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

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

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.



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.



How to Make it Easier to Pivot Your Business

The other day I was reminded of my old piano teacher from 40 years ago.

Lovely old lady. Good teacher, too!

Whenever I played a piece and made a mistake, my next step was always to start all the way at the beginning.

But she wouldn’t have that: she always made me repeat the parts I got wrong.

Otherwise, that way you keep getting better at the parts you know, while doing nothing about the part where it gets tricky.

Oh and I remember those long lessons, with the warm Dutch sun highlighting dust motes and me being as bored as can be.

But, she made me repeat the hard bits, over and over, and over, until I got them right.

Now, any business consists of various bits – some are hard, and some are easy.

And the only way a business runs well, is if all the parts work. Together, but also by themselves.

Marketing, outreach, followup, advertising and enrollment conversations: each of these need to work, and then there’s a ton more:

Your target market, your pricing, your messaging, your ability to find and fill your customer’s needs… it’s a lot.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably have most of those parts working well to some degree.

But what if you need to pivot?

What if right now clients are not buying, but you want to keep selling and serving?

Then essentially, you’re looking at learning an entire new musical score, with a whole bunch of hard bits to challenge you.

Because ‘making my business work better’, which used to be the norm before all this mess started happening, is very different from ‘reinvent my revenue stream now that there’s a crisis going on’.

One way to pivot is by trial & error.

Or, you can use a recipe – a manual that says ‘do this, in that order, in that way’.

In other words, a system that shows you all the individual parts, and how to do them.

And that recipe – that system  – that’s what you get when you watch this training.




It’s the Singer, Not the Song: Your Revenue Needs More Than Just a System

When I launched the IP to Profit system a while back, for developing a new revenue centre in your business, my coach said:

“In such uncertain times, how do you know that a system will work?”

Brought back memories of that Stones song: It’s the singer, not the song.

Because he’s right.

Not just in uncertain times, but always:

We can’t ever know if a system will work, because any system depends on how you use it, how well it’s executed.

Everything hinges on how we show up to a task or a project.

How we operate, implement, execute.

The song (i.e. the system) might be good, but if it also ‘sounds’ good (gets you sales) that’s because of the ‘singer’ (you, the one operating the system).

And the IP to Profit system is no exception.

Sure it’s really well-built even if I say so myself, and yes it’s got all the steps to go from market research, through the copy you need to write, through selling and optimising.

And yes, you can make a revenue centre around your Intellectual Property, even at times like these…

…but it’ll require the best of you.

Meaning: By itself, the IP to Profit system itself isn’t enough – it’s down to you, and your dedication and attitude and execution.

If you’ve got those in place, then you *might* be able to make your IP earn you money, even if the business world right now is in full VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).

Point is, if you don’t use some sort of structure or framework or system, it’s hard to know what to do, and in which order.

And from the actions you take, it’ll be hard to see measure what worked best so that you can iterate and optimise, if you’re not using a testable system.

And that’s why the IP to Profit system is so useful:

Not because it promises the end-all solution, but because it gives you a framework in which to operate, enabling you to indeed show up as your best self, and get the most out of it.

And, it enables you to get the most out of your single most valuable asset:

Your list, your database, all the people in your world you can talk to and help.

And to leverage that asset in a systematic way and keep your serving and selling going, consider getting the system: a 1-hour training, yours to have and own, slides included, at $19.



Of Recipes and ‘Spaghetti-Thinking’

Oh sure, I get it: no system ever guarantees a perfect outcome – after all, a system can only get the result it’s built for.

If the system isn’t perfect, neither should we expect the outcome to be.

And so the feedback I got last week – that even my brand spanking new IP to Profit system can’t guarantee to bring in sales for people who use it – was on point.

Especially at a time like these, we just can’t know which system for generating leads, making proposals and creating clients is going to work, or not.


In my – systematic and obviously biased – opinion, it’s better to have a reasonably logical system you can run and optimise, than to practise what I call ‘spaghetti thinking’.

Like a bit of advise I saw the other day, where the instructor had some recommendations for drumming up business.

They were good instructions, but they were kind of like loose tactics – like throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Simple actions we can take like calling up clients and former clients and using ‘helping instead of selling’ as a way to find new gigs.

And yeah, that can work, and it’s good advice. But it’s going to work a lot better if you include that kind of tactic, inside a larger, planned, strategy.

Because then you get to make educated guesses.

You get to ask the right questions, of the right people.

You end up offering the things they need, instead of the things you think they need.

You get to aim your efforts precisely, and you get to measure and iterate for continued growth in results, and yes: sales.

When sales are falling you need to take action, sure.

But do you want to randomly throw ingredients into a pot and hope the end result will be edible?

Or are you going to use a recipe and have that guide you along the way?

A system, a strategy: all that is like a recipe.

Whether it works or not depends on many things: The cook, the quality of the recipe, the ingredients.

But even someone who can barely cook, can create something that tastes quite nice, so long as they follow a recipe.

And IP to Profit is just such a recipe.

Have a look, see if it looks apetising…







Solution-bias (Plus, a Solution For You)

Specifically, a solution in case you suddenly have a lot fewer sales than before, like so many people out there.

Here’s the situation:

Being human means being biased. It is literally impossible to be completely unbiased, because on an evolutionary level, we’ve always needed to make snap-assessments about the world around us.

Otherwise, we wouldn’t have survived this long.

If you can’t be biased to assume that fangs = threat, you’ll quickly discover just how deadly fangs can be.

So if you think that you’re completely unbiased, your lizard brain says no, that’s not true.

The good news here, is that you get to choose your biases.

Good and useful ones, or silly and obstructing ones. Up to you.

And choosing them isn’t all that hard, once you start to identify the ones that you already have.

For example: You may be inclined to think that society is going to collapse – a bias that will cause you to spot in your world all kinds of confirmations of that fear.

Or, you can choose a different bias: that amidst the mess and chaos, there are quite a few good things happening.

Those may not make the bad things less bad, but looking at positive sides and silver linings helps you see opportunities that you can then leverage.

Someone this week pointed out that I have a ‘solution-bias’ – something I’d never considered, but it’s true: I like creating solutions.

It’s what my work is built on.

And, it’s why I was able to quickly create the IP to Profit system, and launch it in less than three weeks from Spain going into lockdown.

Because I saw a problem (people suddenly not selling and earning) and I figured ‘Let’s build a solution’ (take your intellectual property and convert it into a new revenue centre).

Biases are kind of like air: You’re going to be breathing anyway, so you might as well breathe fresh, clean air.

Or consider food: if you’re going to be eating, best eat well & healthily.

As for biases: you have them, whether you like it or not, agree or not.

Best choose those biases that enable you to create, solve, grow, serve, and thrive.

For me, that includes a bias for creating solutions.

And if your bias is ‘it should still be possible to sell my work, even now’, then the IP to Profit System gives you a complete roadmap to make that happen.

Check it our here:








When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Make Lemon Merengue Pie

You get to choose your attitude at any given time.

And when life gives you lemons… well, making lemonade is always good…

Or wait! What about a lemon merengue pie!?

Which isn’t as funny as you might think:

Lemons into lemonade is a great attitude…

But what opportunities would you see… what could you invent… create, or build…

If your current hardship was the best thing that ever happened to you?

I mean, that’s how you’re likely to end up feeling anyway at some point – “it was tough but it was one of the best things to ever happen to me”…

You’ve felt that way about stuff from the past, right?

Well, then you’ll feel like that again, sooner or later.

So, what if you’d feel that right now?

What if the mess you need to deal with at this moment – the disruption, the changed markets, the different buyer behaviour – would actually be the best thing that could happen to you…?

That’s a choice you can make, it’s in your hands.

Which doesnt magically fix all problems, but it’s a damn useful attitude to take.

So if this were the best thing that could happen, and you still want to sell, and serve your people, but it’s not working the way it used to?

Then what you want to do, is figure out what’s different for the people who used to buy.

If they gave you money in the past, or were about to but didn’t move forward… what’s changed for them?

What are their new, current, pressing, urgent problems, that you could solve for them?

See, everything is different for everyone. Which puts the onus on you to align your sales process and the offers you make and the buyer conversations you have, with that new reality that your buyers are currently in.


Many different ways.

The IP to Profit System is one way, and it might just help you get your sales rolling again.

More information here.







“Is It Still Ethical to Sell at a Time Like This?”

Saw that question on Twitter the other day.

And I get it. We’re all reeling to some degree or other, and don’t we have better things on our minds, besides business?

Well yes, we do: Smile. Or do you have anything better to do?

(Ok, that’s a bit snide, but I really really mean it: smile. It’s better).

But that business and selling thing…

Should we? Is it right? Does it matter? Is it ethical?

Well, think of it this way:

You’d better hope your baker keeps selling bread.

It would be nice if you supermarket keeps selling and serving your needs.

If your phone breaks, hopefully someone is selling new or second hand ones, or selling repair services..

Petrol, for those who need to get to work, such as medical, transport, foodstuffs professionals…

The online platforms you use for your business, they’d better keep operating and taking your monthly payments.

Now these are obvious… of course they should stay in business and keep selling. They’re important, for all kinds of reasons.

But if you think that because you’re a solopreneur, or a coach, or an author, or literally whatever it is you do or whatever reason you’re telling yourself why you should take your foot of the gas, that you’re not supposed to be selling your work, you’d be making a mistake.

Even if you’re an artist, and you’re telling yourself that ‘there’s more important things than art at a time like this’, you’d be wrong a mistake. (Art matters a lot for culture, and even more now that folk will increasingly struggle to keep their head on straight. As evidenced by the uptick in the consumption art and music during past recessions and such.)

And another thing: it’s not that you have to keep operating and selling if you don’t want to, but there’s nobody ‘exempt’ from operating their business.

Because whatever the world is going through, it will always have an economy, and you’d better hope that it keeps working, in whatever way.

Without an economy there’s little left except barter, and humanity is no longer organised in a way that makes barter easy on a wide scale. Besides, barter is just another form of economy, so my point stands.

‘The economy’ is a big, big thing, spanning continents and industries and demographics and crossing all kinds of societal and cultural divides… a huge, complex, web. And while I don’t know a whole lot about ‘the economy’, I do know this:

An economy exists, and functions, by virtue of people trading things of value against each other: buying and selling things. And the more that happens, the more things can happen. Hopefully, good and ethical things.

But without an economy, things suck a lot more for people. Kind of like smiling, in fact: if there’s less of it, life is less fun.

So the question ‘is it still ethical to sell’, can be replaced with a more important question:

Do people still need what you do?

If the answer is yes, and people also want it, but you’re struggling to enroll people under current circumstances, you might want to check this out.

Your baker is selling bread. Go and keep selling your stuff. And then go give your baker some money.

Smile as you do so.



Now More Than Ever: Go To Where the Puck Will Be

Spoke with the owner of a transport company yesterday.

You know: the people who made sure we have food in shops, regardless of crisis or lockdown or whatever happens.

Pretty essential workers, but it’s an industry that’s under massive pressure.

Regulations, middlemen, corruption, clients who insist on the lowest prices – and of course, the drivers end up getting the short end of the stick.

And it’s only going to get worse for them: in a few years we’ll have self-driving trucks on all roads, and algorithms will enable large companies to create hyper-efficient delivery routes, and let’s not forget automated drone delivery.

In other words: transport is an industry that’s breaking, and very fast too.

Now you might not be in transport, but there’s a lesson for you as well.

It’s said that you need to ‘skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is now’.

That applies to anyone in business, because while right now it might look like the world is changing fast, it’s only going to change faster and faster.

Which means that if you try to fix what broke, you’ll endlessly be chasing the puck, and you’ll never reach it.

But if you take a wider perspective, and ask yourself ‘if this continues…’ you end up with a vision of the future that might not be how the future will pan out, but you’ll be much better positioned to deal with the new and surprising changes that we’ll all be facing.

Yes, things have broken, nothing is the same, business is unusual – so instead of trying to catch up, see if you can get ahead.

If this continues… where will your industry be in 6 months, in a year from now?

What will your buyers need, what kind of new or different problems will they face that you can solve for them?

Go there.

Those who benefit and grow when things break, are the ones who take the time to project into the future: they envision where the puck will go, and they position themselves to knock it out of the rink once it arrives.

Put differently:

The entire world has been hit with entropy.

I say don’t try to fix it, but build something new instead.



The Face, Not the Logo (Making a Case for Being Different)

There’s a thousand reasons why someone ought to buy your work.

And, there’s dozens, hundreds or even thousands, of others who people could also buy from, and get an equally good solution to their problem.

So when someone decides to buy from you, and not from another provider, why is that?

Could be your credentials, experience, expertise, price, availability…

But in all cases when someone decides that you get the money and not someone else, there’s one thing at play that you can leverage:


You’re different from all the others. That’s why people want you, not them.

But if you’re different, then everybody else is also different. So how does that set you apart?


Most everybody else is out there looking to sell to people who want what they do.

But those who see a spike in success, those are the ones who only look to sell to those buyers who want their kind of different.

As Daniel Priestley says: People don’t remember the logo – they remember the face.

If you want to make marketing and selling easier, then you’d do well to connect with – and sell to – those who like your kind of different.

Suddenly your total market has become a LOT smaller & easier to wield, and suddenly your market is filled with 100% of candidates who totally dig the kind of different that you are.

What really makes for a differentiator in business, and what sets you apart from the competition, isn’t how different you are – it’s how far you’re willing to go in terms of aiming for people who want just your particular variation of different.




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