On Martha’s Bookshelf: The Firestarter Sessions

First of all, I want to shout out to the many people who have been giving me books by mail and in person. It is always an honor to receive a heartfelt book and I seem to attract that honor at a level that has now outstripped my reading speed. If I have not contacted you about a book you have given me, please accept my thanks and apologies.

This month I’m happy to recommend Danielle LaPorte’s The Firestarter Sessions. This book has kick-ass instructions to motivate and inspire business people, but please don’t let that make you think it’s a business book. Danielle’s way of approaching any action is smart, energizing and empowering. Those of you who have attended the Sedona Star or Master Coach Michael Trotta’s workshops know that making fire can be astonishingly difficult. I, for one, would hesitate even to try without the help of a master fire-maker but you also know when you breath life into a smoking ember and it finally bursts into flames you know in that moment that you can create anything. The Firestarter Sessions are well named: Danielle LaPorte really can ignite your business sense, whether it’s entrepreneurial, corporate, or completely woo woo. Like Prometheus, her goal is not to start your fire but to give you the gift of becoming a firestarter yourself. I urge your to accept that gift.

Martha’s Bookshelf: Anything You Want

I don’t know if ya’ll are following The Domino Project, Seth Godin’s brilliant publishing experiment based on good solid research into what makes entertaining, high value reading.  I, myself, am a hard core fan.  Godin and the authors in The Domino Project (I hope to be one of them) are publishing a series of very short books they call “manifestos.”  One of the most recent is now ensconced in my library of favorite books.  It’s called Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.  Sivers created a $22 million dollar business beginning with a website he made himself to sell his own music.  As millionaire entrepreneurs go – or even as regular people go – he has very unorthodox attitudes towards business.  Here are a few of his recommendations for entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: 

  • “Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.”
  • “Never do anything just for the money.”  
  • “Starting with no money is an advantage.  You don’t need money to start helping people.”
  • “Your business plan is moot.  You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.”

Can I get an “Amen!?” 

Sivers articulates what my heart – and perhaps yours as well – has been saying my entire adult life. The great thing about him is he has 22 million little helpers saying he’s right.  (Actually, though he sold his business for $22 million, Sivers gave it all to charity and lives without a house or a car, trusting he can make as much money as he needs, starting anywhere anytime, with nothing but his inventiveness.)  Don’t think that just because he’s an idealist and a visionary, his business advice is impractical.  In fact, he advocates a devoted work ethic and a lot of good common sense.  It’s just that he does it from a place of such psychological purity that his business advice will have a profound positive influence on you no matter how much money you have at the moment.  Sivers is showing us a new way to succeed, a way that doesn’t involve the horrific energy of grasping and fear implicit in so many other business books.  It really will convince you that you can have anything you want in business – without selling your soul.