Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Fire Starter Sessions #1

So, I've managed to squeeze in some time to make a start on the first chapter of the Fire Starter Sessions.

"This truth is most evident: we entrepreneurs, artists, and change agents define ourselves on our own terms."

I love that Danielle LaPorte recognises artists and agents of change as entrepreneurs - you don't have to be a traditional business person to be creating something new! Changing perceptions is just as vital.

Danielle's advice for embarking on the Fire Starter Sessions: "be with this
program, give it some time, explore your creativity, your strategy and your approach to authenticity."

"Don't hold back your ideas"
The first piece of advice in the FSS is to be generous with your time, ideas and creativity. While I think I am quite a generous person in my everyday life I know I tend to play my cards close to my chest when it comes to ideas. I like to protect those flashes of brilliance until I've executed them into being and perfected them before I set out my stall. I'm fully aware that this perfectionist trait prevents me from getting other people's views, input and help, which would be more beneficial before rather than after I've completed a project. I am striving to conquer this reticence but it is quite a pressing issue in these days of intellectual copyright, the publish or perish mantra of academia and the speed of the online world. How much to "put out there"? Though even in the world of blogs it is obvious that the people who give more of themselves get more coming back to them.

"It doesn't really matter where you are on the scale of entrepreneurial drive. You can call it a hobby, a labour of love, or a world domination plan. You can call it ambition, hunger, inspiration, drive, a vocation, food on the table —whatever. You can crush the competition, unify an industry, or change just one person‘s life."

Danielle sets out gems of the best and worst business advice she's ever got. Here are some of my best advice favourites:
"• Don‘t spend it before you have it.
Before you earn it, you don‘t have it. Projections and ideals do not equal money in the bank.
Don‘t spend it when you get it.
"You need to feel the power of sitting on it, of letting it actually feed your creativity. If you spend it when you get it, you‘ll have to catch up with it, and that will sap your energy."
Only do it if it‘s fun. If it‘s not fun, make it fun. If you can‘t make it fun, then don‘t do it.
Be daring, be different, be first.
Moxy and uniqueness don‘t add up to much if you don‘t execute. Getting there first changes everything.
Create a “Culture of Yes”.
surround yourself with people who can trust your creative insanity. When dreamers unite, they get a lot done."

I love her outlook on bad advice - "Really bad advice is just great advice in reverse". I really clicked when I read one of the worst pieces of advice she's received: Just do one big thing. "In terms of overall development strategy and creativity, the singular focus route has never worked for me. I just can‘t do one project at a time. I need to feed different parts of my brain and spirit. And with more than one iron in the creative fire, the fire just gets higher." This really resonated with me - I'm always setting rules for myself like "I can't think about Y until I've finished X" etc. When really a little bit of Y inspires me to try to finish X!! Eureka moment!

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