Customer Review

116 of 126 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, overpromises and under delivers, May 13, 2012
This review is from: The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms (Hardcover)
First of all, I respect Danielle LaPorte and her work. She runs a good blog and has a certain aura of confidence. She's also a good wrangler and event coordinator, and the fact that Amazon is awash with 5 star reviews during the week of her book launch is testimony to that.

I bought the book out of curiosity and to see what all the hype was about. Here is a list of the pros and cons.

PROS: Compared to other self-help books the writing is light and refreshingly brisk.

CONS: Despite what other reviewers have said, the graphic design isn't great. Anyone with an eye for kerning and proportions can see that the layout is a DIY job that could have benefited from a more professional touch.

CONS: While the writing style is fluid and fun, the tone can be quite snarky. Whether she's berating guided meditations for the word "possibility" or saying something like:

"Here's my favourite misuse of holistic positivity: 'There's no such thing as a mistake." Ah, yes, spiritualized justifications of poor behaviour and human weakness..."

The book has a certain "holier than thou" undertone that leaves a bad aftertaste, especially from someone in the "wisdom-broadcasting business", as she calls it.

CONS: The book purports to be a SOULFUL and PRACTICAL guide to success, but falls short of either.

If you're looking for an irreverent guide to business success, works like Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs are packed with useful tips and actual practical advice. And if you're looking for a spiritual guide to affluence and cloud-parting 'aha' moments, then works like Creating Money: Attracting Abundance (Sanaya Roman) are brilliant.

This book straddles the line between the 'practical' and 'spiritual' but doesn't give you a wholesome meal of either. The main themes are ones we've all heard before:

* Follow your dreams
* Conquer your fears
* Act now
* Want what you want, etc.

It's not that I think she doesn't have something valuable to say. It's just that others have done it before, and better.

Added to that: Danielle wrote about gunning for the New York Times Bestseller List as the gold medal in the publishing field. It was her 2012 vision. She didn't make the list and wrote a blog article on the corruption of it all. This blind pursuit of fame and fortune for its own sake seems hollow, especially if you've just written a guide for people to "create success on their own terms".

In the end, I would be less dissatisfied with the book if it was positioned with more clarity. This book is a 'call to arms' or manifesto to find your passion, targeting people with no direction in their lives. It may be useful for:

* Former students who've just graduated and don't know what to do with their lives
* Housewives who are playing with the idea of taking on a vocation
* People finding themselves in between jobs

If you're someone stuck on the couch, this book might be a useful PEP TALK. But for people who are farther along in their journey, this book comes across as fluffy and elemental.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 16, 2012 4:57:20 PM PDT
I agree that the much publicised drive to be on the NY Times Bestseller list misses the point. People don't write books to get on lists. They write books to help people and provide value. That should be the primary aim. Sadly, this book fell short of that, for me.
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