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

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

Blatant Self-promotion

Two things for you to consider today: The first is something that we all need to do to some degree, at certain stages, and most of us don’t do enough of it.

Which is: self-promotion.

Not in a boastful “Just LOOK at how frigging AWESOME I am!” kind of way though.

No. Not nice.

More in a sense of “Got something here. It’s REALLY meaningful to someone I know, who might be just like you. You might like it. Look”.

And that bit ‘someone like you’, that’s crucial – in all your marketing and communication, really.

Think about it: if someone you LOVE working with is happy with what you do, don’t you want more people, just like that?


Furthermore: before someone buys…

They want to have the trust and confidence that it’s the right purchase…


And what’s a better way to have the buyer judge that, than to have them consider another happy buyer, and wonder if they’re sufficiently similar?

Right, so with that out of the way: Thing #2:

Consider if you will, taking a small step towards massive change.

Consider what your life could be like, and imagine yourself taking the first step towards making it so.

What step?

Hold on, first we need to see if, perhaps, you’re like Robbie:

“Martin Stellar’s coaching was the compass I needed to guide me in my career and life.

I showed up as an eager yet somewhat jaded artist/entrepreneur and not only did he help revive my career, he realigned me, on so many levels, with my purpose.

His no-nonsense way of coaching inspired me to be the best version of me, which affects everything I do.

I am eternally grateful to be a student of Martins’, to receive the gifts from his expertise, coaching and wisdom.

He is a great facilitator of creating change within and throughout.

~ Robbie Kaye –”

So the question is: Can you identify with Robbie, and her story and her goals and her findings?

Does it *feel* ‘like you’?

And, do you want to get the guidance and alignment purpose and best version of yourself that she found?

Then the first step to making it so, is clicking reply, and writing:

Martin, let’s talk.

Next, I will send you a short questionnaire, and a link to schedule a call.

That call will not be a sales talk, but a coaching conversation, where I coach you on whatever’s most important to you. I’ll support you in any way I can.

At the end, if we both find that there’s a ‘click’, you will be able to choose an ongoing coaching relationship, but this is not an expectation. Up to you.

And, you don’t need to be an artist – I help all kinds of people: From CEOs to architects and from designers to therapists. And artists, obviously.

So, consider:

1: More self-promotion in your work, for instance in a way similar to how I just did it – but always by answering the question ‘for who is this perfect?’ so that people can identify, and:

2: Your first step towards creating lasting change in your life and/or your business…

It’s simple.

Just tell me “Martin, let’s talk”



How to Marry Your Assets for Fun and Profit

Both for myself and with my clients, I give a lot of thought to the concept of assets.

Especially assets we have, but don’t use.

And we all have ‘em.

And, I have some interesting experience in leveraging assets.

For example: about a decade ago, my tailoring company went bankrupt, and I was in debt.

I moved to a different town to try and reboot, but I realised that it would take time to build up a network. Meanwhile, I had rent and bills to pay.

What to do?

I took two assets, put them together, and whoopti-doo: I was self-sustaining in 6 months, profitable in about 12, and I was taking home aboug $5K a month.

How I did it?

Simple: I had studied marketing and sales quite a lot while trying to build my company, and I had always been a capable writer.

Two assets: writing chops, and sales knowledge. Together, that made for Martin the copywriter, and I started hunting and getting jobs online.

Fast forward a decade, and I’m a business coach who works with artists and other types of creative professionals.

And a client – a realism painter named Richard Hall – mentions the dirty secret of the art-world: that every artist (EVERYONE) has unsold inventory.

So I propose that we leverage the most important asset he has: his list of subscribers.

So we design a 5-day online sales strategy, we create a series of simple short emails, and last Halloween he pushed launch.

The result? An astounding total of $18K in sales of original artworks.

Just by combining assets: his list, and my copywriting background (which is one of the many reasons it’s a great idea to work with me: you get my expertise in copywriting to advise on how to write yours, but I digress).

Over to you: what assets do you have, that you could leverage?

Could be relationships with a community (online or offline)

Could be a relationship with an influencer, or a potential mentor

But think outside the box:

Previous work experience?

A hobby from the past you gave up but could include in your business somehow? (why yes, why not sing your sales letters? Might just work)

Unsold inventory, another important asset. How else could you put it to work, aside from trying to sell it?

What about a natural ability you have, but never considered special or usable – for instance quick empathy with people, or deep listening skills?

Making people enthusiastic?

Hey, and here’s a good all-round one: your intuition. Because if you properly listen to it, that’s an asset and advisor to reckon with.

Anyway, you get the point: there are elements in your life and business that, if used, could lead to results.

Identify them, adapt for use in your operations, and make life easier and more prosperous.

And if you want to discuss the assets you have, and how to leverage them, I’m here.

Just answer a few questions here, and we’ll talk:



Your Definition of Success… Are You Doing it Wrong?

When you look at your life, and the results you’ve built for yourself…

Do you consider yourself a success?

Regardless of whether you’re an artist or author or you bake cakes for a living…

Are you… successful?

For most people, the answer will be ‘not yet’.

Not fully, not the way I want.

But are you the one who should cast the verdict?

Think about it:

As long as you still have higher goals to reach for, you might never feel that you’ve made it, that you’re successful.

And while that’s useful for keeping you going, there’s also another side to consider:

How people view you.

You might not think you’re there yet, but to others, you’ve achieved things that are still in their future.

Others look at you and see a success story.

They probably don’t even know that you still feel like it’s not complete yet.

And that matters.

Because in becoming more successful, you need others.

To help you, buy from you, share their platform or audience with you…

And as long as you ignore the fact that others do see you as a success, you’re robbing yourself of the power you need to connect with those people.

If the only criterium for success is your own opinion and the opinion of others isn’t included, you’re effectively preventing yourself from reaching out and connecting with the kind of people who will get you to your next level.

So, own it.

Whatever more there is for you to achieve, accept that to others, you’re admirable and remarkable.

Next step?

Build your network, connect with people.

You’ll find that people will be delighted to meet and get to know you.

Yes, even the ‘big names’ that you’d love to connect with, but the thought of it scares you.

In Australia, there’s this thing they call the ‘tall poppy syndrome’.

You know, the tallest one, that gets cut off.

It’s that little voice that says ‘But who am I to xyz?’

I’ll tell you who you are:

You’re a beautiful, accomplished, ambitious and driven individual.

And if your mission is to make a contribution, then the world is waiting for you.

You’ll see.

With that said: action stations, action stations.

Get out there and connect.

With me if you feel like it, or with the people whose level you wish to reach. Which could also be me.

Either way: You’re worthy.

So, go connect with folk.



I Couldn’t Launch a Paper Airplane if it Had a Rocket Strapped to its Back

I couldn’t launch a paper airplane if it had a rocket stuck to it

Honestly though: Here’s a guy who records a video, to announce a couple of things about The Cabal Creative, and to share a message about the importance of showing up.

With the video – and the fact that I’ll be publishing one every day for a month – as an example of stepping up to the plate. Me eating my own dogfood, so to say.

So I merrily record, upload to Twitter…

… and proceed to delete the video after after pasting the link to it in the email I was preparing for you.

Which I then sent, broken link and all.

Resulting in hilarity this morning, when I opened up Twitter and saw this in my feed:

Yeah. Like I said, couldn’t launch anything, not even a paperclip with my thumb.

What can I say? It was late, and I’d spend hours trying to upload the video, which was made stupid hard by all kinds of weird glitches and dropped connections.

But anyway, I’m undeterred.

Here’s the link to the (working) video from yesterday:

And here’s today’s video – about your hero’s journey.

Yep, you’ve got one too, no matter how unheroic you think you might be.

Watch the video to learn why that matters…



You Don’t Have To…

I’m about to make an announcement that makes me feel pretty fearful. And that’s a good thing, so I’m leaning into it.

But first: I want to tell you that you don’t have to.

Don’t have to anything.

See, all this “I must” and “I should” and “Have to” that we tell ourselves…

It’s bunk.

You don’t have to anything.

You don’t have to diet, if you’re willing to accept your body as it is now.

You don’t have to be nice to people, if you don’t mind getting little sympathetic treatment from others.

You don’t have to eat your greens, if you don’t mind bad health.

You don’t even have to do the dishes, if you’re happy eating with your fingers or off of paper plates.

As you can see, it’s not about what you have to do, but about what you choose.

Because with every choice made – or not made – you choose a consequence.

So what consequences do you want to choose?

Here’s another one: you don’t have to show up, if you’re happy with your business size and growth as it is now.

You don’t have to show up, if you’re not interested in bringing people together and creating a community.

And that’s where the buck stops for me. Because I am interested in bringing people together, very much so.

In fact, I think I’ve figured out that this is what I’m about. To bring people together.

I’ve seen what that does – for me and for the others – in the Cabal coaching group I run (a paid weekly group coaching programme).

But there’s also The Cabal Creative, which I started last year with a small group of artists.

And that’s a free community, with the aim of inspiring creative professionals, and help you thrive in whatever way you would define that word.

And since organising our group exhibition here in Spain last September, I’ve not shown up there, as the founder of that group.

Haven’t stepped up to the plate.

Have. Not. Shown. Up. Silly me.

And so, we haven’t grown. Yet.

But that changes today.

Behold, Martin showing up.

On video no less.

Starting today, I’m committing to publishing a Cabal Creative video every day.

They’ll be short, useful, and inspiring, with a takeaway in each of them, as you’ve gotten used to by now, from me.

But unlike these dailies, it’s not about marketing or selling your work.

No, they’re very different.

See for yourself… right here:



Informed Pessimism – and Why I Want You to Spend More Time There

When it seems like it’ll never work…

When you wonder why others get it – the money, the success, the recognition – but you don’t yet…

All the moments when you despair, wake up at night and worry, each time you wonder how you’re going to make payroll or pay rent…

That’s when you’re heading for the valley of despair.

Going through the phase of informed pessimism.

And I want you to spend more time there – but ONLY if you do it with the right attitude.

The valley of despair is a concept I learned from one of my mentors, Peter Shallard.

It’s part of the image here, which shows you the stages in the life of an entrepreneur.

1: Uninformed optimism.

This is how a business starts, or a new project, or a new marketing strategy.

You may know some stuff, but the whole picture is largely an unknown, and only time and experience will reveal all that you’re not seeing at the start.

And so, you venture out, thinking “I can do this”. Totally stoked.

And you can ‘do it’, but not before you get a couple of reality checks, and you discover that ‘holy crap, this is a lot harder/more complex than I thought!’

And so, you enter phase two:

2: Informed pessimism.

Oh yes things are hard, and they maybe even suck. A lot. And it’s getting worse, and fast too.

This phase is normal, and insanely useful to an entrepreneur, I’ll show you in a moment.

Next, once you’re worn down, you end up in the next phase:

3: The valley of despair.

That’s where things are bleak and hopeless, and you might even wonder if you’ve got what it takes.

Wonder if you should maybe just chuck it all in, that whole entrepreneur idea.

Now what lots of people do, is to stop here – either with a business idea, or with a project, or a work of art or a book – and go back to phase one.

They go back to starting something, because there you get to enjoy the boundless (uninformed) optimism that got you started in the first place.

Don’t do that. Push through. Don’t be distracted by the ‘bright shiny object’ of another project.

Keep on pushing, because once you are out of the valley of despair, you enter:

4: Informed optimism, where you know the pitfalls, but you also know how to balance them with the optimism and all the opportunities you see.

In that fourth phase, things are working, better all the time. You’re adjusting, improving, and you end up in the final phase:

5: Success and fulfilment. Meaning… Well, you fill in the blank.

It’s tempting to try and stay in phase 4 and 5. After all, that’s where the fun happens.

But the dirty little secret of the life of entrepreneurs (of all lives, really) is that the magic happens as you slide down that slope, into phase 2, into informed pessimism.

In that phase, you’re growing most, as a human and an entrepreneur.

It’s where the hardships and the wake-up calls and the reality checks forge you into something stronger.

In phase 2, you get upgraded. It’s the crucible where you get shaped, where the impurities in the wood get burnt up and only carbon remains.

It’s the pressure that turns carbon into diamonds.

It’s under pressure that you grow most, as a person and as an entrepreneur.

IF you can be aware of it.

And even better: if you can welcome and seek out the transition from phase one into phase 2.

It’s applied practice of Antifragile (Read the book, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s brilliant).

And it’s important to be conscious of these phases, and to deliberately relish the experiences in phase 2.

No matter how hard or unpleasant they are, it’s in phase 2 that real inner change takes places.

I say seek it out.

And on that note: seek out a coach if you want to make the whole process faster and more fun.

Because these phases WILL come back in various forms and ways, and it sure is good to have company from someone impartial who’s been through his own phases, and can help you move forward.

So, holler when you’re ready.


All Play and No Work, Makes Jack a…

… an impoverished little creative, to put a fine point on it.

Look, I get it: You want to be in the studio (or teach, or write books, or give massages or whatever it is that you do) instead of being out there, doing the business work.

We all just want to play, don’t we?

I sure do.

Do the things that we’re good at. The things that are fun, that makes us come alive.

And for the last 2 weeks, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Blissfully playing around in my studio, setting things up and sketching and drawing (who coulda thought charcoal is so much fun!) and plucking away at a bass guitar.

But, I also have a business to run. Bills to pay, debts to clear, food to buy, investments to make… the regular daily-life in&out of monies.

And that’s a choice. I choose to be an entrepreneur, so I also choose to do the business stuff.

Because you don’t get to be an entrepreneur, and spend all your time in the studio, and expect to magically live off your work just like that.

If you choose one thing, you choose the package. An entrepreneur has to do the entrepreneur work.

Which means you gotta get out there and hunt, if you want to eat.

Hustle, show up, pitch, follow up… be seen, be open for business – and looking it.

Me, I’m not selling my art. Yet. So you won’t be seeing me pitch artwork for the moment. I’m just doing the art because it’s fun and it feeds my soul.

But I do sell coaching and business growth, and while it’s been a lovely two weeks with almost no business chores done, it’s time to get serious again.

So, here’s coaching available for you. I’m open for business.

It ain’t cheap and it requires you to show up as your best self, but it changes your life.

For example, here’s something that Paula Mould published on her blog a while ago:

“I have a coach I meet with weekly on Skype. Martin Stellar. All he does is coach creatives to help them be their best selves.

And damn it, he’s good.

I say damn it because he doesn’t let me lie to myself. He starts picking away at something based on.. I don’t know.. .intuition? What I’m not saying? My actions?

It doesn’t matter how, he picks a little thread and pulls hard and unravels my stories, my self-deceptions and how I’m standing in my own way.

Having this kind of person on my team is invaluable.

I’m bolder. I make bigger moves. I don’t waste time wallowing.

This is why I have a coach. My own Yoda.  If you’re a creative and want to get out of your own way, check out Martin’s site”

Getting out of your own way… tell me that doesn’t sound good?

Hit reply if you want to know more…



You Do Too Much of This, and It’s Costing You. Eliminate With Extreme Prejudice

You think too much.

Sorry I have to break it to you, but it’s true.

And thinking is expensive. There’s a cognitive cost to using that brain of yours, and it’s good to be stingy and miserly with your thoughts.

And I don’t mean thinking about what groceries you need to get or what decision to make in your business. That kind of thinking, that’s useful and often necessary (though much less often than you think).

The kind of thinking we all ought to give up, is about the things we’ll be thinking about again tomorrow. And the day after, and then next week and so on.

You know, the stuff you’ve thought about yesterday, and last week and…

Things like what to wear, what route to drive, at which time to leave home and catch the bus, where you put that tool that you need every week or so, or what project to work on today or this week.

Stuff like that should be thought about once, and then set in stone.

Automated, systematised, routinified and habificated.

(Oh look: Martin is breaking the English language again. How cute).

I’m serious though: why on earth would you want to spend part of your finite daily mental resources, dealing with stuff that could just be decided and reverted back to from then on?

Makes no sense to me.

Any thought process or decision-to-be-reached is best considered thoroughly once. And that’s it.

Not that things become boring that way: if you want to have two or ten routes to your kid’s school, that’s fine. But then decide on two or ten routes once, and be done with it. Add or subtract as you go along.

So I recommend you eliminate all unnecessary thinking. With extreme prejudice.


Because of what psychologists call ego-depletion.

Meaning that our ego – our self – grows tired over the course of a day, and the more resources we use, the faster that goes.

And that includes mental – cognitive – resources.

So if you spend an hour each morning thinking about routine stuff, you’ve just spent a correlated amount of ego.

And me, I’d much rather spend my ego on making art or coaching people. For example.

Routine thoughts?

Eliminate with extreme prejudice.

Do that by turning them into systems, habits, and principles.

There. Peace of mind, and the energy you need to actually make stuff happen.



Go for Bigger Problems

Came across a quote this morning, by Carl G. Jung, one of the most influential psychologists of our time.

Says he: “The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble…. They can never be solved, but only outgrown….”

Ah, so THAT’s what I’ve been trying to say last week.

You know, how you keep running into the same problems and flaws, as you proceed on your personal evolution?

You’re meant to struggle with them. They’re supposed to show up over and over again.

Right up to the point that you realise you’ve outgrown this kinda thing.

The moment when you’re ready to leave behind childish things.

That’s when you level up your personal evolution. At that moment, the problem stops being a problem because at that next level you, it simply isn’t a relevant problem any longer.

This is in line with one of my favourite attitudes: To no try and confront every problem or flaw head-on, but instead to just let it solve itself.
Oh I know, this flies right in the face of what the therapists and the self-help gurus say.

“Gotta face our demons! Gotta do battle with ‘em. Can’t allow problems to go unaddressed!”

Actually, that last one might be exactly what you ought to do. To just let the problem be the problem, and not bother with it.

Not to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, but to not feed it any of your mental and emotional energy.

Instead, spend that energy on things that create growth, or inspiration, or momentum.

If you keep doing that (acknowledge the problem, stop dealing with it, and focus on increasing that what’s already working or positive) you’ll quickly find yourself getting bored with the old problems.

And then you find that there are new, greater, more serious problems to deal with, which means that you did indeed leave behind the kid’s stuff, and you’ve levelled up.
Does this ever end?

Nope, it doesn’t. It goes on as long as you do.

And that’s the fun of it, but only if you persistently move away from smaller problems, and into having bigger ones.

That right there is personal evolution.

Moving from trifling problems that seem like a big deal, into bigger problems that you know you can actually handle.

Want some company on that path you’re on?

Then let me know. Things are easier when you have a coach.



Best Kind of Day

Some of the best days are those when a client reaches the end of a programme, and tells me they’re not going to renew.

When I hear things like “I’m good” or “I’m in a good place” or “I got this”, and they want to go ahead alone.

When that happens, I smile, because in the end it’s my job to get fired.

Coaching isn’t like some kinds of therapy, where the process implies you stay for years on end.

No, a coach is there to take you to a certain level, and once you get there?

At that point you no longer need me.

And then you get to fly solo, baby.

So that happened this week: client graduated, I celebrated.

Meaning, there’s a spot opening up in my calendar for the near future.

Let me know if you’ve been thinking of levelling up, and you’re ready to do it.

Comes a time when enough is enough, and you are ready to make changes.

Is that you?



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