Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Life is Too Short…

… too put up with things that don’t belong in your life.

And yet, most of us have far too many things in our life that should be far gone, far away.

So to make life easier and to turn you into someone more balanced, with more energy, and better able to weather the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, ask yourself this:

Which people, places, things and habits, are there in your life that cost you energy?

Next, ask yourself: What are the benefits of keeping them?

And then: what is the cost of keeping those energy-drainers in your life?

Finally: If the cost is too high… what reasons (or should I say: excuses?) are there to keep them?

Do the math, and make your choices…

I’ve never met anyone who regretted getting rid of those people, places, habits and things, that cost more than we’re willing to pay.

Tough choices, perhaps. But worth it.

Because life is too short to keep stuff you don’t need.

Cheers,

​Martin

The Best Advice That Nobody Wants to Hear

The other day a reader wrote in, asking for some advice:

“Hi Martin. I am an artist  and  an author. I want to sell my arts. People only want to buy old and established artist. I am new  and self taught. Please advice how to sell my work. ”

Now if you’ve been reading me for a while you might be able to guess what my reply was.

But if you’re new to my way of thinking, here’s the best piece of advice I could possibly give – which incidentally is the piece of advice *most* people would reject.

“Drop the opinion that people only want to buy from older and established artists”.

Because while it may true that established artists are more in vogue, there’s evidence daily that younger artists also get to have their slice of the pie.

What’s more: there’s plenty of “established” artists who are struggling or who need to adjust to a changing marketplace.

In other words: the truth is somewhere in the middle. Part of the statement is true, part of the statement is false.

But unless you drop the limiting opinion, you’ll find it damn hard to build up your business.

After all, if your starting point is “only established artists sell, and I’m not that”, then how are you ever going to sell your work? You’d be constantly running into reasons why you can’t&it wouldn’t work.

Besides: how do artists (or any kind of entrepreneur for that matter) become established?

By getting out there, persistently showing up, building a fan base, and, yes: by selling. One piece at a time.

So, the advice that nobody wants to hear:

Give up the opinions that say you can’t. ESPECIALLY if you’re very convinced that the opinion is true.

And then, you get to discover what is REALLY true, which you would never if you’d cling to the opinion.

I know, most people will reject this.

But if you don’t, and if you’re willing to explore what IS true rather than constantly finding confirmation of what you THINK is true, very interesting – and profitable – things can happen.

So if you have an opinion or belief that doesn’t help, and you’re willing to let go of it…

Hit reply and tell me what it is… I might be able to help.

Either by writing you, or by inviting you to a strategy session.

So tell me: what opinion do you really no longer need?

Cheers,

​Martin

(Almost) Full Circle

Back when I was a youngster, I didn’t really know what to do with my life.

I had talents and interests, but aside from playing the guitar, I didn’t have any goals.

So my parents set me up with a batch of personality tests, to try and find out what would make the perfect job for me.

The results were interesting: based on my interests and skills, I would apparently be best suited to become one of two things.

The first suggestion: air traffic controller.

I still don’t know how the hell they came up with that, because while I perform fairly well under stress and I like technology and communications,
guiding planes in and out of airports was… a stretch, to say the least.

But the second career option blew me away even more:

Apparently, I was the perfect candidate to become… a museum curator!

I laughed my head off, because back in those days, I had no feeling, no interest, and basically no appreciation for art. Just didn’t feature in my world.

Music was art to me, and that was all the art that I needed. So obviously, curating art for a museum was one of the most boring prospects you could have given me.

But somehow, the test was smarter than I thought, because right this moment, I find myself organising an international art exhibition.

Not exactly a museum curator, but still… scarily close, isn’t it?

Funny how things can end up (almost) full circle.

Anyway: this exhibition we’re setting up, is the result of a year working with a small group of artists, who are all part of my Cabal coaching group.

The show starts on September 15th, here in Andalusia.

And while you might think that putting on a show, while these artists visit Spain for a retreat with me is the end of it, it’s just the beginning.

This Cabal group may be small, but it’s very powerful.

And once the retreat is over and fall sets it, we’ll be opening up our community.

Because the process we’ve been through this last year (‘we’ meaning my clients but my own process too) is something very strong, and very life-changing.

And we want to have this experience available to others (you?) as well.

Why?

Because together we strive to build, maintain, and grow Collective Forward Momentum.

And each week I see what this does for my clients, and I’d love nothing more than for others to be part of that movement.

So stay tuned. Good things are afoot.

Meanwhile, I’m off to create drawings to hang at the show.

Cheers,

​Martin

I’m Not Here to Help

Because to think that I can help someone else would be a form of arrogance.

It’s an ego thing, plain and simple.

People help themselves, that’s how it works.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to help you, nor does it mean that you can’t help others.

But for me to think that I can help others, because I happen to see their problems and the reasons, and solutions: that’s just my inflated ego.

And that’s also why it’s so damn hard to help people unless they ask for help – which I’m sure you’ll have noticed in your life.

Used to be, I’d carry my help on a silver platter, offering it to anyone. “Here, take this idea – it’s really good! It would help you so much!”

And then nothing.

So I gave up trying to help, years ago.

These days, I’ll help anyone who asks – but only if they ask.

I’ll make it known I’m available, and I’ll extend an invitation if I feel there’s an implicit request to get some help – but otherwise, I keep quiet.

Because I’m not here to help. Because at the deepest level of human interaction, the best kind of help (possibly the only real help) is the kind that enables another person to help themselves.

Because in the end, it’s always us, ourselves, who help ourselves.

Sure someone else can assist and sometimes that necessary.

But in the end, you’re always the one doing the helping.

And the function of a coach is to facilitate that process.

So: I’m not here to help. Instead, I’m here to help you help yourself.

So if that’s what you want, all you need to do is ask.

Cheers,

​Martin

But What You Haven’t Considered…

… is probably, pretty much, everything else.

Hang on, I’m not saying this to beat up on you. You’re not doing anything wrong.

What I mean is that as humans, we have this fundamental handicap.

Or more precisely: we have this particular strength that also works as our Achilles’ heel.

Because every strength can work for you or against you. Just depends how you use it.

In this case: we’re programmed to look for patterns, draw conclusions, and then make on-the-fly decisions, of the kind that keep us alive.

And that’s good, because the result is that you’re still around. (Hi there!)

But the downside of concluding one thing, is that you shut down your perception of other options or other interpretations.

Simple logic: when you look at one thing, you’re not seeing other things.

So when your mind looks at one thing (thinking about it, or contemplating, or drawing conclusions) you’re automatically not looking at all the other options or possibilities.

Saying (i.e. interpreting) that something is such and so closes you off to seeing what it could also be.

And that’s a pity, because nothing is ever just one thing.

A table is furniture, and handiwork (or factory stuff), and molecules, and an obstacle, and the cause of the bruise on your hip, and the place where you and your loved one first connected, and and and… many different things, all at the same time.

So here’s a fun and simple game I like to play, and it might help you a lot. It sure helps me.

Whatever thing appears in my life (people, events, conversations, objects, struggles, blessings – literally everything) I try to not take it at face value.

To accept and then bypass the obvious, first-off “well THIS is what it is” conclusion.

And instead, ask myself one of the fundamental coaching questions:

What else?

What else does this mean? What else does it represent? What other function could it have in my life? What else is this telling me?

What else, aside from my initial conclusion, IS this?

And whatever answer comes up, ask the same question: What else?

Doing this is not just fun: it’s very useful, because it removes the boundaries my mind puts on things.

And it’s not just an academic or philosophical exercise either: it’s highly practical.

It goes far beyond reframing or re-interpreting: it’s a way to explore our reality, and how we interpret it, and in doing so, we explore how our mind and our perceptual biases work.

And once you learn that last bit, you’ll find yourself living in a very different world.

A world where you meet fewer limitations and far more possibilities.

Tell me that doesn’t sound good.

So, play the game with me?

The rules are simple:

Counter every conclusion or interpretation with a resounding, repeated:

What else?

And let me know what you discover…

Cheers,

​Martin

Goalsetting Done Right: There Should Never Be an Endpoint

There are two kinds of goals,and the results you get from choosing one over the other can be dramatically different.

Most people work with achievement goals:

A certain level of income, a type of client, paying off debt or buying a house…

All these are good and worthy points of focus.

But, never make them into end points.

Because an end point is that: the moment when something stops.

And what kind of life would we live after that?

When your big goal is the end point of something, and you reach it… what then? What next?

You wouldn’t be the first to miss out on all the joy and satisfaction that could be yours to have… and only because you didn’t set your sights high enough.

“Living off my art”, the goal that one of my clients has: that’s brilliant, beautiful, a worthy goal to strive for.

But that’s nothing compared to the next goal beyond it.

Say, for example: to be internationally renowned.

That would be a nice next goal, wouldn’t it?

Yes, but if the big goal is to pay the bills, there’s a real risk that the second goal won’t be ever be reached, nor the first one.

Because the thing with goals is that we rarely reach the all of it, in the way we wish for it.

Most of the time, we reach some or most of the goal, but not all. And that’s fine.

Because if you have a next goal, a “from here to the next stage”, it won’t matter that you didn’t completely reach the first one.

When your aim is high enough, reaching goal 1 will be less important the closer you get to it, because the nearer you get, the more you’ll already be looking for the next one.

So goals shouldn’t be seen as end points.

Instead, think of all the goals you have as milestones.

And just like a runner wouldn’t dream of stopping halfway through, you too can keep on going.

Because what does a runner do when he’s completed his marathon?

He signs up for the next one.

And that’s how you keep moving forward.

This is why personally, I don’t care much about achievement goals.

I get a lot more fun, and speed, and mileage, out of progress goals.

So here’s the homework for today: what achievement goals do you have, and which of these should be replaced by progress goals?

Hit reply… I’m curious…

Cheers,

​Martin

Are We There Yet?

Kids in the back, sun on the roof, miles of shimmering motorway ahead of you.

And a tiny voice from behind you, for the nth time: “Are we there yet?”

Not that I have much experience there, since I don’t have kids. But I know the concept.

And, I do this to myself too. Just like, maybe, you.

Are we there yet?

Has success shown up knocking on our doors yet?

Is the fight over, can we rely on stable monthly revenue yet?

Have our efforts paid off, any laurels we can rest on? Yet?

I’m afraid it’s harsh news today:

The fight will never be over. Stability will always be an apparent (but illusory) certainty at best.

For people like you and me (entrepreneurs, makers, artists, creative professionals) there can never be a “there” that we’ve arrived at.

There’s been times when I thought I had it made, and I’d relax into prideful self-absorbed complacency – and then I’d be without clients just a few short weeks later.

Oops – things kinda stall when you’re not putting yourself out there – don’t they, Martin?

Here’s the thing: you’re not a kid. You don’t need the end-station of having gotten “there”.

What’s more, the very fact that you’ll never ‘get there’ is a blessing, something to be grateful for.

Because each time you reach some sort of milestone, a new level of success or achievement, there’s another higher mountain top to climb.

That’s the joy and the beauty of being an entrepreneur. There IS no end point, not unless you decide the road ends, at some arbitrarily chosen moment.

So when you find yourself annoyed that you’re still waiting for things to get better or for problems to get solved, remember this:

The road of being self-employed, a business owner who carves out his own path, goes on as long you want it to.

So the best thing to do, is to come to terms with that, and learn how to enjoy the ride.

Because once you make that shift in your perception, and you start to enjoy the journey for its own sake regardless of the results that are or aren’t showing up, things will start to change.

First, your state and your inner equilibrium will change. You’ll be more at peace.

And as a consequence, you’ll perform better, you’ll make better decisions, and that will cause you to move faster towards that elusive “there” end point.

And if you have trouble getting to enjoy the journey? If things are too frustrating for you or they’re taking too long?

Then let me help. I can’t promise that talking will cause a magical shift in your perception… but you never know: it just might.

Want to find out?

Then start by answering a few questions here: https://martin283.typeform.com/to/v7Dsh8

Cheers,
Martin

Perfect Balance: CEO vs Employee

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It’s easy to get stuck in maker-mode. Doing things, working in our business, shipping product, delivering sessions or copy or training.

That part of the job, the bit where you do the making and selling, that’s the employee part of your tasks.

And, you’d better be good at it or else you don’t have a business.

But there’s a second part of your job description, and it’s frightening how often it gets neglected.

That second part is the CEO job.

It’s strategic thinking, it’s allocating resources, signing up for education, or planning your year, making top-level decisions with multi-year ramifications.

You know, the stuff that a CEO does.

But most of the time, we never get to that part. Most of the time, we’re too busy spinning plates, to ever get to the top-level work.

And that comes at a cost. Because while as an employee you might excel, that employee will get burnt out at some point, if the CEO doesn’t step in sometimes in order to make the decisions that make the employee’s life easier.

In other words: never stop working IN your business, but always make sure you reserve time to work ON your business.

Because the most unhappy employee is the one whose boss has no plan for the employee’s well-being.

And you wouldn’t want to be a bad boss to yourself, right?

Then take some time, to sit and think like a CEO.

Your employee-self will thank you for it.

Cheers,

​Martin

The Magical Balance: CEO vs Employee

It’s easy to get stuck in maker-mode. Doing things, working in our business, shipping product, delivering sessions or copy or training.

That part of the job, the bit where you do the making and selling, that’s the employee part of your tasks.

And, you’d better be good at it or else you don’t have a business.

But there’s a second part of your job description, and it’s frightening how often it gets neglected.

That second part is the CEO job.

It’s strategic thinking, it’s allocating resources, signing up for education, or planning your year, making top-level decisions with multi-year ramifications.

You know, the stuff that a CEO does.

But most of the time, we never get to that part. Most of the time, we’re too busy spinning plates, to ever get to the top-level work.

And that comes at a cost. Because while as an employee you might excel, that employee will get burnt out at some point, if the CEO doesn’t step in sometimes in order to make the decisions that make the employee’s life easier.

In other words: never stop working IN your business, but always make sure you reserve time to work ON your business.

Because the most unhappy employee is the one whose boss has no plan for the employee’s well-being.

And you wouldn’t want to be a bad boss to yourself, right?

Then take some time, to sit and think like a CEO.

Your employee-self will thank you for it.

 

Cheers,

​Martin

When People Ask Me What I Do: Strawberries

Sometimes when people ask me what I do, it can be hard to explain.

Because the process of coaching is easy to describe, but what that does for you is highly personal for everyone, and often impossible to put into words.

I ask questions.

I listen deeply.

I serve you as powerfully as I can.

Nice, no?

But what does that DO?

For some people, the effect is that they get to terms with fear, and develop momentum despite of it – or because of it, depending on the person.

For others, the effect is deeper self-awareness, and an eagerness to drop negative self-talk.

Other people benefit from coaching because they now see potential and opportunity, where previously they only saw obstacles and objections.

Different vibes for different tribes.

So the question “What does Martin do” has no answers, or it has a million answers.

My favourite: I play.

But that doesn’t say anything either.

So perhaps the best description is: I help people create deep, inner, lasting change.

And even that doesn’t say anything.

But! There’s an easy way to find out what I do.

Because here’s the thing: you can’t explain coaching any more than you can explain what a strawberry tastes like.

Um… sweet, slightly tangy, juicy and with little seeds… got it?

Of course not. You’ll need to eat the thing in order to really get it.

So if you’ve wondered what coaching is like…

Here, look: a strawberry. Bite down and enjoy…

Or in the words of coaching:

Here look, a questionnaire: https://martin283.typeform.com/to/v7Dsh8

Answer the questions and I’ll give you a no-cost strategy session.

Cheers,

​Martin

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