Follow the Leaders: The Search for 1,000 True Fans

Enter the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017) and you could win one of 5 Random Cosmic Mugs paired with one of 5 copies of “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss totally free. Tools of Titans is a compilation of nearly 200 interviews that I had already heard before reading the book. This story tells how the lessons and strategies from “Tools Of Titans” have helped the Cherrico Pottery Team and I during our search for 1,000 True Fans.

The reason we are giving away five copies of “Tools of Titans” is because the real world stories in this book have helped me and maybe they can help you. They’re incredible.

“The Tim Ferriss Show” podcast was the precursor to Tools of Titans. I’ve listened to almost every episode. Here is what I learned:

“Don’t take advice from anyone who has not been able to implement the same advice successfully themselves.”

– Tim Ferriss, quoted in his Podcast Episode #144

The reason we’re giving away five free Random Cosmic Mugs is because we simply want to spread more cosmic love here on our Pale Blue Dot. Over 100 Cosmic Mugs have already entered the world for free through our blog giveaways, by giving them out to my friends and by shipping free pots to important people.

You could call giveaways a “marketing strategy” but in some ways they are totally inappropriate and irresponsible.

“Money is to a business what oxygen is to the human body. Cash flow is the lifeblood of business. The bank pumps cash in and out like the heart pumps blood. Sales bring in money like the lungs bring in oxygen. In 2013 I experienced the terror of running out of money, which was akin to feeling suffocated.”

Quoted in my American Craft Council authorship: A Potter’s Journey: Launching a Pottery Business Venture and Fighting to Keep it Alive”

Businesses need revenue. Plain and simple. I’ve felt the suffocating pain of running out of money before. Why should we spend so much time, effort and money giving away free pottery when we need pottery sales to survive?

Since 2014, we have been shipping free Cosmic Mugs to people you might refer to as “celebrity influencers.” Our goal was to get our best pots into the hands of people who are already impacting millions of people in powerful, positive ways.

Here are just a few replies from folks who received Cosmic Mugs as gifts:

Many of these replies brought me to tears. Giving away free Cosmic Mugs let me directly connect with my heroes. If you own a Cosmic Mug, you are in the company of all of these people.

Giveaways are expensive, but they create incredible connections that impact the world in powerful, positive ways. Even with the high expenses, that seems like a worthy goal.

“You are the average of the five people you most associate with.”

– Tim Ferriss, quoted in Business Insider

P.s. Thanks for reading this far! I’m curious…who are people who have impacted your life positively? Scroll down to leave a reply here on our website and we will give you 3 more entries to the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017).

Image sources:

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Hadfield, Seth Godin, Ryan Holiday, Bryan Callen, Tim Ferriss

30 comments

  1. Kashton- 10 year old with cancer we helped out at Christmas. Opened my eyes to be more generous and grateful for the health of my children.

    Wanda- Small random acts of kindness in a lularoe group to a lady I never met before. I placed a email to all the members in our group to send a small package with encouraging words and a pair of socks. And this took off like wildfire. She was truely touched.

    Joel, you have made me want to try pottery for the first time, I find it so relaxing to watch your work. You seem so down to earth and honest. I look forward to getting more pieces to add to my collection. Never did I realize how drinking my tea could feel so good when it’s out of a cup that has so much talent and hard work! It makes me smile!

  2. My kids have inspired me. Our lives have been through more downs than ups; but, no matter how many times life and people have tried to knock them down, they always seem to take it in stride-get up and keep going. Not only do they get back up, they are also willing to help others in need–even those who have tried to kick them out of the game. I am blessed to say one of my boys is now married and has two kids while the other has one child and is working. Neither has been in any serious trouble or have addiction of any kind.

  3. My dad – for teaching me the value of hard good work. And doing your best, and doing the right thing/ way always, even if no one will ever see it. And to listen with complete attention, speak thoughtfully.

    My baby girl – for teaching me to slow down. To appreciate and protect her innocence and beauty in the world around us. To see the world with fresh new eyes. And to remember that life truly is about the small things, and spending time with those that you love.

    Ellen Degeneres for inspiring others and me to be kind and generous with what I have access too.
    And you, Joel for following your passion and pursuing your craft inspite of pressure to conform to the norm. It’s stirred my artistic side that has been pushed away. I have begun to pull out my brushes and work again. So thank you!

  4. For me some of the most positive impacts have come from people who weren’t the kind of people I ever want to be. I chose to prove myself instead of being like them.

    …The manager who told me I’d never make it in business lit a fire in my soul to prove her wrong.

    …My mother, who has always struggled with alcoholism, taught me exactly how not to parent.

    …The school bullies who tried to test down my spirit to inflate themselves.

    Because of the tough times in my life I’ve not only raised two great children but I’ve been blessed to hear from their mouths what I did right despite the challenges. They’ve thanked me for making the choices I did to do things differently. They’ve taken my lead and improved on some of the things I wish I didn’t struggle with and become more than any mother could hope for in a lifetime.

    I believe it’s what we take from all lessons in life and how we react to adversity that defines success.

  5. The very Earth is made of Stardust , your creations put the stars in our hands & encourage us to look up at the Sky & Dream. ~Angel~

  6. 1. My husband. He has never said a negative word to me about me. For 17 years he has inspired me to be the best that I can be. He embraces the hot-headed, fiery passionate sides of me without judgement, even when I’m wrong. H has taught me to appreciate and channel those energies into my passions, which is pottery making, knitting and saltwater fish keeping.

    2. Amanda Palmer. An amazing individual that I hope one day to meet and tell her how much her book “The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help”, has inspired me. How much her music has also inspired me and given me strength. Her song “In My Mind” is like an anthem for me and I’ve listened to her Ted Talk at least a dozen times.

    3. Nature. Every aspect of nature, from the ugly, destructive side to the beautiful, creative side to the cycles of change. Nature doesn’t apologize.

  7. Hi Joel, I just wanted to say thanks for opening my eyes to this amazing craft. I love to watch you throw pots,I find it to be not only beautiful but very relaxing. Some one who has inspired me is Mastin Kipp. I love his no sugar coat get off your ass and make something happen attitude! What are you willing to show up for?So many wish and want but never take a single step to do. I also feel that you are a great inspiration for others. That you can be successful by following your passion. Thanks for all you do!

  8. My daughter. She is on the autism spectrum and she has taught me so much about what’s important in life and about myself. I see things so differently now. It’s like she has turned a black and white world colorful. Color makes life beautiful, my daughter makes my life and the world beautiful!

  9. Stephen Hawking is an inspiration also Barack Obama, my art teacher mary jo Harding who taught me how to “see” and loosen up be bold and abstract. In addition, I appreciate Al Franken for his untiring work to improve life for US!
    Lastly my Dad taught me how it feels to be loved, how to make good decisions, how to not follow the crowd and how to mix a batch of cement and pick a good 2 x 4 and a great appreciation for rocks ( he was a geologist)

  10. LEEROY-My first grandson who, just by being born and being laid in my arms almost daily, truly saved my life when I had nothing to live for. I was unable to get around and had mental illness that was imminently going to cost me my life.

    Jon and Miranda – My son and daughter-in-law, who recognized a way to help me find a reason to continue this journey in life.

    Brandon-My oldest son, who has continuously assured me, as I have suffered setbacks over the years, that I have always come through and become a stronger person for it.

    Maya Angelou – who spread positivity wherever she was.

    Robin Williams – who continues to inspire and teach others about life with mental illness.

  11. Mari-Kate, a fiery little 5 yr old redhead who brought her art set to summer day camp in 2008. I asked her if she wanted to be an artist when she grew up and she popped back “I already AM an artist… we all are. We just don’t know what we are going to make yet! ”
    That’s a truth Bomb right there! And it has never left me as I finished university and art school and now work with young adults discovering what they are going to make out of this medium we call life!

  12. My mom has inspired me. I was raised by a fierce woman who worked her butt off to provide for her children. Life was never easy growing up (and it still isn’t) but mom taught me that what ever comes your way, you’ll get through it. Work hard, be kind to others, have patience and enjoy the little things in life. You’ll miss out on life if you’re stuck in the past or worried about the future. As I get older I still look to her for inspiration to harvest my creativity, she believes in me.

  13. Joel-
    I’ve tried many mediums of art ranging from special effects makeup to pyrography, I’m inspired by watching your live videos to give pottery another chance.

    Jax- I aspire to be as happy as that dog
    Charlie- I aspire to have as shiny hair as that dog as well

    I just really love dogs.

  14. Somebody who has positively impacted my life is my husband.
    We eere 17 and 18 when we met and has accomplished so much. In 8 years he has become an EMT, Joined the Airforce, become a volunteer fireman, police officer and fathet
    I would be nowhere without him.

  15. Aside from my amazing family and friends
    #1 is Jesus- for obvious reasons haha.
    #2 is Abraham Lincoln. I am a huge civil war buff, I have toured battle sites and museums all over the US. If you really study his life and speeches it is difficult not to be amazed and inspired.

  16. My mother who is 88 years old and going strong. She lives by herself and is very independent.
    My sons girlfriend who is 28 and has colon cancer. She is so sick but manages to work everyday, even going through Chemo and Radiation. She says she has too much to live for to give up.
    I also look up to my son who is caregiver to Emily. He quit his job to be with her. He drives her back and forth to all appts. and to work. He holds her hand through the sickness, tests and the bad times. At 35, he is gone thru alot too.

  17. My husband glen has impacted my life cause we have been married for forty years and are still together even through the good and the bad times. Right now we have been told that he has stage four cancer(small-cell) in his lung and liver and has eaten into his sternum bone. He still keeps going even when he feels bad. He is an Army Vet. He served 12 years in the military. Although he has been given four to six months to live we keep hoping that maybe things will turn around.

  18. Trent Hamm – author of The Simple Dollar, which is about getting your life priorities and then your finances in order.

    RuPaul: “Be very careful of what you allow to infiltrate your consciousness and subconsciousness. When you watch too much television, you’ll start to feel inferior from all the commercials hard selling the idea that you’re not complete unless you buy their product. The ad agencies appeal to your fear of not being wanted or loved. It’s the same with the local news. They get you to stay tuned with a constant stream of fear tactics. It’s as if our culture is addicted to fear and the flat screen is our drug dealer. Don’t allow that crap into your head!”

  19. My grandmother inspires me everyday. She’s my best friend. She grew up in the Philippines with pagan parents who sent her to Catholic school. She consistently reminds me that those who do not have faith can still be good people and those who have faith aren’t necessarily any holier. As I became older her stories took on more meaning. She was younger than I am now when she entered an abusive relationship and lost her first child to disease. When she met my grandfather her life changed for the better. They had four girls and one boy. My grandpa joined the US Navy to provide a better life for all of them. This is how they all became citizens of the US. She lost her husband before I was born. We’d watch the Veterans Day ceremony at the graveyard he was buried in every year. I know she was extremely proud of him. After his death she went back to school. She was the oldest in her class. Became a CNA past the age of 60. Worked until she retired. I brought her to the facility she use to work at and many of them still remember her. Last year, my grandma lost her youngest child, my Uncle Bhoy. It broke her heart really badly. Easily one of the hardest moments of her life. Even after that she still moves forward. She always helps her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren…washes their clothes, cooks for them, gives them money. Moves between our households so that she can visit us all. She says she doesn’t mind. “Time, money…none of it matters at my age. They are my greatest gift.”

  20. I tend to have an open mind set. I’m influenced by new people everyday. I do my best to only let the positive people in. Good vibes only. Just having a conversation with someone can have an impact on my day or even life. Sometimes it takes a minute to actually look at the glass half full, but it sure makes a hell of a difference when you live life with a smile on your face.

  21. What has inspired me. The universe and nature how it works. I have experienced the life and death. So I grow gardens. That is my art and for medicinal uses. I am known for bringing life. Plants teach you life, sleep and death it all has to do with how the universe works. Same thing with my experience….

  22. I have been a buddhist since I was 13years old when my mother left. Since then I’ve found that loving everyone around me an caring brings a light to people they may have never had before. When I found out my son was austistc I found that medditaion helped calm his soul helps him relax. Meditating with him helps me stay centered an helps me to focus on my sons needs. Your art was inspired by the cosmos as is my love for human kind. I love your work an I hope it inspires many others.
    Raven Sullivano

  23. My parents have impacted me positively. They have always been there for me through good and bad. They helped me get through college and helped raise my son during that time. They would do anything for their children and grandchildren. They were my support system and the ones who pushed me to become the best version of me that I can be.

  24. My grandmother was an impact on my life. She was an immigrant from Italy, worked to support her family, married the love of her life and was widowed at a young age to raise 2 children on her own. She worked multiple jobs to provide for her family and would do anything to help someone else out that needed it. She was a great inspiration to my brother and I.

  25. My daughter Emily who is amazingly talented and creates art through her sketches and drawings. My husband who follows his passion and love of aviation even during these uncertain times in that industry. My mother who could craft a masterpiece and keep us entertained out of common objects throughout our house. Our natural environment in everyday scenery. Driving across the causeway watching the sun dance upon the Tampa Bay like sparkling dancing diamonds a cross the water.

  26. #1 My mother who has survived three separate bouts wit cancer. Breast cancer, skin cancer & lymphoma. She continued working through all of the chemo & radiation. She is still going strong & cancer free at the age of 73.

    #2 Joyce Meyer. Her conferences, TV shows, books & website have helped me learn how to deal with my anxiety & depression. She is a blessing from God!

  27. Joel, simply put my grandparents and my mother are the ones that inspire me the most. A strong beautiful woman who on her own raised 3 very independent individuals. My grandparents that taught us how to grow and respect ourselves, others, and our planet. Without them in our lives our paths would be so different.

  28. My children. I am a firm believer that what you put out in the world comes back to you. Anything that happens to me or affects me negative or positive flows to my children. If I seek positivity and happiness in all things my children will in turn have a better mother.

  29. My biggest influence and inspiration is my husband. Because of him, we packed all our belongings into our car and moved 1500 miles away. Now–four years later–we have an amazing 18 month old son and a welcoming local community.

  30. A supervisor of mine named Christie, principal of a primary school and a young mother of 2 boys (aged 5,3) was diagnosed with breast cancer….she is no longer working and has started chemo. Despite her deteriorating health she continues to stay involved in our school community.
    2) a friend I went to high school with Megan. She gave birth to her first child/daughter last year and she was born with a rare muscle disease/floppy baby syndrome. She may not live past 10 years of age, needs a tube to breath and tube to eat…yet Megan has not returned to work and is doing everything possible to give a good life to her little girl.
    3) a lady I know named Anna who has a blood disease and coughs Lyme disease from a tick. Despite all her pain and struggles she continues to homeschool her 3 children and creates amazing food for them that is organic/vegetarian.

    I would love a mug to use for my daily tea up here in Canada <3

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