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

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

Hairy Questions: “So How Much Does Coaching Cost, Martin?”

When I was a kid my dad took me to see Vladimir Horowitz play Chopin.

It was a magical experience and I so wanted to become as good as he.

But I realised I’d never be that good. Wasn’t ever going to reach that level.

Because I was aware that I wasn’t prepared to put in the time.

I wasn’t willing to invest in practice – I had much more fun building stuff with Lego Technic.

And reading – that’s something I invested thousands of hours in, which in the end helped me become a writer.

Not to forget writing: practised that too, all my life.

Same thing with this coaching stuff: I invested two decades into studying psychology, from books and conversations and meditation.

Whatever you want, whatever your Big Hairy Audacious Goal: it’s going to take investment.

And sometimes, that investment isn’t time or effort, but money.

A camera, better brushes, audio editing software, courses and training… it all depends which tools you use and in which areas you need to grow.

This ties in with today’s opening question: How much does coaching cost?

It’s a fair question, but there’s no one answer I can give.

It all depends.

There’s duration of the program, intensity, my involvement, where you are at and what are your needs…

All these have a bearing on the investment level of coaching.

So, there are clients who pay $100 a month to be in The Cabal Coaching Mastermind, others pay $5K or $10K for ‘virtually unlimited’ coaching packages, and others invest $500 a month.

All depending on a) the budget you may have and b) what kind and intensity of help you actually need.

So the question ‘how much’ – I can’t answer it until I know more about the person asking.

What I can tell you though, is that The Men’s Cabal has an introductory price of $100 per month, provided you fill out the application questionnaire before Monday Dec 5th.

After that, the monthly investment is $145.

Now, you may balk, and I understand.

But think about this:

Whatever you want to achieve in life is going to require effort.

No woman or man ever became a top athlete, entrepreneur, author or artist without *investing* thousands upon thousands of *hours* into honing their skill.

Never, ever, in all of history.

Not even the child-prodigy Mozart: his father had him practice practice practice, day in day out.

So the question ‘how much’ isn’t the right question to ask.

Whether it’s about money or time or sweat-equity, the correct question is:

How much is it worth to you, to realise your dreams and ambitions?

To me, no price is too high.

I have big dreams, huge ambitions, and I know that the I that I am today isn’t going to reach them.

This I needs to learn, grow, and evolve.

So I’ll put in the time – which is why I study every single day.

To become a better coach, a better person, and a better entrepreneur.

And I’ll readily invest cash too, when that’s required.

So what about you?

How much is your success, your dreams, worth to you?

Think about it…

Meanwhile, The Men’s Cabal opens on Monday.

If you apply for membership before Monday 5 December, you lock in your monthly membership at $100.

More information here, and a link where you can apply at the bottom of the page:

Note to the ladies: you’re not being excluded here: there’s still one seat left in the Woman’s Cabal.

So whether man, woman, trans or alien: there’s a place for you.



Nobody Ever Told You It Would Be THIS Lonely…

Oh the joys of being your own boss, right?

Accountable only to yourself.

You get to make the rules.

Work when you want, where you want.

Rest and eat when you need it.

And above all: the satisfaction of knowing that you’re living life on your own terms.

And so we launch into entrepreneurship wholeheartedly.

With zest and confidence: I can DO this!

Even though your spouse would love for you to be around more.

Even though friends or parents tell you that, well, maybe getting a job? A part time job?

But no, we’ve chosen the hard road for a reason, and there’s no way we’re going to back down and live life the way most people do.

Wage slave?

No way.

And then one day it hits you: this isn’t just a difficult – if worthwhile – path.

This road is a lonely, lonely road.

So many questions to ask, and you don’t know where to turn.

It’s not like your regular-life friends could help you, beyond giving you a hug, a listening ear, and a doubtful look.

They’ve got their job, their income, their pension plan and what have you.

And it’s tempting, to go over to their side.

But no, you won’t. Hell no.

You chose this path, and however rough the ride, you’re going to stick it out. See if you don’t.

But that gnawing feeling of not having a peer group, a circle of people who get you, who help and support you, and cheer you on…

As you know, the solution to that is starting or joining a mastermind group.

Every entrepreneur should have a mastermind. It’s THE cure for entrepreneurial loneliness.

And that is why next Monday, Dec 5th, I’m opening the doors to a new mastermind/group coaching programme.

This one is for men only, for reasons I’ve explained in my last few emails.

And, it comes with a an incentive for men who take action fast.

To wit: the price for monthly membership will be $150.

But, if you fill out the membership application before Monday, you get lifetime membership at the old price of $100.

As with the first Cabal, for women only, membership is by interview and invitation only, because I’m looking for a particular type of person – not everyone is fit to be in a group like this.

Want to know if you qualify?

Then answer these questions here, and I’ll be in touch to schedule an interview:



The Inverse Favour of Asking For Help

Ever needed to ask someone for help, but you didn’t because you don’t want to feel selfish, or you don’t want to bother the other person?

You’re not alone.
It’s a common thing, and I too fall prey to it sometimes.

But if those are the reasons you don’t ask for help, you miss out on something important, for the benefit of the other person.

Let me explain:

I don’t know if it’s in Thailand, or Cambodia or somewhere in that are of the world, but there exists a branch of Buddhism, where the monks are mendicants.

Meaning: beggars.

Their particular vow of poverty stipulates that they’re not allowed to have or earn any money, so for their daily meals they go out to the surrounding villages, hoping to receive donations of food.

Of course one can argue about how just that is – to live secluded, outside of society, and have that not very wealthy society provide for your upkeep, but that’s not the point.

(Besides, I believe the monks repay by way of providing education).

Anyway, here’s this beggar-monk going around with his straw hat upturned, and people give them food.

Got the picture?

Now, ask yourself: after the exchange, who says thank you?

You’d assume it’s the monk to say ‘Hey dude, you totally rock’ or whatever vernacular people there use.

But it’s the villagers who give thanks.

Because the monk enabled the villager to do a good deed.

Showing up empty-handed meant that the villager was faced with the opportunity to perform an act of altruism.

And in case you weren’t aware: altruism is THE best way to fulfillment and happiness.

So when you ask someone for help, you actually present a choice, for that other person to feel good about themselves.

In other words: the favour goes two directions.

This is why in my business, I often give people a complementary coaching session.

The other person gets help, I get to feel good about myself, and nobody loses.

And it’s also a fun way to get the word out about working with me.

I don’t need to do any selling: I just give someone the experience of coaching, and those who want more of it, well they work with me.

And if they don’t?

Fine by me: I’ve already gotten the benefit, because I got to help someone.

So if ever you need some help and you’re stopping yourself from asking for it, remember the mendicant monks.

Do someone the favour, of allowing them to do you a favour.

Oh, and if you want to do yourself, and myself the favour: I’ll give you a coaching session.

No charge, no expectation.

Just answer a few questions here, and I’ll be in touch to schedule an appointment:



Strictly for the Boys

Everything changed when the women joined.

Not in a bad way, mind you.

But for the first six years I lived in the monastery, we were a strictly male-only community.

Sure we would interact with female members of the group: meals, meditations, retreats and jobs to be done…

But our living quarters were just for us, just for the boys.

And the women, well they had their own community, where we men weren’t allowed.

But at some point we were able to secure a bank loan, in order to buy larger premises where we could all live together, and host retreats without having to rent a place.

And that meant we turned from two separate communities into a mixed one.

And it changed everything.

It even led to me breaking my vow of celibacy, but I blame nobody but myself for that.

Besides, I digress.

The reason I’m talking about gender specific communities is this:

It seems that this group coaching program I created – The Cabal – is really working.

At the moment, there’s nine members, all women – meaning there’s only one seat left.

And if you’re a guy: I’m sorry, you can’t have that seat.

Because I can tell you from experience that there’s a particular quality to a gender-specific community.

Not better, but different.

As soon as you introduce a woman into a group of men, or a man into a group of women, things change.

The dynamics change, the energy, the interactions.

And that’s not bad, but it’s different.

Very different, I can tell you from experience.

I don’t know if I’ll ever return to monastic life, but I still yearn for the intimate, powerful energy of just boys, working towards a common goal.

Which I experience every week during the Cabal sessions, except it’s the female variety.

Equally powerful, but different.

So what are you to do, if you’re a man on a mission, and you’ve been thinking about joining?

I’ve got the solution.

Seeing how well this group works for the Cabal members, I’ve decided to start a second group coaching program:

The Men’s Cabal – strictly for the boys.

More info about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile: if you’re not a man and you’ve been on the fence about joining The Cabal…

One seat left, and here’s where you can apply for membership:



Have I Got Your Attention? More Importantly: Have You Got Theirs?

In business, we all want to thrive, and the only way to make that happen is by finding buyers for what we do or make.

But, for people to give you money for your work, they need to know about you.

And, they need to like you and trust you enough to do business with you.

But that’s not going to happen unless people pay attention to you.

So if you find that there’s not enough movement in terms of sales, the question is:

Are people paying enough attention to you?

If the answer is ‘no’, then you need to figure out a way to make it worthwhile for them to pay attention.

With ‘pay’ as the operative word.

For someone to spend time on you means they pay with that time.

And that means you’d better give something that’s worth that time.

And it can be real simple too.

For me, it’s writing a short email each day, with the mission:

“Who can I possibly help today, with an idea or a suggestion?”

But you can do it in different ways.

Vlogging works, if you like to be on camera.

Or you can interview thought leaders and share the recordings.

You can write manuals or courses that you share for free, as a way to help people get started before they decide to buy from you.

Another really effective way is showing people a look behind the curtain – whether in writing or video or photos – ‘how the sausage gets made’ is an enormously fascinating inside view.

But whichever method you choose, remember these two things:

First: consistency is key.

Whether you provide something worth paying attention to daily, or weekly (once a week really is the minimum), keep at it and don’t break the chain.

Secondly: focus on email.

Yes I know that social media is fun etc, but there’s nothing like your own email list, where people have given you permission to show up in their own private inbox.

So what about you?

If ‘more business’ is your goal, when are you going to start giving people something that’s worth their attention?



I Should Have Figured This Out Years Ago

Normally, I’m a fairly organised and reasonably productive guy.

Got my daily morning habits, to take care of self before the day starts.

In my calendar there’s a recurring list of daily business development tasks, which I normally complete before noon.

And of course, there’s always the daily email to you, my Constant Reader, which gets written at the start of the workday.

Sounds like Martin is a pretty together guy, right?

Well, not always. Not every day.

And yesterday, one of my mastermind buddies gave me a brilliant insight.

Which is another testimony to the importance of having a mastermind group (did you join/start one yet? Do it! :)

Anyway, this insight: I honestly should have figured it out long ago, but hey: I guess the teacher (or teaching) really does appear once the student is ready.

So in case you’re ready too, I’ll share it with you:


“When your having a bad day, being able to fall back and switch into auto pilot is just critical.

“If you don’t have to think about what needs to be done (because it’s already been decided) then although you might not be functioning 100% you’ll at least still be moving towards the right target.


Hit me like a ton of bricks, that one.

Because if truth be told, I don’t have an autopilot program, beyond my daily biz dev activities.

On days when my routines get disrupted, and I end up unfocused, my autopilot code reads something like ‘flail around aimlessly in a stew of unordered and unprioritised business activities.

And those days are never very productive, and never feel very good.

So guess what’s the next thing I’ll be doing, right after sending you this email?

That’s right: create an autopilot manual for me to fall back on whenever I lose my focus.

And you might want to do the same for yourself.

Because while it’s nice to reach milestones, you’ll never get to those

And of course, if you want help with that, then a coaching conversation will come in handy.

Apply for a complementary strategy session by answering a few questions here –>



Time to Take That Pebble Out of Your Shoe?

In Holland, we say ‘Alles went’, which roughly translates as: ‘Given enough time, you’ll get used to anything’.

I’ve been thinking about this because for the last few weeks, I’ve had a pebble in my shoe.

Which is odd, because used to be that I couldn’t stand that.

The moment sand or a pebble would end up in my shoe, I’d sit down, take off my shoe, and remove the disturbance.

So yeah, you can get used to nearly everything.

Which is a testament to the human ability to cope, but it’s also a liability.

Far two often, we allow ourselves to get used to something that really ought to be changed, improved, or fixed.

A bad relationship, or an underperforming business, or an attic full of stuff you’ll never use again, while you actually want to use that space for some purpose or other…

Being treated without respect, or even abuse: it never becomes ok, but given enough time, we can get used to it. And that’s a problem.

For a while, the ‘thing’ bothers you.

But over time you get used to it, until one day, it’s been pushed so far to the back that it gets accepted as a given.

But that pebble is still there, whether it causes a blister or not.

So my question today is:

What have you gotten used to, that you could actually change or remove?

What pebble do you have in your shoe?

And: what would your life be like if you got rid of it?



Doing Everything Right – But Not Doing the Most Important

“Martin, I don’t understand why you’re not happy for us.

“We’re getting great results: people are sharing us on social media, they message us to say we’re doing a great thing, we get Likes…

“What’s the problem?

”Can’t you give us a pat on the back for a change?”

I looked at the screen, and realised he hadn’t understood the most important thing about business, even though we had talked about it several times.

Time, therefore, to bring out the big guns.

“Oh I’m happy for you, don’t get me wrong.

“In fact, I’m quite proud of all that you’ve done and the results you’re getting.

“Put differently: You’re doing everything right. It’s awesome”.

A smile on my screen.

“But you’re not doing the most important thing”.

The smile was replaced by a mix of confusion and frustration.

So I told him:

“I really mean it, you’re doing everything right.

“But until you start taking care of the single most important thing in business, you won’t build this business into the empire it deserves to be.

“You need to start taking care of your people.

“Not only your social media audience – I mean *your* people.

“In other words: the people who have subscribed to your email list”.

Clarity on his face. He was beginning to get it.

See, there’s all kinds of things a business needs to take care of.

But the first and most important thing, is your audience.

Your people, those who liked you enough to say ‘Ok, here’s permission to send me emails. Don’t abuse it’.

It’s all very nice to get Likes on Facebook.

But for someone to follow you, and click Like, it doesn’t mean much in terms of business size.

To a large degree, it’s vanity metrics.

It shows that you’re popular, but that doesn’t mean you earn customers, or indeed revenue.

And without revenue, there’s no business.

For someone to click Like or say they like your stuff, that’s an effortless thing to do.

But for someone to give you permission to email, and subscribe?

That’s far more difficult to achieve.

And once people subscribe, you’d better show up and give them meaningful and helpful content.

Whether you deliver teaching, or inspiration, or entertainment or a mix of it – you’ve got to show up and deliver it!

Because here’s the thing: while you aren’t taking care of your audience by communicating relevant and helpful content, your competitor will be doing just that.

Which means that come the time to make a purchase, they’ll go to the other, and not to you.

So today’s question for you is:

In all the things you’re doing right, what important thing are you not doing at all?

And then: what’s the easiest, most helpful, and most enjoyable way to do it?

Can be as easy as writing a daily or weekly email.

Or sending an email with a link to a short, off-the-cuff video.

Could be a daily live video, on Periscope or Facebook.

But something has to happen, consistently, if you want your audience to bond with you, and ultimately, buy from you.

If email is the way you want to go, and you want me to train you on how to write powerful emails that fire people up, in a way that’s effortless for you, I have a mentorship program for you.

Details here –>



The Benefits of having Problems – And How to Get Rid of Them

One of the most fascinating things I learned about human psychology has to do with problems.

Specifically, the way we actively keep certain problems in our lives, even though we don’t want to.

We say we want to drop a bad habit, and we mean it, yet we don’t do it.

We convince ourselves and others that we’re finally going to create financial success, and yet we don’t do those things that make it happen.

We promise that we’ll finally get our act together, but we keep mucking about.

So what’s going on there?

Why do we not rid ourselves of the problems that bother us?

You might think up all kinds of reasons: fear of failure, low self-esteem, fear of success – but that doesn’t help you change the situation.

Instead, throw a coaching question at it:

What is the upside of keeping the problem in your life?

When you ask that question, you enter into the subconscious.

Because on some level, part of you wants to keep the problem there, for some benefit or other.

Bad eating habits have the benefit of pleasing the inner child. Yay, icecream!

Living in poverty can have the benefit of confirming a belief that ‘we’re better than those who have money’.

Being addicted to the TV has the benefit of knowing that ‘I care, so I keep up with world events’.

And those benefits can be good and useful, but if you need to experience that benefit by maintaining a habit, you need to make some changes.

You need to find a different way to experience the benefit.

A different trigger, one that doesn’t require the problem to exist in your life.

So here’s a fun exercise:

What’s a big problem in your life?

What’s the upside of keeping the problem around?

What other ways can you create, so as to experience the benefit it brings?

Sit with this, mull it over.

You might be surprised how easy it can be to get rid of pesky problems.

And with that, I wish you a wonderful weekend.



P.s. There’s still one seat free in The Cabal, so if you’ve been on the fence, maybe jump off and apply for membership.

The team will help you solve your problems, and I’ll throw coaching questions at you.

Just answer these questions to get started:

Lessons From the Sufis: What to do When You’ve Gone Back to Self-Sabotage

I’m nicely warmed up, my bicycle is in the lightest gear, and the climb is right in front of me.

I lift myself up from the saddle, and start cranking it up the hill.

A few minutes later, I jump off at my front door, the high point of the rock I live on – sweaty and panting, but certainly not exhausted.

And I marvel at the way the human being works.

Because I’ve only been back to riding my bike for a few days.

There’s been months when I didn’t touch it, and back then it took me weeks of practice to even make it halfway up this rock.

Most of the time I’d reach a third, utterly spent, and needing to walk a bit before getting back on.

And now, in just three or four days I reach home in one go?

Amazing, how the body seems to just remember its capabilities, once it has experienced them.

The same thing goes for our mind and our mental states.

Once you’ve experienced things like deep contentment, high motivation, drive or flow or resilience, it becomes much easier to get back to it, than it was to reach it in the first place.

Sufis talk about the difference between a state and a station.

A state is transient: you experience it, and at some point it leaves you.

But after it’s gone, you’re left with the residue of it: the new station you’ve reached.

And the station, that’s permanent.

Or is it…?

It happened to me earlier this year: for about a week, I experienced a powerful state of joy, wonderment, gratitude. It was bliss, I felt blessed.

(I don’t know exactly why it happened, but it was after a confluence of experiences and people in my life).

And I knew the state would go, and it did.

But the station I ended up in was of more joy and more focus.

Can I fall out of it again?

Yep, it’s already happened.

Since then I’ve sabotaged stuff, BUT:

Because I had experienced the high state, it was much easier to jump back on the bandwagon, and re-enter the station where I was focused and joyful.

See, we all sabotage ourselves at various points.

We drop good habits, adopt bad ones, we procrastinate or enter negative thought patterns – that’s just human.

Trick is to realise that switching back is also human.

No state is permanent, and stations can be forgotten.

But your being, your subconscious, remembers them.

So when you end up in a slump, don’t get bogged down.

Accept it as a temporary lapse, without blaming yourself.

Instead, ask yourself: do I want to stay here, or get back to the better station I was at before?

If you’re honest with yourself, the answer will always be ‘not here’.

Next, you choose: either continue the behaviour of self sabotage, knowing you’ll experience the consequences… or return to the behaviour that got you to the better state in the first place?

There’s always a choice.

Even not choosing is a choice.

So… what choice will you make?



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