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

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

Results Not Typical – But Staggering Just the Same

But, if you work with me, you just might end up earning a cool one Million a year.

It’s happened before, you know?

Says Goran:


I met Martin 15 years ago, and we became close friends. 8 years ago I developed a plan to start a business, refurbishing and selling second hand bicycles. But, I didn’t know how to get the bicycles to market, I didn’t know sales.

Martin helped me to get started: he took me to shops in Amsterdam, and showed me how to communicate with buyers and build relationships based on trust. He sold many, many bicycles for me in that starting phase and taught me a lot.

These days, I own four shops in Amsterdam, turning over more than 1 million Euros per year. He was a key factor in my ability to start and grow my business.

I’m extremely grateful for his help, and grateful to have met him.

His advice, his help and the way he taught me to sell have been instrumental in how I proceeded to grow my business.

~ Goran, owner of


Am I boasting?


I’m humbled that he’d say something like that.

Goran is intelligent and a very hard worker, but I never thought he’d go this far.

And, the credit is his: he’s the one who built that company.

All I did was show him the things he needs to know, and teach him the psychology needed to sell.

But with that, he was able to grow.

And grow and sell he did.

This is the reason I write the LEAP newsletter each month: to equip you with the smarts and tools to start and grow a business that has a future and a potential.

Whether you get there doesn’t depend on me, it’s up to you.

But if you take and apply the lessons, if you work hard…

…and you PERSIST until it works…

You just might end up in a very good place.

It’s happened before.

To get access to the things I taught Goran – and all the extra things I learned since working with him – go here –>



When You're Green You Grown, When You're Ripe You Rot. Choose Which

School’s not ever out, you know.

Not if you want to go places.

Erika Napoletana said it nicely, a few years back:

Something to the effect that if the economy is hurting you, you need to add a new skillset.

I mentioned it to a friend at the time, a single mother social media manager with two or three kids. (I can never keep track of offspring, probably because I don’t have any.)

And no, sorry, I don’t want any. Maybe if you ask the next Stellar.

Told my friend:

“There’s lots to learn you know, you can follow any online course you want, and it’ll help.”

Retorted she: “I don’t need no stinking course – I need more clients and more money coming in.”

Upon which she went back to Flakebook to whinge about how bad her clients were, how empty her bank account, and how bad the economy.

Yes, I know.

So in my best Dr. House impersonation: Idiots!

You’re not like that – are you?

Good, good to hear.

So, here’s a skillset for you to learn: becoming a proficient email marketer.

Yes, I have a course for that which you can buy.

But if you’re smart, and a self starter, and you know how to apply yourself and a little discipline, you can do it on your own too.

Just do it. Seriously.

Here’s my 30-day challenge for you:

Each day, reserve the first 30 minutes of your day for an email draft.

Don’t worry about content, or quality, or messaging: just write, as fast a you can.

Write anything.

We’re just practicing here, just doing reps.

Training the writing muscle.

Write “Write” over and over again if you can’t get started, until other words come up, and you’re off to the races.

Once a week, take the one that’s most fun and most useful, and finish it up and send to your list.

Good chance that before the month is out, you’ll have trained your writing muscle to the point that you’ll be sending more than just one of the daily drafts.

Keep LEAP rule #1 in mind though: make it fun. Enjoy it, write something that makes you smile.

If you don’t enjoy writing it, nobody will enjoy reading it, so focus on fun.







Meanwhile, here’s where you can get my personal and direct help if you’re seriously serious about learning and expanding your mind –>



Paint, Colours, Ads and Navelstaring

Funny discussion going on about an ad selling paint.

Housepaint, not art paint – sorry.

The ad says: “Picking a colour can be real beast. We help you tame it”.

The commentator who wrote about it went nuclear on it, saying it’s one of the worst possible ads you can imagine.

Says that before choosing a colour, people want to know about quality of the paint.

I find it fascinating, because in my not very humble opinion, he’s completely wrong.

Also, I think it makes him look bad.

Funny to see though, how people are falling over themselves in order to agree with him in the comments.

He says the ad makes a basic mistake: Starting with benefits that people aren’t looking for.

I say he too makes a (very basic!) mistake: he’s looking at it from his own point of view, unwilling or unable to place himself in the other person’s shoes.

Which is kind of the talent that makes any marketer or copywriter successful.

Without that ability, every ad is already dead before you write it.

It’s a dense little issue, to be honest. Far bigger than I can fit in one email.

First: He’s painted houses before, bought paint before – and his wife is an interior designer so for several years he’s been exposed to a professional, can-do attitude and body of knowledge.

Obviously, for him it’s no big deal to pick a colour.

He just wants to know that whichever paint he buys is the best quality.

But what I can’t get my head around is how badly he misses the mark, in two regards:

First, there’s targeting: I don’t know about you, but when I go in to buy paint and they fan out 35 different shades of white, I get confused.

And I’m not the only one like that, I’m not unique.

Remember the jam story?

They displayed like 37 different kinds of jam – and everyone cheered about the variety of choice, but very few bought.

So they rebuilt the display, showing only a few – 7 or whatever.

Instantly, sales went up big time.

Confusion sucks.

All those colours confuse people – not everyone, but there are people who will not buy paint unless they first get clear on what colour they want.

After that is when they start thinking about quality.

So what my buddy isn’t considering is targeting: for the right kind of people, this solves a problem.

Then there’s the issue of placement: If he saw this ad come by in his Facebook feed, it would be bad placement: he knows what he wants to buy.

But imagine you put that ad in, say, a magazine for budding home improvers – people who bought their first home, perhaps.

They’ll have tons of questions about procedure, materials, safety, quality, tools… colour, too, maybe?

Very possibly.

And yet, the blog post states “Bad ad”.

I don’t agree.

It’s a bad ad for the general public.

It’s a great concept though for the right audience.

Targeting at work.

Not that I think it’s a good ad in terms of how it was made – the copy and the image don’t do it for me.

But the concept?

Yep. There’s a market for that.

Hey, you wanna know a thing that also has a market?

Your work – your writing, your art, your whatever.

People waiting to find you.

And, wanting to buy from you.


By sending them an email a day.

Let me show you how –>



She Says So Too: It's Just Part of Life

Very interesting email exchange the other day, showing exactly the ailment that most artists suffer from.


I’m also very interested in how caring deeply about people translates to business. So many creatives I know are incredibly empathetic, caring people who just want to GIVE.

Yet when it comes to business, they are poisoned, a little I think, by our society’s concept of business and corporate culture. They associate making money with taking from people, which results in feeling that they are somehow hurting people.

I think this is on a deep, unconscious level, but it does stop them from wanting to charge, or charge enough, talk about what they do, or advertise, or build their business.

I’m a big believer in that if you’ve got something you love to do, eventually you need to be making at least a little money from it. Or else in the long term, you won’t have time to do it.

Life tends to get in the way, and financial obligations are a part of life, the more the older you get. I want to keep writing and painting until the day I day, so it needs to keep paying at least some of the bills.


Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Some very good points there:

–> Our views and opinions are influenced by society’s representation of business and corporate value

No wonder most people would rather drink bleach instead of do any marketing – especially something as close to you as your art.

–> Associate making money with taking from people, as if hurting people

Ha, well put. Bollox though: You’re happy to pay for a loaf of bread, so why would someone else not be happy to pay you for your art?

You don’t feel ‘taken’, when you buy bread, do you?

I assure you, as long as you don’t mess people about and you’re ethical, none of your buyers will feel that way.

Better yet: They’ll be grateful for the value you provide, and they’ll happily part with money because of it.

–>If you don’t make money from it, you can’t keep doing it

Yup. I’ve never bought any other brush than the one for doing dishes, but I imagine that stuff costs good money.

I remember my mother would ask gift vouchers for her birthday, to help towards buying sable hair brushes (is that what they’re called? Don’t know. The very very soft ones).

How much is a tube of Winsor & Newton these days


–> Best one: “I want to keep writing and painting until the day I die, so it needs to keep paying at least some of the bills.”

Ha! Common sense at work.

What about you?

Ready to start selling more, yet?

Then over the next three months, let me show you how to do just that, with only one email a day (but do bring your list)

–> Http://



Balls. Gotta Have 'Em. Also: Don't drink & buy

Weird thing happened.

A new LEAP subscriber, last Saturday.

That’s not so weird (it’s good stuff) but what happened next was weird indeed.

He signs up, and right away sends me an email with a question about how to build a list.

More or less in those terms: a broad, undefined ‘how do I do that’ kind of question.

And, since subscribers get to push a button on my brain, and then it spews out helpful answers, I wrote him a nice little reply.

Big one, actually – about a page and a half.

No reply.

Two days later: “I’ve considered and decided not to proceed with my business plan. Please cancel my subscription.”

Note: this within two days of subscribing, before even receiving his first issue.

So I go to Paypal, click the cancel button, and start thinking.

Was my answer too broad?

Did it show him too harsh a reality?

After all, there’s a lot that goes into the mix, if you want to build a business.

Seeing a sizeable chunk of that splayed out in one single email can be a bit of a shock, I suppose.

But then – it can’t all have been news to him…

Or maybe it was the confrontation – realising that his dream is a dream and he realises he doesn’t have the grit to make it a reality?

I just don’t know, there’s no telling.

Though if it was the latter, he made a good decision.

It takes a lot of balls to be in business and make it work.

Lotsa stick-with-it-ness.

Who knows – maybe he bought on impulse, or drunk – the timestamp on his purchase says after midnight.

I’m guessing impulse buying – many people aren’t here to invest, but instead are looking for an opportunity.

I don’t want opportunity seekers for customers.

If you’re going to build a business, you’re going to invest, one way or another.

Bunch of time, and energy. For starters.

You don’t do that on impulse because you won’t be able to keep it up.

You don’t do it because of apparent opportunities because that’s entirely the wrong mindset – radically opposed to the investor mindset.

You invest time (and/or money) in your business because you have a plan and a dream and a goal – and you’re willing to pay the price to get there.

It ain’t cheap.

But to me, it’s worth it.

When they say: “With everything you know and all the languages you speak – you should get a job!”, I laugh heartily.

A job – me?



I’ll build my own business, not somebody else’s, thank you very much.

You can do it too.

Can be pretty easy too, if you use email marketing to get your sales.

I’ll show you how:



Are You a Clear Thinker? Consider This…

Reading more in Watzlawick’s How Real is Real, I came across a nice anecdote that demonstrates exactly how much we ourselves determine our reality.

It’s called the Seatlly Windscreen Pitting Epidemic.

At some point at the end of the 50’s, people in several Seattle suburbs started noticing their car windscreens were damaged: countless little pits, tiny dents, all over the windscreen.

People were upset when they found out the damage, and started talking about it.

Nobody knew what the cause was, but some suggested is was the nearby motorway that had recently been tarmacced.

Others said it had to do with a Russian nuclear test.

Either way, the news spread like wildfire, and within weeks scores of people in the area discovered that hey, their windscreen had been damaged as well!

It was an outrage.

President Eisenhower even started a formal investigation commission to figure out what was going on.

Turned out, nothing was going on.

All cars have damaged windscreens, always have.

If you drive at 80 miles per hour, a handful of course sand blowing across the road will be abrasive enough to do minute damage.

So the whole town was up in arms, Russians were blamed – when in the end, the only thing that had happened, is that when people heard about the damage others had on their car…

They stopped looking through their windscreen, and started looking at it, from the outside.

Quite a different picture, evidently.

You, me, and other clear-thinking people will probably go: “Yeah, duh. Obviously”.

For the people believing the myth though, the damage was real, and new.

They were convinced it had happened recently, because of… something.

Everybody else said so.

You may think you know what’s what.

Where things come from, why things happen.

You might go through life with the conviction that the phenomena you observe are what they are.

They’re not.

The things you observe are filtered by your own mind, your memories, wishes, opinions, fears – there’s an entire machine in you, churning away 24/7, helpfully interpreting your life and your surroundings.

What you think you observe isn’t what the thing actually is.

So if you’re looking at something – in business, in life, or relationships – that isn’t working, why not take a different perspective?

It’s simple.

Just tell yourself that what you observe is not that – what it seems to be is not it.

Then sit back, suspend judgment, and just observe what other interpretations surface from deep within your subconscious.

You might be surprised.

Rats. Again I didn’t set up for a call to action.

Oh well: All aboard the Starship Mentorprise yo, if you want to surprise yourself with how fast, fun, and easy (let’s not forget profitable) daily emails actually are.

Changing mindsets, one motivated entrepreneur at a time –>



Looks Like We Have A Future Rockstar On Our Hands…

LEAP subscriber Gareth has been pretty busy since he signed up.

For the first month I wasn’t sure he was really getting it, and he wasn’t really asking many questions either.

But the last few weeks he’s been sending me smart questions and updates on his progress, and dude… he’s going great guns.

So I said: “Oh yeah? What about a little testimonial then, matey?”

Sends me this:


I was hesitant to do the Leap course. Part of me believed that I could do all this online business stuff by myself. And although theoretically true, in practice that wasn’t happening – even though I am a passionate artist and want to turn my passion into a full-time business!

What surprised me about Martin’s newsletter is how it leads to things getting done, you look back and realize how much you have done. And the fundamental changes in your perspective on selling.

The best thing, though, is the chance to ask Martin questions. This has been so helpful. It’s [almost, Ed.] like having a mentor and personally I believe you really need one.

I can’t believe that I am now enjoying the business side, enjoying writing newsletters to my list which is beginning to slowly increase in number, enjoying the connection with people who like my work and enjoying getting all those practical things done which make it possible to sell your work online.
I have now received my third newsletter and am looking forward to number four.


Ha. Remember how a few weeks ago I was waxing enamouredly about how I had suddenly discovered art, how I had turned?

Gareth turned, and not in any small way.

No ‘maybe I’ll put up an optin form’ – instead, it’s action and results, bam bam bam.

And dig it: he even enjoys the business side of being an artist now.

My Stellar instinct is tingling, telling me that he never in his life thought that was going to happen.

He’s enjoying the stepping out, the expositions he’s putting up, talking to people, doing the practical things to make it all happen…

In other words: Gareth got over himself and went from being a (severely good !) painter, to a being (budding) professional.

Shows in his sales too: four new watercolours sold, if I’m correct. And no, not at $75 each.

On top of that he’s initiated a collaborative project with other artists, to create a very useful ebook.

And to make it even more fun, he just sent me an email with some seriously good ideas for spyhole products, plus he’s thinking on how to sell them for more cashflow.

The spyhole product being, if you don’t remember, what I explain in the Spyhole Salesman’s Business Secret Cheat Sheet that comes free when you subscribe to LEAP.

It’s a way to create a product that you can at any time promote in order to get more cash in, or which you can use to create a foundation of cashflow for your business.

So yeah: this stuff works. My man G sez so.

Want to be a professional too, and earn like one?

Check this:



Word of Mouth Will NOT Save Your Business

Went in to get my shoes repaired yesterday.

Ramon used to be an employee, but last spring he decided to open up his own shop here in town.

He resoles, he stitches – he can even do some saddle repairs.

“So how has your summer been?”

Tells me it’s been pretty good, getting by, paying the bills.

So I ask him: what about winter, what plan do you have for marketing and promotion, now that all the tourists and summer residents are gone?

Tells me: “Word of mouth, mostly”.

Obviously, he ought’nt have said that, not to me..

I mean, I understand that if you’re good at your work, and people refer others, and it all seems to roll along, you’ll be inclined to think it’s going to stay that way.

Problem though with word of mouth is that by itself, it’s as unpredictable as the weather.

Besides, there are far too many factors involved: Local economy, horror stories in the news, the panicky garbage people ingest through TV – all it takes is for enough people to reserve their money for whatever national holiday is coming up, and all the good word of mouth won’t bring in a single punter.

Ha, and on this coast, even the weather can murder a business: Come November, we’ll see entire weeks full of rain, and not piddling drizzle: when it rains here, it rains cats and dogs, hammers and nails.

And yep: Nobody ventures on the streets when it rains unless they absolutely have to.

Besides, they couldn’t go out if they’d want to: their shoes are damaged and leaky.

So, recap: Word of mouth matters. It’s important. Your quality of work and your customer service should be good enough to merit it.

But never rely on word of mouth.

Instead, create systems and strategies that foster word of mouth.

Ramon could print 20 simple posters and hang them around town in strategic places: library, supermarket, Casa de la Cultura, and so on.

“Throwing your shoes away is wasteful – why not give them a second round?”

Some good before/after pics, a phone number and his portrait on it as well – there, a simple, nearly free method of creating more local awareness.

In itself it’s a small effort, but it’s a great way to get people to notice you – and when they do, they’re likely to remember you when your name gets mentioned.

“Oh yeah that’s right, we’ve a shoe repairman in town now – someone told me about that.”

THAT is word of mouth. And it’s easy to get, if you give it some thought (and put in the effort).

What’s also easy to get is Martin’s email marketing mentorship.

Not as cheap as free posters, but a lot more fun than a kick in the chest.

And pretty effective too. My students tend to get real good, real fast, at writing their emails.

And, you’ll learn how to convert readers into fans and customers – word of mouth or no.

Access? Over yon –>



Harsh Realities: Waiting for Your Trees to Bear Fruit

Had a nice little exchange with someone who connected with me on social media, the other day.

She’s a pretty resourceful gal, by the looks of it. Community management, design, development – seems she knows what she’s doing.

It even landed her a job with a big name blogger a few years ago.

But then she wrote this:


“I know everything he knows. I actually know more, because I know design and development. But yet, I spent 6 years working for him for just over minimum wage instead of doing my own thing.

“It’s because I needed financial reliability. And now with a daughter and a partially disabled spouse, I need it even more. So I’m doing work for other people and not spending enough time (because I don’t have it) on my stuff.”


Ay – poor girl didn’t know you can’t say stuff like that to Martin.

I know where she’s coming from though and I can’t blame her, but man: 6 years is a long time if meanwhile the employer is making it big.

The problem, as is usually the case, is mindset.

Here’s what I wrote back:


Right, so basically you’re selling tree saplings, because you can’t afford to plant them and wait for your own trees to bear fruit. I get that, but look: That’s going to continue until you stop it. You, and your decision.

Ideas for getting seen: Well, you’re the promo girl who knows how to work platforms and so on – I’m the guy who keeps talking at people until they like him so much they can’t help but buy. I can show you how to do that (sign up for my list if you want to see my particular flavour of it), but you’re the one who can generate views.

So if I there’s any idea I can give you on how to get seen by more people: Make a plan, build a list, talk to them. Do it. Ten minutes a day is plenty to start with. Give me your best excuse and I’ll blow it outta the water :)

As for preaching without practicing: I’m the same, just look at the post I wrote today [yesterday’s post]. Also: I used to be a fancy tailor, but for myself I only had two suits.

And here in Spain, they say: En la casa del herrero, cuchillos de palo – at the blacksmith’s home, the knives are made of wood.

And yet. All of that is only the consequence of our actions or lack thereof. You have ten minutes of action a day in you. Why not put it to use?

It’s no use wanting to be a successfully selling artist – but it’ll sure help you to be a soon-successful artist who for the time being keeps putting in small bits but very consistently.

And why not?


Guess what next: She writes back saying I’m so right and that she already got started.

*Stellar dusts hands, looking smug*

Smart girl: she agrees that action gets results and she gets into gear.

What about you?

You can afford 10 or 20 minutes a day, on an activity that you know for a fact will bear fruit in one, two, or three months.

Everybody can find 20 minutes.

If you can’t, you have an excuse, and you know that those are made to get rid of.

So,  ponder that.

Meanwhile, ponder an email marketing mentorship, where you get not just your own action, but also my feedback and guidance.

And the caning when I find you’re getting slack.

On that note, a special message for one particular client, who knows I’m talking to her: better get in touch and send me new drafts today, yeah? Summer holiday’s over. Back to work, chop chop :)

Anyway, have a think.

If you want to prepare your business for a good winter season, turning yourself into a skilled email marketer will do the trick.

Bit of traffic, some conversion optimisation on your site, an email a day: the makings of a healthy business.

And remember: daily emails will transform your business. With or without my help.

It’s easier and more fun with, though.

Here’s where to start:



Disclosure: The Hypocrisy of Being Martin

This one will be short, sweet, and painful.

Painful for me, that is. No pot-shots, today you’re safe.

You know how I’m always saying that it’s your duty to market what you do?

That if you solve a problem and you’re not doing whatever you can to show up for people and let them know what you can do for them, you’re falling short of your moral and ethical duty?

Yeah, um… about that.

I’ve failed miserably at that and I’ve let everyone down. Myself first.

I could have been guest posting and getting more people to see my work – but I didn’t.

I could have tested paid traffic – adwords, Facebook ads – who knows. I didn’t.

I could have been hosting free seminars here on the coast – my fellow costeros sure could use the help.

All kinds of things I could have done – to be seen more, to sell more, and to help more.

But, I didn’t.

I just wrote my daily emails without growing my list, chirping away about how great email marketing is (it IS great, don’t get me wrong).

Now to you, this might not be a big deal: you’re on my list, you get my updates, you hopefully take goodness from them.

You wouldn’t notice the difference much, whether I promote my work or not.

But what about the others?

I mean, it’s not that I’m a godsend or the end-all solution to any business’s ailments.

But there are things I can do and ways I can help – ‘cept I can’t if nobody knows about it.

Dammit Martin, grow up already.

Also: take your own medicine, you big dork.

Ok then, hand me the pills.

How can Martin justify this?

Preach what he doesn’t apply?

Contend himself with a small list and not doing anything very substantial to be more seen?

To maybe, hopefully, solve more problems?

There’s no excuse – except, maybe, partially: “Timing is everything”.

If you’re not ready, don’t feel ready, then maybe it’s not the right time.

Though in stark naked truthfulness, that too is a cop-out: being ready is a choice, and a consequence of preparation.

If I thought I wasn’t ready, it’s just because I procrastinated on preparing, on getting myself ready.

So, let’s sweep this entire mess off the table, and let’s see Martin do what he’s supposed to do.

This week, I’m going to hit the pavement and walk the beat.

I’m biking into the next town over, where there’s a bit more business going on, and I’m going to be talking to entrepreneurs 1 on 1.

I’ll be (finally) sending the guest posts I’ve been writing.

I’m going to advertise on an artist’s website, see how that pans out.

I’ll be pushing on to get my podcast launched (anyone interested in designing and running a proper launch strategy, raise your hand. Knowing Martin, by himself he’ll probably do another one of his non-launches).

Maybe I’ll even get back on Twitter, who knows.

Anyway, just a little update on the goings-on down here.

Meanwhile, go here if you – like me – are ready to get over yourself, and you want to learn email marketing from a pro –> htpp://

Cheers, guys ‘n gals


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