan cook,  I’m an enthusiastic listener and I love connection with people. I’ve been working to promote and support my husband’s business (which has soared since I took over) but I want something of my own. Listening to this interview has given me a “kick in the pants” to move forward with MY dream. Now I just need to figure out what exactly that is and how I can incorporate that and remain a partner my husband’s business (which motivates him to succeed).

    What I’m taking away from this interview is personal responsibility – “Whatever is on my plate it’s there because I said “yes” to it.” To pay attention to my dreams, to ask questions and listen to my answers.

    Thank you Natalie for this interview and to Danielle for straight up conversation. Thank you both for all you do.  Congratulations to you both on the “birth” of your books! xxoo

  41. Thank you for this, sometimes the road gets little bit lonely, but when listening to you guys…. its just make me wonder how many more things I will achieve in the rest of the year.  I´m the owner of a small company of greenroof and greenwall building in Mexico.  In less than a year we are now working with the big sharks of the economy :).  Greatfull to feel your energy when this big-elephant-deal is arriving to our hands… 😀

  42. Now I am looking so forward to meeting Danielle in person in September in Victoria BC!! Thanks for posting this interview. I found it thought provoking and I have the urge this moment to grab my journal and start making some notes! She talked about the ‘stories that stay with you in your psyche’ and that these are the stories that are teachable…something to that effect…and now I want to literally get out of my mind and into the pages. There is a brilliance when someone who is clearly not afraid of being judged is sharing of him or herself – and that brilliance is here in this interview. Thank you again! 

  43. Thank you Thank you Thank Natalie. For allowing me to spend 20 minutes learning from Danielle. I love this movement towards authenticity!! When I tell people,  “What do you want to do? Do that.”  They look at me like I have three heads. She makes me feel so much less crazy 🙂

  44. Hello superstar sister Canadians! Natalie, thank you so much for this interview! I have been following Danielle for awhile and this was my first intro to YOU and She Takes on the World. I was fortunately in the past to have been paid to travel around the world and work in some pretty amazing places sometimes. Now am trying to make the transition into more entrepreneurial work, and have found it a bit challenging. Mostly because had finally given myself permission to spend more time with my creative passions and I’m not sure which ones to pursue into business. I also often get asked by women who are interested in creativity, flexibility, autonomy and integrity in their work… how do we do it?? I will definitely refer them to your site and will pick up a copy of your book for myself 🙂
    Something I really took away from this interview (which was a “new” idea I hadn’t heard other interviews with Danielle) was to invest in quality, and how that translates into so many aspects of our lives and relationships. And something I had heard before, but it’s always a good reminder, that we are always a work in progress. I laughed and was also reassured by Danielle’s examples of her loafers. I just recently went the a massive purging my closet of clothes and I had similar thoughts… 🙂
    Thank you both for what you do, again and again!
    xoxo
    Caitlin

  45. A friend recommended this book because I’m in transition, questioning my life as a writer, and wondering how to do it with pleasure and reward. This book would be perfect to give me a kick in the pants.

  46. The take away message from the interview was invest in quality stuff. As a creative person, that’s me!

  47. Wonderful interview! Loved the dynamics between you and Danielle. Whatever is on your plate it’s because you said YES to it! So good to remeber. I have been living the mantra “just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should” this year to help me narrow in on my focus and what I want with my creative biz. I loved Danielle’s visualization of your product/service being at the door and what you feel in that moment. What a great way to really tap into your intuition and true desires. 

  48. Just want to thank Danielle for being herself and so generous, and you Natalie for sharing her inspiration and your feedback.
    I already have the book, am at Chapter 4, doing the exercices, and enjoying the process immensely.  Now ready to do the visualisation/meditation …
    If I were to win the book I could offer it to a great friend in Montreal.
    Nathalie, now living in Vancouver and realizing her dreams.
    Love

  49. I’ve been following Danielle for a couple years now, and in April 2011 finally took that jump and started my own business. I’m still struggling but her insights help me through the challenge 🙂

  50. I loved the interview.  Both women just sparkle with optimism, knowledge, and love.  Love for the world.  Which is why you both give in the way that you do.  Thank you again for sharing.  I would love to learn more from both of you 🙂

  51. Natalie you are a great interviewer! And this is one of the best interview’s I’ve seen with Danielle. Thank you! Andie

  52. It is so refreshing to find 2 Canadian gals out in front and leading the pack. It is, quite honestly, inspiring. Loved the interview and how Danielle really does walk the talk. The fire Started Sessions is like getting a hug and kicked in the pants all at the same time. I calling it my bible! Thanks for all the fun!

  53. Natalie, I think Danielle got it spot on when she called you shiny. You just glow. Love you both! I’m actually surprised to say that what I learned and resonates the loudest was part of Danielle’s advice to 21yo her. I have a daughter entering college so I almost tuned out, but her comment to always looking for quality. Go for quality. I’m still”unpacking” what that means for me and why that resonated. You never know!

  54. Just want to point out that “start where you are” was first penned by Pema Chodron some 20 odd years ago and is the title of her well known and well loved book. In fact, I find a striking likeness to that and what LaPorte writes about. Perhaps this is a coincidence though 🙂

    While I find LaPorte’s writing relevant in some respects (and very over the top in others), I admit I was struck dumb by her sell-sell-sell focus on her site and email subscription. I admit that I found this very off putting.

    You don’t need to shove your product down people’s throats to be able to sell your idea. Perhaps this is something that she should write about next.

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