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

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

Controlling the Economy of Productivity

“I need a new car”.

Do you, or do you want one? And if you truly do need a new car, does it have to be a *new* one, or could it also be second hand?

“I need to get in shape”.

Need, or want? Many people would do well to shape up, but very often, there’s no actual need.

“I need to stop procrastinating”.

Need, or want?

I’m not playing semantics here – I’m playing economy.

Because when you tell yourself (or others) that there’s something you need to have or do or change, it becomes a given, a requisite.

Which means it gets importance, priority even.

But when that gets applied to things you want instead of need, you just might end up making yourself more busy and more overwhelmed than you need to be.

Making a clear distinction between what you truly need, and what you actually want is important.

If you start giving your kid pocketmoney, you explain the difference between buying things they need, and things they want – right?

Then, why not apply that to the choices you make as well?

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find there’s a ton of things you thought you need, but in reality you want them.

Apply that to the choices relating to work and how you spend your time, and boom:

Suddenly you’re free of self-imposed pseudo-needs, and you have a whole lot more time-capital and energy-capital to spend on things that really matter.

Simple tricks, but so effective.

And that’s the kind of thing that makes coaching people so much fun.

Get some for yourself, if you want…



Evict the Lodger

Sometimes, it’s like there’s a lodger stuck in our heads.

That voice you hear, saying you can’t make or aren’t worth it or that it’ll never work.

That others have it better or that your life isn’t working.

Or whatever other story the lodger seems to be telling you.

But that voice, the self-talk, the story you tell yourself: that’s under your control, you know?

There’s no rule or biological or psychological that says you need to put up with that abuse.

Because let’s face it: that kind of negative self-talk is abusive.

You wouldn’t take it from someone else, so why would you take it from yourself?

Don’t put up with it.

Evict the lodger.

Instead of letting that voice talk you down, shut it up. Get rid of it.


Well, not by trying to not hear it, that won’t work.

The most effective way is to replace that negative story with a new one.

Fill your head with another narrative, one that says that you CAN do it, or that your success will show up, or that your business will grow, if only you keep plugging away at it.

Don’t fight the lodger – simply put so much ‘other story’ in your head, that there’s no more space for him or her.

That’s how you evict the lodger.

But if this is proving too difficult, if the lodger is too persistent, I’ll help.

Just answer a few questions here, and I’ll give you a no-cost coaching session.

We’ll evict your lodger together:



When They Try to Sell You a Free Lunch

And email I received yesterday, basically saying:

“Hi Martin, we’re hosting an online event, and we would absolutely love for you to join our line-up of accomplished speakers, authors and coaches”.

Ah, a nice bit of stroking for my ego.

So I replied that maybe, why not. Came a reply from the organiser, saying that I could only join if I have an email list of 5000 readers or more.

Which I don’t, but that’s not the point.

So I sent them this:

“I’ll decline: if the promotional contribution I could make is more important than the value I could deliver, it’s not for me”.

Arrogant maybe, thinking that I have ‘so much’ value to deliver, but hey. I do. I got a great story to tell, and valuable stuff to share, for
those who are able to listen.

And it’s not that I object to promoting someone else’s event, if I’m speaking there. Goes without saying.

But something about these setups (and I get these invitations almost every month) just isn’t right.

It’s like when a gallery contacts an artist: “We love your work! You’re special, we must have your work in our gallery!”

And then the artist finds out that there’s a hefty fee to pay – basically, renting wall-space.

Or last year, when someone offered me to co-author a book, along with a few others.

For the honour of which, I’d have to pay $5000. Yeah, what about: No.

The problem isn’t that someone is trying to earn money from third party cash or third party promotion.

The problem is that it’s not done overtly. It’s presented as an awesome opportunity, under the guise of “You’re so special”.  And that’s simply uncouth.

And the biggest problem is that this kind of thing works. Plenty of people fall prey to rackets like that.

So if someone shows up with an awesome opportunity, and they do it in a way that clearly is meant to stroke your ego, be wary.

Ask for the fine print, and if there’s a cost: you might want to pass on by and get back to work.

Of course you might be offered free lunch at some point. That kind of miracle does happen.

Just beware of people who are trying to sell you a free lunch.

And when they do?


Your time is too valuable to be building somebody else’s business.

I say build your own.

Want some help with that?

You know where to find me…



Bring me Summer!

Sure one might complain that winter is too cold, summer too hot, or autumn too wet.

But aside from putting on a sweater in winter, going up North in summer like the foreigners in Southern Spain do, or wearing wellies in autumn, there’s nobody in his right mind who would expect a different season than the one we’re in.

Seasons are seasons, nothing you can do about it.

And in life, there are seasons too. And in business.

Seasons of growth, seasons of retreat and revising, seasons of planning…

So if seasons in nature are something you wouldn’t fight against…

Why would seasons in life or business be any different?

Instead of being upset or impatient that the next season isn’t there yet, why not work with it instead of against it?

In winter, you huddle up at home and keep warm. You go for brisk walks and come home feeling alive.

And if your business is in winter season and you’re not seeing the sales you want…

Why not take that season, and use it to build plans, create assets, connections, and sow the seeds that will sprout when spring comes around?

Sounds a lot more fun than being disgruntled, doesn’t it?

Make use of the season you’re in, instead of letting it get you down.


Talk to a coach, for example – gets you tips and tricks on what you can do now, to prepare for spring. ‘s Fun, too.



Safety Nets and Well-Worn Shoes

That well-worn pair of shoes might be comfortable, but are they the best choice?

Is wearing them even a choice at all – or is it just something you’ve grown accustomed to?

In many ways and areas of our lives, we end up not making changes, just because the status quo is so comfortable.

But those shoes might be bad for your back, your stance, your gait – if not your public appearance.

And yet, we keep wearing them because they’re just so damn comfortable.

And it’s not until we lose them or they get damaged and we’re forced to buy new ones, that we realise what a delight it can be to practice a little ‘out with the old, in with the new’.

This isn’t simply more of the standard ‘get outside your comfort zone’ malarkey.

This is about taking a close look at where you’ve become complacent, and asking yourself whether or not staying with the comfortable actually helps you move forward.

Because here’s the problem with the well-worn shoe: it becomes our crutch, the excuse we use to not take a big leap, bold action, that major decision.

Like my client Paula Mould, who decided last week to close down her web development company, which has supported her and her family for 17 years.

A good, stable company, which was comfortable, but: which had become her safety net, her crutch.

Relying on her company gave her an excuse to not go all-out on becoming a full-time artist, living off her art.

Big move, and inspiring too.

No more safety net.

I did the same thing a few years back: I had a successful business as a copywriter, but it was my crutch. It was preventing me from doing what I really love – which is working one on one with ambitious entrepreneurs.

So I shut it down, cut the cords of the safety net.

It was scary, but worth it.

What about you? What’s your safety net? What’s the pair of well-worn shoes that are keeping you from doing what you really want?

And more importantly: are you willing to let go of it?



Who is This For?

Seth Godin once wrote that the most poweruful message in business and marketing is “I made this for you”.

Which is in stark contrast with something I saw the other day.

Gordon Ramsey, the famous British TV chef with the no-BS (and often: no consideration) attitude to giving feedback, went to visit a Ferrari-themed up-market hotel in the US.

And he wasn’t very impressed: The furniture was so hiply designed that sitting on it made it fall over, there was a bathtub in the middle of the room, the food was served in takeaway boxes… the overall experience was far less than what you would expect from a $750/night hotel room.

But then he asked the owner what had motivated him to create a hotel like this, and the guy said:

“I created the hotel that I want to stay in”.

Oops. Bankruptcy alert.

Because while it’s not wrong per se to create a product that you yourself would want, it’s not very smart to bypass what your buyer would want.

In other words: It’s perfectly fine to create a ‘scratch my own itch’ product or service, but make sure it’s something other people will want to pay you for.

And this becomes even more relevant where it comes to your marketing.

Many entrepreneurs are 100% focused on delivering an ‘about me’ message.

Meaning, their marketing speaks only of themselves, but not *to the buyer*.

And that right there is a major reason for low sales.

Sure your story matters, and your inspiration, and your methods. All good. Talk about that stuff.

But never forget that for someone to buy from you, you need to appeal to their hopes, ambitions, problems, desires, concerns, or whatever other element in their life makes them want to buy from you.

Put succinctly: It’s never about you – even if you highlight personal stuff, it’s always about the buyer.

And yes, it can be tricky to get that right, and to communicate in such a way that even your own story and stuff appeals to people.

And that’s exactly why it’s so useful to work with a business coach who understands marketing and has experience as a former professional copywriter.

So if your sales are slow and you know that your product or service appeals to people and should sell more, let’s talk.

Together we’ll answer the question ‘Who is this for’ and find a way to communicate that in such a way that sales go up.



Unplug the Governor

Most of us, we limit ourselves – and we don’t even know we’re doing it.

Like a car that has a governor built in, preventing it from going over a certain speed.

But with us humans, it’s not like there’s a module that you can unplug, so as to access more results or higher performance.

Or is it?

Depends how you look at it: it’s not a physical device, but it’s definitely possible to remove the governor in our minds.

And you might want to remover yours, because if you’re limited by a governor, it’s pretty much certain it’s there for a good reason, but
it’s causing the opposite effect of what you aim for.

An example: I often meet people with a high level of ethics, a strong desire to do something good for others, and the humility to not want much for themselves.

And they’ll tell me something like this: “I don’t need that a lot of money, it doesn’t interest me much. I’m happy with ‘just enough + a little extra’”.

On the surface that seems good, and it’s definitely admirable. Greed isn’t pretty.

But if you think this way, then that ‘enough amount’ is your governor, in your mind.

And the problem is that setting such a limit will prevent you from reaching and impacting more people – which is odd, because isn’t doing something good for others part of your set of values?

Should that effect only be for the lucky few?

No, but if you limit the income you want to make, as a consequence you’ll make the decisions that keep you around that level, and that means you limit the number of people you’ll have an impact on.

In other words: the limit you set directly goes against something that matters to you.

Not very helpful.

So, unplug the governor. If you make more money than you need you can re-invest it into growth, and if more growth isn’t necessary you can donate your cash. Plenty of organisations are desperate for financial help.

Now, it can be pretty difficult to remove your limitations.

And that’s exactly why a coach is so useful, because a coach is someone who asks you the questions that help you do it.

I’d be happy to help you – just answer a few questions at the link below, and I’ll give you a 30-minute complementary session.

Here’s the link:



Does That Help?

It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re doing it wrong, that you’re stupid, or lazy, or lack skills or that you tend to procrastinate.

And most of us will tell ourselves things like that.

I know I do.

But ask yourself:

Does that help?

“I don’t like selling”.

Does that help?

“I’m too introverted to create a network of interesting people”.

Does that help?

“I have a habit of negative self-talk”.

Does that help?

The answer is, of course, no. No it doesn’t help.

So what to do instead?

Well, back to baseline thinking:

As you are now, you’re perfect.

Ah, oh – but there are things you want to change or improve! Good stuff!

Then tell yourself a different story.

For example: “I want to learn how to sell my stuff in a way that doesn’t feel icky”.

More helpful, yes?

Or: “I want to get more productive”.

“I’d like to meet interesting people in a way that doesn’t require me to do ‘networking’”.

Get the picture?

Core notion: the stories we tell ourselves either help or hinder us.

So when you notice negative ones, ask yourself: “Does that help?”.

Next, tell yourself a story that actually helps.

Which I can help you with, if you’ll accept my invitation for a no-cost strategy session.

You can do so by answering a few questions, here:



Judo Ballet Chess

These are the three modes I work with.

Chess, judo, and ballet. That’s all I need, and it’s all that you need – for life, business, or well-being.

Sometimes, you play chess: you need to be strategic, see the options, think ahead, and see the big picture of interacting possibilities.

At other times, life or business are like martial arts: stand still, feel what’s happening in and around you, and respond in an agile way.
You may need to duck and evade – people or situations – and at other times you need to take an existing momentum, act with instead of against it, and floor ‘the opponent’.

But mostly, most days, life can actually be like ballet, a dance, a way to flow and graciously be yourself.

Note how in none of this there’s battle, strife, or struggle.

Does that mean there’s no problems?

Of course not: problems can always arise.

But if you take the chess-judo-ballet attitude, you don’t need to *experience* problems as problems.

Instead, they’re either a dance, a chess-match, or an act of martial arts.

Each of which you can learn and become good at.

Fun, no?



What Are My Options?

It’s pretty hard to coach yourself – and believe me, I’ve tried.

It wasn’t until I hired my own coach that I started to see real change: for example, increased self-awareness, clearer thinking, better decisions, more enjoyment, more creativity, and quite a few more benefits.

But I needed someone else to ask me the right questions, at the right time.

That said, we can all use coaching questions on ourselves, and I highly recommend you do.

This one, for example:

“What are my options?”

Powerful stuff.

See, when you’re facing a problem, dilemma, choice, or you simply need to figure out your next step, it’s easy to stare yourself blind, looking at the problem over and over again.

But when you step back from the actual problem, and you direct your attention to the options available to you, a different picture emerges.

In essence, you’re asking your subconscious to highlight potential choices, which is far more useful than trying to beat a problem into submission.

And boom: suddenly you go from stuck to choices to make.

So try it.

Think of something that you need to decide or solve or choose, and ask yourself:

What are my options?

One of your options of course, is to click the link below and apply for a no-cost strategy session with me, and I’ll ask you… coaching questions…

That link being this one:




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