JP Flintoff

The Great Giveaway

By John-Paul Flintoff

This is a copy of the email I sent on 12 October 2017


Yesterday, I sent you a message about the giveaway I’m doing this week…

Don’t know about you, but I do like getting things in the post.

As it happens, I sent somebody something else yesterday. And sent her a photo to let her know it was coming (if you can’t see it, enable photos in your email settings):

Her quick reply was gratifying:

So anyway. Back to that Great Giveaway. Today, I’m giving away a book that cost me £200.

(I know!)

It’s just out, from Sarah Corbett: How To Be A Craftivist.

Plus a couple of ace bonuses (see below).

If you read my book How To Change The World, you may recall seeing Sarah’s photograph inside. She’s hanging a handmade banner across a fence, with a generally encouraging message.

Since that photo was taken, Sarah has become a bit of an international phenomenon.

The Nobel-winner Malala Yousafzai, and the performer / author Russell Brand both attended her workshops, learning to turn activism into something creative, or creativity into something with a social purpose.

(Hence “craftivism”.)

A while ago, Sarah persuaded me to join a small army of campaigners hand-stitching encouraging messages onto a handkerchief, to send to board members at one of the UK’s largest companies, M&S.

Not quite sure how she did that, because it took me hours…

The embroidered hankies were designed to encourage M&S to be brave and introduce a living wage, instead of the bare minimum.

I spent quite a few days stitching a quote from Jane Austen onto a new M&S hanky.

Mine was destined for the actress Emma Thompson – not a board member, but a “face” for the brand in its advertising.

When the hankies were all done, we popped them into a nice box with a ribbon, plus a handwritten note.

I never heard back, but Emma Thompson is a busy woman and I wasn’t expecting a reply.

(Note: I can’t quite believe I wrote the last four paragraphs.)

More importantly, the hankies were a hit with board members, who (it turns out) spent time before the AGM compared them to see whose was best).

At that same AGM, Sarah was invited to speak, warmly applauded, and invited to take the discussion further.

The point to stress is this: by sending something made with care, the activists got a friendly hearing.

Probably wouldn’t have got a hearing at all if they’d stood outside with placards, shouting.

A lesson for us all, I think.

(Even if you would never call yourself an activist, and you don’t like sewing)

So anyway: that’s a bit of context about Sarah.

I’m giving away a copy of her beautifully produced book.

And not just any book. Not the same as the ones in the shops. A limited edition. Feast your eyes on it, here on my desk:

PLUS, as a bonus: I’ll throw in a copy of my own book Sew Your Own, in which I first wrote publicly about my sewing experiments.

(I set out to make all my own clothes, right down to the underpants, in an attempt to slow down climate change, and (unlikely perhaps) make people laugh.)

Well, Sew Your Own is guaranteed to make you laugh every 4.6 pages, think hard every 2.4 paragraphs, and – well, I’m obviously making this up, but I enjoyed writing it and some people have implied that it’s pretty hot stuff.

If you win, I’ll draw you a pair of Y-fronts at the front, to get you in the spirit.

AND as a bonus I’ll buy you an hour’s free coaching with me.

Cor, I hear you say.

A whole hour!

Yes indeed.

Now, just to put this into context, an hour of one-to-one coaching with me is becoming harder to find, and also more expensive, because I’m doing most of my coaching and teaching, online, through my Academy site these days (

But I like to keep my hand in, with a bit of full intensity one-to-one listening, noticing and sharing ideas.

Most people want help Making Change Happen. Or Building A Movement / Audience. Many like tips on Better Communication / Storytelling. You might want something else.

So: that’s quite a lot to give away entirely free.

Why am I doing it?

Because I need your help.

I told you I paid £200 for Sarah’s book.

Typo? Nope.

Sarah crowd-funded her book, just as I previously crowd-funded my novel, What If The Queen Should Die?

Now our books are distributed by Penguin Random House (oh yes).

When she launched her funding drive, I immediately bought the most alluring offer – a handsome hardback PLUS the promise of a custom-made work by Sarah.

Something she would stitch just for me.

At the time, I had no idea what exactly she’d make.

Some kind of generally encouraging slogan…?

But now I realise I want something specific.

Something to help me focus on what I do best.

And it’s very hard for me to see what that is.

That’s where you come in.

To stand a chance of winning these books, and your pre-paid coaching session, just hit reply now, with a short sentence for Sarah to stitch, describing what I do best.

Keep it short, so her fingers don’t fall off. (I have forgiven her for my hanky stitching marathon.)

I’ll be H U G E L Y grateful. :-)

The winner gets the books, and the coaching session, on any topic you desire. Or just keep Sarah’s beautiful book and chuck mine in a river, coaching session too…

Choice is yours.

But when it comes to this short sentence, the judge’s decision (that is, mine) is final.

While you’re at it, tell me ONE thing you would most like to work on if you won the coaching session.


PS.> Yes, I’m serious! Go ahead and leave a comment below.
1. What short sentence should Sarah stitch, for me to stick on my wall as a reminder of what I do best?
2. And what ONE thing would you most like to work on if we did some coaching together?

Click Here To See What Happened Next…

Posted: October 19, 2017

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