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

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

Inspire me… I dare you!

Sometimes people ask me who my ideal client is.

Invariably, my answer is: People who inspire me.

Because it’s not my job to inspire my clients.

My clients inspire me, because of the spark of genius I see in them.

And then my job is to create a situation where that genius can bloom.

Along the way, there’s obstacles in the way, and we work on them.

We deal with mindset, necessary skills, fears to be overcome.

Fostering growth by way of helping you improve your inner game – THAT’S my job.

So what then are the things that inspire me?

Can be various things.

A big ambition, that’ll usually do it. I can’t resist people who dare to dream big.

Or a thoroughly giving attitude in life, along with the clarity of mind to give without hurting the self. Because one of the problems with givers, is that we tend to give IT all, instead of giving it OUR all.

And that’s the difference between a successful giver and a struggling giver.

Other ways to inspire me?

Great compassion and love for others. A mission to make a difference.

And one of my favourite inspirations?

Ruthless self-awareness. Because the one thing guaranteed to keep success away is by refusing to look in the mirror.

And that’s what makes my job so much fun: to hold up a mirror for a client, and then to see the lightbulb switch on.

Magic, when that happens.

So, do you think you would inspire me?

If so, you might want to join my next Cabal Mastermind group.

Because while I have no idea who will join once the doors open on Monday, I’ll tell you this:

Everyone in that group (just as in the existing Cabal group) will fit a very particular profile, and will be selected based on that.

A tight-knit powerful team like that isn’t open to anyone who will pay for membership.

No, it’s only for people who inspire me, who have something special, who take action and responsibility, and who are committed to removing the obstacles in their way.

Is that you? And you want to be in a group of people like that, and benefit from the collective velocity?

Then here’s more info, and a button at the bottom of the page for you to apply for membership:



Focus, Flow, the Zone&Distractions: Context

Lately, I’m spending Thursdays at my friend’s co-working place in Malaga.

Not that I need to rent office space: I’m rather happy working from home.

But I’m helping my friend and I’m meeting interesting people, so I’m happy to take the 1-hour drive once a week.

Today we were talking about focus and productivity, because let’s face it:

On any given day, you could likely achieve more than you did.

Sure works that way for me.

And one of the best and most effective ways to increase your output?

Create the right context for it.

As in: turn off distractions. No notifications on your phone or PC.

Put on the right music, or switch it off if you prefer silence.

Brew your favourite tea or coffee. Stretch.

Light incense if you like.

Prepare your workspace, but above all: prepare your mind.

And yes, manipulating your surroundings is one of the best ways to do that.

Whatever ritual or context works for you, take some time to create it, before you get to work.

Because few things are as destructive for your productivity as a messy space or a messy mind.

Context and preparation are why I have a three-hour morning routine.

It’s why I’ve played the exact same playlist every day for almost two years.

And it’s why my days are good, no matter how well or how badly they go.

Whether I achieve a lot or little, get setbacks or wins: my days are generally good or even quite good.

Things affect me less, because each day I’m deliberate and purposeful about the context in which I do my work.

So, I fully recommend you think about what context works best for you, and how to build it into your work every day.

And if you want a social context, with fellow entrepreneurs who get what you’re trying to do?

Then my new Cabal group might be just what you need.

Info here:



It. Just. Never. Ends. (And that’s a good thing)

“You do realise that you’re supposed to be a work in progress, right?”

He looks at me, trying to digest and see the logic in what i just said.

For a moment, it looks like it’s sinking in, but then he tells me that at his age, and with the career he’s had, he should be further ahead by now.

Accomplished, stable – a success. And he doesn’t feel that way.

Which makes perfect sense, because success is elusive.

No matter what shape or goal goes with your definition of ‘success’, there will always be a next stage.

Something new to aspire to, something bigger to build.

And that’s the way it should be.

Because just like with learning, working towards success never ends.

You’ll never EVER learn everything, which means you get to learn until your final day. Which in my book is pretty cool.

And the day someone decides they’ve learned all they need to know, that’s the day they enter what I call the coma of life.

Same thing with success and reaching your goals.

If you reach one and consider your life complete, then either you’ve reached a rather refined spiritual state of contentment, or you’ve resigned to the here&now as being the things will always be.

And last time I looked, far more people fall into the latter category, compared to the first.

You’re meant to be a work in progress.

All throughout your life.

There’s a new skill waiting for you to develop, right now.

There’s another level of accomplishment that you can go for, right now.

Be a work in progress, and be proud of it.

This mountain you’re climbing?

It has no summit, not if you don’t want it to – and that’s a good thing.

And if you want to climb and keep climbing, but as part of a team instead of on your own?

Then joining The Cabal might just be what you’ve been looking for.

More information here:



The Downside of Habits – and How to Flip It

Hear ye hear ye, let me preach onto you ye olde gospel, my favourite topic: habits.

Because yes, habits are a terrific tool for your state of mind, for reaching flow, and for being productive.

But there’s a downside too, and it shows up the moment you get thrown off your habits.

Life calls, people need you, travel or jury duty requires you to break your habits, and… crash.

All your good states and good habits, down the drain.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

See, for the last few years I’ve been living a fairly reclusive life, filled with habits and routines.

A marvelous time, I’ll tell you.

But for the last 6 to 8 months or so, I’ve been going out more and more.

Meeting people, attending events, you name it.

Which means I often don’t get to do my full 3-hour morning routine.

And it often means I get home by 11 PM or later, when my habit is to be in bed by 10.

Bad for habits. Bad for flow?

At the start, yes.

But now, I’m noticing that going along with it, without being bothered by the fact that my good habits are being disrupted, allows me to enter a different state of flow.

And I think the trick is in creating vs reacting.

At first, I felt I had to react to things like invitations and events. And then laboriously adjust and re-boot my habits.

But while I wasn’t looking (hint: flow happens also – especially – when you’re not aware of it), I grew into a relaxed state of taking things as they come.

Instead of reacting to stuff, I find myself creating my days based on the plans and events that are in my calendar. A very different experience.

Which means that whether or not I manage to stick to my habits becomes irrelevant. The flow my habits bring me, well that gets replaced by the flow of leaning into life.

I guess this is what my abbot meant when he used to talk about Asha: the natural course of things – and how it’s never a good idea to go against it.

So that’s where I’m at: rolling with it, not getting bothered, and not trying to maintain a status quo (no matter how good) when life is inviting me to try out another one.

Not a bad place to be in. You might want to give it a try. (Or give habits a try, if you’ve never made a point of building them.



A World of Dreams… and Why Not to Interpret Them

I’ve never been too big on dreams.

People get themselves all worked up over the meaning of this or that symbol, assign importance to specific elements, interpret and collocate…

But what really do we know? For one thing, even if we remember lots of one dream, is that all that happened while we were asleep?

I don’t think so. In my years of meditating and learning shamanic voyaging, I’ve spent countless hours exploring the subconscious.

And let me tell you: it’s big. You may think that a mountain is big, but the world underneath the surface of our daily mind is enormous. Bigger than any mountain you can think of.

And what our little mind remembers from a dream is just a tiny tiny fraction.

And whatever we interpret or explain is nothing more than an abstraction of that small thing.

So to me, dreams can be fun, but they only paint a very tiny picture, and that’s why I think it’s better to not interpret dreams, but rather treat them as questions.

It’s not what the dream tells you – you’ll get far more out of not trying to assign meaning or interpretation, but instead asking ‘what else does this mean? What else does that tell me?’

That way you keep open the door to more insight, instead of closing it down by saying ‘Well that’s what it means, now I know’.

There’s always more. Keep asking, keep looking for ‘what else?’ and never be satisfied with any given answer.

Now I wanted to tell you this and then smoothly transition into reasons why you might want to join my mastermind coaching group.

But it looks like it’ll be a rickety segway, at best.

So I’ll just give you the link where you can find out more about Cabal Membership:



Stuck? Dig Deeper

The last two or three weeks or so, it’s been a little harder than normal to find topics for my dailies.

Which is a tricky thing for me to say.

Because when I was 14 or so, there was a Dutch columnist I liked to read,  and one day she started out by saying how she was having trouble
writing her columns.

And then she caught herself, reminding herself or a promise, that if ever the day would come that she’d start writing about the difficulty of writing, she’d stop right then and there.

And that was the last column I read of her. Made quite an impression on me, and part of me wanted to adopt that attitude for myself.

But I’m different.

I mean, it’s not like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel.

See, most people who get like this, wondering what to write about, would end up thinking that they need to slow down.

Because “Hey, I’m having fewer ideas. I need to tone it down, so I don’t run out completely!”

But that’s scarcity-thinking.

In reality, there’s no shortage of ideas, ever.

The only thing in short supply, when you’re having to work to get to your ideas, is access to them.

Because the ideas are there.

There’s never a shortage.

There’s no cap on creativity.

So the thing to do, when the well seems dry?

Dig deeper.

Write more.

Aspiration begets inspiration.

And I aspire to give you something useful every day.

So in order to keep doing that, I’ll be writing more.

Because I’d be a sorry excuse of a writer, and servant, if I were to let my personal difficulty in finding topics stand in the way of helping you.

I’m not limited, and neither are you.

So any time you feel lost or you don’t know what to write about, crack open a can of service, and let your creativity flow.



How to Not Look Like You’re Begging for Business

Interesting conversation with a client, about pricing her work.

She’s been frustrated, because even though her work isn’t priced cheap, it’s proving hard to sell enough of it.

(Yes, I meant to say that. Most people think cheaper sells better, but for the majority of entrepreneurial services or products that’s not true. To which you can probably attest, if you’ve ever ran a sale. Basically, selling is hard, at whatever price. Which is why I say you might as well sell at a high price, if it’s going to be equally hard anyway.)

In any case, this client: She does raise her rates from time to time, and keeps selling, but it’s not turning over the way she wants it to.

Now obviously, I’ll always advise to seek out people who are willing to pay you rates that your work is worth.

Underpricing yourself is a terrible idea, and again: it sooner kills sales instead of increasing them.

Especially if you go and try to create prices on a case-by-case basis, trying to please the person looking to buy from you.

Terrible idea. Because for one thing, you don’t know what that person can afford or is willing to spend. And the fact that they have a simple job and drive an old car doesn’t mean they don’t have enough money.

(Ever see the car Warren Buffet drives? Apparently it’s an old clunker, despite the fact that the man has more money than god).

So what someone can afford (or is willing to spend on your work) is none of your business.

Your business is: to stay in business.

And you can only do that if you earn good money: enough to invest, pay taxes, save for the future, go on holidays, and have enough free time to actually live life. You know, basic financial prosperity stuff.

So the only thing that’s your business, is getting paid what your work is worth.

But if you try and tailor your prices to what you think the market will bear, you create several problems.

For one thing, it’ll keep you focused on a market that won’t pay much. Ouch.

Also: it’ll make you look like a supplicant, as if you’re begging for business.

It’s effectively people-pleasing behaviour, and believe me: people will sense the desperation behind your juggling your prices. And that’s a major turn-off for a buyer.

No, better to behave with confidence and authority.

You make or do things that people benefit from, right? And it’s something that’s worth good money, yes?

Then ask for good money.

You’ll probably sell fewer items (though in many cases, a higher price will get you more sales, not fewer), but at a higher price.

So you’ll work less, earn the same (or more) and have more time to learn, relax, ideate, and take care of self.

Always remember: you’re the business owner, which means it’s your shop and you make the rules and the prices.

This gives power to the buyer, because when you present your offer, they have the right to veto. Fair is fair.

Whereas when you try to adjust your prices based on what you guess they’ll spend, you’re effectively removing their power, by making them an offer they can’t refuse or that they’re not supposed to refuse. .

“I’m cuttin’ me own throat here. You can’t not buy this, you can’t do that to me”.

Nah. Not like that.

Do good work, the best you can. And earn good money for it. That’s how you build prosperity.

(Which I’ll help you with if you want – just holler)



Be Like Reed

There’s a lot of things we can do.

And there’s a lot of things we shouldn’t be doing.

Me, I’m all for action.

But at the same time, there’s a lot to be said for doing nothing.

I’m reminded of Sufi poetry, where the reed is used as a symbol.

The reed that makes the flute, the reed that serves as nothing more than a channel for air to flow through.

Impassionate, inactive, just a conduit.

That’s what I mean when I say ‘do nothing’.

To let life happen without imposing our will on it.

Without trying to do things and create stuff and make things happen.

The reed doesn’t make the sound, it’s just there to allow the sound to exist.

“But Martin, isn’t all that in conflict with my ‘do things, take action’ ?”

Not at all.

Point is that if we’re guided by what we think needs to happen, we’re coming at life from a binary perspective.

We choose this and then go do it, to the exclusion of everything else.

And because of that strong focus on one thing, we miss and overlook other things.

And those other things might be exactly what you need to know, see, or do.

Sometimes, big and bold action is what you need.

At other times, the best you can do is be still, observe the world around you, and listen.

If you do and you listen closely, you’ll know when the time for action has come.

And sometimes, doing nothing until that moment comes is the best thing you can do.



How to Improve Your Life by Upgrading Your People

Last year, I made a conscious decision to upgrade my social circles.

Because while I loved the people I used spend time with, I felt a real need to be inspired. To see good
people doing big things.

To be swept along in other people’s currents.

Because when they say ‘show me your friends and I’ll show you your future’, there’s a lot of truth to that.

In the world of addiction treatment, for example, it’s well known that no remedy or therapy is as big a determinant for success as the people an individual hangs out with.

And the effect of meeting new people has been amazing. It brought me focus, joy, productivity, and some amazing opportunities. And amazing people, obviously.

Just because I sought out people I can learn from and who inspire me.

And that’s something you can do for yourself as well.

Because it’s never a good idea to be the smartest kid in class.

Don’t underestimate how powerful the effect is when you get deliberate about who you spend time with.

For example, that artist group I’m member of, and where I exhibited some photos last fall?

Those people are on fire. After that first group show, they’re putting on one after another. Feeding each other, inspiring each other, showing up and working together. Beautiful to see.

Another example is the Cabal Mastermind group I host.

When I started it, I had no idea if it would work. I’d never done group work before.

But I knew that if I would very carefully select each member, there was a real chance something beautiful would happenAnd something beautiful did happen, and continues to happen.

The seven ladies in this group have SUCH a strong bond, and the interaction and and support dynamics are SO impressive.

It’s a humbling experience to see them grow into such a strong team.

So to make that kind of social circle available to more people, I’m starting a second Cabal group.

A few months ago I sent an invitation for a men-only group, but there weren’t enough men to start, so this time it’ll be a mixed group. Men, women, trans, martians, whatevs.

As before, membership is by invitation and interview only, because like I said: the type of people in your circles matter a lot.

Application opens on May 1st, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, do this:

Look at the people in your life, and ask yourself if there are enough people who truly inspire you.

If the answer is no, then I highly recommend you seek out new people and start spending time with them.

Your future you will thank you.



The One Thing… And it Could Change Your Life

Last year I interviewed the gentleman who used to be my abbot.

I asked: “If there’s one thing, one message, the single most important thing you’d want to share with the world…

“What would it be?”

He didn’t pause for thought, and said:

“Listen to life”.

And yes, I’m still trying to digest that one.

Turns out there’s layer after layer in that simple statement.

So let me rework the question for you, for your own life:

If you had to bid farewell to someone you care about deeply…

For example, your godson emigrating…

What would be the one lesson, the single most important recommendation you could impress upon that person?

Think about it…

What’s the one thing you wish your loved ones to live by?

Got it?


Now let’s take it up a level.

What if you would make your entire life, your every choice and every act…

…originate from that single message?

Paint, cook, dance, sing, create… everything springing forth from that one thing, the one thing they should always remember?

Live like that, and everything changes.

But only everything.

Because when you live out of the highest and most important value, you add a tangible purpose that will direct you and that will be irresistible to others.

What’s your one thing?

Do you dare to start living all out, originating from that place?


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