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

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

Fire the Cats!

Yesterday a client said she felt overwhelmed.

Pushing a boulder up a hill, this whole running a business thing.

“It’s like herding cats”.

And yep, I can relate.

Sometimes, there’s just so many balls you need to keep an eye on, and so many plates to keep spinning and fires to put out and emails to follow up on and stuff to learn and and and…

If you also feel this way, might I recommend you fire the cats?

I mean, most of the items in your calendar and things on your todo list are there because you  put them there. ac

And sure they all seem necessary and important and urgent, but it only works if the totality of it doesn’t cause you to feel overwhelmed.

And if it does:




I’m serious: if you take the bold and brave step to reduce your business operations to a small, manageable, minimal system, you’ll have so much more control.

You’ll be able to measure and iterate on the system.

You’ll have more time in your day and more space in your mind.

And most importantly: it’ll be you running your business, instead of the business running you.

Because the latter, that just ain’t no way to go through life.

So do you dare?

To simplify, eliminate, reduce?

Cool. Get set, fire the cats.



Actor vs Perceptor: Bring Out the Popcorn

In a few days from now, my uncle will arrive for an extended stay. (Well he’s not really an uncle but he used to visit the monastery way back when, and my girlfriend and I shared a house with him when we moved to Spain a decade ago. He’s practically family).

Anyway, he’s an extremely interesting and inspiring guy.

Retired photographer, highly intelligent, takes no BS from anyone, and a truly caring individual.

I’ve learned a lot from him, and of the lessons is to see your life as a movie.

Which is very similar to what our abbot used to teach us: to be the perceptor rather than the actor.

Or, as the Sufi’s would have it: to be IN the world, but not OF it.

It’s a brilliantly powerful way to see things.

It helps you not be swept away by events and it gives you the distance to observe objectively, rather than experience everything as directly affecting you.

I can go into the whole psychological explanation about ego and Id and the difference, but really it’s just something to experience for yourself.

No explanation necessary.

Try it, right now.

You’re here, in your body, reading this email.

Now get up mentally, step back, and out of the scene you’re in.

Look at yourself sitting there, reading. As if you’re watching an actor in a movie or on a stage.

Yes, bring out the popcorn if you like.

This state, where you are the observer rather than the doer, is fortitude and clarity in practice.

After all, it’s a miraculously magical experience to be alive – IF you want to see it that way. And being the perceptor helps you with that.

And it will help you live one of my favourite concepts: Why so serious?

So I say, practice this, and make it a habit throughout your days.

You just might be amazed at how it can change the way you experience life.

And the same is true if you decide to work with a coach – and if that’s what you want, I’m only one email away.



Fruit or Seed? (In which I bow down)

As a coach, part of my work (and one of the most powerful coaching events you can imagine) is flipping things around, turning stuff upside down.

Showing a client that Thing A can also mean the complete opposite.

Like the other day, I had a session with an entrepreneur who has a company and staff.

And while it’s a really good thing that there’s a horizontal structure there instead of a hierarchy, the consequence is that he keeps getting interrupted about small things.

Which means he doesn’t get to doing the important work, the zone-of-genius stuff that would really scale the business.

At first sight, that’s a problem.

But then I told him that it’s a really good thing he doesn’t get to doing those things and making the business grow fast.

Because if he did, while having the problem that he keeps getting interrupted and doesn’t get to do the important stuff, fast growth would effectively kill his business. Death by success.

Suddenly, there would be more invoices, more customer stuff to deal with, more problems to solve – while his staff doesn’t allow him the time to attend to all of that.

“You should be grateful you don’t get to the big important things”.

Boom. Mind blown.

Today though, it’s my turn to have my mind blown.

Email from a client, who tells me she had her first big sale.

Brilliant of course.

But then she says: “It’s a beautiful seed to grow from”.

Not “I’m glad the seeds I planted are finally bearing fruit”.

No, other way round: The first sale as the seed – how cool is that?!

I just love love love it, when a client suddenly gets it.

Want me to help you get it too?

Could be a real fun ride, you know…

Let me know



I Got a Thousand Problems, but Having Problems Ain’t One of Them

Had enough yet?

Hey look, we all have things to deal with. Issue to sort out, problems that show up.

But you do get to choose whether or not things are A PROBLEM or not.

Because yes: that’s a choice. An attitude that follows a decision.

Like a client of mine, the other day.

Decided to simply be done with having problems. Had enough.

And boom. Life changed.

That doesn’t mean problems disappear.

And it doesn’t mean you ignore them either.

All it means is that you let whatever problem you may face, be what it is, without paying all that dramatic attention to it.

Sure you can worry and fret, but does that help?

It’s about focus.

Instead of spending your energy on what’s wrong, why not focus on what’s right, and make it even better?

9 out of 10 times, problems solve themselves, and you know it.

And the more you stop being so busy dealing with problems, the easier they will do that.

Me I’ve not had a single problem in years.

And this client has stopped having them too.

What about you? Had enough yet, of having problems?



Turning Up the Thermostat

Have you ever noticed how there seems to be a sort of glass ceiling, in terms of how much you are able to earn?

An upper limit of sorts, where try as you might, you  just can’t seem to break through and move up higher?

If that’s the case with you, it could be you have your thermostat set too low.

As in: Something in your subconscious has it that amount X is basically it.

And you can try to get smarter, but that doesn’t help.

Work harder, doesn’t fix it either.

If that’s the case with you, you might have to turn up the thermostat.

This is why I like to work with people who have a big ambition.

Because when you start with a big dream or goal, it’s much easier to muster up the energy and grit to reach it.

After all, the real tragedy in life isn’t having a big goal and not reaching it.

No, the real tragedy is when you set a small goal, and you get there.

Because more often than not, reaching the small goal is where people stay stuck.

So I say, turn up the dial, raise the maximum level, turn up the thermostat.

Hot in here, isn’t it?


You want to earn $5K per month?

Nice but not good enough. Go for 10 or 20 instead.

See where you end up.

Not because of greed, mind you. After all, there’s two ways of earning well: the first is to cheat and if you read me that’s not an option for you, or by delivering so much value that you *earn* a lot.

But for that to happen, you need to start at the source: your inner world.

All change and progress comes from there.

And for all that you could do in a practical sense, doing them won’t be nearly as effective as when you first set yourself up for allowing the results when they show up in your life.

Turn up the thermostat. Little more. There you go.



Become a Self-Breaking System

One of the big benefits of working with habits, is that it helps you to recognise and idenitfy systems.

And that matters, because in the end everything is part of a system, and each system is part of another system.

And every system is perfect, for the results it produces.

But here’s the problem:

Systems break.

Systems fail.

They have their weak spots and bottlenecks.

But is that really a problem?

I say no. It’s a good thing.

Because when you build or observe a system, and something doesn’t work, you get to identify what went wrong – how the system produces an imperfect result.

And then you get to fix that, and observe whether the result becomes different and more satisfactory.

And that is why it’s good when systems break. It enables you to improve them.

You too are a system.

And you have things that can be changed of optimised, so that System You produces different results.

In other words: Become a self-breaking system, because that’s how you get to improve.

Systems are supposed to break. You are supposed to run into faults or errors. And you choose to fix them, or not.

Reminds me of my time in the monastery, where we were told that vows are meant to be broken.

Because that way you learn over time that you don’t want to break them.

Like when I broke my vow of celibacy. I very quickly learned that I didn’t want to break it, ever again.

Anyway, sit with it for a while.

See System You, and accept that it will, has to, unavoidable break.

Become a self-breaking system.

Be ok with that. Because it enables growth.

What also enables growth is building a system around building habits.

And I’ll help you with that if you want, with my new Habit/Path coaching programme.

Let me know if that interests you.



Habit –> Path –> Habit

It’s quite the thing in the world of success and business, these days: habits.

Ask around, and you’ll everyone and their donkey say that habits are crucial, quintessential, if you want to get from A to B.

And obviously, I’m no stranger to habits, what with having been a monk etc etc.

And I agree: habits are the trick.

Habits fix your mood, insecurities, productivity, progress, impatience… choosing the right ones will do wonders for you and your life.

So I’m creating a new coaching programme, built specifically to get you on the path of living with habits.

After all, I know a thing or two about them: which ones to choose, how to implement them into your life, and above all: the workarounds to help you keep up with them, and not fall off the wagon. Or to get back on it when you eventually do fall off.

Because here’s the secret: It’s impossible to keep up with all your good habits, all of the time.

But it is always possible to reboot and start them again.

And when you learn how to do that, working with habits and routines becomes a path, a way of living – which in turn becomes a habit.

Hence the circular, upward spiral nature of habits.

Habit –> Path –> Habit.

I kinda want to call the programme that.

Catchy name, whaddaya think?

Anyway, I’ll tell you more about the details soon.

But a little teaser: this program will enable you to work with me 1 on 1 at a far lower price point than a full-scale coaching programme.

Stay tuned…


Art for Art’s Sake, but Money for Christ’s Sake

For the sake of argument, let’s call anything that you make a form of art.

(Which is in fact my view on things: life itself is art and whatever you make out of it too. But that’s just me).

Anyway, I read a quote, apparently by the actor Ollie Silver:

Art for art’s sake, but money for Christ’s sake.

I like it. Because yes, the pure and unadultered way of making art (or anything you passionately want to do really well, from listening to teaching to coding to baking pies) is a
brilliant starting point.

But you do need to feed the family and pay the bills.

Reminds me of a friend a while back, an artist who said that when creating art, money is not allowed to be anywhere in or near your mind.

I don’t know. Is that true?

Again, I’m being inclusive here, I’m not just talking about pure art.

Art, like anything else you do or make, has the potential to change people and/or their lives.

And you deserve to earn well for it. Pretty much a prerequisite for being able to continue doing it.

So what’s the difference between an artist and any other kind of (ethical) professional?

You all get to do something that moves people, that has an impact.

You get to make a difference.

Earn some money for it, for Christ’s sake.

And if you’re a believer and you feel this is me blaspheming, that’s not how I mean it (and I don’t mean to offend)

Getting paid for doing good work means you value yourself. And I think Christ would agree with that.

And if you agree too, and you want to earn better, maybe I can help.

I gotta whole bunch of common sense, clever strategy, and sensible money-think I can share with you.

Let me know if you want to talk.



Trick Question: What Kind of Human Are You?

So you set a goal, you decide on the actions required to achieve it, and next you get to work.

And then you realise: it ain’t happening. It’s going slower than you’d expect, or you’re not seeing any signs that the seeds you’re planting will grow.

When that’s the case, you might want to step back and have a look.

But not at what you’re doing.

It’s easy to think that what you’re doing isn’t the right things, or that you’re doing it wrong.

But very often, what you’re doing is fine – and the problem is who and how you’re *being*.

We get so overcome by all the things we can do or should do or want to do, that we forget who we need to be, in order for those things to pay off.

Doing vs being… an interesting (and very helpful) way of looking at things.

So when you’re not seeing the results you’d expect, look at who you are, before you look at what you’re doing.

Because you  might do all the right things, but if you’re not being the right kind of person for the job, things can get mighty frustrating.

After all:

Are you a human doing, or a human being?

If you want help in figuring out which kind of person you need to be in order to reach your goals, let’s talk.



Introducing: The Ultimate Teacher

Used to be, I would get terribly annoyed when I’d run into problems and limitations that I thought I’d overcome.

Anger, sloth, self-pity, impatience… Come ON Martin. Are you still not over that?

Gradually though, I learned that this isn’t the attitude that helps.

Like I said the other day: you’ll run into the same stuff, all your life, over and over again – but if you play the game right, it’ll be in subtler ways. It’ll be less problematic.

That’s just the way we grow.

It’s how the ultimate teacher gets us to be our best selves.

And the ultimate teacher… well, that’s life, of course.

People like me, and the authors and speakers and teachers in the world – we’re helpful folk.

But the real teaching happens to you at every moment you are willing and ready to learn.

There’s a lesson for you waiting in every interaction, every book, every chance occurrence.

What matters is that you go through life with the attitude of being the eternal student, ready to learn whenever and wherever.

Because the ultimate teacher is ready for you 24/7.

And it’ll patiently teach you the same thing, over and over again.

“Have you learned the lesson yet? Ok, here it is again”.

It’s not frustrating to me any longer. It’s a blessing.



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