My Unexpected Breakthrough: Leave It To The Pros

So a long time ago I realized that, for me, "professional" is a bad word. Someone would say something like, "Oh yeah, that's very professional; great work," and I would get all scrunchy and upset. Or worse, someone would say, "You look nice — very professional." Like nails on a chalkboard!

I know people have the best of intentions, but I also know that I would get triggered by that "bad word" big time. I realized that, for me, somewhere along my journey through corporate suits and nonsense, the word "professional" got linked to things like:

  • People pleaser
  • Positioning
  • Fake or phony
  • Buttoned up and withholding
  • False pretense

Since I am anti all of that garbage, "professional" became a bad word to me. I only value being real, raw and honest. Recently, I had three experiences that have shifted me and my "wiring" around my triggers to the word "professional." The first was a phenomenal life lesson that I got from Carl, a painter I hired. Last week the painters were here to paint our bedroom, but they were not the first ones to paint that bedroom; herein lies the lesson. To explain, I need to take you back to last summer. Yes, I'm going back to July of 2013.

If you can imagine this, Paul and I have lived in the house we are in now for around 11 years. In that time, we have had our entire home painted, some rooms have even been painted twice already — except our master bedroom. Until last summer, our master bedroom had never been painted. In fact, we had one wall that was still the dry wall from the double sliding doors to the master bath that we had installed when we moved into the house. Yes, the love and passion coaches were in an unpainted, unfinished bedroom for the last decade. Until our dear friend and master designer Ana Roberti of Soulscape Interiors approached us about a Love and Passion Coach Master Bedroom Makeover. Oh yeah, we are doing that!

Ana is brilliant. What I love most about Ana is that she is a masterful designer and her unique brilliance is reaching in and really understanding her client's soul so she can create a design that is uniquely you. When Ana designs your home's décor, you get to come home to yourself. It's magical. Of course, painting our bedroom was a priority in Ana's plan. I'm not sure what we were thinking, but in July of 2013 when it was time to paint, Paul and I decided to paint our bedroom ourselves. There are two words for this experience; Oy Vey! What we thought would take us two days ended up eating up 4 days of our time, we didn't finish and it kind of looked terrible. Life got busy and we said, "We will get back to this after XYZ." One XYZ led to the next XYZ and needless to say, the bedroom never got finished. Finally, after hiring fantastic painters to paint our son's bedroom for his 10th birthday makeover, we asked them if they could come in and fix/finish what we did to our bedroom! So when I say, "The painters came last week to paint our room," now you see why there is more to the story.

Back to Carl, the painter. Last week, as the guys were setting up in our room, I was packing up to go work at Starbucks for the morning and get out of their way. I said to them, "Thank you so much for coming in and fixing what we screwed up. I don't know what we were thinking, but I promise you we will never paint anything again!" And that's when Carl said to me, "That's why you should always work with a pro! I would totally stink on video and radio. That's why I don't try to do your job!" 

Holy cow, Carl the painter! Did you just lay down an awesome life lesson about being a pro? There it is. That moment started unraveling the wiring I had previously created around being "professional." Being a pro, working with a pro — that was absolutely spot on. I teach that. I live that. And somehow, changing professional to pro totally worked for me. Thank you, Carl the painter, for that breaktrhough. Carl and Bob (the painters) are total pros and kicked butt on our bedroom by repainting the whole thing perfectly, without a stitch of painter's tape in 4 hours flat. That's pro. You rock, Carl and Bob!

Lesson number two came in a hysterical moment from Kevin James when we went to see him at the Borgata in Atlantic City last weekend. I have to admit, this lesson hit me later on the ride home. In the moment, I was just laughing so hard I don't know if I learned a thing. But later, I got the Ah-ha. I'm totally going to butcher this one, but I'll give it my best shot. Be gentle with me; being a stand-up comic is not in my wheel-house. So Kevin starts by saying that he just wants to tell us straight out that he's not coming out for an encore at the end of the show. When the show is over, it's over. "I'm not coming back out, and I'll tell you why," he says. Then he tells this story. (I'll paraphrase what Kevin said.)

"I went to see the Eagles in concert, and I got so freakin' mad. They end the show, and no Hotel California! I'm like 'what the heck?' Then after 3 freakin' encores of people clapping and screaming they finally play Hotel California. What the heck is that? You want me to cheer you into doing your job? You're the Eagles. I pay for the ticket, you play Hotel California. I'm not going to jump up and down and scream and clap so you'll finish your job. Freakin' do your job. You don't see me go to my tax accountant and he slips me my paperwork and says. 'here's most of your taxes. I'm gonna go in the back office and if you yell loud enough, maybe I'll come back out' So what am I gonna do? Start yelling, 'Come on Irv, bring home the refund buddy. Come on Irv, you got this, yeah!' What the heck! Someone pays you to do your job, freakin' do your job, be a pro and deliver! So I'm not coming back out for an encore. You paid for your ticket and I'm gonna deliver. I'm not holding my best freakin' joke to see how loud you can get. I'm gonna do the job you paid me to do."

Okay, that was probably paraphrased poorly by me, but it was delivered hysterically by Kevin James. When he started cheering on Irv, his tax accountant, I thought I was going to pee my pants. You can hear it, right? Kevin in the way that he screams stuff — oh my gosh, it was hysterical. Later on the drive home as Paul and I were re-laughing over our favorite moments, it hit me — the second lesson. Just like the Eagles, Irv and Kevin James, be a pro. There it is again! And I felt the shift of re-wiring my former trigger. Thank you Kevin James for that breakthrough. (And really Kevin, thank you from the bottom of my heart for one of the funniest nights we've ever had. You were brilliant and hilarious!)

Then Paul took it home for me with the third lesson (no surprise there). As I said, we were re-laughing over our favorite moments on the ride home when Paul made a brilliant observation. Most of our absolute favorite moments, the ones that had us laughing so hard we could barely stay in our chairs and the tears were rolling so much so that we needed a tissue, happened when Kevin was improving off of something that happened in the audience! (thank you, Casey, the drunk guy in the 3rd row). Some of the most hysterical riffs happened when Kevin was delivering content that was unscripted, unplanned and happening in the moment. Kevin was creating loads of content on the fly, and it was the best stuff of the night. That, my friends, is a pro. It's a man, standing up to serve and using his unique brilliance and gift to bring roaring laughter to 2,500 people. Total pro.

Like Carl said, "That's why you only work with a pro!" Because someone else may have never asked Casey where he got his "quarter keg" tattoo, but when Kevin James asks a drunk man that question, that's when the magic comes in. You can’t write that stuff! For a pro comic, when a drunk man in the third row tells you that he got his "quarter keg" tattoo done at his "neighbor's house," the funny flood gates just opened! I'm sure Kevin was in total bliss because he ran with that for like 20 minutes, and Paul and I were practically rolling on the floor.

So, through a combination of Carl the painter, Kevin James, and my brilliant hubby, Paul, I have a completely new vocabulary word and have released a great deal of my old trigger! That is the long version of me offering you the wisdom; Be a pro and only work with pros.

Thank you and goodnight! (No encore, I'm totally done.)

Sending love,


P.S. Our Love and Passion Coach Master Bedroom Makeover is still going on! Ana Roberti (Soulscape Interiors) is doing phenomenal work, and Paul and I can't believe the transformation. Maybe we should share the before and after photo with you when it's done. What do you think?

Stacey Martino helps people who feel stuck, frustrated and helpless with the challenges that intimate relationship brings. Through targeted, strategic private coaching, programs and events for her Relationship Transformation™, Relationship Rescue™ and Relationship Transition™ programs, individuals learn to use her proven strategies and tools to create an unshakable love and unleashed passion that lasts a lifetime.

Stacey firmly believes that it absolutely does not take two to tango, and that one person can significantly shift the dynamics of the relationship. Clients have praised Stacey for helping them to see massive results in record time. Formerly known as "The Ice Princess," Stacey is intimately aware of what it takes to transform oneself to be ready to both give and receive love and passion like you have never experienced before.

Download Stacey's free audio program, "How To Transform Your Relationship In Eight Steps" at