Start Your Fire! An Interview with Danielle LaPorte

By Rod MacDonald and Wendy Riches

Danielle LaPorte is the spark of brilliance behind White Hot Truth, a kick-ass blog ripe with juicy inspiration. We discovered Danielle through social media channels and have come to adore her creative and frank discussions about business, passion and self-realization.

Danielle is releasing a new digital book to help entrepreneurs rock their career according to their truest strengths. And it’s not just a book. The Fire Starter Sessions is a “digital experience… an e-book meets video transmission of acumen and love.” Danielle has worked with more than 460 entrepreneurs in her 1-on-1 Fire Starter consults, from CEOs to coaches, artists to retailers. So, suffice to say Danielle knows her way around combining passion with pragmatism, and can work some incendiary magic on everything from the most infant idea to well-established grooves in need of new oomph.

In the midst of preparations for The Grand Launch of The Fire Starter Sessions (which happens May 12!), Danielle took a few moments to answer some of our burning questions for her. We’re delighted to share her interview!

1) What’s your take on the effect of social media on marketing?

Power to the people! We’re living in the age of the global brain, as philosopher Peter Russell called it years ago. And the connectivity it creates is a force that gives everyone their own wired mega phone. Who needs to put a publicist on retainer when you’ve got a Facebook page and Twitter? If you’ve got a message, you’ve got the means for a revolution.

The dark side of the phenomenon of social media is that it’s allowing professional marketers to be even more surreptitious and clever. What remains the same: an individuals’ choice to be a discerning, champion of truth and substance. Or not.

2) What’s the best way to attract new customers? Are social media methods the most cost-effective way?

Without a doubt, social media is incredibly cost-effective in terms of money. The best way to attract new customers is to have a great product or service, and to believe in what you’re doing so intensely that you have no reservations about using every means to spreads the word about it. And supporting all of that needs to be…love. You need to care about the people you’re selling to. You need to have a genuine affection for your tribe.

3) The economic upheaval of the past year or two has caused a lot of change. Do you think some of it was for good? Examples?

One of my deepest beliefs is that everything is progress. Even upheaval and downturns. The suffering of the economic melt down has been real and pervasive. And, along side that, some illusions have been busted, some accountability has gone down. And! Some complacency has had it’s ass kicked!

I’ve heard dozens of stories now of people starting new businesses — based on their true passions. The “nothing to lose” equation fosters risk-taking and that’s a beautiful thing in terms creativity and entrepreneurship. The Virtual Assistant movement is booming, people are getting really intelligent about how to monetize on-line content, pay structures have shifted…we’re making more with less — and that’s brilliant. And sustainable.

4) How does one best proceed in times of adversity?

Flexibility is a form of strength. You got to be willing to change your plans, your pricing, the way you relate to so-called competition. You got to have compassion, and the irony is that the tenderness compassion feeds your stamina and steel.

5) Do you haggle?

I avoid haggling at most costs. Ideally, not at my cost, but the negotiation game can be so fraught with ego and deception and other such bullshit, I can hardly stand it.

6) What do you see yourself doing 20 years from now?

I’ll still be preaching, teaching, talking, asking. In a few decades, I may concentrate more on issues around birth and parenting consciousness. I may just go for a 100% focus on soul and consciousness. Whatever it is, I’ll be impassioned about it, and feeling freer than ever. And wearing cashmere.

Freedom is the goal. And I figure I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

7) Coffee — good or bad?

Strange fact: I’ve never had even a sip of coffee. For no particular reason. Bizarre, I know. I’m a tea girl. With honey.

8) You can have the word f**k on your home page and still be a cbc correspondent? Amazing…

Hell yes! You can get away with edgy when you’re smart. Offer the useful goods and you can push the boundaries. Works every time.

Need More White Hot Truth?

In addition to her website, you can connect with Danielle on Twitter (she’s @DanielleLaPorte) and on Facebook.
Pre-Ordering for The Fire Starter Sessions is on now. Go to Danielle’s website for ordering information!

Gone berzerk – thoughts on the Vancouver housing market

By Wendy Riches

It’s official. The Vancouver housing market has gone berserk.

In a time when we’ve just surpassed Manhatta for average house prices, AND we’re technically still in an economic downturn, Vancouver’s residential resale market has gone off the charts.

Because I was potentially looking to purchase a home, our realtor set us up on the Private Client Service Listing, through which you get email alerts on any homes matching your criteria that come on the market. Today, I got NINE updates. Yesterday, six. What?!
Homes (with my criteria anyway) are averaging less than one week on the market. Selling for more than list price. And having offers taken only on the same day as the first open houses.

On the weekend, I arrived with only ten minutes remaining to an open house for a home that had just gone on the market a few days prior, and people were still clambering to get through as the realtor was locking up. When I told him I’d have to have my husband come back to view the house before we could consider making an offer (that night), he looked at me like I was from Mars. He was off to the next open house and couldn’t possibly fit in another showing. Wow, two hours of poor customer service for a mere 7/2.5%!

I appreciate that interest rates are set to rise and the impending HST has everyone in a tizzy, but in my opinion, when one has less than six hours to make a million dollar decision, that’s just insane.