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

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

Units of You

Any given day, you have a finite amount of energy to spend, both mentally and physically.

Once used up, it’s time to rest and recover, and the next day you get another batch of energy. Kinda fun to be alive, isn’t it?

I call this energy ‘units of you’.

How much an actual unit is, isn’t relevant, and it varies day by day.

But, the number of ‘units of you’ that you can spend is finite.

Even if you crank yourself out of a dip with copious amounts of coffee (or – god forbid – energy drinks), you’ll still run out.

The problem is that at the start of a day, with a whole new batch of ‘units of you’ at our disposal, we tend to vastly overestimate how many units we have, and how much we can accomplish whilst spending them.

And so we fill our tasklist with items, far more than we can possibly do in a day.

In other words: we task our future self with a level of commitment and performance that’s wholly unreasonable, and completely unattainable.

Put differently: we bankrupt our future self’s store of ‘units of you’.

And by the time our future self runs out of ‘units of you’, it sees the remaining tasks, sees the deposit empty, and there you go: let’s procrastinate, let’s put it off until tomorrow.

Come tomorrow, you see how much you didn’t do, and you start out your day feeling bad about yesterday, and schedule even more unreasonable expectations, just to make up for yesterday.

And so begins (and continues) the downward spiral of procrastination.

And to make it even worse: a lot of the work we schedule is hardly relevant, in that it doesn’t actually do anything to drive results.

They might be useful things, but they’re busywork instead of growth-driving activities.

You’ll agree that this is no way to run a business, or indeed to live a happy life.

The solution?

Be stingy with your units of you.

When planning, know that your actual reserve won’t reach to complete everything you want to get done, and schedule only growth-driving activities, and:

Only schedule a few, or even just one. What you put on your tasklist for today should be 100% attainable, even if you run into complications or setbacks.

That way, you’re far more likely to reach your goals of accomplishment – and when you do, you get a powerful bit of neurological feedback, because hey now! I did what I said I’d do!

And, bonus: you’ll have energy left to do another thing – look at me go!

This way of planning – strategically and reasonably – is what makes the difference between annoying & frustrating slow progress, and steadily moving forward to your business goals.

And, strategic accountability coaching is exactly what helps you plan – and execute on your plans – in this way.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

How to Build a Frankenstrategy

You see someone online doing awesome with their business, using really interesting and effective tactics.

Maybe they’re rocking Twitter, or Instagram, or webinars or a podcast…

And logically, you think that if you use the same tactics, you can get yourself the same kinds of results. Seems to make sense, right?

Except, a tactic is pointless if there’s no strategy behind it.

You can throw spaghetti at the wall as much as you want, but all you’ll create is a very dirty wall.

Anyway, the real problem is bigger: even if you closely observe the way the other’s tactics combine into a strategy, you’re still missing the most important point:

The thinking behind the strategy.

And even if you really get the thinking, you still won’t get far if you just copy it.

Because that thinking, and the way it works in their business, is inherently that of the other person. And you’re not the other person.

You don’t know the connections they have, the books they’ve read, the trainings they’ve followed… the way childhood and previous careers and untold failures have shaped them.

In short, you can maybe see what the thinking is, but you’ll have to create your own thinking, from which to build a strategy, which you can then break down into tactics.

Obviously it’s extremely useful to look at others and learn from them, and implement elements from their business operations.

Just make sure you never copy what you think is their thinking, because it’s impossibly to have the full picture, and you’ll end up building a Frankenstrategy.

If you want a business and marketing strategy that works, start with your own thinking (inspired by others as it might be), and then roll your own.

And if that’s with the help of a coach, just holler.

 

Cheers,

Martin

Every Business a Publishing Business

It’s said that every business is a publishing business, but I’d say it goes further:

Every individual is an independent publisher.

We publish all the time, it never stops.

We publish our thoughts, the food we make and share, we publish our helpfulness and our embrace, we publish our values and our goals and our tweets and our care and concern…

It’s all there, for everyone to see, so long as they pay attention.

Now why is it that so many businesses don’t get the attention they deserve – people just don’t seem to pay attention?

Because those businesses don’t make publishing a focal point in their marketing. They just do it willy-nilly, or as an afterthought, or as ‘content strategy, guys – we need a content strategy’.

At the far end of doing it wrong are the companies you bought something from 3 years ago, you never heard from them since then, and suddenly they mail you to say ‘We’re still open, despite the virus!’.

Yeah, wow. Man I suddenly love that company SO MUCH! *clicks unsubscribe*

A little bit better but still not the kind of publishing people really pay attention to: companies who only mail their list when they have a sale going on or something new to offer.

And then, there’s pretty much the holy grail of publishing: Seth Godin, who has been sharing a useful idea with his list 7 days a week, for years running.

And while your humble narrator isn’t quite as steadfast as Seth, I can tell you that sending daily emails is magnificently powerful.

It takes 20 to 30 minutes a day, and clients show up to work with me, when they’re ready, and all I need to do is share something that I hope is useful, daily, and publish it.

What could be easier?

Meanwhile, the process automatically creates a library of articles – actual assets – that I can repurpose and turn into books, trainings, slideshows and so on, creating more assets that I can then publish.

Whatever it is you do, you’re a publisher.

And whether you write daily, or publish videos on Instagram or Youtube or articles for an industry publication:

It pays dividends to take your publishing seriously.

And that is one of the things I help people with: building a lightweight, easy to maintain publishing strategy that creates visibility, a loyal audience, sales, and revenue.

Are you ready to get serious about publishing your business, strategically, with minimal effort and maximum efficiency?

Then let’s talk, and see if we ought to work together…

Cheers,

Martin

Archetypes and the Case for Being a Technologist in Business

It’s useful to think in terms of archetypes: roles and identities that you can adopt, to achieve specific results.

For example, the E-myth says that someone who’s awesome at doing something people pay for, isn’t necessarily also good at running or scaling a business: the doer archetype vs the owner archetype.

Which makes sense, because when you go from being the operator in your business, to operating as the owner of the business, things get easier.

You stop exclusively working in your business, and start to dedicate more time to working on your business.

But a level up from the Owner archetype, is the Artist.

The visionary, the architect, the designer, the maker… that’s the archetype that turns a good, fun, and profitable business, into a dream machine.

But there’s a level above the Artist archetype, and that’s the technologist.

Technology comes from the Greek ‘Tekhne’ (art, craft) and ‘Logion’ (oracle, discourse), or:

Systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique, and as such can be understood as:

The precise, deliberate, measured and intentional application of skills&knowledge in the art of building a business. Systematically.

And that – creating systems – is what enables you to get a lot more return out of all the time and energy you put into your business.

So long as you don’t create measurable systems, you’ll always be operating in your business.

But once you start putting systems in place, that’s when you’re working on your business, and that’s when the fun begins.

And building systems is what I help people with – so if you’re tired of always having to do the hard work and you’re ready to start getting better results and enjoy your business more, let me know.

We’ll schedule a short call to see what your goals are and whether or not we’re a good fit, and we’ll take it from there.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Acquiring Resources vs Being Resourceful

It’s tempting to gather resources: trainings, skills, education, adding powerful people to your network…

Videos, courses, workshops and retreats: there’s a ton of things you can learn, install into your mind, add to your practice, acquire as a skill or add as a resource.

But nothing beats being resourceful.

Except, if you fall for the trap that marketers lay for us.

It’s the trap that says “without this book/training/retreat/course’ your life isn’t complete and your business will fail”.

Those people prey on our built-in sense of scarcity, making us feel that we’re missing out (FOMO is a real thing), and so we buy more stuff, and our shelves fill up with more shelf-help.

But no matter how many resources you acquire, they won’t help if you don’t use them.

You can learn the science of Facebook ads, but if you never run a campaign, it won’t do you any good.

No, resources are not what you need.

Being resourceful, that’s where it’s at.

Being able to make do with what you have (which is all we do all day long anyway), to cobble together available resources, to test and iterate and improve.

Hoarding resources is satisfying on an emotional and intellectual level, but it’s not what we’re made for, and it doesn’t drive growth.

What we are made for, and what does drive growth, is getting the best result out of the situation we’re currently in, with the resources currently available to us.

That’s how our species survived and evolved: Check the playing field, see which pieces are there to be moved, and get to experimenting on how best to move them.

Read books if you want – but never forget to apply the resources you already have – by being the most resourceful you that you can be.

You might feel down or beat at times, but never forget that you were designed to thrive, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.

And each moment of each day, you’re in a situation where you get to choose to be resourceful.

Do you want get strategic guidance, to help you make sure you get the most of the resources you currently have?

Then have a look here, and see if perhaps this is for you.

 

Cheers,

Martin

When You ‘Can’t Find the Energy’, Ask Yourself…

“I just don’t know where to find the energy”, she says.

“Used to be, I’d get home from work and spend the evening working on my own business. But these days I just don’t have it in me”.

But is it about finding the energy?

Or is it about eliminating that what takes the energy we used to have, are meant to have?

Whatever it is that you put your time or attention into costs energy.

If you don’t have enough of it, ask yourself: are you being drained without you knowing it?

It’s more likely than you think, especially when you consider that whatever you put in your mind stays there and rambles on, costing you much energy.

And the worst kind of energy drain? Conversations that you shouldn’t be having in your head.

The kinds of conversations that go on because of all the opinions and statements and points being made on social media.

Want to have more energy?

Consume art instead of social media. Books, music, films, poetry… Or read intelligent non-fiction, and learn something.

Or, have actual, real, quality conversations with people you care about.

Those are the kinds of conversations that fill the well, that stay with you because they matter. That kind of conversation gives you energy, instead of taking it from you.

I’m not against social media, but it’s good to know that social media are deliberately designed to hook us on having more and more mental conversations.

And you know the cost of that…

Cheers,

Martin

 

P.s. another way we lose tons of energy, is by working on things that feel like we’re moving our business forward, but that are actually only matters of ‘keeping the joint running’.

It’s that kind of activity that causes you to end a day feeling like you did a lot, but you can’t really recall what you worked on.

If that’s you, then this programme offers a solution.

How to Win Entrepreneurial Battles

Because hey, every entrepreneur is a hero in their own right – we all battle against challenges and crazy odds.

So: People tend to think that Napoleon was a great strategist, and it’s probably true.

But, strategy is nothing without implementation.

Proven by the fact that he never won another battle, once his marshall Davout had died.

Davout was the man who translated Napoleon’s strategies into marching orders for the troops, or however that works in the military.

Davout only ever lost one of old Nappy’s battles, and according to the internetz, after him it all went to hell in a handbasket.

Why would you care?

Because a) you absolutely, most definitely, need solid strategy if you’re going to win your own entrepreneurial battles.

But, you’ll also need to translate that strategy into the right actions, set the milestones and end goals, and get your head in order so as to actually get the actions and tasks done.

Or, what psychologists call implementation intention. 

Just taking action won’t cut it. Neither will strategy without implementation intention.

It all comes down to decisions, based on questions like ‘what matters most, right now’ and ‘what should I focus on’ and ‘what should I avoid at all cost’ and, very importantly:

‘What needs to be DONE?’

These are the things we focus on, in my Strategic Accountability Coaching programme.

We won’t be fighting wars, but we sure as hell will get you set up, every week on Zoom, the right way, to make sure you choose the right tasks, and execute on them.

This is a powerful programme, and inbetween calls it gets you daily access to me by email, for any course correction or feedback you need.

You can go it alone, and you know how that works out.

Or, you can get my help, and be amazed at how focused, results-driven, and ‘DONE’ your performance can be.

More info and an application form here, if you’ve had enough of spinning your wheels: http://martinstellar.com/sac

Cheers,

Martin

How to Create Clarity & Focus – and Get the Important Things Done

Phone calls, emails to answer, products to ship…

Social media and blogging and learning and fixing up your website…

If you’re like most people, you have a laundry list of tasks and todos and goals… and you just might find yourself overwhelmed by it all.

So here’s a very simple exercise to help you create clarity.

It’s based on the concept of urgent VS important, as you can see in the diagram above.

Point is, it’s very easy to always be dealing with the urgent things, and never getting to doing the important, non-urgent stuff. But it’s exactly those things that will ultimately drive your business forward.

The things that are important but not urgent, they typically have to do with building assets.

Things like the body of articles that I’ve written over the years – that’s an asset.

Or your network, or your skills in writing, or actually turning your writing into books…

These are the things that will have a big impact in the long run, but they’re never urgent.

Which is why, if you never get to them, your progress will be annoyingly slow.

By contrast, reserving time each day to work on the important things will ultimately move the needle on your business.

The principle of the exercise is beautifully simple.

Take your todo list, and for each item ask yourself in which of the 4 quadrants it belongs.

Mark the number of the quadrant next to each item.

Next, it’s time for action.

First, the lowest number: those things that are both urgent and important.

Before anything else, work through them, fast as you can.

Take a break.

Come back to your list, and have a go at the items marked #2.

Not so as to execute on them, but to plan them in your calendar.

The best is to only take a short block each day – maybe one to two hours, three at most.

Because you’ll always have to reserve time for dealing with things that suddenly become urgent and important, and the last thing we want is for those moments to push the important/non-urgent off the agenda.

There you go: A simple and beautiful system to help you create clarity, tranquility – and forward momentum that pays off.

Or, get my help on making the best strategic decisions – AND making sure that you get the right things done.

More info and application here.

Cheers,

Martin

Why Being an Entrepreneur Means Having Built-in Failure – and What to Do About It

It’s awesome to be your own boss, right?

Nobody looking over your shoulder, nobody telling you what to do…

Freedom!

Except, when you do not have a boss because the boss is you, there’s a really crucial thing missing, and it’s the cause of much struggle and even business failure – and research backs that up.

The missing element?

Being watched.

As nice as it is to not have a boss looking at your performance and output, it’s that very ‘being watched’ that causes the self-awareness we need to stay on task and keep moving forward.

Now here’s the fun part that psychologists have discovered:

The watcher doesn’t have to be a boss.

In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real person.

Simply a face – or even just the image of an eye, drawn or cartoon-style or stylised – directed at you and watching you, triggers self-awareness on a subconscious level, and measurably changes your state, and influences your way of operating.

So if you struggle to stay on task, get yourself a portrait of someone, or of an eye, draw something, or find an image online, and place it on your desk or wall, in your field of vision.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good drawing, or a face, or just an eye, or a good portrait – so long as someone is watching you.

The effect is subtle and incremental over time, but it’s powerful.

And, this might sound weird, but if you want to take it a step further, make it a mirror, so that the watcher is you. Even more powerful.

Most powerful of all, of course, is getting yourself accountability coaching.

Ain’t cheap. Is effective.

More information here…

Cheers,

Martin

The Advantage of Disadvantages

The late Dutch football coach Johan Cruyff had a way of creating his own aphorisms – some of which said little (“The ball is round”- Yeah thanks Johan, we hadn’t noticed that) but others were quite smart:

“Every disadvantage has its advantage”.

Now at this time, when literally every person and every business struggles with a major disadvantage, this goes much further than ‘the advantage is that you can pivot into online services and offerings’.

For example: a lot of your competition has slashed their advertising and marketing budgets (always a bad idea in times of crisis), so you can increase your market share by doubling down when others are slowing down.

And on that note: advertising gets cheaper during a crisis. If you want visibility, now’s the time to get it.

Or: if you’re a hairdresser, you’re currently not making any money – but everybody and their housemate is buying hair clippers. As a barber, you can sell those, along with training videos on how to cut your spouse’s hair, and perhaps personal sessions that address the nature of an individual client’s type of hair. Big opportunity. Big advantage.

Or: there’s going to be a massive increase in learning habits, so anyone who has something they can teach, will suddenly have a much bigger market.

Or: customer needs have changed dramatically – people buy different things, or for different reasons, or to address. different problems.

Companies that continue trying to sell the old way, without adjusting to the new circumstances and the changed buyer needs, are going to struggle. See Blockbuster Video – they didn’t adjust, went out of business, and that opened up a large market, which turned into a fine advantage for that little startup called Netflix.

And you bet that a lot of your competitors – especially the big boys – are going to pivot and adjust too slowly – meaning, you can suddenly get access to, and a listening ear with, prospects who would normally happily buy from the big boys and not be aware that you exist and that you rock your work.

Another advantage?

Especially in the B2B space, there are suddenly a bunch of problems that used to be ‘nice to fix’ and that have suddenly become ‘need to fix’.

I.e. for a lot of the work that you can do, there’s now an urgent need, instead of a someday-need.

If you can spot those needs and adjust your offer and messaging, you can sell faster than you used to.

It all depends on how you look at the situation.

And, to get a good look at the situation, one where you see the advantages and opportunities, it is 100% required that you start with step one: Listen.

(There’s a reason why my LEAP system starts with L for listen, and only then goes into Explain, Ask, Profit. If you don’t listen to your people, you don’t know what they’ll need and want, or what it is that they want now).

So whatever you do: talk to your people. Get on calls, ask what’s going on for them, what they struggle with most.

Don’t go and offer a solution until for each company, client, industry or demographic, you have a good and clear idea of what they need, right now, in these different circumstances.  

Or, watch this training video on turning your unique ability into revenue – especially the first 25 minutes or so, because that goes deep into how to connect, and ask, and listen.

Lots of advantages going on. Go find ‘em!

Cheers,

Martin

 

P.s. One final, incredibly big advantage: there’s suddenly a LOT more disposable income available, now that people no longer go on cruises, holidays, to the movies and restaurants as much as they used to. Lots of money that people aren’t spending – but maybe, they’d spend it with you, once you find out what it is they need, right now?

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