The Real Reason I Always Talk About My Former Life as a Monk. Hope it Helps

And it’s not because I like talking about myself.

Ok, full disclosure: I do. Not because I consider myself all that interesting, but I’m the only person about whom I have ALL the insider information – the good bits, the funny, the naughty, the learning curve and the mistakes made, and above all else: all the things I learned while spending 12 years in a monastery.

And there was a lot I learned, and they are things that can help you. That’s why I’m always bringing it up.

(Dissident voices have claimed I also do it because it’s a great way to break the ice at parties, but I’ve found that to be anecdotal. Which happens to be an anecdote I often tell when meeting people at parties).

Anyway, back to something more lessonful:

In an email convo with a reader last week, I used the words: “…when I was a monk…” and she replied asking me to write an article called about ‘when I was a monk’ – but I found myself unable.

Because that would be stuff about me, and my rule for writing these articles, is that “if it’s gotta be about me, it’s gotta be so that it’s useful for them”.

Or informative, entertaining, or triggering an insight, or whatever might help someone out there today.

So logically, just ‘about Martin’s former life’ wouldn’t work.

I chewed on it for a week and didn’t find a solution, but just now it hit me:

Make it about what you learned there, and how people can apply it, Martin. How could you have missed it?

At the moment I’m working out a few ideas in my mind for tomorrow’s article which will tell you exactly that, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here’s lesson #1, in the shape of this very email.

As in: if you want to get results with people, make it about them, and their interest.

You’ll get fastest results if you consider the other before yourself, by default, in every situation.

Whether you want readers, buyers, supporters, happy kids or

Just ask: “What’s going on there on the other side? What motivation for that thing I see, is there?”

That’s something I learned in the monastery.

If someone lashes out at you, ask what’s causing that, before you reply.

If a relationship isn’t working, ask yourself what the other might be afraid of, or protecting, by acting in that way that gets you so upset or that obstructs improvement.

If you’re going to tell a story to your audience or your buyer, and it’s about you, ask which lesson or benefit from that story would be best for that client at this time.

(Any professional wordsmiths or linguists here: sorry for that last sentence).

If you have a project and you need collaboration, ask yourself what would make the other parties want to actively engage.

You get the picture: it’s always about the other. And that was one of my biggest lessons in the monastery.

More tomorrow.

Cheers,

Martin

I Was Sold to SO Hard – And I Love Every Minute of It

A little lesson about the psychology of effectively selling things for you today, in a way that allows you to live with yourself:

It’s an early Spanish morning, first Saturday of the month – the day when there’s a rummage sale in the park.

I saunter to and from the stalls, say hi to friends walking around, feast my eyes on all the bits and pieces people have out for sale.

Looking at some books, I’m interrupted by an older English gent.

He picks up a suit jacket and holds it out for me:

“Look at this, it’s perfect, it’s your size, mint condition – here, try it on”.

A little smile on his face, a big glint in his eye.

Evidently, an individual with a lots of humour, and people skills too.

I smile, decline the offer, explain I have plenty of jackets, but he won’t have it:

“Only two Euros, it was made for you, here I’ll hold your backpack. Here you go”.

Starts tugging at the backpack’s shoulder straps, making a big fuss out of being servile, playing the part of overly invested tailor or butler with great flair.

I can’t help but laugh, crack a few jokes back, and within minutes the situation escalates into an impromptu improv comedy thing. Hilarious.

Meanwhile, he literally leaves me no room to breathe, and very deftly sells me (hard!) on trying the jacket on, and then paying two Euros for it – in a way that literally leaves me no choice. Pretty much coerced me into a sale.

It was the hardest sale I ever experienced, and believe me, I’ve had some hard sales pitches thrown at me.

This guy though?

Beats them all, and here’s the thing: I loved every minute of it!

As I walk home, endorphins and dopamine rushing through my system, I reflect.

There’s a definite feeling of glee and even mild euphoria, despite having been forced into buying (an admittedly nice) thing that I didn’t need.

He did exactly what you should never do when you’re helping a person decide to buy from you or not.

And yet it worked, and I’m even grateful for the experience.

Now, nearly everyone has either objections to sales and selling, or has unresolved subconscious limiting beliefs about it, or both.

And if that’s you and you own a business, remember this:

The explanations, the features and the rationale for buying your thing, that’s not what causes the decision.

It’s how someone feels, once all the rational considerations line up.

The emotion triggers a purchase decision, always.

If you want people to buy your thing, make them feel good.

Smart people have said that nobody buys from a clown, so I don’t recommend you make a spectacle out of yourself the way my English vendor did, but a bit of tastefully placed humour will have a very good effect on the outcome of your sales conversations.

Be authentic and not manipulative, but make people feel good.

That’s what causes people to want to buy from you.

Smile, nod, listen, ask, say something funny if appropriate, listen a whole lot more – you already know how to have a fun conversation. Why would you give a buyer anything less?

If ever you and I end up talking about working together, you’ll experience firsthand how much fun and relaxed a ‘sales conversation’ can be.

Best of all, it’ll change the way you gain your own customers.

Cheers,

Martin

Greed vs Generosity

A while ago I ran into a local acquaintance, who hosts retreats and events.

“Hey Martin, do you still coach people?”

Told them that yes, I sure do.

“Well, if ever you want to work together, our premises are available”.

Ooh nice, I thought: collaboration!

“As in, organising a retreat together, you mean?”

And then they hit me with probably the biggest turnoff ever:

“No, as in: you bring us the people, and we host a retreat for them”.

My jaw dropped at the staggering and blatant greedy selfishness of it.

They expect me to do their marketing for them, because what – I’m such a nice guy?

To make this even more painful, this person is rather well-connected to an up-market audience, has a huge following, and is actually world-famous in a niche that isn’t very small.

In other words: they have everything in place to draw in a crowd.

And yet, they have this idea that other people should do the heavy lifting for them.

I’m still baffled by how clueless it all was.

In the past, I used to like this person, and have often considered programmes we could run together.

After this though? I no longer consider them. No longer part of my world. Bye.

Not that I expect them to care – after all, I’m just a dude who does a thing, and there’s 100s of dudes and lasses like me, here on the coast.

But in terms of marketing, what they did was display greed – the greatest sin you can imagine in business, sales, and marketing.

When you want to enroll people (whether in an idea, a collaboration, or indeed into paying you money for something), give first.

When you do that, you make it about them, which is a powerful way to enable people to trust you.

And without trust, people don’t buy.

Instead of being greedy and selfish, be generous.

Serve people with your marketing.

Just like I do with these dailies: a way to show up, to give something, a public service, to remind you that I’m here, and available if I’m the right coach for you.

And though I no longer teach email marketing, I can still coach you on how to generously write daily emails that people love, share, and buy from.

Holler when you’re ready.

Cheers,

Martin

About You…

One of the easiest ways to miss out on getting outcomes with people?

Making it about you – and we all do it.

Truth is, It’s never about you.

Your potential buyer isn’t interested in the bills you need to pay. They just want to get a job done or a problem solved and they’ve got money for it.

But if there’s even a hint of neediness in your approach – if you make it about you – you’ll break trust and they’ll go elsewhere.

You might know for a fact that education X is going to be awesome for your child, but if they go for it because of your persuasive powers instead of their own desire, they’ll likely loathe it and/or drop out.

You’ll have made their path about you and your views, and not about them and their future.

Your course, project, training, art or book might be radically life-changing – but it’ll only have that effect on others if you sell it for the purpose of changing the life of others first, and that of yourself second.

No matter how good our intentions, your point of origin matters a lot when it comes to those intentions becoming real.

It’s easy to drive on with our point, because we think we know what’s best.

But even if we’re right and we do know, insisting on or enforcing our views makes it about us, making the other you’re doing it for, tune out.

Whatever result you want to achieve with someone, be it in a business or personal context: make it about them. You’ll get a lot more done.

Cheers,

Martin

Guaranteed to Cause Radical Improvement in Any Relationship Real Quick

If there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin relationships, it’s blaming other people.

This one doesn’t put the cap on the toothpaste, that one doesn’t eat their veggies, the bus driver acted like a jerk, your boss is an idiot, your father is selfish, your employees underperform, your competitor cheats, banks are swindlers and politicians are liars…

Blame, blame, blame.

A world of people who are ‘doing it wrong’, and: if only they’d get it, and change their ways.

THEN your life would finally become easier.

Well, sorry but it just don’t work that way.

No matter what someone else does, does wrong, or doesn’t do:

You’ll never in a million years change them.

And as long as you blame the other, you’re the victim.

Poor me, suffering at the hands of all those idiots out there.

I say, flip it around.

Instead of blaming others, what about taking ownership?

What would your life be like if you were fully, 100% responsible?

I’m reminded of a navy seal whose platoon (or team, or whatever it’s called in the army) lost a soldier due to friendly fire.

As the leader of the team, he had to think long and hard about what had gone wrong, and there were all kinds of individuals and procedures to blame for the disaster.

But he ultimately realised that as the leader, there was only one person responsible: He himself.

He took full ownership of the problem. No blame, except unto himself.

And that, becoming fully responsible for whatever situation, is a masterful jedi-move.

It doesn’t mean you’re to blame for the situation – it means that you are the single responsible party for creating change or improvement.

It means that you ‘become the problem’.

And when you do that, things change drastically, real fast.

So if your world is filled with people who get to be blamed, I suggest a ‘no blame diet’.

For 21 days, monitor your words, actions, and above all: your thoughts.

Notice how much you’re in the habit of blaming others, and deliberately avoid saying or thinking anything that puts blame on the other person.

Inspire yourself, become the problem, blame nobody (not even yourself), and you’ll find yourself being the author of radical improvement in your relationships.

Do you dare to try?

Because not blaming and taking full ownership, is one of the bravest things we can do.

Do you dare – do you have the guts to go on a no-blame diet?

Cheers,

Martin

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