Two Shopping Experiences Where I Was Misjudged – One Lost Me Forever, the Other Won My Respect

“I don’t know if this pump will fit the valve on my tyre, you see. It’s a type only used in Holland. Can I just quickly try the pump, and see if it works?”

“The young woman looks at me and says: ”No”.

“Really? I just want to try it before I buy. My bike is right outside”.

“No, she says. ”You could just pump up your tyre, and then you wouldn’t need to buy the pump anymore”.

Clearly, she mistook me for someone with nefarious intentions.

So I smiled at her, and said “Que no, tonta!” – Of course not, silly! – and put a 20-Euro note on the counter.

She understood I was ok and started rummaging round for a boxcutter.

I tried the pump, paid, pumped the tire to 5 atmosphere, and rode off into the sunset.

Later that day, I’m in a bar having a beer, doing some writing on my novel.

Comes time to pay, I notice that one of the coins in my hand isn’t a 2-Euro piece – $3.50 or thereabouts – but a Turkish coin of almost exactly the same size and no monetary value in Spain.

I think back and remember where I received it – a guy gave me change earlier that day and I pocketed it without looking, I remember clearly.

So this morning I go back to his shop and say: “You made a mistake yesterday with the change – you accidentally gave me a foreign coin”.

He takes the piece from me, barely even looks at it, and walks to the till. The coin disappears somewhere and without any objection at all, he gives me a 2-Euro piece.

I tell him: “You need to get rid of that you know, the next guy who gets it might get angry”. I don’t even have time to tell him that passing counterfeit money is illegal, when he answers:

“No, I’m keeping it, for myself”.

Riiiight… for himself. As a souvenir – of course.

Bollocks: someone played him a bad coin, and he’s going to put it in someone else’s hand, and hope it won’t get noticed.

Two experiences, two results: The guy, I now know I can’t trust him.

The woman – well I could have been offended at how she misjudged me, but I prefer to respect her for running her business with a bit of care.

And, I respect her for having the balls to tell me why ‘no’, when I asked her. Many people would just oblige even though they’d rather not.

And hey, she’s got every right to refuse.

Sometimes you have to.

A few weeks ago a guy got in touch wanting copy, but before he could tell me anything – even the name of his company – I’d have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Yeah, that just don’t work for me – so I had to decline. Even though it was a sizeable project and the money would have come in handy.

No is a useful word in business. It should be used any time you feel someone invades, or very likely will invade, your own personal territory, your space, your truths, your peace of mind or your ethics.

You have every right to decline.

You can, for example, decline to take up my new LEAP Marketing Newsletter, once I finally get the sales page ready this week. (Today? Is there a copywriter in the house?)

Not that I recommend it – it’s a pretty solid piece of business training, the way it’s shaping up.

More about that in the next few days…

Meanwhile, go here if you already know how to run a successful business, but you just want to learn how to write daily emails that keep bringing in sales –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

DOH! So It Was In Front of Me All the Time?

It’s not that I’m dumb, but it sure is interesting how sometimes, the obvious stares us in the face and we just will not see it.

Which is, for example, what happens whenever a woman happens to like me.

I kid you not: almost every time a chick is interested in me, I’m over in the other corner, trying to make eye contact with a completely different woman, usually one who has no interest in me whatsoever (and who may or may not be wearing yoga pants).

But I digress.

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Let My People Go! Thoughts on Writing a Novel

Ok, so a few days ago I told you about my big audacious plan, the one which is going to turn my life upside down.

The plan which, I mentioned, starts with the novel that I’m currently writing.

I think I’m about 50% through with the first draft, and I have the storyline about 80% ready. More or less.

I’m not yet sure how to marry to main character to the waitress at the roadside diner, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out as I go along.

It’s a bit of an adventure, this book.

I think I would call it a sci-fi comedy noir, but that doesn’t really do it justice.

It’s… more out there than that.

It’s called:

“We’ve got humans!”

This is the Prelude (for now):

###

“STOP!”

Vlardr slammed on the brakes.

His mining rig hung still in space, slightly humming.

Somewhere outside in the vacuum, it seemed there was a gospel choir going “Hummmmm….” in a particularly jazzy harmony of hot fifths and sevenths.

He looked at the shimmering apparition in front of him and said: “Guy, get out of the way. This is a very powerful machine and if you don’t move it’ll hurt you. Badly.”

“I said stop”, replied the shape. “Let my people go!” The gospel choir picked up in volume, and a tiny trumpet started playing a solo in a blues scale.

Vlardr said: “Who are you?”

Thunderously, it sounded “I am GOD”.

Vlardr the Stoic blinked.

“Who?”

###

I TOLD you it’s out there…

In stores and on Kindle in the next two months or so, Zarquon help me.

Do forgive that this isn’t a helpful sales-teaching email like normal – I’ve been stuck with the storyline for months, and only yesterday finally had the a-ha moment, so now I know where to go with it.

I’m excited, I can’t wait to finish this thing.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. Yes, I’m still working, obviously.

Even though I no longer accept writing projects for clients, I do still have my mentorship program for people who want to learn how to email daily for fun and profit: www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Chicken or Egg – Write Emails or Build List?

Got a nice reply to my yesterday’s email:

“I have one [a list], but it’s got one person on it: me. Should I start emailing myself, just to develop the practice?
I am very much stuck in the “busy making a living” cycle, except I’m too busy and not making enough of a living. Lots of “plans” to “fix” this, but only the most preliminary of steps have been taken toward the actual fixing. Everyone tells me I need to offer a freebie to get people to download. Bogus? I see no other reason for someone to subscribe to me, though.”

You might be surprised, but I hear that a lot.

So this is what I replied:

“Yep, start writing, even if you don’t have anyone reading. Better that, than to have traffic but no experience writing this kind of stuff, or indeed a body of work to show, once you do start getting traffic.

For list building, have a look at Kim Roach’s work at buzzblogger.com to get some good ideas for traffic. Then make a landing page, explain why your daily updates are fun and useful, ask for a signup.  A freebie is very useful, start making one now. The notion ‘why else would they sign up’ is not useful, that’s just because you’ve not yet had the extended practice and experience of writing, or the reactions it will get you once you start.

Don’t wait building your list until you have a freebie though, that would just be procrastination.

So, write :) Get that into your system, and all the other aspects will get taken care of as and when appropriate.

Really.

Martin”

Nuff said, methinks.

Not sure you know how to write those emails and write them well? Lemme help you with that –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Because If Your Diet Isn't Working, You Obviously Go Eat Pizza

I received a few bits of bad news yesterday: First, a colleague told me that he’s had to pause his daily email writing because he’s too busy with client projects.

“Busy making a living”. Yep, I know what that’s like.

Second piece of bad news was from another reader, who, you won’t believe this, has paused her daily writing while she – GASP! – is fixing up her site.

Ok, look here people.

If you need more sales, email marketing gets you those sales.

And not just any kind of *more* sales – email marketing gets you more, BETTER sales, meaning you’ll be able to pick the clients that are most interesting to you.

Look at it like this: If you are swamped in client work, you’re likely taking on too much work at too low a price, just to make sure enough cash comes in.

But if you were charging what your work is actually worth, you’d be earning the same or more, with fewer clients and at fewer hours per week. With me?

Email is a perfect way to end that vicious circle, since you pre-select the people you work with by talking to them every day: you show who you are and what kind of client you like to work with, and that will appeal to exactly that type of person – which means those will be the ones most likely to get in touch and hire you.

In other words: your readers qualify themselves before they ever even get in touch with you, and that means you’ll be getting more high-hanging fruit: the kind of client who really appreciates your work and is willing to pay good money for the best you can deliver.

The result: a lighter workload and higher earnings from a smaller pool of clients – which is how it should be if you really excel at what you do.

And email gets you that.

But only if you keep up your efforts – or even better, start emailing twice a day. Yes, you can do that without burning your list, if you do it right.

But if you stop emailing, you’re effectively pinching the fuel line that feeds your business – which you don’t notice while plodding through underpaid gigs, but as soon as you need another gig, you’ll wish you hadn’t stopped emailing, all those months ago.

On another note: I also had some awesome news come in, because one of my clients just landed in my inbox saying that yep, he’s going to take me up on that 90-day challenge I casually mentioned the other day.

Awesome stuff – it’s going to get him tons of results. I’ll probably do a case study about him at some point, but let’s see how he runs his daily emails, first.

So, what news are you sending me today? On the fence about doing your own daily email thing? Not sure it would work for you?

I’m telling you: Do not sweat it – just jump in and do it: you can’t lose.

Start today. You couldn’t do yourself a bigger favour.

Except, possibly, by also hiring me as a mentor, though I repeat: most of the results will come from the effort and practice and training you put in. You don’t need me for that, so even budget is no excuse to not mail people regularly so long as you’re a self-starter with a bit of stamina.

I’m just here in case you want to go fast – but go you should, with or without me.

Thus spake Stellar.

Linkification, should you want to invest in getting fast results: http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheerily,

Martin

Good Unsubscribes: Yet Another Case for Daily Emails

If you think about it, it’s really bizarre that nearly everyone is so afraid of emailing daily.

Practically everyone to whom I explain what I do and what I teach is incredulous: “But you’ll see everybody unsubscribing”.

Look at it like this: If something really matters to you, and there’s a problem with that something, wouldn’t you want to hear as much advice as possible on how to solve that problem?

If you have an illness, you want to hear advice until you find the cure, right?

If you’re overweight and want to change it, you want to hear diet tips and clever calorie-burning exercises and intelligent motivational talk until you’re at the weight you want to be, correct?

If your business needs more sales, don’t you want to hear tips on how to make that happen?

Of course you do. That’s why you’re reading these daily emails.

Now, the same thing applies to your clients.

They’ve got that problem, and you have their solution.

And I guarantee that as long as your emails are fun and useful and well-written, you can not possibly lose out if you start emailing daily.

Oh you might lose a subscriber or two – in some cases 10% of your list might walk away.

And that isn’t bad – it’s actually really good.

Think about it: if someone isn’t interested in hearing tips every day on how to alleviate, for instance, his prostate problems, how committed is he really to solving those problems?

I’ll tell you: he will be interested, very much so, because prostate problems are really painful. (so I’m told! I myself – oh never mind)

If your client has that kind of problem – not with their prostate but something that’s a really big issue for them – you bet they’ll want to hear from you.

So what do you do if your solutions don’t solve that kind of big issue problem?

Ah, that’s when you want to use emails.

Writing to people daily when your solution is of a different nature – art, for example – will help identify those individuals who really REALLY want to buy art.

Those are the ones who will, every day, be happy to hear from you. And those are also the ones who will buy your work.

The others, for whom art is a luxury, or something for another year? They’ll leave.

If you keep talking to someone about ways to find, use, buy, and position art to really make a house live –  and they leave?

Then they’re probably not all that interested in actually buying art – but you sell art, so why would you want to talk to them about it?

It makes no sense.

It’s a waste of that person’s time, so it’s better if they unsubscribe.

You’ll be left will a smaller list of people, out of which there is now a higher percentage of people who ARE interested in you.

And those are the ones who will ultimately buy from you.

So by writing MORE emails you end up with a higher quality list, people eager to hear from you, and that’s the type that ultimately will buy.

Provided you actually write those emails, of course.

It’s done me heaps of good, I’ll tell you that.

Especially considering how tiny my list is.

Still getting sales from it even though it hasn’t grown in months.

So: write dem suckers and hit send.

Get to talking to your people. They’re waiting for you.

Not sure how, not sure you’ll be able to crank out ideas every day, afraid you won’t be able to keep at it?

All that and more I will fix for you when you join my mentorship program.

You’ll have ideas flying round your head 24/7, more than you can possibly send to your list.

At the end of the three months, you’ll be so fluent in writing them that it’ll be the most fun part of your day.

And you’ll be getting sales to go with it.

Join here if you’ve got the stamina to build a relationship with your people –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Long tail, remember? Your business thrives or withers by merit of the bond you have with your readers.

And there’s in my opinion no faster, more effective way to get more sales than with email marketing.

It ain’t magic (it’s simple common sense, in fact), but I’ll tell you that it’s so danged effective, it pretty well seems like magic.

Cheerio,

Martin

My Last Climb, and Closing Part of My Business

I’m not doing this climbing thing anymore.

I was up against a rock today, and realised: “I don’t want to be here.”

It’s not because I don’t enjoy it, I do, very much so.

But I’ve had to make a decision. Just had to.

I’ve had to grow up, I guess, and do what I promised myself decades ago.Continue Reading

Oddly, Even Hippies Are Salespeople – And They're Pretty Damn Good at It

Had a very interesting talk yesterday with a guy called Miguel.

Miguel is the antithesis of people like me.

He lives in a house that he built with his own two hands, he’s 61 and hasn’t worked for a boss – always self-employed – in almost 40 years

He’s what hippies turn into when they grow up, I suppose.

We talked a bit about marketing and ethics – evidently he’s quite the skeptic, and I agree with most of his complaints against the industry.

But the funny thing is that the one thing that has enabled him to survive for 40 years on his own terms, without working for a boss, is exactly same thing that I use in my work.Continue Reading

Must Tell You About My Client Jimmy – You Want to do Things as Right as He Is

Maybe you remember I mentioned my student Jimmy a while back – a painter and novelist in Dublin.

In my recent tech-struggles I didn’t really keep up with him, so yesterday I went and had a look-see.

Turns out that the guy – quite unbeknownst to me – has been pretty active, and in smart ways too.

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A Literary Goatherd? Now That's Why My Stuff Ain't Cheap, and Neither Should Yours Be

A few evenings ago I sauntered into my friend’s bar after my daily walk&webinar.

I enjoy walking at sunset with a good bit of audio to get my learn on.

Stitcher.com is my latest discovery.

Anyway, my friend introduced me to a guy called Manuel and we chatted for a while.

I instantly noticed his mental prowess – he had things to say and knew how to say them.

Not a very common occurrence in this very rural area.

He was, in a word, erudite.

At times almost lyrical.

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