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

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

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?

He Not Busy Being Born…

I never got into Dylan, but I do know he’s an awesome poet – and I love me some good lyrics.

Saw him quoted the other day – you may know it: “He not busy being born is busy dying”.

And at times like these, that’s truer than ever.

If right now you’re not reinventing how you operate your business and marketing and sales – if you’re not working to reinvent yourself or rebirth your operations – you might end up in trouble, or end up unable to fix the trouble you’re already in.

Of course this isn’t new.

A business is either constantly being innovated and optimised, or it should expect ‘shock by change’, at some point in the future.

Soon or later, problematic or disastrous – trouble ahead unless we reinvent.

And if, at this moment, you’re trying to figure out how to reinvent things and you’re asking ‘How do I keep selling?’ rest assured that you can stop doing that.

If you want to keep selling, the question should be:

‘What are my people’s needs, right now, under these circumstances?’

This, too, applies to business under any circumstances – but if right now you want sales keep to keep rolling in, that empathic way of approaching your market will a) give you answers as to what solutions people need, and b) make you stand out from all the tone-deaf competitors who simply keep pushing out their offers, as if nothing has happened.

If you want to be busy being born, be busy learning people.

What do your people need?

What if you’d be in their shoes?

What’s it like to be them?

That attitude, the answers to those questions, and a recipe for having conversations with people that identify those needs and that position you as the single best source to fill those needs, is what you’ll learn in this 1-hour training.


Cheers,

Martin

Lead vs Lag – Are You Looking at the Right Thing?

A while ago I read Cal Newport’s excellent book Deep Work, where he talks about how isolated, almost monastic blocks of highly-concentrated work are something increasingly rare in our society, but utterly essential for growth and innovation.

Which is ironic: here’s an ex-monk who tends to struggle with productivity, and who needs to read a book by a researcher in order to remind him that ye olde monastic practice (being devoted to the work, and taking action, i.e. active devotion) is what’s been missing.

‘Scuse me while I facepalm.

Anyway, he also talks about lead indicators vs lag indicators – a very important distinction.

Everybody has dreams. Results we want to create. A lifestyle, and an economy, that we work towards.

The results of those efforts show up in things you can measure, like the amount of free time you have, or the number of dollars coming in.

Between those metrics and the effort needed to create them, there’s delay and lag. Depending on what you’re building, that can be weeks, months, or years.

Now if you pay a lot of attention to the lag indicators (free time, money, number of customers etc etc), it’s very easy to get disheartened.

Growth usually starts slow, a nearly flat line for months or years, until it suddenly sweeps upward.

That happens when you reach the tipping point, and the flattish line suddenly sweeps upward – and you get the hockey-stick graph we would all like to see in our bank accounts.

Until you get to that point, you really want to avoid looking at the results too much.

Meaning: ignore the lag indicators, and focus instead on the lead indicators: the actions that will, eventually, bring you to the tipping point.

Look; measure; plan; schedule – get serious, scientific, monastic and scholarly on that stuff, and become a veritable pro at executing on the activities that will lead you to the tipping point as fast as can.

Create those blocks of single-pointed attention, to work on the growth-driving activities, and keep executing. Whether that’s an hour a day, or a 5-day bout in an AirBnB each month depends on what works for you.

But do that important work, and measure how much of it you do. Measure tasks checked off. Reflect on and measure how focussed and productive you were. Journal so as to find ways to optimise your output in those blocks.

Keep chipping away at – and improving – the lead metrics, while basically ignoring the lag metrics.

Those will show up, but ONLY if you execute on the lead metrics.

And the best way to do that is to ignore everything that comes after lag.

This is precisely why a while ago I created a strategic accountability coaching program:

To keep you focussed on, and executing on, those most high-value, growth-creating activities.

It’s an affordable way to get 1on1 time with me, to help you choose the best activities for growth, and to keep getting them done.

More information here…

Cheers,

Martin

 

Eustress & Rising Tides

Yeah it’s a messy time, and yeah every business on earth is under stress…

But while some are under threat and the stress threatens to crush them, others are under stress because suddenly, in this changed world, there’s so many opportunities – a type of stress called eustress.

The restaurant that kept all their staff and went full-on delivery based, they’re under stress – the good kind.

Zoom, who saw their userbase go sky-high in a matter of weeks, is under good stress.

Online educators, the smart ones, are suddenly able to reach and sell to far more students than before: people have time, have more disposable income, and there’s only so much Netflix one can ingest.

And there’s a large demographic of people who are keen to learn things but never had the time. So I predict that the online learning market is going to grow massively.

Now what do all these have in common?

They benefit from a rising tide.

Sure you can look at how the tide has fallen across industries, and lament how people just ain’t buying.

But that does you no good, and it won’t land you the contracts where you get to serve your people, either. Double-bad.

So instead, move towards the rising tide.

If you read some articles on entrepreneurialism and how people are adjusting their businesses, you’ll find plenty of smart moves people are making, that you can borrow from and implement for yourself, in order to also get lifted by the rising tide.

Because while the economy may change or slow down, it’s not going to stop. And parts of it are going to rise, in a big way.

Go towards the rising tide, and I’ll bet there’s one in your industry as well, if you look close enough.

Happy to have a conversation about what that looks like in your situation.

Just let me know you want to talk, and we’ll set up a time.

Cheers,

Martin

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