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

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

The Cost of Business That Nobody Should Pay

Being in business has many upsides: you call the shots, you set your prices, you are the only one you’re accountable to, you plan your days and vacations as you want, etc…

And, to have all that, we know that there’s a price to pay:

Long hours, patience, trial and error, sacrifice, and so on. And as an entrepreneur, we’re happy to pay that price.

But there’s one price nobody should pay:

Losing out on buyers.

Think about it: for each prospect you enter into conversation with, you have to spend time, money, and elbow-grease in order for that person to find you.

And yeah, it’s a fact of business that you’ll never ever convert every prospect into a buyer.

They might not have the budget, maybe timing isn’t right for them, or maybe what you offer isn’t exactly what they need.

But what about people who do have the money, who do need what you have, and who do want it, and they want it now… except in the end, for some reason, they didn’t buy?

Horrible feeling isn’t it? Everything looked so good, ducks in a row, stars aligned, and then:

‘Damn. Another one that got away’.

Emotionally this can be devastating. But it can also cause your business to itself to fail, if this happens too often.

Because, again, for each prospect you meet, you have to work, and if you fail to convert those who could be, ought to be buyers, you’re losing on the most scarce resource available to you: your time.

The solution?

Learn how to get good at selling. Whether by working with me, reading books, listening to podcasts or going to trainings: the one skill that will make or break a business, is the ability to enroll people.

And guess what: when you learn how to enroll in a way that’s based on empathy and values, it’s fun, a lot easier, and you’ll never have to convince or persuade anyone.

If any of this resonates with you and you feel that yes, the time has come to develop your enrollment skills, reply to this email.

We’ll set up a time for a short chat to figure out if I can help – and no, I won’t try to convince or persuade you – if you want my help, I imagine you’ll let me know.

Either way: if your personal efforts don’t yield results and returns, you’re paying a cost you shouldn’t have to pay, and you’d do well to get better at enrolling.

Let’s talk…



Or, You Could Stop Blaming Money

Money can bring out the best in people, and it can bring out the worst.

For example: When centuries ago Lisbon was hit by an earthquake, then a tsunami, and then a fire all in one day, the place was in ruins – and it was a very wealthy citizen who donated fortunes in order to rebuild.

As for examples where money brings out the worst… well, examples aplenty. Like the dude who bought a patent to an Aids medicine and raised its market price by – what was it? 3000%? Something crazy.

Where’s the difference?

In the person. Not in the money, because money is agnostic of right and wrong. It’s just a placeholder for value.

But, the more of a good guy or good gall someone is, the easier it is for that person to blame money, and call it – or subconsciously consider it – something inherently bad.

This is a problem, because if you Do Good Work, eventually money will start coming your way, especially if you think big and work long & hard on doing that good thing you do.

But, if you have a secret or not-so-secret hangup about money being bad, you’re going to constantly find ways to keep it out of your life, sabotaging whatever development is bringing the money closer.

That’s silly, and it’s a disservice to the people you want to serve, because the more you make, the more you can scale and reach more people.

So, stop blaming the money, and instead: want the money.

If you’re generous and your needs are covered, you can always donate, or support social good companies, and make money work for good.

But never, ever, blame the money – because it has never done anything wrong. People may have done things wrong with it, but as a tool, money itself deserves no blame.

And if you agree, and you want the money, and you can’t wait to get more of it so that you can use it to increase your impact, then let’s talk.

Because helping people make more is something I’m pretty damn good at.

Want that help, from me?

Then let me know…



Are You Trying to Push a Rope?

Further to last Friday’s article about ‘units of you’ and prioritising growth-driving activities in your business…

What if you try with all your might, and results just won’t show up?

Instagram, Facebook, outreach, proposals, trade shows, networking… you know you’re doing the right things, and things should be working and improvements (or at least: promise of results) ought to manifest, and yet… it’s like you’re treading water?

As if you’re trying to push a rope…

When things aren’t working, it’s easy to get disheartened and conclude that it just isn’t going to get better.

And when you reach that point, it’s easy to stop trying, give up on your efforts, and go back to the day-to-day activities that give a false sense of achievement. It’s happened to me, and you’ve probably had it happen as well.

But what if you step back for a moment, and look at your activities (the ones that aren’t getting you the results you want), and analyse the results that you do get?

There’s nothing you can do that does not have some sort of effect.

But because we expect Activity A to brings us Result B and that result isn’t showing up, we nearly always ignore the small results that are showing up. The progress indicators, the ‘metres clocked’ on your marathon.

And yeah, those probably don’t bring clients through the door… yet.

But they are an indicator of what could happen if you intentionally try to amplify those small, easily overlooked, results.

That holds much more promise than pushing on, trying to push a rope – or, by contrast, cancelling your efforts, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and going with the next shiny object.

There are times when you need to take stock, and radically reinvent and replace your strategy.

But those moments are rare, and in most cases, all you need is a clear hard look at how results and indicators measure up to effort; and make subtle, strategic adjustments to your strategy and/or approach.

There’s a difference between doing the right thing, and doing the right thing correctly.

Small changes and strategic shifts can have a big effect on your outcomes, but dropping your growth-driving activities will likely cancel all the positive outcomes you’re working towards.

This is why I created the Strategic Accountabiliy Coaching programme: to help smart, driven entrepreneurs stay focused on, and executing on, those activities that will ultimately cause you the hard-number results you want.

Check it out here…






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.






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.




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…



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.






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.




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…




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:



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