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

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

I’m on a Mission. Join Me?

Everywhere you look, you’ll see people trying to rally troops, further agendas, create change, start or lead movements.

So many people with a mission, and a vision for the future of their lives, their family, the planet, their business, their customers…

And while there’s many a bad apple in that set, the majority of these people are trying to do good things, for good reasons.

But, many of them are ‘doing it wrong’.

Meaning, it’s all too easy to fall into a default attitude of trying to persuade others.

“Buying this product (or service) will do you good, it’s the perfect solution”.

“Eat your greens, you’ll grow big and strong”.

“Fund my mission to Mars, because humanity needs it”.

“Wrap up, it’s cold outside”.

“Put the cap on the toothpaste!” (otherwise I’ll give you hell until you do – though that’s rarely said outright).

“Hey, you really need to start exercising again”.

See the pattern?

All those approaches are a push, it’s trying to persuade people.

And the reason that’s such an uphill battle, is that nobody likes to be told what to do.

Nobody likes to be sold to.

But, most everyone loves to buy, or buy-in.

So, what if there’s an easier way, one that is build on empathy?

What if instead of trying to persuade people, you’d try and figure out what would make that person want to buy in, and enroll in your vision?

What if, instead of push, you turn your vision for what you hope they’ll do, into an invitation?

That way, the other person makes a decision of their own accord. They have ownership over it.

They themselves buy in.

Much more fun – and far more effective – than trying to persuade.

Me, I’m on a mission to invite everyone to fall in love with the concept and process of enrolling others.

Join me?



Random (or Deliberate?) Acts of Service

A warm day in Granada, bustling streets, beautiful people.

I step onto a zebra crossing and see a girl on her hands and knees, middle of the road, frantically reaching left and right. Just outside of her reach: her eyeglasses.

I’m about to move towards her and help, when someone else quickly bends over, grabs them, and puts them in her hand.

A random act of service. Beautiful. I smile and carry on my way.

Oh sure, you can call it an act of kindness, and it certainly is.

But really, that’s euphemising a beautiful quality of humanity:

The ability to serve others. Which, incidentally, is also what a healthy business does (and please: don’t say you ‘service’ clients. They’re not cars).

Serving is one of the most important things we can do in life, because it does what every single spiritual tradition, all sages throughout history, and most philosophers recommend:

Put ‘other’ before ‘self’.

Now, all this is well and good. We can commit random acts of service at any moment.

Helping a kid with their homework. Cooking that special meal for your lover. Helping a charity with your skills. Giving someone that car you don’t actually use, when theirs breaks down.

All very nice for the ethically inclined, for those who care about others and their well-being.

But what if…

What if you could apply this – the attitude and intent of serving – to the very act of turning a stranger into a customer – apply service to the process of selling?

What, in effect, if you’d make the sales conversation an act of service?

I hope that this notion blows your mind, at least a little.

Because when your intent is to serve a potential buyer inside of the conversation, all kinds of good things happen.

They’ll trust you more, they’ll share more about their painpoints and their doubts, they give you permission to follow up, and, yes, they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.


Because when you serve a prospect, the clear message is that your only interest is for them to make the best possible decision for them, at this point.

Even if – ESPECIALLY IF – that decision is to not buy from you.

Think about it: why would you ever want someone’s purchase, if that purchase isn’t perfectly right for them?

Serve your buyers. It’ll grow your sales and your revenue.



Selling? Try Mindmeld Instead

Got an email this morning, from one of my readers who scheduled an appointment to help me with my research in product market fit, asking how do we connect?

Phone, skype, telepathy, mindmeld?

Made me laugh, but then I thought about it. It’s actually really serious.

(In case you don’t know, mindmeld is an ability that the alien Vulcan race has in the Star Trek franchise, to create telepathic connections with others.)

At first I thought: she’s been reading me for a long time, which means my articles must mean something to her – so in a way, there’s been a kind of mindmeld going on already. A sharing of ideas, which get absorbed and influence the mind.

And then I realised: when you’re in a conversation with a potential buyer, the same thing occurs. Or rather: ought to occur, if a sale is to be the result.

And not in some new-agey telepathy way: I’m talking more about alignment between two minds.

Which is actually a real, physiological and measurable phenomenon:

When two people agree, or share ideas – in other words: are aligned – the patterns in their brain activity increasingly start matching eachother.

So it’s not telepathy or mindmeld, but it’s a super useful notion to work with, when talking to a potential buyer.

If there’s no alignment, there’s a host of other things missing: trust, confidence, belief, desire and so on.

And unless everything lines up for the other person – unless they believe they’ll benefit from their purchase as much as you believe they will, they’re not going to buy.

So if you’d like to improve your results and skills at selling your work, you could do worse than to seek alignment.

In other words: think a bit more like a Vulcan.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to help me with my research as to who would benefit most from learning my LEAP ethical sales system, all it takes is 20 minutes on skype.

Just let me know you’ll help.



Value x Audience Equals…

Could be, you think I’ve gone over to the dark side, what with all this talk about selling stuff.

Is everything about money?

Absolutely not.

There’s only one thing that everything is about, as far as I’m concerned, and that’s Love (capital L intentional)

‘Selling’ – or enrolling – is really about exchanging things of value, and that be anything.

Even something as abstract as an idea can be traded for some attention in listening to the idea.

And as for money, and the conflicted attitudes so many people have:

It’s curious that the people who say that money isn’t important, are usually the ones who think about it most, almost obsessively – exactly because they usually ain’t got any.

Money is just a measure of the value you put into the world, multiplied by the number of people who appreciate, and want to experience, that value.

A perfect example is an author: If his books are good enough, and the audience big enough, he can become very wealthy indeed.

Aside from that, money is agnostic of ethics or personal values, just like a car or a hammer doesn’t know, or care, what your ethics or values may be.

And as tools go, they can all be used for good, or for evil – all depends on who wields the tool.

But isn’t money evil, and the root of it?

Nope, because the quote says that the *love* of money is the root of all evil.

And even that is something I don’t agree with.

Maybe it’s because it was translated incorrectly, I don’t know – but the root of evil is attachment to money, coupled with greed. Hello, politicians (well, a large percentage of them – some are actually good eggs).

Money is an object of trade, and it’s a scorecard.

Either for one’s degree of greed, or – and I guess my readers will resonate with this notion – the amount of value you put out into the world.

Create more change, good stuff, happiness, results, beautiful and truly useful thing – and offer it for sale, and you’ll see your money-score go up.

That is, provided you know how to identify and find the people who want your thing, and you have conversations with them that enable them to buy.

In order to have those conversations in an ethical, meaningful way, that enables people to decide whether or not to give you money for your thing, I’ve soft-launched a new training programme, tentatively title the the L.E.A.P. to Sales.

It’s based on empathy and ethics, and it’s especially for people who truly care about their buyers.

Will you help me with my research, and answer a few questions for me?

We only need 20 minutes, and it would help me a lot.

Let me know if you can spare a moment – thanks!



The Unspoken “What’s In It For Me?”

“Hey Martin, how about you become our product manager?”

I smiled, and said: “Nah, but thanks though”.

The product was good: security software. And he and his wife weren’t offering me a contract job, but something more on an advisory basis. Easy to combine with my coaching practice.

I liked both of them, and since they handle the website for a client of mine, I’d been in touch with both of them before by phone – so I knew them to be professionals, instead of the sadly very common ‘playing at being in business’ type of entrepreneur you get to meet here on the coast.

And I liked them – we’d had lunch at the beach and excellent conversation – and earnings would have been very interesting, had I taken on the gig.

But I didn’t.

In practical terms, it was because I prefer coaching and teaching: running marketing strategies for someone else’s business isn’t my thing.

Much more fun to help clients create their own.

However, if he’d played his cards differently, there might have been a chance.

All he would have had to do, is tell me ‘what’s in it for me’.

Not that I go through life asking myself what I can get out of things, and I suspect neither do you.

Except… we do. We all do.

It’s a biological imperative, it’s survival and evolution.

On the deepest, most primal level of our being, part of our subconscious is always asking the question: ‘Will this cause pain, or wellbeing?’

It’s the only way a species can survive.

Can I eat it, or does it want to eat me?

Friend or foe?

Blessing or risk?

Poisonous berry, or sweet?

The subconscious – or rather, what’s known as the lizard brain – is deeply skeptical, because that’s how it keeps you alive.

This matters because whenever you want to enroll someone – be it for them to buy in to an idea, a collaboration, a sale, or screwing the cap back on the toothpaste, you’ll get far more results if you start out by showing people what’s in it for them.

And especially in the context of a sales conversation, where the other person permanently has a radar going, asking ‘what’s in it for me?’

If my buddy that day had said ‘You know, I have an idea. With the strategies you just recommended, we can sell a lot of this security software. And we’re willing to pay a very interesting commission – and it wouldn’t even take much of your time to help us’.

Had he said that, who knows if he’d have sparked my interest. I probably still would have turned him down, but at least he’d have had a fighting chance.

So whenever you’re in a conversation with a potential buyer, remember that the big question in the other’s mind, is always what’s in it for them.

When you address that question, you remove neediness and threat, and you inspire confidence and trust – which are always required in order to convert a prospect into a buyer.



The Price of Success (Are You Paying Too Much?)

Everybody with ‘more than two fingers of forehead’, as they say in Spain, knows that in order to get something, you’ll need to do something.

Even if you believe the universe owes you success and you just need to ask for it (ludicrous notion), you *still* need to show up.

In other words: there’s a cost to success.

A price to pay.

And smart, feet-on-the-ground entrepreneurs are willing to pay that price.

Long hours, delayed gratification, tough choices, sacrifices, carrying on till results show up: it’s par for the course.

And there’s nothing wrong with patience or hard work.

What’s wrong though, is when one day you find yourself frustrated, annoyed, and suffering from a low-level (or even mid-level) anxiety that says ‘this is probably as good as it gets’.

And then you realise: “I’m paying WAY too high a price.

“I don’t travel as often as I want

“My spouse and kids don’t see me often enough

“I still haven’t found time to learn to play the piano

“I chronically feel depleted, exhausted

“I’ll never get out of hustle&grind mode. I guess that’s reality”

Nobody should have to make sacrifices like that. And you truly don’t need to.

But if that’s where you find yourself, you’re at risk.

Because if that lasts long enough, you might end up with doubts and erroneous questions, like:

“Is it worth it?

“Is this what I signed up for?

“Is this really the price of success?

“Am I in the wrong kind of business?”

Or, the most pernicious one, because it calls you yourself into question, on the level of identity:

“Am I actually supposed to be an entrepreneur – do I have what it takes?”

Once you get there, depression (and possibly: throwing in the towel) looms.

The good news is, I’ve got a solution.

And, for a limited time, it’s yours, for free, no pressure, and no small print.

Last year I created a 9-part training programme (current working title: The Stellar Edge) that helps you ask (and answer!) the right kind of questions.

Basically, it’s a way to sharpen the mind, and train yourself on how to use it the way it’s meant to be used.

Right now, I’m interviewing people with a proven track-record of success, in order to figure out who will most benefit from it (i.e. trying to establish product-market fit).

These interviews normally take 20 minutes: a quick explanation of the method and how to use it, a few questions, and that’s it.

But because you’re on my list, I’m going to block out an hour – for you to get a deeper understanding of the system, and to also ask me some questions on how to put it all to use.

Obviously I can only book a limited number of these calls, so the sooner you schedule one, the bigger the chance you’ll get a slot in my calendar.

Just reply to this email and let me know you’d also like to have a Stellar Edge (in other words, mental high ground) and I’ll send you a schedule link.

Note: this offer is also open if you’re a previous client, or if you’ve already had a complementary coaching session in the past.

If you identify with the markers (the high cost I listed) above, this will help you.

And if you’ll answer a few questions for me, it’ll help me too – which I’d seriously appreciate!

Let me know, talk soon.



The Dangers of Visualisation

Do you use visualisation techniques?

(And I don’t mean the airy-fairy ‘think it and the Universe will throw piles of money, trophy wives and muscle cars at you, without you having to do aaaaanything!’ Creating outcomes and results requires that you take action and implement).

If you do use visualisation: are you doing it right?

It matters, because if you get it wrong you could be generating exactly the kind of results that you don’t want, and there’s a lot of neuroscience to back me up.

Here’s what I mean:

If you visualise an outcome, it’s exciting and it feels good – just look at yourself, winning in business, or marrying that tremendous person, or living in that villa!

But that kind of visualisation works directly against getting those outcomes.


Because your subconscious can’t tell the difference between a real experience, and a visualised experience. And I can prove that to you right now:

Close your eyes, and imagine a lemon.

Imagine you pick it up, see the yellow, you feel the dimpled skin, and the roundness.

Imagine you lift it to your mouth, and you notice the faint citric smell.

Bring it to your mouth and touch it with your lips…

And now: BITE into that thing!

Open your eyes.

Did your mouth water at the thought of biting into a lemon, or did you notice some other physical response?


It’s your brain taking the vision for real, and causing a neurochemical reaction in your body.

When you visualise an outcome, something similar happens.

Your subconscious experiences the outcome, takes it for real, proceeds to spend the afternoon watching Netflix, waiting for the outcome to show up.

But you know full well that without DOING something, outcomes don’t tend to show up. Funny how that works, eh?

Visualising an outcome isn’t wrong or bad, but it’s not enough.

The trick is to visualise behaviour, the kind that gets you the outcome.

If you want it to work, you’ll need to do it in two stages.

First, you visualise the outcome, and then the behaviour.

That still makes your subconscious experience the behaviour as already present and real, but now you have a powerful mental anchor, that you can use to drive yourself into the behaviour.

Without it, the anchor is ‘having a thing’, and where the hell is my thing and when will I get it? Hey universe, are you even listening?


Want to get fit? Imagine going to the gym daily.

Want to clear the decks and get productive? Imagine yourself hard at work.

Want to get more clients? Imagine yourself taking action to get in front of people.

Want to own a muscle car or a fancy house? Imagine yourself saving up money.

That’s how you do visualisation right.

Because of my background in the monastery, I have a lot of experience with this kind of exercise, and sometimes I guide clients through the exercise.

It’s fun, and super effective.

Let me know if you want the experience for yourself…



*What* to the Power of 4: My Ninja Move for Getting Unstuck

I’m sure the mathematicians in my audience will say that mixing maths and linguistics is even worse than mixing metaphors, but bear with me – I’m going to show you a handy psychological method for quickly solving problems or making decisions or getting yourself unstuck and moving forward.

All you need to do is ask yourself ‘what’ four time. Here’s how it works:

Pick a problem, issue, or thing that you want to change.

Got it?

Ok, write it on a piece of paper, and proceed to step one:

Ask yourself ‘what is this?’.

Write that question under the thing you just wrote down.

Don’t overthink, just label it with whatever definition comes up first. Problem, conundrum, opportunity, dilemma – whatever. Write ‘= [label]’ (whatever label you chose) behind the first word.

Step two:

Ask yourself ‘What else?’.

This is where it gets interesting because everything (literally everything) is always several things at the same time.

A problem is also an opportunity, a chance to reframe, a reason to procrastinate, something to delegate, a thing to ask advice on, so on and so forth.

Write all of them down as well, and keep going until you’ve no other answers to ‘what else’. Make an effort, don’t stop too soon. We want to get your brain to exhaust itself looking for different ways to see the thing.

Step 3: ask yourself ‘what if?’

What if this were something easy, or fun, or exciting, or inspiring or… ?

Note that at this stage, you want to start digging around in your mind for positive or potentialising concepts.

And, concepts that challenge, replace, or obviate the label you initially assigned to it.

Again, write them down, and then underline or circle the word that most uplifts or inspires you, or gives you the best headstart or way forward on resolving the issue.

Step 4: Ask yourself ‘what can I DO to make it that way?’

Once more, start jotting down ideas, and don’t hold back on the crazy.

At this stage, you want to let your creative brain go berserk on the issue and pull out all the stops –  so don’t filter, don’t censor, don’t criticise – this is brainstorm time and anything goes (onto the paper, that is).

Do this as fast as you can, to avoid your inner critic from stepping in and slamming on the breaks.

Whatever crazy idea comes up, it’s game. Ask Einstein, build a time machine, become a cyborg, ingest a library… all good.

Obviously, those don’t help very much, but:

There’s a very big chance that inbetween the crazy and unrealistic ideas, you’ll find one or two actions that you can take right now, and that will move you forward.

There you go: my method for quickly getting yourself unstuck.



P.s. Give it a try, and let me know how it went for you. I’m curious.

Symptoms and Causes

An evening stroll through town in the company of a good friend… a warm breeze and excellent conversation, when suddenly from a 1st floor window comes a wrathful voice:

“I’ve had enough! I’ve had too much!!!”

“Well you’d better not have any more then”, quips my friend.

Wiser words were rarely spoken, but little did she know how accurate she was.

I happen to know the owner of that wrathful voice, and it’s a person who frequently has enough, most of the time probably more than enough, or indeed: too much.

Too much drink, is what I mean. More than once, I’ve seen that person needing to steady themselves against wall or table, completely pissed. Knocking things over, nearly falling down the stairs… that kind of drunk. Holding up the lamp post, as it were.

They said ‘I’ve had enough’ and probably meant the constant bickering with their spouse, but that bickering is nothing more than a symptom.

The real ‘enough’ here, in my view on things, is the drink.

Made me think:

How often do we say ‘enough’ to a symptom, instead of a cause?

For example, you might feel you’ve had enough of a feast/famine cycle in your business – but that cycle is nothing but a symptom.

The cause might be ‘not showing up’, or limiting beliefs around money, or procrastination, or being stuck in learn-mode without ever getting to the implementation phase, and so on.

So today, I invite you to contemplate:

Think of something that you’re well and truly done with. Something you have really, really, had enough of.

Got one?


Now write that on the right side of a sheet of paper with the word ‘symptom’ above it, and on the left start brainstorming causes, under the header, of course: Causes.

Take some time for this… try to dig deep, create an exhaustive list of causes, and keep at it until you have no other ideas.

Out of the list, pick the cause that’s either the biggest problem, or the easiest to fix.

And now for the fun part, the sharp and pointy question (I am, after all, a coach):

Ask yourself ‘Have I had enough yet of creating this cause?’

Feel free to drop me a line and tell me your situation… I’m curious what you discovered…



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