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video transcriptions prelude of gratitude

Youre here! Thank you for being here. This is just to extend my gratitude for the fact that you took your hard-earned money and have invested in THE SPARKKIT digital experience. My promise to you is that Ive given it all Ive got. You will get out of this what you put into it, so heres my recommendation: be with this program, give it some time, maybe set a standing date for yourself, explore your creativity and your strategy, and your approach to time and authenticitywhich is really what the heart of this is about. This is about you defining your vocation, your work, your livelihood, your career, on your own terms. And a program of this scope and depth does not get created really supportive partners and an audience that is cheering you for everybody who said, I cant wait, for anybody whos through, and tweeted, and Facebooked, and left a comment blog, I am very grateful. So many people have been the fuel to my own fire. Enjoy, make the most of it, tell your friends, go forth, strike a match, start a fire, blaze your own trail. without on and clicked on my

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the metrics of ease


Who told you it needed to be hard? Im here to tell you its supposed to be easy. I just want you to think about it for a moment, maybe even close your eyesIll do it with you. What would it be like if everything you desired, especially in your career invocation, came to you really easily? Its almost unsettling to go there isnt it? Iit makes me, at some levelit makes me squirm, like easy...what would I do with all myself and my time if things just came to me easily, or I could probably get more of what I want? We have a very deep conditioning in our culture to do it the hard way , and in many ways, were actually addicted to this suffering. Think of it in terms faking it till you make it, badges of honor, paying your dues, enduring. The root of the word enduring is to suffer without exception. All of the best decisions I ever made in my career have been an immediate YES . The sense of ease and fluidity is woven to your genuine and authentic strengths because it comes naturallyit comes easily to you. Letting it be easy is giving yourself a break; letting it be easy is compassionate; letting it be easy is allowing for the things that youve been asking for to show up ; letting it be easy is getting out of your own way. Easy is not about shortcuts , because there are no shortcuts to initiation. This isnt about laziness. It is certainly not about mediocritythis is about leverage. The easy way is common sense you look at all the things you want to create, and produce, and get done, and put out in the worldand you start with the one that is the easiest, not the one that has the most potential. Not the one that is going to bring you the most revenue over time, but the one thats easy. Whats the project that you know the most about? What project ismost closely resembles things that youve done before? Where is there easy money to get? Where is there funding sitting there? Where is there already ambassadorship and alliances? What have you got going on in your plate that people are already asking for or asking about? What do you already know how to do? Start with whats easy and it builds momentum. Even more delightfully as an entrepreneur, it builds velocityvelocity is the greatest distance over time. Cheap-easy has a little bit of panic to it, a little bit of desperation. Its not as choiceful if you feel like youve got to do this or youre not going to get this. Theres compromise just negative compromise involved in cheap-easy and always a kind of clawing at the possibilities. Quality-easy , on the other hand, has a sense of immediate fluidity. Theres a gravitational pull to it. Theresquality-easy is about you standing up, not about you kowtowing or bending over to fit yourself into the choice. Theres a rising to whats easythis is the sense of grace that has been talked about in mysticism so many times. Quality-easy breathes life; quality-easy brings a sense of expansion; quality-easy is compellingbecause when you say yes to grace, when you say yes to the flow of things, everything you need to get the job done is waiting right there for you.

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Sometimes your intelligence, your knowing about whats intrinsically hard and easy will show up in the form of procrastination. I notice in myself a number of times where Ive put off decisionstheres been emails that I reallyI didnt really dig into for 2, 3, 4 weeks and what I realized in every one of those situations is it was really my instinct telling me the time is not right. If it feels too hard, dont respond to the email, dont push yourself to crack it open, and of course, a lot of times, things just sort themselves outand theres nothing more graceful than that. So much of the information thats required for you to make a solid decision is there in the beginningI call it the 8-second rule. I think that if your antenna or honed...if youve made a practice of following your instincts, and everything is sharp and working for you, that you know in the first handshake ; you know when someone shows up 2 minutes early or 2 minutes late; you know from the sound of their voice on the other end of the phone; you know from the tone of their email what theyvethe sob story theyre telling you, the victory story theyre telling you, the graciousness that they show up with. You just know somewhere in your beingyou can feel the yes, and you can feel the no, and you can feel the maybe. You know, my 20s was so much about will and making it happen and being seductive and finallyfinally it was about 5 years ago, I really got clear that I wasnt going to sell myself anymore that there was so much energy that I needed to exert to will things to be, to do it the arduous, right way. And when I decided to just be me, and to resonate, and to just shine, and speak my truth this is who I am, this is what I offer in my business, this is how much I cost, this is when Im available. If it works for youwonderful. If it doesntlike, Im okay with that, Im not going to push. Can you shamelessly, proudly do it the easy way? I certainly have taken the easy street in terms of producing this Fire Starter Program. I could have taken that conventional publishing route, going to find another agent, giving that agent 10 to 15% to get me a deal that probably wouldve taken about 3 to 4 months to get, for a book that wasnt going to come out for another 2 to 3 years. I mean, there would have been some prestige to that, but the easiest thing to do was just do it myself and get it out right away. Now the Law of Allowing is actually a huge paradigm-buster and theres so many habits and so much debris on our psyche to weed out, to really find that stride, but just knowing that its possible, knowing that it can be easy, knowing that the grace and the solutions and the funding and the support you need is just there waiting for you will make all the difference on how you go about things. It really can be that easy. Heres the thing: passion is easy.

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authentic dreaming
We get so many messages about what the right dream is, it gets hard to decipher what our own dream is. I think that the pandemic that we have of overconsumption is directly related to this concept of dreaming big, bigger, biggy, biggest-possible big. What if your dream is to live simply, to have enough, not more than enoughjust enough? Do not let society supersize your dreams unless its true for you. Over time, Ive had to calibrate my own big dreaming to my own inner reality and truth and I realized that I didnt want to have it all, I didnt need it allin fact, all was too much. What happens is that the motor and the propulsion of creating the dream, which is usually something that seems to be positioned outside of you, is about getting and achieving, and about external stuff. And it un-tethers us from what Ive been talking about in terms of desire and strategy, the dream that can come true. The only dream that can come true is making the feelings that you desire real . Knowing what you want is only half the journeyknowing whats driving you is the half that will get you there. So the key to authentic dreaming is very simplelet yourself dream, and then ask yourself: Why do you want what you want? And the answer to that will let you know if thats the dream that you want to come true.

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the value of value


You know that the universal law is that know one will know what youre worth until you anchor into your own worth and value yourself. No one else is going to place that value on you. There are steps to fostering, bolstering, and determining your value. Give it away for freethats how you know its working. In my last business consultancy, my business partner and I did 150 free sessions before we officially hung out our shingle. I never took a cheque from somebody. And in that period of free giving, we essentially created a laboratory for ourselves, where we knew which questions worked, we knew which marketing language appealed to people, we knew what didnt work. We saw the pattern of requestthe phones started ringing. We let the market help us determine and establish our value. So give it away free and create a laboratory for yourself. When youre absolutely certain that youve got something of value and worth that other people want, then it makes absolute, logical sense to figure out what the competition is doing in terms of their pricing, and depending on your experiencenot necessarily your experience with that servicebut your experienceyour depth of talent that you have in what youre offering, then you decide whether youre going to be in the same ballpark as your competition, whether youre going to be sort of more on an elite level, or if youre going to underprice yourself just to get the money in the doorwhich is a great strategy for the early days in the business. There have been two times in my career where Ive raised my prices for my consulting services. The first time, the initial rate was $150 for a 90minute experience on the phone. I didnt want to get into this pattern of doing this slow ratcheting upit was clear that the price needed to increase, and I just wanted to set that, and let that be the price for as long as possible. So we went from $150 to $500 for the 90-minute session, and I remember making that decision: I was standing in the hallway of our studio. The bookkeeper was there. I was talking to my business partner. I was like, Should we raise it to $250, $275? I like nice, clean numbers. Im not a $49.99 girl, because the $49.99 is just $50. Id like to assume the intelligence of my clients, and should it be $1,000? Well, we had data. We knew that our clients, once they had the experience, were willing to pay far more than what we were charging, and we knew what felt right. There wasat $150, we were starting to get a little resentful. It was like, Wow, I just gave a lot in 90 minutes for 150 bucks. So if youre resenting what your current price structure is, thats a great indicator that it needs to change. And we decided that what felt aligned with us was to raise our prices to $500. Now, at the time, I didnt have any publicity lined up, and I knew that our visibility was very much leveraged by magazine coverage and radio interviews, and whenever we got any ink or airwaves, the phone started to ring. But at this time, making the price leap...no publicity lined up. Made a decision on that Friday, took a deep breathwere committing to our value, we know its worth this, simply changed the price on our website copy. No fanfare about it, no email that went out,

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and nothing magical happened between Friday and Monday. There was no fantastic blog post, no great interview that was published. On Monday, the phone started to ring. It was magical. It was like somebody had flipped this cosmic switch, and because we had declared our value, everyone was stepping up to the plate, and wanted a piece of that value. And after that, we never looked back. You know what? If you make a mistake, and your market isnt synching up with you, you can always changeyou can always put it on sale, you can always take something away from the service or the product, or add something to it. Really, value is very much a work-in-progress experience. Part of determining your value is about being determined to give value. If you have any question about your worth, you need to look at if there are areas where you really do need to up your game, to improve yourself, to redesign things, get new skills, to bring yourself up to the level of excellence that will equal more income for you. So where do you need to sharpen your saw? Do whatever it takes to be your most excellent self, actually collaborate with your market to determine your price point, stand in that value, and radiate your good intentions. Be willing to flex and the people who need what youve got will come with credit cards.

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bonding + branding with Elizabeth Talerman


Danielle: I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be bringing you an interview with Elizabeth Talerman. She is a brand strategist of the highest order. She is the founder and CEO of Nucleus Branding, based in New York. She has worked directly with Martha Stewart on The Living Media. She has worked with Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, done brand strategy collaborations with Levis, Timex, Kodak, Audi, Colgate andjust a few little companies you may have heard of. Im going to let Elizabeths interview speak for itself. Its really genius, brilliant, salient, contemporary counsel for how building big commercial brands relates to being a solo entrepreneur. So it is my honour to introduce you to Elizabeth Talerman. So, Elizabeth, can you talk to us about the differences or the similarities between bringing a commercial brand or a product through an identity process, versus someones personal brand just their person, their identity, and what they stand for as an individualsimilarities, differences? Elizabeth: I believe that whether were talking about a massive branda Fortune 500 brandor an individual, its all the same. That brands start with behaviour. How we behave and the consistency of that behaviour, the authenticity of that behaviour is what signals a brand. It doesnt really matter, in the end, what we say. If thats different from our behaviour, the brand is not believable. For big companies with product development and innovation and human resources and operations, and for an individual, it starts with integrity, authenticity, a clear and consistent message, and a true understanding of what you do in the world that is of benefit to others. Danielle: What if someone is not clear on their identity? What if their behaviour is inconsistent because theyre still developing themselves, theyre forming their dream and their producthow do you work with that? And, theres a semi-colon to that question: do you ever get the big commercial companies coming to you and they want their brand to be a completely different reflection from their actual behaviour? Elizabeth: Yeah, I think for individuals and big companies again, its one and the same. We recently worked with a paper company, and they came to us and said: We know what we are and what we do today, but in 20 years, will we still be around? We want to define our brand so that we can be relevant for the next 20 years. Whats that going to take? And we use a set of tools that are as relevant for people as they are for companies, and the first thing we start with is trying to get an understanding of why other ones would bond to a brand.

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It starts with rationaleWhat do we offer them? What are the features and benefits of that offer? But thats only table stakes. Where it has to go after that is how we create emotional connections and how we deliver on them. So in the case of a motorcycle company, you can have Honda and Yamaha, and one bike can ride smoother or go faster, but theyre going to keep competing, and theyre going to keep one-upping each other, because theyre focused mainly on features and benefits. Its not until we look at a brand like Harley, where we say what they stand for, and who they are bonds with us in emotional ways that are inextricablethat make us feel something, that bond us to a tribe, that give us a badge. Brands where we can say I am...so, I am a Coke versus I am a Pepsi. I am Dunkin Donuts versus I am Starbucks. Those are brands with whom we have a great deal of emotional bonding. And thats because the relationship goes beyond the features and benefits of the offering. Danielle: What is a question that you ask, or that a solo entrepreneur should be asking themselves, to get clear on what their emotional equity is? Elizabeth: So, Im not always sure of the exact questionswhat we do is we make it a game, make it fun, and the first thing we did was we put in front of ourselves this set of cards. You could just rip it up for magazines, and we looked at 50 different animals, and we said, If you were an animal, what animal are you, and why? Or well look at the future: What animal will you be when youve got it all together, and why? Now, the animal itself is not important, its the why. What are the characteristics and the attributes of that particular beast that make up what this brand is going to be about? The next thing we do is give ourselveswe use a card deck, but anyone can do this. We figure out the 3 most important attributes of what we just defined and that might be: sunny, happy, moody, grounded, basic. Contemplate many different attributes. Choose 3 and understand why those 3 are vital. Then we think about: Whats the role of my brand in the world? Am I a provocateur, a teacher, a mentor, a liberator, a cheerleader, an MVP? We, again, have a list of about 50 different roles a brand can play in the world, and those are really importantlayered onto what emotionally makes it up. What are the attributes of them? And the last thing we do is we ask somebody to choose from a list of probably 100 brands: What brands are also playing this role in the world? And when we look at that, we start to define ourselves based on our brand neighborhood, versus our competitionWhat brands are most like our brand?, not Whats my competition doing? If you guide yourself by what the competition is doing, they can always beat you. But if you guide yourself by a brand neighborhoodwe want to live in the same neighborhood with Apple, and Whole Foods, and Xand here are the reasons why...because one is a creator of tools for people who want to change the world. We call those folks "denters", world changersand Whole Foods is about a wholesomeness and the goodness. And when you start to look at your brand neighborhood based on roles that brand plays in the world, you start to define something thats incredibly actionable.

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Danielle: I love the concept of brand neighborhood, because anytime you see things through the lens of competition, it just shrinks your worldview. There is some anxiety involved. The anxiety and the authenticity, like they dont play very well together. Okay, my last question for you: any difference in the process of bringing womencentric companies or products through the identity process, versus male-centric brands or products? Elizabeth: Were doing a project right now on women and leadership, and looking at those that did break the glass ceiling are now of an age where theyve got to pass the baton. As weve been looking at this, weve been looking at it a little differently, because those coming up in the world, the super young women that have just graduated from college eschewing traditional corporate structures, and theyre embarking on entrepreneurship more and more and more. The reason that is is because theres no reason for us to worry about glass ceilings or keys to executive suites in a man-made world. We can define the world ourselves. We can create a woman-made world. And if you create a woman-made world, you dont have to worry again about what the competition is doing. You dont have to define anything by a man-made world. In my world of branding, brands can lean towards gender characteristics, but in business, were gender-neutral, absolutely. Strict, clear, consistent definition of a brandit doesnt matter whether its in the man-made world or a woman-made world. Whats really important is the role your brand plays in the world and identifying who can most benefit from the role that you play in the world. Danielle: Elizabeth, stellar, clear, grounded, juicy, I bow to you. Thank you. Thank you so much for your wisdom. Its really lovely. Elizabeth: Thank you. Danielle: Thank you so much.

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collaborative paradigms
I used to believe that in order to be a really robust, solid entrepreneur, and to be a spiritually evolved, tolerant, non-judgmental, compassionate person, that I needed to work with people who saw the world in very different ways than I didand that always led to heartache, and some kind of legal retainer for me. Heres what Ive since learned: I flourish when I work with people who see life in a very similar way that I do, and now a shared world view, a paradigm, is absolutely essential for me in terms of collaboration and work. So whos on your bus? Who are you collaborating with? Who are you teaming up with? Who have you hired? What are their values? What do they think about teamwork? How do they see the world? How do they define success? How do they define trust? What does integrity mean to them? Even more importantly, what are your values? I worked with...Ill call them a service provider, once, who believed that trust needed to be earned, that no one was worth trusting until they prove their trust to you. That NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements) were a general course of orderthey needed to be signed before most meetings. That ideas, especially creative ideas, needed to be protected and held close to the chest. That you always needed to have an ace up your sleeve. That negotiating was about withholding. That is not how I live my life. That is not how I want to grow my business or my career. So now I have two criteria, two requisites for people to get on my bus the first one is that youve got to believe that a trusting heart is a strong heart, that trust is a form of stamina , because thats just how I roll. Secondly, I operate on the premise that everything happens for a reason . That even setbacks are progress. That there is some divine sensibility to how all of this is operating, that there is some order to this chaos. I allow room for mystery, but I believe in the innate progression of all things that happen in life and in business. That we can party, youre on my bus, Im on your bus, and we have a fundamental simpatico that is strong, that creates cohesionand when you have that, thats when you create momentum and velocity. Now, once you get those fundamentals down, then the game becomes all about diversity . Its about a range of skills, its aboutit doesnt matter what faith you are. If youre trusting on every possible level, I dont care whether youre a right-wing Baptist, Buddhist, flaky New Age, crystal-polishing recovered Catholicwe can play, we can make progress together. Skill sets. You need different skill sets. You need people who have true strengths that are different from yours. If youre a starter, of course youve got to have a finisher; if youre about the big picture, of course youve got to have the details; and vice versa. But you are entitled to the grace and to the honor of working with people from your tribe who have a similar fundamental approach to life and work and that is where the magic happens.

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10

social media zip zoom


Your relationship with social media exists for two reasons and two reasons onlyto promote yourself, and to be of service to the collective. Thats it. If youre in business for yourself, if youre selling something, if youre making your way in the world, this is not about what you had for lunch, and its not where you went on your family vacation. Surest way to get people to come to your blog is to get off of your blog. Its about repurposing your stuff, its about writing for other blogs, and having a tagline that links back to your website. The greatest example of this is Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, who for the first six to nine months of his sitewhich by the way, I think has over 140,000 subscribers nowhe wrote on average, two to four other websites a week. I mean, that is a crazy writing schedule, but the guy has got over 140,000 subscribers now. Who can you write for? Who can you interview with? Meaning. who can you be interviewed by, how can you get off your site to the other places where your audience is living? The other way is to get other people, other kinds of content onto your site. Of course, theres user-generated content. What can your readers contribute? And then who are your other kinds of contributors? Anybody else you want doing guest posting on your site? Who can you interview? Every time you interview someone, especially in terms of the more high profile they are, you will get a traffic lift. Twitterwe gotta talk about Twitter. Do not underestimate the power of Twitter. I get a lot of traffic coming to my site through the Twitter community. Do not disqualify the genuine bona fide community that exists on Twitter. There is a lot of love on that little node of the global brain. To drive your Twitter following is to follow other people. Thats one methodology. Theres a protocol on Twitteryou follow me and Im going to follow you...not everybody practices that. I do automatic follow-backs and youve got people like Stephen Covey, whos got 20,000 some followers, and I think hes following like two people. What I would do to build your Twitter following is do a keyword searchso you go to Find People on Twitter, search for words that are relevant to your industry, to your business, to the theme of what youre working on. Say youre into yoga, you can do yoga, you can do wellness, you could do endurance training, you could do Hatha. You will come up with thousands of people who have those keywords in their profiles. Follow 20 new people a day. Fifteen of those people are going to follow you back. The beauty of doing it in small chunks is that you can actually see whos following you back, and see who you actually want to build relationships with, and it also makes it clear that youre not trolling for new followers all the time. What you dont want to have happen is that youre following 500 people and youve got 50 followers. That just says to everybody: sleazy, and its clear that you stayed up til three in the morning just went follow, follow, follow. Of course, you can have a Virtual Assistant to help you do all of these for you.

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My general counsel with all things social media, whether its Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz (which Im not really into right now) LinkedIn, is to experiment and to give yourself some time my touchstones for interaction with social media is be informative and useful. If youre not going to be informative and useful, be inspiring and motivating, and if you dont have the jam to be inspiring and motivating, then at the very least, be entertaining.

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12

loss + stamina
You cant have a conversation about development, and business, and creativity, and entrepreneurship without talking about loss and stamina. And usually the conversation around loss in business is around losing money, and losing opportunities, but that is just sort of the first layer of what occurs. Therere so many other dimensions that get pushed on when you lose a business relationship, when you lose an idea, an entity, something that you gave birth to. Once upon a time, I had a company that had my name on the door and someone elses name on the doorit was so-and-so and Danielle. I poured everything I had into the company for about five years, took it from a friendship and a few loose concepts to standing it up to a thriving consultancy. Having worked with about 400 clients, getting a 6-figure book advance, being romanced by major television networks, lots of magazine coverage, till eventually we stood it up into a multimedia company. We had a really thriving website with lots of traffic and lots of fan mail. And backed up behind that were some pretty significant investment capitalwe raised about $600,000 to take that from print into a virtual company. And our tagline was Inspiring authenticity, and the bigger we got, the more quiet I became because I wanted to be rich and famous and I thought that I needed to be more flexible, more pliable with how other people wanted to grow my company. And little did I know how my silence was slowly but surely pulling me into the darkest point of the forest of that heros journey that Joseph Campbell has spoken so articulately about, where the hero enters the darkest point where no one has entered before, where only that hero can go. But what you dont often hear in the second part of that quote from Joseph Campbell is that the hero then enters a fluidly ambiguous landscapefluidly ambiguous. Its very watery when you are off center, when youre being pulled out, when youre growing too quickly, when youre being silenttheres nothing to hold on to. And thats the way its supposed to be, its the way that you learn how to fly. My most intense flight lesson came when, about five years into that company, the CEO that I had hired took myself and my business partner aside and let us know that our roles in the company would be reduced by 90%, that I would just write a few blog posts a week from home. It was made clear to me that the company owned my image, they owned all of my intellectual property, everything that I had ever written. It was clear to me that I was out, outmy company, my name on the door, on the website, on the book, out. I was made an offer that was very easy for me to refuseit was kind of a sell my soul or save my soul moment, and so I left. I went maverick, I went renegade, I embraced the sword of liberation, and I got the fuck out of there.

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13

The thing about loss, whether it happens with a loved one or a business, is that its completely discombobulatingit is fluid, it is ambiguous, theres nothing to hold on to. Shortly after I left my last company, and there were so many lawyers involved, and the fuck!, the bitterness, and disbelief and shock. I remember one morning, I was cooking an omelet for myselfcooking for me is discombobulating to begin with,but I was in that state, and I remember for a nanosecond the omelet was cooked, and I looked down at the frying pan, and I couldnt figure out how I was going to get the eggs out of the frying pan. How do I get the eggsthe eggs are in the frying pan, Im justtheyre cooked, Im ready. Oh, spatula! So I think that declaring that loss, and severe endings, and failure, and losing, and whatever shape or form it comes to you in terms of your vocation just knowing that it creates discombobulation, that it will throw you into a spin, and that is a necessary part of the creative cycle. It really helps you weather those storms that whats happening to you is really a natural disasteremphasis on the word natural. You need to draw on your successes, even if those successes are part of these stepping stones and the building blocks that got you to the failure. You got that far, so being glorifying with yourself and encouraging with yourself and having a glory bar or a success list in times of crisis is absolutely essential. You need to believe that youve got the stuff. Youve got to take ruthless responsibility for your role in creating any crisis situation in your career. It doesnt mean that you let other people off the hook, and youre not standing steadfast for accountability on all fronts, but whether its betrayal, or loss, or financial downturns, theres youve had some part in getting yourself there, and when youre really impeccable about admitting to that, you set yourself free. And when you can set yourself free in that way, you start to see solutions to navigate your way out of the dark. If at all possibleand I think its always possibleyouve got to find something in the trauma to be grateful for, as soon as you can, and hold on to that. When my own axe came down, I secretly felt freeI was so happy to be liberated. It was hard to feel in the midst of the shock, but it was thereI was free. Maybe it was just the relief of knowing the truth, maybe its having the boil lanced, maybe its the excitement of not knowing what comes next. But theres always a reason to say thank you when somethings falling apart. And not to sound glad, but you know what? At the end of the day, its just business. Its just business, its just another lesson, its just the university of life. You will survive, and when you get done surviving, you will be thriving.

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14

quittin time
What happens when you dont want to do it anymore? When you want to quit, sell, walk away, throw in the towel, bag it, sink it, tank it, never see it again, leave? And now think about that process of rationalization, and explanation, and description, and justification and think about how much that sucks. I recently left a gig that didnt feel right to me and I came up with all of these really logical, reasonable reasons why it didnt work. It interrupted part of my week. it took more time than I had originally anticipated when I committed to the gig, I needed to find a babysitter in order to do that gig, I needed to, like, look amazing at a certain time every week to do this high-visibility gig, didnt quite jive with everybody involvedand you know what? Those were just lame, sorry excuses in light of the fact that when I really love something, and Im committed, I will drive all night to night to go there, I will do whatever it takes , I will pull all-nighters, I will get a babysitter to show up and shine. Forget the excuse saw, and just deliver the goods straight up. The bottom line was it just didnt feel right. I wasnt having fun. It didnt light me up. I wasnt excited. I wasnt inspired, . And it was great visibility, it was okay money, but it didnt feel right. And when something doesnt feel right, thats enough. That is the only reason that you need to have to say no to something. When you put yourself in a position to justify how youre feeling, youre automatically putting yourself on the defense. Heres the incredibly important salient point I want to make here: when we go through the process of justifying our feelings and our reasoning for doing something, its actually incredibly corrosive to our own stability , inner stability, our integrity and even our logic. Justifying how you feel about something perpetuates cleverness, and clever in my dictionary is not a really positive wordit tends to be a bit manipulative, its sleek. Clever tells people what cleverly things people want to hear. Justifying how you feel is sort of...its a way of appeasing and appealing, and of course, there are times to do this, and Im going to talk about thatbut clever justification, its not great. When you justify how you feel, you are depressing the stamina and the power of your essential self , you are creating excuses for who you really are. In an effort to protect people and to prove yourself, you start to sort of nitpick the situation, you become a bit of a whiner about why its not working, as opposed to just standing in what you know. You come up with complaints. Sometimes you create complaints that arentthe fact is, when the passion is there, when youre turned onthere is no problem, there is nothing to complain about, because everything is surmountable because your enthusiasm will see you through.

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Standing in the simplicity and the elegance of being able to say, It just doesnt feel right does not negate the absolute necessity to quit things responsibly and in total integrity. Sometimes your greatness demands that you give very detailed, very precise explanations about why youre leaving a situation, because thats the most compassionate, mature thing to do. But even in that compassion, and that precision, and executing that with dignity, you need to stay rooted to the fact that it just doesnt feel right. Even if thats what is called for, then stick to explaining how you feel. Nobody can argue with how you feel unless youre arguing with yourself. Hold the excuses, stand in your heart and make it matter.

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Danielle + Dyana
Danielle: So, in a session that I had with you in my early days of starting to do 1-on-1 Fire Starter consults, I was sort of whining a bit about my ideal client and I remember saying to you that my conflict was that I was getting pretty clear, I was in a "no-gotiation" place and that really I wanted to only work with people who were entrepreneurs, but I was feeling this pull of working withsome of the people who were coming to me, who were working in corporate jobs and just stuck, and theyre really struggling in their careers transition place, and knew that I had something to offerbut it was a drag for me, and I wasnt feeling lit up, and so I was whining to you about how to negotiate that, and you pushed right back. And I just said, But I feel so guilty because I have so much to give. and you said to me, What did you say to me? Dyana: Well, I said, Its not right for you, but the other thing isjust because you have it to give, doesnt mean you have any business giving it. It doesnt make sense! If it doesnt feel juicy and good and right, then youre automatically dropping your operation percentage down to about 80-70%, something like that. And I know, at least for me, and I think for you too, were not about giving a C performance when were on. We want to be on, we want to be electrified. Im in it for me. I do my work because it turns me on, and if Im out there doing D work, then I feel bad about myself, and Im not on fire, my brain doesnt click the same way, so you start to feel guiltythen Id say its just not for you, it doesnt have to be a big deal, its just not your thing . Danielle: So Im clear about what lights me up and turns me on, and how that makes me more generous and more astute, but where is that line of I want to be of service and I want to be selfless, and where does compassion and that sort of were all connected dynamic come into all of it? Dyana: Well, for some reason, I wanted to bring out, like, courtroom language, like lets just stipulate that were all connected. Lets just assume that thats true and that our purpose in the world is maybe to look for those connections versus to necessarily feel like we have to establish them. So Ill say that about that. When I think of being of service, part of that is a sort of do no harm. Try to not be out there like rapaciously taking peoples money and not giving them anything. Okay, thats one level of it. But another level of it is that if you are modelling the philosophy that youre talking about so youre actually taking it to heart, youre actually living it, and youre showing us how youre living it. That showingthat demonstration is a service, and its a service that someone can pick up and they can take or they can choose not to take . So sometimes, I think being of service sort of crosses the line into this the world needs this so Im going to give it to them kind of thing, where its like this has to change. And I think being of service to ourselves, being of service to our higher understanding of who were supposed to really be, that just doing THAT is going to directly affect all of our interactions. And if it can direct the way that we enter into our interactions, its going to affect another person, and its going to draw the people too who serve you and who can then, in turn, serve.

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Danielle: Talk about what repetitive fakingones own repetitive fakingdoes to their quality of work, their spirit, the dynamic of their creativity, their life. Dyane: I think it goes back to the cheesy pornyoud never get the money shot, you never get satisfaction, you never get to come. And you dont ever learn how to do it. Part of the faking it is that it derails you from your natural developmental cycle, so you sort of stay in this little eddy of faking it, and I think for a lot of people, it works. It works in service to paying the mortgage, it works in service to satisfying other people in our lives, but it keeps us in this little spiral, and I think it keeps us quite smalland not small and contained in the safety waybut small and contained in a kind of danger to oneself way, a sort of destructive way. And I think that that comes out with a lot of different symptomology, so I talk to people whove been faking it for a long time, who say they usually speak softly and they say, So I have this idea, and it all feels like very sneakythe truth feels very sneaky, so youll hear that in the way that people talk like, Well, you know, if I were to be honest Theyll preface things with their own knowledge that theyve been living a lie. Danielle: When do I feel selfish? When I want to get my work done, whensometimes I feel selfish when Im just in that singular, artistic, mad scientist vibe, where Im like, I want to be alone. You must find a babysitter, order pizza, I have art to make. And sometimes Im just like, so crazed with what is coming down, that it doesnt cross my mind to be selfish, but when I kind of wake up, and Im like, Oh, I have responsibilitiesI need to clean the house, I need to feed my kidI dont actually need to clean my house, I can get a turnthats a choice. Theres some selfishness that comes up there. And usually, ironically, the poorer I am, the less I take care of myself, the more selfish Ill feel. So when I take that time and fuel up, I am just juicy and generous, and when I get run down, I can feel something in my system is greedy and not being fed, and then I start to label it as I am being a selfish, workaholic, neglectful entrepreneur and that is simply not true. That is simply not true. Dyana: I feel selfish when I just want to show up and I dont want to do any of the homework. I feel totally selfish when I just want to get in the car and go somewhere and just be myself and have that be enough. Sometimes I feel like thats selfish because Im supposed to have gone through these grand machinations to make something interesting. Danielle: That is such a good one, because you know Ive been thinking, over the last couple of months, particularly about speaking gigs and being prepared. And you know, a couple of years ago, I wrote a post and I quoted Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, him saying that unless he feels the butterflies before a performance, like its not right, like its going to suck, this anxietyis essential for great performance. And I dont know if I have an answer to that even at all, but its like I started thinking to myself, What if I did a gig without any anxiety? I feel great before a gig, but I definitely feel the whirring, and Ive got to breathe and Im telling myself Im alive. My speaking coach would say... shed say fear is just wrath waiting to happen or something, and then its really lovely and brilliant and effective. But I just thought, What if you could just feel like a slam-fucking-dunk? And I just got into the car and I didnt prepare necessarily, and I just took the stage and shone from that place.

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Dyane: Right. I love the idea, I love it. When I think selfish, I think diva princess, entitled, arrogantI mean theres a lot of stuff that comes with the word selfish thats negative that has at least negative connotations. But I just wonder what it would be likeand maybe us just showing up is like amazingand maybe we could be even bigger and more amazing if we and the people who were hanging out with our clients and the people who were coming to these groups and stuff just all they did was put in their minds that Im just going to be here. What would that be like? And not: What am I going to get? How much?All that stuff that comes with getting ready. Maybe were ready. Danielle: Maybe were ready. Its a juicy conversation, because Im also a firm believer in being prepared and I think being prepared is a way of being loving, likethis is the message I want to impart. Im going to suit up, Im going to show up. This is how I want to help. Youve hired me, youre paying me good money. Dyana: Yeah . Danielle: I got to know my shizzle. Dyana: So if selfish means more myself and more about myself, so that I can be of service to other people, so I can connect with other people, so that I can have some damn funhell yeah! Im in. Danielle: Im in.

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strategy of desire
The philosopher Rn Descartes said, I think, therefore I am. and like, I think thats cool, but I think he just got it half-right. I feel, therefore I am. When you pick up the phone, when you ship your product, when you walk into your store, when you post your article, how do you want to feel? Doesnt everybody want to feel successful? Of course, sometimes you dont know how some version of success is going to feel until you get there, and youre in the middle of the experience and youre tasting it and youre trying it onand thats the essence of creativity and experimentation, and thats the journey. Successwe all want success. But success...theres something underneath it that needs to be defined so you know what it is when you get there. How does success feel to you? Everything you do is to create a desired feeling. Its what you put into your mouth, its what comes out of your mouth, its who you hang out with, its the job you take, its what you wear, its the clothes you buy, its the car you drive, its everything. Whether its your lizard brain or your tenth hundred chakra, you are doing whatever you need to do to generate a desirable positive state . I think we have it all backwards in our culture, that we come up with our to-do lists, and our bucket lists, and our strategic plans, and our business plans, and our ambitions when reallyif we just got clear and got anchored into how it is that we want to feel in our career, our vocation, in our wealth building, in our livelihoodthen we could just do whatever we needed to do to generate those particular desired feelings. So then I ask you, my people, my brethren: how is it that you want to feel in your livelihood? If you just do a stream of consciousness and theres the exerciseand this Fire Starter Session is all about that. Do a stream of consciousness riff and jam session with yourself about all the feelings that you desire to have in every area of your work. Youll probably start to see a patternthe same theme will start coming up again and again. Maybe its grateful, maybe its strength, maybe its confidence, maybe its creativity. There are 10 different ways to say each of those things every word in and of itself is its own planet. But you will be able to distill down about three or four particular themes, patterns, drivers that are propelling you towards your ambitions. And what I want you to do is narrow it down to those 3 or 4 key words and use those desired feelings as the basis of all of your go-getting , of being anchored into the emotion thats driving youand its great that its driving you. Its really potentially revolutionary for how you approach your work. The strategy is really simple and really profoundknow how you want to feel and do whatever it takes to feel that way.

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connection + community, an interview with Chris Guilliebeau


Danielle: I think you are the gentleman of the internet, and I was just saying to Pam Slim the other day that you know that "if Chris does not post an article on Monday or Thursday, you can rest assured hes been kidnapped or hes dead." Chris: Right, its true. Danielle: So why the consistency and whats the benefit of that kind of consistency? Chris: There are 2 benefits; one benefit is for the readers. Its like what you said, like they know they can count on it, its going to be there. People have written in and said like I look forward to this every Monday morning like Im going to a kind of site. Some people dont even subscribe, like through email or whatever. They just go to the site like a couple of times a week and they know something is going to be there. However, I think the greater benefitsits not so much about the readers but the greater benefit is for the creator, for me, its the benefit of discipline, and the benefit of I have to do this, this is the schedule that Ive set for myself and I think people would obviously forgive me if there wasnt a post up one day and I had a good reason. But I would worry about myself, I would worry if I miss it once then its going to be much easier to miss it again, right? So right now Ive got this streak going, I should look up the exact number of posts. Basically for more than 2 years, since I started the site, I have not missed a scheduled day and so I like that. I like the streak. Im attached to it the longer the streak goes, the more you want to maintain it so I would say the greatest benefit is just in terms of your own creativity and getting stuff done and making it to happenthe most important thing that you do every day of the week or whatever. Danielle: Youre attached to the streak. I like it. My shrink would call that positive addiction. Chris: Yes, I would say the same thing, sure. Danielle: Its an addiction, with a healthy upside Chris: Right. Danielle: You know when I asked you about self-promotion, your answer is about finding the tribe and the resonance. Tell me how you find them?

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Chris: I like to use the vacuum cleaner salesman analogy, and I just talk about the difference between evangelism and recruitment . So evangelism is like a vacuum cleaner salesman; going out and knocking on like 200 doors a day and maybe by the end of the day you might sell one, and thats great but youre going to have 199 rejections. Its going to be a pain in the ass and you have to deal with rejection all the time. so thats evangelism; whereas recruitment or what I think as self promotion, is more about finding a tribe and going out and saying, heres what Im doing, Im inviting people to be a part of this . Heres kind of what its all about. Heres the mission, the vision, if you identify, if you agree with this, Id love to have you be a part of it, if not, if its not the right thing for you then its a big Internet out there you know, go and have fun, start your own thing even, and thats great. Danielle: Okay, I want to talk about antics and stunts and like launching your last product, your empire building kit on your birthday, which I thinkwhich is a total ploy for sympathy while riding a train across the country. Tell us about the thought that goes into how youre going to launch something and is it aboutI think for you its like just big shots of like grand versus maybe long term nurturing of the campaign. Chris: Okay, so theres a lot we could say about this. The first thing I think is that its always important to tell stories. Its always important to have a story built around what youre doing because then people will care about it and the other thing you have to think about like with my models, Ive got the blog and Ive got the business, and a lot of people read the blog and arent interested in the business. Thats fine, and I have to think about those people, I have to think, okay, if the launch is fabulous, thats like with the whole blog readership its like a 2 to 3% conversion rate, and that would be a good conversion rate with the whole readership. So that means that more than 95% of people probably arent going to buy this thing or whatever. And thats fine, so I have to think about how can I keep it interesting, how can I make it fun for everybody. Onefor the people who are going to buy it but then also if there are people who arent necessarily interested in the product, can I give them a story, can I create a quest. A lot of what I write about is about quests and journeys. My whole thinggoing to every country in the world. So thats a big thing. And then also, so in this specific case, the forced deadline kind of came in and helped me a lot because Ive been wanting to do this project for months and I kept putting it off and then the project was called Empire Building Kits and I started looking online for this train between Chicago and Portland and I found out that it was called the empire builder and so that was like synchronicity, just a bunch of stuff started happening and it made me think like lets create a whole event around this. And so I think that was a big part of it. And the birthday thing is where I came up because Ive never actually told people that my birthday is before Ive had these issues about it and so I just kind of put it out there and say by the way, its also my birthday so maybe it was a sympathy ploy, I dont know, Im not sure. Thats the first thing; to make it fun, tell stories, involve people in your life and it has a huge impact. Ive got a lot of fan mail from people who didnt even buy the product, which I really like. That helped me see how it was going to get thing because I got fan mail from

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people who were like this isnt really for me but Im enjoying hearing about the train ride, and I thought that was great and so that made me feel good. I also got a lot less unsubcribes. Normally when you do a product line-like sequence, some people are just going to start unsubscribing and thats fine, but I noticed this when I got a lot less than I normally did. I think probably because of the story and the fun factor.
Danielle: What do you have to say to people who feel shy and reserved about any form of self-promotion? I get this a lot: Im not an actual marketer. It makes me feel like Im being pushy. I just say get over it! but what would gentlemanly Chris Guillibeau say? Chris: Sure. I would say what are you uncomfortable with? Dont call it marketing. Im a pretty shy introverted person myself and I have had to get over some things over the past few years. I guess what Ive been getting over is realizing that not everyone is resistant to it. When you take the approach where youre recruiting rather than evangelizing people are actually excited about what youre doing, theyd want to know about it; positive feedback and reinforcement really does help as you start to build a tribe, as you start to hear from people who are excited about what youre doing than you might want to do it more and more. But if you are intimidated, then start with who you know, start with who youre comfortable with, tell them about your project, ask them if they can help, ask them if they can refer you to a few people, build it piece by piece. Thats something I really did put a lot of effort in, especially in the beginning, like the first 6 or 12 months, its just building it piece by piece and thinking about each reader, like what can I do to connect with each person on an individual basis? Im not thinking about thousands of readers or tens of thousands but each person, like how can I reach them and have some kind of connection with them because then theyre going to help me with the next thing or whatever soat some point you have to get over it, but I think you can start with where you are, you can start with who you know and youll probably get more and more comfortable as you do it. Danielle: Promotion is just about connection. Chris: Yes. By the way, this is my assistantshe just came and jumped on my desk. (kitty cat.) Danielle: Lets do a little word association game. Tell me, what comes to mind, give me a word back or you can give me like the whole concept thats just there in your bean. Self-promotion. Chris: Finding the people who are interested in your thing. Trying to persuade people - not trying to be like, Hey Danielle, come and be part of my thing but trying to find the people who are already interested or preinclined or predisposed to be part of your thing. Danielle: Creativity. Chris: I like what Seth Godin says, An instinct to produce, creativity is an instinct to produce and get things out. Danielle: Deadlines, first thing that comes to mind. Chris: Beautiful. Deadlines are great. Deadlines make you get stuff done. Danielle: Meaningfulness. Chris: What its all about. Danielle: I knew I could count on you.

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the send off


Youre here for a reason. That reason is yours to define. Make it something amazing + really Full of love and things that feel hot Be unreasonable Be scared if you need to be Just keep moving Feeling Asking And dont take shit. Just keep Choosing Make lots and lots of choices You are writing the movie script of your life Action! Desire. Lights. (some tears) Youre a Hero On an adventure This is it. This is the adventure Creativity. Change. Business. Art. People. Leadership. Score. Money. Fame. Gain. Failure. Pride. Industry. LOVE Its all about love in the end And in the beginning So start now today Let it be simple easy electric Be surprised new true you An inferno of goodness Of prosperity Of spark! Pow! Yes! Start now Or dont (everything is progress) But being hot and creative and prosperous Is So MUCH MORE FUN (and sexy) ooo La La! (I love you.) Were all in this together. One more thing... NOW, XO

Legacy.

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