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

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

All the Power an Artist Has – Are You Wasting Yours?

John is a brilliant man, a true servant of people.

With just a few words, he can turn your world upside down, in a very good way.

But he doesn’t get out much, avoids people, and so very few people ever benefit from his gift.

Rupert is a genius scientist, who can analyse things to such finesse that he can solve the most confounding problems.

When he gets down to thinking, his mind flickers through so many options and ideas it’s like a christmas tree, and there’s always a way forward at the end of it.

But as it happens, he’s really into studying the psychology of bicycle riding and spends all his time on it.

He could be curing Alzheimer’s, but nope – Do people ring their bell right when they make a turn, or just before it? Interesting!

Michelle is a writer with an uncanny knack for telling a story in such a way that when you read it, you actually grow the moustache the lead character sports.

Her stories are about grit, transformation, resilience and resourcefulness and everyone who ever read one has come away a different man or woman.

But she only ever wrote a few, sold a few hundred copies, and since then all she writes is sales copy.

Good money, but man what a drag, to resign and live on in quiet desperation.

Susy is a very gifted painter, one who can put down a portrait so starkly realistic that the subject never sees herself in the same way.

People’s lives change after they see her work, even if it’s not their own portrait.

But she’s comfortable in her design job and rarely ever makes portraits.

John, Rupert, Michelle, Susy – what effect they could have on the world, if only they’d do what they were made for.

They could inspire, lead, transform the hearts and focus of many – but they don’t.


You be the judge.

But I’ll tell you this: each of us, in our own small or not so small way, we’ve been given a gift.

One that’s meant for the betterment of ‘the other’.

When we use our gift, we ourselves benefit from it too.

If we don’t, well then it’s like having a nice car that you never drive, rusting in the driveway.

A pointless waste.

An artist has power.

You get to use that power if you make it your mission to show up.

Get in front of people, and whatever influence and change you can engender gets a chance.

If you don’t, it won’t.

So let me ask you: do you show up?

Are you using your power, sharing your gift?

If you aren’t it’s quite possibly because you don’t to be salesy.

That’s a good thing, and what’s more: you don’t have to be salesy.

All you have to do is Listen, Explain, Ask, so that others can benefit and you can earn a Profit from your work.

Learn how with the LEAP marketing method –>

Brutal honesty: I too am guilty, which is why I really want to write a book and reach more people than I can with just a blog.

But more on that later…



LEAP Subscriber Goes Full Copyright Infringement – But I Love Her Just the Same

Some shameless self-promotion today.

Received this email:


I recorded this for myself today.

It took me about five hours to record and edit it.

I thought you could offer it as an upgrade, bonus, or something amazing like that.

Newsletter – Issue 10 – March 2015


Ah yes, that one was the ‘email marketing like a boss’ issue.

Attached to her email was an MP3 file, and yes: a neatly edited, clearly vocalised recording of said issue.

Is that actually copyright infringement?

I don’t know, I can’t be bothered to look it up.

Besides, I think it’s a totally awesome thing to do, so I’m pretty grateful.

I had no idea though that these newsletters can have such an impact on people.

Wow, to be honest. 5 hours…? Wow.

Also, listening to the track, I was pretty amazed at exactly how densely packed my writing is.

Yes, your little Stellar was a little impressed and humbled, having his own work thrown back at him like that.

So, I’ll take her up on it.

I don’t usually do this – giving away free issues.

But this month, if you sign up for the LEAP art marketing newsletter before the August 1st, you get not only the next issue, and the Spyhole Salesman’s Business Secret, and ongoing email access to me…

You also get the recording of the March issue as a totally free bonus.

Get it here –>



Lost&Confused: What If It Just Will Not Sell?

A reader writes in today:


I am a confused 15 year old. I love painting but I need some extra money. So, I decided to try and sell some of my artwork.

This didn’t work out very well- nobody bought my paintings. Because of this, I realise I’m trying to change the type of artwork I do, and I don’t like it. Where do I go from here?




Very interesting question, and one that we probably all ask ourselves at times:

Why isn’t this stuff selling?

The question begs a whole bunch of other questions, too.

First of all: Should we actually change the type of artwork we do?

It might seem to make sense, but does it?

We make the things we make for a reason – whether that’s inspiration, commercial interest, or a combination of both.

So changing our style might or might not be a good idea.

But before you decide that, you need to ask yourself why things aren’t moving.

For one thing, have you tried for long enough?

If this reader is 15 years old, the answer probably is ‘no’.

It can take years – decades even – before things really start to sell.

Doesn’t have to be like that, but expect many months of trial and error before you see success start.

Next, where have you been selling?

Online? On the street? A gallery, an exhibition?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, FAA?

Could well be that you just were in the wrong place for the type of work and the type of audience.

Selecting the right audience is extremely important, and you can’t skip over it.

Then there’s the question of price: if you price too low, people don’t take you seriously.

So while you think you make it easier for people to buy, you actually give them a reason not to.

Conversely, if the price is too high you don’t sell either, you need to find the sweet spot.

As for audience: you need a big one.

If you have 200 Facebook friends and a bunch of likes, you shouldn’t expect to sell a lot.

For you to sell one painting, you need hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of views before the right person sees it.

Also: one try isn’t enough.

You need to show up, again and again and again.

Tenacity is the word. You just. do. not. give. up.

Now, if our dear reader is in need of cash, then trying to sell artwork may not be the quick solution.

Like I said, it takes time.

My recommendation would be to sell custom artwork in the context of business to business.

Whether it’s for ads, for their website, a book cover or product packaging: most all businesses spend money on artwork.

It’s part of their annual investment budget, so it can be much easier to sell some of that type of art if cash is an issue.

Why not single out one specific type of business that you really ‘get’ – because of your hobby, or education or experience – and offer them custom made art work?

Seek out 20 or 40 of them, and send them an email.

Good chance you might just show up at the right time, and get a gig+some cash.

Send me an email if you want to give it a try – I’ll look at your email to make sure it’s spiffy.

Tip: keep it short, make it ‘for them’ instead of ‘about you’ and get to the point fast.

Or, if you just want to get your business head on and learn the workings of a successful art business, go here –>



This Triggers One Single Effect In Me

The other day I told you about the doorstep experience – the reason I refuse to ship the LEAP newsletter in digital format.

This morning, subscriber Salley writes in:



I have to say, I totally agree with you on this – the value of paper. And I have been meaning to write to you to say that I think your latest newsletter surpassed all previous for me.

From start to finish, I felt as if it was addressed to me.

Thanks again for all your wisdom~


Now, several things are at play here.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a quandary, asking myself if these 16 pages I wrench from the depths of my learning and experience and psychology are actually good.

Wondering if it really helps people, changes worldviews.

Turns out that yes, apparently so.

Hang on while I carve another notch in my keyboard.

*Chip chip* thanks.

Next, it’s a nice bit of proof of what I always say: that art (and I use the word liberally here, since the newsletter isn’t actually art, so much as mind-bending look-closely-at-yourself psych training)…

… anyway, that art is meant to change people, to transform the mind and feelings and views.

Or, as I like to say: when someone talks to me, my goal is for you to never look at yourself and the world the same way again.

And as such, the newsletter seems to hit the spot, as far as written-down coaching goes.

And finally, the single overpowering effect that Salley’s comment has on me:

I want more, far more people to have this same experience.

So while there are months I have to work HARD to write the 16 pages (you don’t want to know, trust me), I ain’t about to give up.

If I can turn one person, once a month, then that’s plenty o’reward for this little Stellar.

Go here if you want the same experience –>

Oh and don’t forget: part of the reason this subscription is not cheap is that it comes with direct email access to me, for your questions, doubts, or advice.

Got an email you don’t know how to answer? Stuck writing your about page? New salespage up and not sure why it’s not converting?

Send me an email, every day if you have to. (short ones, so that I can serve everyone.)

That link again:



Staring You In the Face

Every so often, people tell me I should publish the LEAP newsletter as a digital download, a PDF.

And I see why that would make sense: it’s better for the rainforests, and I wouldn’t have to spend money on shipping.

Convenient too, for subscribers as well as for me.

But it wouldn’t be half as effective, and for several reasons.

For one thing, reading from paper is a different experience when compared to reading on a screen.

I’m not schooled enough to explain the brain science behind it, but the mind takes things in differently when you read from paper.

In my opinion, it’s a better way of learning.

Plus, there’s the fact that physical reading doesn’t allow for multitasking: to switch from your pdf reader to Flakebook is just a click, whereas putting down the papers in order to focus on your device is just that much bigger a step.

Another reason is that I want students to have the ‘doormat experience’.

No, not for you to feel like a doormat – but to receive the envelope in your mailbox, or indeed on your doormat.

I when I was a wee little Stellar, and my weekly subscription to a comic magazine would land on Saturdays – the most exciting day of the week, I tell you.

More often than not, I’d sit waiting in the front room for the postman to show up, all excited and impatient. (Me, not the postman).

That’s the feeling I want you to have each month, so that you are ready to dive in.

But most importantly, I can’t stand the idea that someone would subscribe, download the doc, and then let it sit in a folder somewhere unread and unused.

That way it wouldn’t do you any good.

No, I want those 26 pages to sit on your desk and stare you in the face.

Talking to you, telling you: I’m densely filled with training, I’m here to change your life and get you sales.

I cost money, and not a little.

Have you read me yet?

Have you re-read me?

Have you put me to use?

Because if you invest in training but don’t use it, it doesn’t do you any good.

So that’s why LEAP is strictly print only.

Want to get better at business and smarter at selling your art?

Then go here to do so –>



Sales Lesson From a Spanish Waiter (Live Your Purpose, Artist)

“How much for the coffee?”

He gives me a sly grin and says: “Give me 1, 20 and we both win. You the coffee, me 1,20.”

I walk out smiling, pondering the nature of the Spanish.

And I realise exactly how right he is: any purchase, any sale, is always an exchange of value.

When you do it right, everybody wins.

Now here’s the trick: when you do it wrong, nobody wins.

Meaning, if you don’t charge a serious price for your work, you both lose.

You because you end up underpaid, but the buyer loses as well.

It’s easy to think that you do people a favour if you price low, but the reverse is true.


Because we don’t value things that come at a low cost, that’s just human psychology.

Just look at the number of free downloads on your harddrive and the percentage you’ve actually read. Shelf-help stuff.

You have the power to change people’s lives with your art, to make them see the world in a different way.

You the artist, you can make a difference. That’s what you’re for.

Do you really think you can achieve that, turn people, if you sell your work at commodity prices?

Of course not. Perception is reality, and if you present something cheap, then cheap is what the person buys.

That’s the perception you build for people. No favour.

If you don’t stick a good price on it, you don’t just miss out on the money, but you also fail to do what an artist is made for.

Which is, in my opinion and experience, to change the world – one canvass, one song, one dance at a time.

So please, do everyone a favour: charge serious prices.

And speaking of serious prices, the LEAP newsletter isn’t cheap, but then that’s the best way to make sure you take it damn serious.

Get it here –>



How to Go From 'Here' to Reaching Your Big Audacious Goal

What’s your biggest dream?

What would an ideal life look like for you?

Your art in the MoMa?

A millionaire artist, on your own terms?

Break away from cubicle nation?

A published author, a thought leader, a rockstar?

Or maybe success for you simply means to carve out your own little niche, and earn enough to live a comfortable life and give your kids an education?

It doesn’t matter what your big ‘n hairy audacious goal is – success has a different definition for everyone.

What matters is what you do to get from here to there.

And that’s also the problem for most people.

More often than not, our end game, our biggest dream, is so big that something in us assumes we’ll never get there.

And thus, we stop trying, and resign to stick with the status quo.

But it doesn’t have to be like that, not if you’re smart about it.

Smart as in using simple mathematical thinking, courtesy of my mathematician friend Colin.

Each time someone asks him how to get from A to B, he starts to break things down, and it’s uncanny how effective it is.

So obviously I’ve adopted the strategy.

Like the other day, when a reader told me that she has big dreams and tons of ideas.

She wants to make Youtube videos, create online courses, appear on guestposts and blogs, attend conferences.

In 5 years she wants to have 11 courses for sale, earning thousands a month from them, and travel the world.

Big, no?

I’ll say.

Entirely possible though. She wouldn’t be the first to pull it off.

But, right now she’s a fulltime mother and a 30-hour per week employee with more ideas than direction.

And so, she hardly knows where to start.

So I told her this:


Ok, so you need to narrow down to work within the limitations, which are time and money.

The trick is to take the big end goal, and break that down into smaller pieces, and you keep doing that until you get bites that are small enough to fit into the limitations.

Each of those pieces need to be in place, one by one, because they are the precondition for the next level/step.

So make a mindmap, where the end goal is at the top, and under that comes: required – which holds the component parts of that end goal. Then you break those down too into the required parts, and so on.

Keep doing that until you end up with a set of small tasks – so small that you can’t not do it.

Then, do the first one of those tiny tasks, and the next day another one, and so on. If you keep that up day after day, you build up a huge asset over time.

If you follow this method, you can safely stop thinking about the big goals and the multitude of plans, and keep putting one foot in front of the next.


And that, my friendly artist friend, is how you get from here to there. Bit by bit.

In the meantime, go here if you want to learn the workings of a successful business in actionable monthly lessons –>

And you don’t just get the newsletter: your membership also gives you ongoing email access to me for any question that you may have about how to build and grow your art business.

Here’s the link again, in case you’re serious about earning a living from your art and reaching your goals –>



Feed Your Earworm and You'll Always Have Something to Write

“I don’t understand how you always have something new to write about, every single day.

“How do you do it?”

I take a bite of my succulent bacalao gratinado and tell her:

“It’s simple. I have this earworm, and I make sure it always stays good and nourished”.

She frowns at me, clearly thinking me crazy.

There’s nothing crazy about it though – it’s just a simple trick, a way to leverage psychology in order to be constantly creative.

In its simplest form, the explanation is ‘the more you write the easier it gets’ – but really that’s only half the story.

The magic really starts to happen when you write while not writing.

When I was still a bearded, long-haired adolescent playing in a funk-band, I would always be thinking about new songs and lyrics.

I always had some line going on in my mind, a chord progression, a funky little riff.

Like an earworm, it would stay with me for weeks, popping up in the back of my mind at any moment.

Sometimes in the middle of a conversation, sometimes while riding my bike, or even when… well, use your imagination.

So I didn’t write songs or lyrics just when I was at home with my guitar – it was a constant process.

Same thing with that musical I wrote, and the (bad) poetry, or the stories. Always something running through my mind.

Half the work on anything would happen away from dedicated creation time, and I’d take any moment to let my mind wander and compose something.

In other words: feeding the earworm. Letting it have its merry way.

Same thing with these daily emails: there’s always an idea floating round the back of my mind, always something useful or workable.

By the time I get out of the shower, I usually have my email written in my mind, and I just need to let my fingers put it on the screen. Rap rap rap, done.

The nice thing is that when you make this a habit, a part of your day, you start to become more perceptive too.

You’ll start to see topics all over the place – for example, when someone asks you a question over dinner. QED, right?

So it’s not just writing regularly, it’s also about developing the inner attention, so that you pick up more useful stuff – both in the world and in the ideas that bubble up in your mind.

Feed your earworm, and writing gets a whole lot easier.

Which is a pretty useful notion, given that any business – yes, an art business too – will always rely to a large extent on good and fast writing.

Learn more tricks to make your writing easier in the next LEAP



If You Think It's Interesting, You've Missed the Point

These emails that I write, they’re not meant for just the mind.

Nor is the LEAP newsletter, or the mentorship reviews, or the email replies I send students.

When you read my stuff and you think it’s interesting, you’re only getting a small percentage of what it’s really meant to do.

Of course there’s rational messaging in it, explanation and instruction.

But that’s only the first stage – it’s Martin knocking on your mind’s door asking permission to come in.

After that, there’s a much larger and deeper effect that I write to achieve.

It works like this:

The things I write, your mind can accept. After that, the ideas are intended to bleed over into your subconscious, so that emotional and intuitive processes can interact with the intellectual understanding of these concepts and instructions.

Given enough time and enough ideas, that is meant to create a strong emotional liking for your own personal extract of those ideas that are useful to you.

That emotions needs to become so strong that your will decides to – hell yes! – go put things into action.

And then, of course, you get busy and get stuff done.

That’s the ideal situation, at least.

That’s why I write.

But if you read things (mine or those of others) and you don’t go beyond the intellectual “Oh that’s very interesting”, if you do nothing more than shelve it away along with all the other Very Interesting Ideas, what have you achieved?

Nothing whatsoever.

All you’ll have done is increased your intelligence, and let me tell you this: Intelligence and knowledge are entirely futile by themselves.

The value of an idea lies in its implementation, and the purpose of knowledge is to let it guide you into directed, well-considered action.

So often I see people liking ideas and teachings, but then they don’t do anything with it.

Mental masturbation, is what I call it. “Oh look at how smart I’ve become”.

Yes Sonnyboy, but what are you going to DO with those smarts?

Put them to use!

Myself, I spent two decades learning about meditation, how it can rewire the brain, how it can solve inner problems, whither away traumas, change your perception.

But it was all academic, nothing more than intellectual understanding.

It wasn’t until last year that I actually, really, started to put things into practice.

The results have been amazing.

Again: if you think it’s interesting, you’ve missed the point.

Same thing with the LEAP system.

Some people sign up, read the 16 pages, and file it away without actually making any use of it.

If that’s you, don’t sign up because it won’t help you sell more art.

The LEAP newsletter is for people who take action, folks who let ideas simmer and procreate new ideas, and who then sally forth and get busy putting those ideas into practice.

If you’re not like that, you’re better off spending your time in the studio.

Think about which kind you are, and if you qualify you can sign up here –>



I Used to Be An Actor, But Then a Truck Ran Over Me

My name is Frank and I’m an artist.

For the last week or so, Martin has been writing down my story.

I like to think it’s a biography of sorts, but I know the guy well, and he’ll probably do his own thing with it instead of sticking to the facts.

One of those facts is that I used to be an actor.

Things used to be good in those days.

By the time I was 21 I had played alongside some pretty big names, and I was nominated for best supporting role at the Grammy’s.

Didn’t get the award, but I didn’t care: I was on the make.

I rode my motorbike home that night, elated.

Blinded by my own success, I suppose. That’s why I didn’t see the truck come at me.

When I woke up three months later I had a bad limp, and because of brain damage I no longer had good control over my facial muscles.

Clearly, my acting career was over.

I had a variety of jobs after that, the latest being janitor in a clinic for plastic surgery.

The work isn’t bad and the pay is good – and I have fun looking at the surgeons thinking they’re the bee’s knees, waxing all artistic about beauty and how their ‘art’ can preserve it.

Such shallow pursuits. And not very artistic at all.

At some point I met an artist who saw me doodling, and he decided to teach me how to paint.

That was 15 years ago, and since then I’ve made and sold quite a few paintings.

It’s fun, and it’s a nice addition to my income.

I met Martin a few weeks ago, and when I told him about my life he gave me this brooding look, and said “I’m going to write about you”.

Maybe the sense of foreboding I had at that moment should have made me run for the hills, but I ordered more coffee and continued to talk.

I just hope the guy won’t paint me in a bad light.

From what I gather, he plans to turn it into a series of ebooks, called “Sketch: De profundis and artist’s life”.

Pretentious bugger, that Martin.

There’s never even been any real depths in my life – more like a constant flow of minor highs and minor lows.

But we’ll see. It’s all art anyway, and he thinks there’s a market for it.

Meanwhile, I’m just going to continue doing what I do: mop floors and paint.

Catch you next time.


This Frank dude, there’s more to him than you might think.

I find him fascinating, and I’ll admit he’s on my mind quite a lot.

So much so that I’ve been writing about him every day.

The first sketches I wrote were just for my own fun.

Flexing my writing muscle, if you will.

But each day he tells me more details about his life, and I gotta say: there’s something about him that needs to be brought out.

There definitely something hiding in the depths of Frank’s life and art.

I plan to dig it up, if he’ll let me.

And if he doesn’t I’ll just make it up myself.

That’ll teach him.

If you want to receive a chapter now and again, hit reply and I’ll send you those chapters Frank will let me share.

And if you want to learn how to use writing about your art as a way to grow your list and generate subscription income, sign up for next month’s LEAP.

Here –>



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