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

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

Fix, Prevent, or Improve?

There’s three kinds of value a business can deliver:

You can Fix, Prevent, or Improve.

When something in the world or business of our client is failing, we can offer to fix it.

If there’s an immediate, painful problem, you need to offer your buyer a fast, practical solution.

Then there’s Prevention, where there’s fear or a threat, because of a current or future risk.

Disruption in the marketplace, changing laws or treaties or algorithms…

For that kind of client, you use trusted, reliable, proven solutions. You solidify what’s going well, and remove bottlenecks and obstacles.

And then there’s Improvement, where you help your client go from good to great – you upgrade things.

Here, you bring knowledge, skills and creative thinking, in order to identify assets to be leveraged, and you bring them together to take a client to a level they couldn’t have reached on their own.

The reason I’m sharing this, is because it’s a handy model for choosing what to work on in your own business as well.

Often, we double down on trying to fix something that’s failing, hoping that once we’re done, life will be good.

Which may be the right choice, but what if you’d ignore the failing part for the moment, and instead we first improve something that’s already working?

There’s things in your business that are working well, that if you were to push forward on them, might end up working awesomely terrifically well.

And sometimes, it just make more sense to let something that’s broken be broken, and maximise on something that’s already pretty good.

(Especially if you know, in your heart of hearts, that you’re going to procrastinate the hell out of the fixing you say you need to do anyway.)

Sometimes, it’s better to do what will work, rather than do what you tell yourself would be right.

And if the thing you want to improve, is the number of qualified prospects who say yes to your offer, then I made this for you. 



“Is It Still Ethical to Sell at a Time Like This?”

Saw that question on Twitter the other day.

And I get it. We’re all reeling to some degree or other, and don’t we have better things on our minds, besides business?

Well yes, we do: Smile. Or do you have anything better to do?

(Ok, that’s a bit snide, but I really really mean it: smile. It’s better).

But that business and selling thing…

Should we? Is it right? Does it matter? Is it ethical?

Well, think of it this way:

You’d better hope your baker keeps selling bread.

It would be nice if you supermarket keeps selling and serving your needs.

If your phone breaks, hopefully someone is selling new or second hand ones, or selling repair services.

Petrol, for those who need to get to work, such as medical, transport, foodstuffs professionals…

The online platforms you use for your business, they’d better keep operating and taking your monthly payments.

Now these are obvious… of course they should stay in business and keep selling. They’re important, for all kinds of reasons.

But if you think that because you’re a solopreneur, or a coach, or an author, or literally whatever it is you do or whatever reason you’re telling yourself why you should take your foot of the gas, that you’re not supposed to be selling your work, you’d be making a mistake.

And another thing: it’s not that you have to keep operating and selling if you don’t want to, but there’s nobody ‘exempt’ from operating their business.

Because whatever the world is going through, it will always have an economy, and you’d better hope that it keeps working, in whatever way.

Without an economy there’s little left except barter, and humanity is no longer organised in a way that makes barter easy on a wide scale. Besides, barter is just another form of economy, so my point stands.

‘The economy’ is a big, big thing, spanning continents and industries and demographics and crossing all kinds of societal and cultural divides… a huge, complex, web. And while I don’t know a whole lot about ‘the economy’, I do know this:

An economy exists, and functions, by virtue of people trading things of value against each other: buying and selling things. And the more that happens, the more things can happen. Hopefully, good and ethical things.

But without an economy, things suck a lot more for people. (Kind of like smiling, in fact: if there’s less of it, life is less fun).

So the question ‘is it still ethical to sell’, can be replaced with a more important question:

Do people still need what you do?

If the answer is yes, and people also want it, but you’re struggling to enroll people under current circumstances, you might want to check this out.

It’s a complete system that helps you identify exactly what your past buyers need from you, right now, and how to present in such a way that they’ll buy it.

Only two more days to get the 1,5 hour training a pay-what-you-want.

Your baker is selling bread. Go and keep selling your stuff. And then go give your baker some money.

Smile as you do so.



Stacking Your Assets for Fun & Profit

Far too little attention gets given to the assets a business has, and the way they can be made to leverage each other.

And we all have assets, but most of the time we don’t make them work for us, and then we end up spending more time and money on driving new sales, when we can easily get sales from our customer list.

Because yes, a list of past and current customers is a terrific asset to leverage.

If people have paid you before, there’s a good chance they’ll do so again – provided you show up and talk to them.

Or consider your specific, individual talent or ability: whether you call it Intellectual Property, or intellectual capital, or your ‘Zone of Genius’ work: it’s a super valuable asset.

If you package it into a programme or system, meaning you can & clone yourself, you can get your work into the hands of more people.

(Incidentally, to help you do that is exactly why I built the IP to Profit System)

Then there’s your values – the things you’d stand on a barricade for – that too is an asset, because when you identify and connect with people who have similar values, you instantly have rapport with them.

And there’s more: your team, your intelligent ability to think up solutions or systems, your likeability, your network… lots of assets, and each can be put to use for greater results.

So many assets to leverage!

So then, how do you make most use of your assets, and get all you can out of everything you’ve got – how do you ‘stack your assets’ in the simplest, fastest way?

Simple: you take your customer list, you analyse and segment it for needs and urgencies, and you create an offer based on your intellectual property, and you ask your past buyers if they want it.


That’s precisely what you’ll learn in the IP to Profit system. Until this Friday it’s pay-what-you-want, and you can get it here.






When a Buyer Says “I Don’t Have the Money”

Really annoying when that happens, isn’t it?

You’ve spoken with the person, they love what you do, they have a clear and present need and want, you’ve made your offer…

And then they say “I just don’t have that kind of money”.

In some cases, they’re stating a fact. Sometimes, people just don’t have the funds to pay for your offer.

In many cases though – if not most of the cases – what they’re really saying is “I don’t have the money for that”.

Where ‘that’ means: the value that could bring the, but that you didn’t manage to adequately show.

More often than not, people hem and haw about buying your work and the cost of it, but then they’ll turn around and buy a TV or phone or an extension to their home.

Because that, to them, is value they want, and so that’s where they allocate their money. They have the money for that.

So if they clearly need and want your help, but they tell you they don’t have the money or it’s too expensive, remember this:

It’s your job to have a buyer see the value of what you’re offering.

And if they don’t, it means you didn’t get that value expressed and perceived.

And, it’s not necessarily game over at that point.

You can still continue the conversation, and still get the deal – but only if you ask questions that have the buyer see for themselves what the value is.

And one very powerful question to ask is:

“If money weren’t an issue, would it be a yes?”

You’ll be amazed at where a sales conversation can go if that’s your reply to “ain’t got the money” or “it’s too much”.

Do you ever get into situations like these, where people want your thing but they didn’t see the value?

Then check out the IP to Profit system… it’ll show you how to create an offer that’s so aligned with their needs and wants, they’ll easily see the value – and buy into your offer.

For the time being, you can have the entire training system + slides, at any price you like, even for free. (normally: $49, but right now it’s pay-what-you-want)

Check it out here. 







It’s the Singer, Not the Song: Your Revenue Needs More Than Just a System

When I launched the IP to Profit system back in spring, for developing a new revenue centre out of your customer list, my coach said:

“In such uncertain times, how do you know that a system will work?”

Brought back memories of that Stones song: It’s the singer, not the song.

Because he’s right.

Not just in uncertain times, but always:

We can’t ever know if a system will work, because any system depends on how you use it, how well it’s executed.

Everything hinges on how we show up to a task or a project.

How we operate, implement, execute.

The song (i.e. the system) might be good, but if it also ‘sounds’ good (gets you sales) that’s because of the ‘singer’ (you, the one operating the system).

And the IP to Profit system is no exception.

Sure it’s really well-built even if I say so myself, and yes it’s got all the steps to go from market research, through the copy you need to write, through selling and optimising your campaign.

And yes, you can make a revenue centre around your Intellectual Property, even at times like these…

…but it’ll require the best of you.

Meaning: By itself, the IP to Profit system itself isn’t enough – it’s down to you, and your dedication and attitude and execution.

If you’ve got those in place, then you *might* be able to make your IP earn you money, even if the business world right now is in full VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).

Point is, if you don’t use some sort of structure or framework or system, it’s hard to know what to do, and in which order.

And from the actions you take, it’ll be hard to measure what worked best so that you can iterate and optimise, if you’re not using a testable system.

And that’s why the IP to Profit system is so useful:

Not because it promises the end-all solution, but because it gives you a framework in which to operate, enabling you to indeed show up as your best self, and get the most out of it.

And, it enables you to get the most out of your single most valuable asset:

Your list, your database, all the people in your world you can talk to and help.

And to leverage that asset in a systematic way and keep your serving and selling going, consider getting the system: a 1-hour training, yours to have and own, slides included.

It’s pay-what-you-want (including free, if you want) until next Friday. Don’t miss it…



Your Way, or No Way?

In your business, how do you handle the sales and price and T&C parts of being a freelancer or solo owner?

Specifically, when clients try to haggle, or try to make you play by their rules – what do you do?

It’s very common for us to then start to appease the buyer.

But when you start to reduce your price, or you agree tot terms you’re not happy with, you’re setting up for an experience that will disappoint your buyer and you as well.

In fact, the more you let go of your own rules, the lower level of customer satisfaction, no matter how good of a job you do.

Saw this tweet the other day:

“Just said goodbye to a potential client because they wanted me to go against everything I’ve learned and start work without a deposit payment.

“But we’re BIG and you’re small. You can be flexible.”

They replied: “No. It’s because I’m small that I can’t be”.

Now this is a correct and true response – but it’s also the wrong one.

Because how big a client is doesn’t have to affect your terms and conditions, and shouldn’t.

Because with that reply, the client heard ‘you’re right, you’re bigger and therefore you’re dominant’.

In other words, the client shows up with a big social ‘frame’, and says ‘And you are small, so you do what we say’.

If you then agree with the first part of the statement, nothing you’ll say afterwards will change things for the better.

It’s a lost case.

But if you’d ‘break their frame’, and show your own, bigger, authority frame (which is rightfully yours, as the business owner), you might have a chance.

So a good and useful reply would be:

“Size doesn’t matter.

“You are asking me to sell you this work, which means I also need to tell you my terms and conditions, which I’ve just done”.

With two sentences, you can turn the tables, and position yourself back where you belong:

As the business owner, where you state your terms and conditions, that a client may refuse or reject – and which they certainly may complain about if they want, but which is your prerogative and duty to protect.

I know it’s cool and scary and exciting when a big company wants to buy your work.

But don’t be intimidated, and never let them bully you just because they’re bigger.

You run the business, you get to define your terms and conditions. You get to decide whether or not business is ‘your way, or no way’.

This element of ‘social frames’ is a big part of the ethical selling framework I’m teaching this Friday.

Don’t miss it – still time to sign up:



P.s. If you can’t make it or you’ve already got the selling process nailed… would you help out and share this invitation with your people? Thanks much!


Making People Happy

Sane and ethical business owners don’t just want the money:

They also want their buyers to be happy for having purchased.

But wanting happy buyers isn’t enough.

You also have to want the money – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you don’t have financial goals for your business, and you only measure how happy people are, or how many of them you have, you’re working to reach a moving target.

How much happy? How many people happy? How scalable is their happy, if you’re not looking at the financial goals that enable you to re-invest, scale up, reach more people, make more people happy?

I meet a lot of wonderful people, committed to doing stellar work and serving clients.

But everyone I meet who only wants happy customers, and does not also want to reach specific money goals, struggles.

And you don’t have to struggle.

All you have to do is want the best of both worlds:

Want happy buyers.

Want the money.



P.s. Oh hey, and the best way to get happy buyers? Use a sales process that makes people want to enroll in your work, eagerly and voluntarily. You can learn that sales process with my 1 on 1 training on ethical selling.


Building or running a business can be hard, but it should never be complex, because that’s just no good for the mind.

Simple is good.

The fewer moving parts in anything, the easier it is to run the thing, test it, find flaws or bottlenecks, and fix & optimise.

Same thing goes for business. You can make your business as complicated as you like, with teams, advertisements, funnels, infrastructure, franchise – you name it. A world of options.

But the more you add in, the more complex it gets and the harder it gets to figure out what’s broken and needs fixing, or what works and merits more resources.

So here’s a model I came up with, which you can use to analyse your own business, and keep it as simple as possible:

Step 1: Values.

These inform your purpose and your mission. And, they enable you to identify and find people who share your values, so that you’ll have rapport with them right off the bat.

Step 2: Assets

These can be tangible, like a list of names, hardware, office space – or intangible, such as your network, your skillset, your footprint and visibility, or the amount of goodwill and buy-in your audience has for you.

And of course, the single most valuable asset in any business: your list of past buyers. The people who trusted you so much that they gave you money, meaning they’re the most likely money to buy something from you again.

Step 3: Systems

This is where you tie the first two steps together, and build structures, frameworks, standard operating procedures – and points of measurement, so that you’ll know what works and what doesn’t.

Now as a framework this is useful, but how do you make it work?

Simple: ask yourself these questions (longhand brainstorming is best, for this kind of Q&A).

1: What are my values? What would I stand on a barricade for? What do I not accept, what change am I willing to fight for, or stake things for?

2: What assets do I have in place? What tangible value does each have in my business, what economic value if applicable, and what potential does each asset have, provided I leverage it in a smart and strategic way?

3: What systems are in place, and in what way can they be simplified or improved so that they work better, or become easier to measure for output and results?

4: What outcomes are my systems producing?

Because everything is a either a system or part of one, and every system is perfect for the outcome it produces. So if you see outcomes you’d like to change, you now know which system to improve.

How to improve it? By looking at how your values and assets can be combined and leveraged so that the system, again, becomes simpler and more measurable.

Yes, this is an exercise that can take a few hours, but it’s super useful, because it gives you clarity, direction, and purpose.

And if you want to cut all that short, and generate sales by leveraging your customer list?

Then the Hidden Revenue Opportunity service I launched with my friend Antonio will reveal the sales potential you have in just a few hours, enabling you to go out and make relevant, attractive offers to your past buyers.

This PDF explains how it works – and makes a very good case for why you should leverage your customer list, with or without our help.

Have a look…





Let’s Break Things

Gutenberg said: ‘Copying texts by hand? How tedious, how inefficient. That ain’t right’.

And he went on to invent a printing press, and he broke how things were done.

Steve Jobs said: ‘Computers big and bulky, and only for corporations? That ain’t right’.

He went on to put a personal computer in every household.

Abraham Lincoln saw slavery, and said: ‘No you don’t’ – and became one of the people most associated with abolishing it.

Just a few random, yet impactful, instances of people saying ‘that ain’t right. I’m going to break that’.

History is full of examples like these.

And if you look at the world we live in, I’ll bet there are quite a few things you consider wrong.

Things that should change, be disrupted, be righted, be broken and replaced by something better.

At what point does it become right for a politician to lie?

What makes it right for a corporation to please its shareholders, whilst treating its customers like cash-cattle, and damage the land in the process?

How is it right for a (social) media corporation to foster hatred and divisiveness, with its clever algorithms designed to hook people and keep them addicted to fear and panic?

There are many things in the world that just ain’t right, and as a business owner, you get to choose whether or not you help break them, and build something better instead.

And it’s wonderful to see all the driven and passionate founders and coaches and activists and authors and researchers taking a stand, and saying ‘this ain’t right. I’m going to change this’.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is in business to break thins so that something better can be built, you’re my kinda hero. Keep going.

And if you also want to move faster, break things faster, and build a better new faster, then maybe I can help.

Hit reply and let me know what wrong you’re righting, and let’s have a chat.




Or, You Could Stop Blaming Money

Money can bring out the best in people, and it can bring out the worst.

For example: When centuries ago Lisbon was hit by an earthquake, then a tsunami, and then a fire all in one day, the place was in ruins – and it was a very wealthy citizen who donated fortunes in order to rebuild.

As for examples where money brings out the worst… well, examples aplenty. Like the dude who bought a patent to an Aids medicine and raised its market price by – what was it? 3000%? Something crazy.

Where’s the difference?

In the person. Not in the money, because money is agnostic of right and wrong. It’s just a placeholder for value.

But, the more of a good guy or good gall someone is, the easier it is for that person to blame money, and call it – or subconsciously consider it – something inherently bad.

This is a problem, because if you Do Good Work, eventually money will start coming your way, especially if you think big and work long & hard on doing that good thing you do.

But, if you have a secret or not-so-secret hangup about money being bad, you’re going to constantly find ways to keep it out of your life, sabotaging whatever development is bringing the money closer.

That’s silly, and it’s a disservice to the people you want to serve, because the more you make, the more you can scale and reach more people.

So, stop blaming the money, and instead: want the money.

If you’re generous and your needs are covered, you can always donate, or support social good companies, and make money work for good.

But never, ever, blame the money – because it has never done anything wrong. People may have done things wrong with it, but as a tool, money itself deserves no blame.

And if you agree, and you want the money, and you can’t wait to get more of it so that you can use it to increase your impact, then let’s talk.

Because helping people make more is something I’m pretty damn good at.

Want that help, from me?

Then let me know…



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