You Already Have a No, but You Just Might Get a Yes

Funny idiom in my native Dutch: Nee heb je, ja kan je krijgen.

It’s a saying used any time someone isn’t sure, is doubting, is wavering, or is suffering from ‘small-me-syndrome’ and not stepping out there.

It simply means: If you don’t ask, the answer is already no. But if you do ask, you just might hear yes.

Another one: Niet geschoten is altijd mis. : If you don’t shoot, you’ve already missed the target.

So why, on this sunny day, am I throwing archaic Dutch colloquialisms at you?

Because email marketing.

If you don’t send an email a day, you’re not getting a sale a day from it.

If you don’t ask for the sale, it’s not very likely somebody will say ‘yep, here’s my money’.

If you don’t get out there and show your work and your worth to people, they won’t know about you.

You can be shy and timid and insecure all you want, but believe me: it’s all attitude, and you too can grow out of that stuff.

Faster than you think, if you give it half a try.

Old misconceptions, habitual programs of perception from decades ago, default reactions that aren’t yours but that you’ve practiced for so long they became part of your fibre – all that can go.

Right this very minute, if you want.

And I’m not joking: the human mind really is that powerful.

To be fair, for most people it takes years to get rid of old rubbish in our minds.

Me, I spent 20 years, meditating and analysing myself, and I still deal with stuff that 16 year-old-Martin should have gotten himself over, but didn’t.

Gets better every day though.

Anyway, back to business:

One of the things I got over was the idea that sales come by themselves – quality of work, word of mouth – that should do it, right?

Nope, it doesn’t.

I doubt anyone ever managed to get a decent amount of sales without some form of promotion.

These days, the internet makes that even more poignant: there’s just SO MUCH competition.

But, I’ll tell you one thing: Hardly anyone in your niche will be sending a daily email – and if they do, it’ll either be way too salesy, or they won’t ask for the sale at all.

And suddenly, you show up, and you do send an email every day, and you do make it fun and useful, and you do always ask for the sale…

You do that, and suddenly you stand miles apart from your spamming or non-selling competition.

You bet that gets you sales – you’ll be one of the very few who actually cares enough to be persistent, and one of the few who make no qualms about being in business.

Yes, the power of email marketing.

Let me help you get started, because LEAP #4 is going to the printer’s in a few days, and it’ll be all about email marketing and how to do it right.

Meaning, how to write emails that get opened day after day, and that get you easier sales than you thought possible.

Get access here:



Better Stick With What I'm Good At (Why I'm Not an Artist)

Funny reactions to my email the other day, when I wrote about sketching a self-portrait.

From ‘made me laugh’, to ‘interesting development’ to ‘show me!’ and ‘you should become an artist’.

Well, I can’t really show it because I’m not an artist, at least not in the sense that I produce art.

I could learn, maybe. Though I already know I wouldn’t follow through, and I’d stay at a severe level of dabbling.

Besides, I don’t know that I have an artist’s hand.

Like I said, I tried before to learn drawing, on several occasions, and without being self-deprecating about it: I could tell that it’s not something that comes natural to my body.

Sure I could train that – but again, I probably wouldn’t put in the hours. Very, very probably.

I’ve had some moments of ‘genius’ though, a few times in my life.

Once I threw 4 L-shapes onto a piece of paper without thinking about it, and suddenly there was a Zen-monk in meditation in front of me. Pretty amazing.

I tried for weeks to duplicate it though, and never hit the same image again. And it was just four angled lines, go figure – forehead, nose, upper lip, chin.

Buddha on my notepad.

Another time, preparing to launch my tailoring company, my apprentice asked what my logo would look like.

I put down the iron and grabbed a piece of paper and a felt pen.

Right there on the ironing table, I went swish-swish-swish, and suddenly there was a dude in a suit, smugly leaning against a lifesize upright pair of shears.

Three seconds. “Something like this”, and I gave her the paper, lifting the iron before it could scorch the cloth.

That sketch indeed went on to become the logo for my tailoring business.

But even though I tried dozens of times to draw the same guy again – it just wasn’t happening.

So I just contend myself with a nice little experience on paper, once every 4 years.

Let’s just call it a hobby.

For the rest, I stick with what I’m good at.

In other words: I don’t make art – I make people.

I make people smart, empowered, capable, confident, active, motivated, and on good days, wealthier.

That’s what I’m good at and that’s the art I’m making.

So if you want yourself some of that, it’s available right here –>



Blindly Shooting Arrows at the Jungle – the Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

Got a nice bit of feedback from LEAP subscriber Gareth, the other day:
Dear Martin, delighted to say that I got the leap newsletter today. I’ve already read it but need to go through it again and read it more carefully.

i think this is all starting to have some influence on me. I’ve actually started using mail chimp and am sending out newsletters, i am now on number 3. The weird thing is that i enjoy it … so i hope i can market in this way.


I love it when a plan comes together: that effect, the ‘all having an influence on me’ that’s precisely what LEAP is designed for.

See, I could create and  sell any kind of thing: a sales letter template, or an email marketing editorial calendar, or a special report to optimise your site for conversions.

All that is useful, but they fall under the heading ‘tactics’.

And while you need to use tactics to make your business works, it won’t do you much good if you don’t have a strategy into which to fit those tactics.

You can tweet and link in – very good tactics. But useless if you don’t have a strategy to follow up with people, and guide them into your own email list, and work with them over time to become clients.

You’d just be shooting arrows at the jungle, hoping you hit something.

Personally, I’d much rather study the landscape first, and talk to the locals, and discover where the tastiest animals hang out and at which times of the day – And only then would I go hunting.

Pretty cool – the guy is a painter who’s sold his work, but never with a real plan or a strategy, much less with any gusto. You know… marketing… beh.

And yet, three LEAPs in, he now says it’s beginning to have an influence on him, and: the weird thing is that now he enjoys it!

I call that a massive win on the part of yours Stellar.

Not that I want to proudly boast, but hey: If I can turn a person, and get them to see the fun and the use and the sense in marketing?

Then I call this Sunday a terrific day.


If you too want to get wise, and get fluent in your marketing, and get your head around business – and yes, start to actually enjoy the process…?

Then that, my friend, is entirely possible.

It all starts here –>



Lord Help Us All – I Drew A Self-Portrai

Now before you go “So what, I do that every Friday” – I’m the guy famous for saying that I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life.

And it’s true: I’ve never had any ability to draw or paint.

My mother, herself an accomplished artist, once tried to train me in drawing basic anatomy.

It didn’t work. (Or rather: I didn’t make it work.)

But yesterday I looked in the mirror. A hot day, I looked intense.

On the dresser was an A4 folded twice, and a sharpie.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, picked up the paper and unfolded it.

Standing there, a loose sheet in my hand, I started scratching away.

Four minutes later, there was an actual face on the paper.

Not necessarily my face, but it’s decidedly human, the intense look is there, and all organs like nose eyes and ears are in their right place.

Weird. No idea where that came from.

Anyhow, over to the order of the day: YOUR art.

And, how to sell it.

Because you see, I could now get all excited and think I should take lessons.

That maybe, with good training and lots of practice, I might one day be able to actually draw things. Properly, like.

But I won’t.

Because I know that I wouldn’t reach that goal.

Not because I would be unable – that will never be known unless I try it.

No, I know I’ll never be an artist, because I know myself well enough to know I’d never put in the hours.

I’d buy some paper, some pencils, I’d make 3.47 sketches, and then something else would come up and be more interesting.

It’s happened several times before.

So, I’m not even going to try.

Maybe you shouldn’t either.

Daily emails, I mean: maybe best not try it.

If you’re like me, if it’s a spur of the moment thing, if it’s shiny new object syndrome or if you’re only going to be half-assed about it – then better not.

You’ll just tire and frustrate yourself.

Besides, who’s going to share all those motivational quotes on Facebook, while you’re practicing your writing skills?

Better to stick with what you’re good at.

For me, that’s writing an email a day. I like it, I’m good at it, and I’m consistent with it.

For you, well that depends. Maths, painting, coding, writing – whatever it is you do. Keep at it.

And once you’re finally ready to sell that stuff, and you reach the equivalent of Martin saying: “But NOW I’m going to do it, I’m going to be serious about it, and I’m going to make it work…”

When you finally are ready to put in the hours so you can up your business and make more money…

That’s when you click the link, acquire my mentorship and coaching and training and 20 years of psych experience etc etc.


Don’t worry if you’re not – I’ll be back tomorrow.

Without a self-portrait.



How to Make it Easy and Fast to Write Daily Emails for Fun and Profit

Some days, I too struggle to come up with something to write.

Can be I’m dry for ideas, or I have an idea but after 40 minutes of trying to write something your good self might enjoy reading it’s still not coming together.
Thing is, it doesn’t bother me none.

Got no idea to write about?

I just start writing something, whatever, anything at all.

“John looks at the wall, wondering what to write. It’s one of those days again. His coffee cup is dry. His mind too. Have you seen this writer in your neighbourhood? I need to hang the laundry. Etc etc.”

Three or four lines in, another idea comes up – I open a new doc and start writing.

When that one runs dry, another new doc with yet another idea.

See if this one goes anywhere.

It never takes more than two or three new documents before something catches, and the writing starts to flow.

The draft documents get saved in my notes folder for future idea-digging, and I get to send my daily email inside of 60 to 70 minutes, start to finish.

With two or more ideas for the future saved, sometimes even half-developed or more.

That’s how easy email writing can – and should – be.

When I’m dry, I write nonsense until something presents itself.

When an idea isn’t working out, I close the window and start something new.

When I really can’t figure out a topic, there’s also my archive of notes and drafts, now probably 350 files large.

In the end, it really ain’t that hard.

Like I always say: practice and repetition, grow that writing muscle of yours.

Obviously, it’s good to know what and how to write.

If you show up and just go ‘I’m so cool, you totally should buy from me’, it’s not going to work.

You’ll need to be fun, and useful, and helpful.

And, you’ll need to know how to work your writing style and personality in such a way that it turns readers into buyers.

And for that, I’m developing LEAP #4, which will be filled, absolutely rife, with insider email marketing secrets.

If ever you’ve wanted to start emailing people for fun and profit, your hour of glory is coming up.

You don’t want to miss this issue.

Go here to get it –>



Thoughts on Reality, Sales and Excuses

The psychologist Paul Watzlawick wrote a book called ‘Is reality real?’

The answer, I can tell you from experience, is this:

Reality is not real, and at the same time it is.

Complex stuff, I know.

Even after 2 decades of meditation, I still don’t know what I just said.

However, it’s an interesting book and there’s lots of insights about psychology and communication in there.

Just what yer little Stellar needs.

One thing I found interesting is the cultural differences in behaviour and communication.

He explains that when Westerners meet as strangers, the correct distance to respect personal space is about an arm’s length.

In Hispanic cultures though, it’s common to stand a step closer when talking to a stranger.

So the Westerner moves a step back, correcting the error in the social situation, upon which a Latino will react by taking one step closer.

Familiar situation, probably?

I find it fascinating: The corrective behaviour of one person (stepping back and creating more space) is perceived by the other as behaviour that requires correction, and the first person feels exactly the same.

Such fun to be human.

Here’s why that matters in business:

Everybody is a world unto himself.

Take that literally.

Just be aware for a moment of the huge, enormous, absolutely VAST content of you&your life.

Your experiences and history, your memories, dreams, fears, knowledge, your perception and relationships and thinking – it’s a lot, isn’t it?


Same story over there, across the table from you. A whole ‘nother world.

It’s easy to assume we’re all similar, that we share opinions and worldviews and deeply held beliefs.

But we don’t, not nearly as much as you think.

There’s overlap with other people, but come on: do you honestly think anyone out there REALLY gets who you are, what you’re about?

They couldn’t, right? There’s just too much.


And the same thing obviously applies to the other person: you can’t know him or her, you can’t possibly really and truly ‘get’ that person.

20 Years of marriage helps, but even then: Ever looked at your husband or wife, and thought: “Wtf, it’s like I don’t even know this person”?


In business, and especially when we’re talking about marketing and sales, you need to be extremely aware of this.

If you can be fully conscious of the fact that basically you know nothing about that other person, less than a smidgen of who they really are, something special happens:

You start to really LISTEN.

Implanting right into your conscious mind the notion that the other person is a world of his own means that you’ll be perceptive like you’ve never been before.

You’ll start observing reactions, subtle behaviours, and they will tell you not who that person is, but what they want, need, and fear.

And when you know that, you can sell them your solution.

Just like the two strangers meeting, one guy approaching and the other retreating:

If you live in your own little bubble, one guy is being invasive and the other is being, dunno, homophobic?

But if at least one of them recognises what’s going on, that it’s just culture and habit, they can stop the cycle, and presto: communication can happen, and one guy can ‘sell’ his thoughts or ideas to the other guy.

Listen to people, observe, give them space – try to really see that person as a separate world.

You’ll be surprised.

Back to the order of the day:

30 minutes ago I didn’t know what I was going to write today.

I opened Paul’s book, read one page, and hoopla: suddenly I had a topic.

Now it’s half an hour later, and I’m almost ready to send.

Is it because I is great?

Not at all:

It’s just a matter of practice – it wasn’t like this when I started.

You too can pick up ideas anywhere, and write en email in 30 minutes flat.

You too can write emails that are fun, helpful, good to think about – and, sales-getting.

How do I know?

Statistics, baby.

You’re reading this, so you can read, which means it’s highly likely you can also write.

You can follow my thinking so your intelligence will be good enough to string two sentences together.

You put up with my jokes and weirdness, so you probably have a sense of humour.

You’re still a subscriber even though I never stop going on about helping and serving and solving problems, so what you’d write would likely be helpful to people.

Therefore, you can also be an effective email marketer to better your business. Q, and E, and also D.

Except, one of two reasons: you don’t have the time, or you don’t know how.

If you don’t have the time, maybe you’re making excuses.

Everybody can free up 20 minutes a day to practice a method that will earn you more money and free time.

Everybody, except maybe Apple’s factory workers in China. But they’re not reading me anyway.

If you don’t know how, there’s also no excuse:

Get LEAP #4, and you’ll know how to do it.

Where? There –>



And Now for Some Shameless Self-Promotion

You know how I’m always saying LEAP is so miraculous, and how sales can be fun and marketing can be rendering a service?

Yeah. Today I’m not going to say any of that – I’ll let someone else say it.

Let me show you the email Jimmy sent me after he read LEAP #3:


Yes, a great great read, you packed an awful lot in there. Made me want to throw all the paintings in the car and go door-to-door straight away.

I’m serious. It make me really aware of the importance of saying ‘Hi’ and talking to people, like those we were targeting while you were over here.

Its not easy, but I am understanding it more and that makes it easy because I’m beginning to see its total necessity. Hell, I’m doing them a favour talking to them! They’ll get exposed to my art. People need to see it and its my job to take the necessary actions to make that happen.

I’m in the business of looking for ‘literary goatherds’ those who really want to see my art on their wall and to have that association with me, my backstory and the story and meaning of the art itself.

truthfully found it very inspirational and its great to see it all written down in a cohesive document. I’ve underlined a lot of key points..that I can use to remind myself when I feel the whole enterprise is useless.

Thanks a million Martin for writing this and sharing it with me…

great, great stuff


*Sniff*  – they grow up so quick.

Seriously though, isn’t it interesting? That’s a guy who until a few months ago wouldn’t have dreamt of asking for a sale, much less consider it doing people a favour to promote something you make.

So let’s review some of the juicier bits:

– Reading the newsletter energised him so much, it made him want to go and sell his art door to door: Potentially profitable, but incredibly hard work. Door to door sales in any industry is considered the hardest there is and very few people are up for it. LEAP 3 however made him look forward to the experience.

– It helped him ‘get’ that yes, it’s actually a service to people if you put yourself out there and show up for them. ‘A favour to them’ – correct.

– He realised that – as I always say – it’s his duty and obligation to make it happen. Necessary steps… yes indeed.

– The literary goatherd – in case you didn’t read my email about that: I ran into a guy who paid 150 Euro for a book, an ancient print of Don Quichote.

Turned out, he’s a goatherd with a mad passion for literature. To him, therefore, paying 150 bucks for a book makes total sense.

Jimmy now understands at his core what type of client that is, and how profitable it can be to single out exactly those people.

– These days, it’s no longer a chore to him – he considers it his JOB to market his paintings – and the best of it all?

He’s enjoying it.

I mean how much better should it get?

That’s the power of signing up for a marketing system that’s built upon serving people, and that uses relationships, psychology and trust to find the people who most need you.

And, shows you how to sell your work to those people.

Want that same experience, and start to really enjoy marketing and sales?

No problem. Start here –>



On Podcasts, Emails, Strawberries and Magic

Had a great time last week, recording podcasts.

So far, I’ve recorded two: First I spoke to a winemaker in Australia who drives people around his vineyard in a stretched limo and teaches people who to not spit wine on your date’s dress.

Then there was an artist in Azia, who eats sharks for breakfast (pretty much literally) and paints demons and more fun stuff that people use to get rid of hangups, and who, incidentally, used to be a monk.

Next up: A very forward thinking entrepreneur who built a company out of teaching artists how to paint houses.

I love that idea – don’t just hire a painter – hire a painter.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at right now.

I’m planning to record a few more so that by the time I publish the first one, I’ll have enough recordings to keep posting new ones on a weekly basis.

It’s an interesting experience, I’ll say that.

Exciting, too.

Anyhoo, on to you: Are you writing daily emails yet?

Weekly, then?

Come on: you know that stuff works, once you start it and stick with it.

‘s Fun, too.

Even LEAP subscriber Gareth told me he’s beginning to enjoy the process, and to me he seemed like an unlikely candidate to get to that point. And yet…

Just goes to show that when I say writing daily emails is therapeutic, I’m not joking.

But, it’s something you can’t know until you try it.

I could write emails for years (and I will), but you’d never know exactly what I’m talking about.

“What does a strawberry taste like?”

“Oh, well strawberries have a very fresh taste, sweet and with a slightly tangy touch. The flesh is juicy but sort of firm, and there’s tiny little seeds in it. Tastes kind of pink, to me”.

Do you think the description says anything about the actual experience of eating one?

‘Course not.

Email marketing is magic.

What does that even mean?

Can’t tell you, but hey: you can try it for yourself.

Just write an email a day for 30 days straight.

I bet you’ll love your strawberries, once you try them.

Do it with help?

LEAP helps –>



5 Tips on How to Do Email Marketing and Do it Right

Some asked: Do people under 35 also read emails?

Heh. Does a teenager want an iPod?

The question was about marketing emails of course, and the answer is a resounding yes.

Everybody reads emails, in every market, for every product, no matter what.

This I solemnly declare, even if I’m wrong, which is statistically nearly impossible but we should never rule out the unlikely.

Anyhow: yes, you can write, send, and get read your emails in any possible market you serve.

Sure there will be demographics where there’s a lower percentage of email engagement vs other channels.

But even so, those people in those groups who do read your emails will love reading them.

Provided you do it right, of course, and here’s a few pointers:

1: Be helpful

You’re asking people to pay you with their attention, so make it worth it. Earn that attention. Being helpful is a great way to do it.

2: Be fun

Most people are bored, or they are stressed and anxious. Give them something fun, entertain them, bring a smile into their day.

3: Be a pitbull
Once you set a rhythm for your emails, stick with it. Grab their attention and don’t let go. Best is once a day, but whatever frequency: be relentless

4: Be authentic, personable
Show some skin. You can mean something to another person, people are looking for others they can relate to. Give them something that they can relate to.

5: Always ‘ask for the sale’
Whenever you communicate with people, when they’re done reading you, give them a ‘what to do next’.

In many cases that’ll be a call to action as in ‘buy something’, but you can just as well ask them to reply to a question, or sign up for a newsletter, or share something on social media – suggest they try a tool, recommend they think about an idea or a strategy…

There’s a psychological mechanism, a very strong one, that gets activated when you are persistent – not just in sending emails, but especially in always giving some sort of call to action.

How that works, and how to use it, that’s what you’ll learn in LEAP #4, which will be all about email marketing done right.

The very tricks that I use, and that I teach my mentorship students – wrapped up nicely in 16 pages of easily digestible, DIY format.

Available right here –>



Look, If You Can't Even Be Bothered…

Sure gets hot here in summer.

This morning I went for groceries, and decided to walk instead of taking the bike.

Bit of exercise, bit of podcast.

Sweat was literally pouring down me, running into my eyes and making my shirt stick to my chest.

I must have looked a right mess.

No wonder the Spanish think I’m crazy. Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

And a lone copywriter-cum-marketing-teacher on the Spanish coast, apparently.

Anyway, entering back into town, I saw two hitchhikers sat at the sliproad going up to the motorway.

At first I wanted to give them a thumbs up – I used to hitchhike and I support the practice.

Then I stopped and looked, and I wondered…

Imagine the scenario:

You’re about to hit the road, just leaving town.

A guy and a gal, each with a lettered sign.

They want a ride, but without paying.

They want you, or someone else, to stop.

To take the trouble, the time.

To deal with their luggage and quite possibly their smells.

And these people, they can’t even be arsed to stay on their feet, standing up is too much trouble in making their ask?

I know, ‘ask’ is not a noun. It will be in the Oxford Dictionary before too long – look at me being a trendsetter.

But I digress.

Would you stop for those guys, sat there?

I wouldn’t.

Not because I’m harsh or judgmental.

But for the simple reason that they’re not making any effort.

They can’t even be bothered to stand up.

If they want a ride from me, they simply have to try harder.

Besides: if a motorist stops, he’ll want to have it be a quick stop.

Just the image of people sitting as opposed to standing will tell the driver that it’s not going to be a fast affair.

If you’re hitchhiking, you want to look 100% ready to grab yer satchel and enter into the vehicle with one great leap.

Same thing applies when you are asking for something in business – a sale, for instance. It’s one of the reasons I always hammer on about daily emails.

If you can be so persistent that you write every day, that you show up with helpful marketing day after day, you’re going to show people that you really try.

That you work hard on this, take it seriously, and that you’re willing to put some effort into it.

That it matters that much to you.

If you can’t even be bothered to put some oomph into your marketing, how is a prospect going to believe you’ll put it into your work?

This and more, in the September issue of LEAP, available right here –>



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