Marten Niner – Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Marten is an accomplished executive, serial entrepreneur, and ICF certified professional coach with extensive sales, marketing, operations, and leadership development expertise in a broad range of Fortune 100 to start-up businesses including aerospace, military, manufacturing, construction, IT, and environmental chemicals.

In our conversation today, Marten shares a bit about how his experience with two excellent coaches at the perfect moment led him on his own journey to becoming a coach. We also discuss a lot of high-level coaching concepts, explore the nature of paradox in gaining a greater understanding of life, and celebrate the joys of the coach/coachee relationship.

It’s a rather eventful 15+ minutes! Marten is a delight to speak with and has a fantastic “podcast voice”…as you’ll hear.

To learn more about Marten:

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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcasts, already having a good time being silly and looking for Rogue record buttons and whatnot. I have already had the pleasure and you’re about to have the pleasure of speaking with Martin Niner. Martin is an accomplished executive serial entrepreneur, an ICF, certified professional coach with extensive sales, marketing operations and leadership development expertise in a truly broad range of fortune 100, to startup businesses, including and let me list the industries he’s involved in. Aerospace, military, manufacturing, construction, it environmental chemicals, I’m sure that list can go on. Martin, thank you for being on the podcast, you are a man of many, many experiences, both with breadth and depth. So I’m really excited to have you here for far too short of time today.

Marten Niner 0:51
Thank you, I appreciate you having me.

Kevin Stafford 0:53
Let’s begin at the beginning. Let’s talk about your superhero origin story. As a coach, how did you get your start? And not just like as a coach with your own business? But how did you first discover or realize or become a coach? And then how did that turn into the business you have today?

Marten Niner 1:09
Well, probably eight years ago, 2014, I was struggling, I was struggling with businesses. You know, I’ve always had multiple businesses going on at one time, very robust family life. And that was all falling apart. I was in the middle of a divorce, one of the larger companies was really struggling. And I was just working and working, working and really not getting any traction. Even though you know, 6070 hours a week, it was very type A personality. And through divine intervention, I was smart enough to hire two coaches. And that story is for another time. But it was just an amazing set of coincidences that got me to these two amazing ladies, Dr. Maria Marie Liskov, yo, and her business partner, Laura Hahn. And they changed my world. In six months, I was still I still had all the same problems. But I was approaching them in such a different mindset. So much more positive, to the point where I was really able to ignite a new relationship with my now ex wife, and become friends and, and start on down a new path. Now. Fast forward four years later, these coaches said, You know what, your, you’d be really good at this, you should try it. And I’m like, Oh, I don’t know, getting a getting a coaching certification sounds like I don’t know if I have that kind of time. And long story short, I think goodness, I did it. And then once I did that kind of the universe parted. And I’ve had some amazing opportunities to be a coach with them and do a consulting and coaching on on my own as well. And it’s just been a joy compared to the rest of my business experience.

Kevin Stafford 3:07
It’s fantastic. I love in my head, I have this this analogy that formed that because you were talking and I feel like I know I resonate with this a lot where you’re really you are grinding you are doing, you’re good at what you do. And you’re doing it to the best of your ability, as much as possible. And your wheels are spinning and you are getting nowhere I can always in my head, I can hear the revving of like a big like V eight engine, running in the mud or grinding in the snow and just not getting anywhere, maybe sliding dangerously the wrong direction, as a matter of fact, but then sometimes all you have to do, maybe you get a hand, maybe you get somebody who has a two by four. And you stick at the right place, you get just a little bit of traction, just a little bit of traction. And all of a sudden, much less four starts to get you up out of that hole. Before you know it you’re on the road again, and maybe going somewhere you didn’t see it’s like, obviously that’s a little I’m getting a little bit poetical about it. That’s how I heard the reading of the engineers, you were talking to describing your situation. And like that’s a

Marten Niner 4:00
great way to describe it, because that’s what it felt like it was just a buzzing. And then like one of your previous coaches said I got hit by a velvet two by four, I think is one of their favorite phrases. Is great board. Board. Yes. And you know, and they changed my life in such a positive way. And then now I’m doing that for other people. And there’s just no, I’ve nothing I’ve sold nothing I’ve done and none of the vast experience that I have can compare to sharing this knowledge and this way of life that I have learned from my coaches and seeing it have a huge impact on their lives very quickly. And then I get to develop these long term relationships with these people and as coach and CO G are What did you just people. We discussed so many things that these people that they don’t even really discuss with spouses. I do but they don’t really And so, I become and we become deeper, deep relationship because of knowing each other and, and in our coaching, we go very deep, it’s really all about how to find true awareness, how to get through the, the, what we call it, ego defenses, you know that arguing voice in the head that keeps us going and going and going. And to, we go very deep into why that is, how it came about, and how to unpack it. And it’s, it’s just, it’s a fantastic journey. It really

Kevin Stafford 5:35
is. And it is, it’s exceedingly rare. And as I go through life, I find it to be even more so exceedingly rare when you can have an experience in life that is both immensely and immediately gratifying in a profound way. And also continues to deliver Weeks, months years down the road, and not just like delivering the same way it deepens, grows. And it’s it seems like it seems so rare to find an experience or kind of relationship with someone that works that way. And it’s just, it’s so lovely. And it’s so enriching and rewarding, and I love and this, you know, you have this in common with pretty much every coach I’ve talked to, is that feeling of finally being able to give something back to really be like, you know, what, this changed my life. And I get to do the same for someone else, and I get to be there when it happens. And I get to check in with them and see them years down the road and see the effect that I had. It’s just it’s so it’s both grounding and uplifting. At the same time. Again, I’m speaking speaking in paradoxes, there’s just something that I find so consistently lovely, about coaching.

Marten Niner 6:38
Well, and we live in paradox, you know, that’s, I think, a foundation of coaching is, is that, you know, these ego defenses that we have these voices live in paradox. And it’s very difficult sometimes, or at least I it was my experience to know what was true and what wasn’t. And so to be able to quiet those and make friends with those ego defenses, and really be able to sit in true awareness, it opens up a whole new world of information that I personally just didn’t have access to before. And then to be able to share that, and then see that those people are sharing it with their kids, and those people and with the in their own leaders. So they’re they’re sharing it with with the people that are around them, both their leaders, and you know, the people that follow them. And so this is, my coaches, the reason that they do it is because they believe that this was the most profound way to change the world. And you do it through business, and you do it through leaders in the business. And so that’s what we think that’s what we focus on. And it just, it’s so gratifying to see it,

Kevin Stafford 7:42
you find you find a gap, you find where something’s missing, and you move into it with service, I just, you know, it’s it’s a pretty simple formula, but I find that it, it changes the world, it’s you know, that Archimedes lever, it’s the lever that can truly change the world. And it’s one of the things I get so passionate about, I’ll start gushing on the podcast offline about how much I love the coaching business. I’ve been just an ancillary like, contributor part of it with this podcast and some other stuff for just a few years now. And I I’m on a daily basis, not exaggerating, amazed and delighted by the contribution that coaching is bringing to society. And it’s because it’s so it touches everybody. That’s one thing that I’ve seen change even over the past couple of years, but certainly over the last 510 20 is how much how many people and how much more people recognize not just the existence of coaching for particular areas of life, like career or executive or relationship or really any kind, but also, quite frankly, the necessity of it. I’ve been kind of starting to think of it as almost like a new definition of continuing education. You know, we spend all this early lives and formal education, then we’re just gonna we’re like, okay,

Marten Niner 8:48
here you go.

Kevin Stafford 8:51
I could use some help learning some things still.

Marten Niner 8:55
Absolutely. And I’m with you, I love to see other coaches, I’m with a several groups that I’m with that basically our coaches coaching coaches, so if there’s coaches out there who run into something that they’ve never run into before, they’re having difficulty, we have a network of very experienced and seasoned not only coaches but doctors, psychiatrists, that kind of thing to help them not just the people but the people who are helping the people because we all we can’t do it by ourselves there’s no coach out there that has the as the magic bullet it’s a it’s a it’s a team effort to help everybody that we can that we can

Kevin Stafford 9:35
Yeah, every good coach I know has a coach or at the at the very least there may be in between coaches or our you know, another coaches like they may be maybe maybe their coaches like moved on moved to another country or something like that or retired. They’re looking for Coach every coach I know as a coach, every single one. It’s, yeah, I quite frankly, I think it’s a good it’s a good mark of someone who is practicing what they preach.

Marten Niner 9:58
I would agree and I would agree And, you know, we I think we all teach what we need to learn and learn what we need to teach and coaching. And so as we’re learning, or teaching, and we get just as much benefit from the person that’s across from us, whether it’s individual, whether it’s groups, as they do from us. And so that’s, that’s, it’s just a compounding synergistic effect that I, I’ve never seen or never experienced anywhere else.

Kevin Stafford 10:25
Yeah, man, I can, I could talk this high level stuff with you all day. I know me too. But I want to make sure we spend at least a little while talking about the like the nuts and bolts of your coaching practice. And the way I’ve kind of stumbled into asking this question that kind of captures everything I think, is who do you coach? And how do you coach them? So you know, like one to one group coaching courses, etc? Do you specialize in certain industries? Or levels in a career or what? So yeah, who do you coach? How do you coach them these days.

Marten Niner 10:52
So I coaching is very, I have people that are, you know, one or two people in a company that are trying to grow. I also coach leaders that are in large corporations, whether they’re operations manager, or general manager of a plant, a lot of it has is in manufacturing. But I’ve got clients in education, I’ve got clients and you know, accounting and bookkeeping. And I think because my work and you know, entrepreneurship was so broad, and I worked everything from janitor to bookkeeper to CEO, I did it all, and then train the people to come in and replace me. So I could go into something new. I have a lot of experience, and mostly of what not to do, but some experience of what to do. But I get to share that knowledge, both you know what to do. And you know, this has been my experience, you maybe you shouldn’t do this, because this is what happened to me kind of kind of thing. So it’s, that’s really, like I said, it’s so varied, but all of them are leaders. And that’s really who I’m looking to is, is an even people who maybe only have one or two people in their company are still leaders and children, they have people around them. And so it’s teaching and learning with them to become the type of people that they’re looking to become.

Kevin Stafford 12:14
It really is that I was gonna say, amazing, but I Oh, it’s amazing how often I use the word amazing. I actually, you know, what it actually is legitimately interesting how little is required from a coach to have that profound impact, it really is a matter of guidance, you know, it’s just like, you know, you might want to watch out for that, or this is something that most people don’t see for themselves, and have to make this mistake before they learn from it. I’m gonna give you a heads up. And this is one thing that almost everybody, everybody does that they shouldn’t. And here’s why. And so they could see it, and they can avoid it and it saves them. heartache, it saves them hours, maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe years of stumbling down the wrong path. And it’s amazing how just like it’s, it’s almost like the perfect space, just a little bit of guidance from the right person in the right way at the right time. And it just makes a truly, truly profound difference. You almost shake your head, it’s like, it’s, I think I’ve called it uncommon. I’ve called it common sense with uncommon results.

Marten Niner 13:09
Yes, and you can, and you can see, a lot of most of the clients that come to me, are in some type of misery, they’re really struggling about something, having trouble sleeping, they’re having relationship issues, whether it’s, you know, personal or or within work, and to be able to see someone go from that pain and struggle to success and understanding. And knowing that they won’t ever have to experience that struggle again. Or if they do it’s going to be a much more much smaller effect. And you’re exactly right. There’s there’s very few things I found more satisfying and more enriching than then being able to pass that information on whether it’s large or small, and seeing the results. I mean, that’s that’s really where it’s at.

Kevin Stafford 14:02
Let’s I’m looking at the clock is my number one job as a podcast host for this podcast in particular, because I’m talking to keep the keep within time I get you to keep it keeping the time and let me just I’ll compliment you. But I’m also complimenting everyone I’ve talked to, if I were to go into a lab, and invent the ideal podcast guest, I call it a coach, it’d be a coach, strong sense of their own personal journey, able to articulate it not only in their own words, but in way some ways other people can understand and do something with good emotional intelligence systems thinker, but also very adept, and adept and agile. I mean, come on. All I have to do is just throw a question out there. I get to sit back.

Marten Niner 14:42
I think you’re right. I think all the coaches that I’ve met and interacted with, you know, they’ve all they’re all doing the work on themselves. And that’s what makes them good coaches. You know, the few folks that I’ve heard on this podcast, they all put in the work. They’ve all had tough times they’ve all had things that have happened to them that got them into this business. And you know, that’s it’s, I don’t know. So it’s, it’s pretty cool.

Kevin Stafford 15:07
It’s pretty, it is that simple. It’s pretty cool. Everybody’s glad to be here. Everybody’s committed, everybody’s doing the hard work and having a good time. It’s, you know, we’re making it sound like a paradise. And you know, of course, there’s bumps along the way on every road. But, of course, I’ll even a little secret it is it is pretty great. It’s pretty great. I gotta tell you, before I let you go, because I know I have to. But I want to where, if people want to find out more about you, where can they do that? And if people want to get to know you and maybe connect with you, where can they best do that?

Marten Niner 15:37
So my website is yes is more it’s a dual website of a band, and that’s one of our songs is just as more fun. But it’s also where folks can get a hold of me and it’s easy to remember. And also on LinkedIn, you know, my profile Martin Niner Mar te N nine or like a 40 Niner look me up, I’m the only one in there with an EN and and I offer my first hours free so love to just talk to people get to know people and like I said, I have a network of coaches. So if I’m not the right coach, and sometimes I’m not. I know somebody who is and that’s a it’s a pretty played pretty cool place to be.

Kevin Stafford 16:20
That’s another thing that I love about the coaching industry in the coaching business is it’s very collegial is a it’s maybe a 25 cent word where it’s just everybody’s looking out for everybody else. Everybody understands like, there’s a good there’s a good there’s a right fit for you. It might not be me, but I guarantee I’m gonna know someone who might be and it’s just it’s so everyone it’s I often find myself returning to the analogy of a rising tide raises all boats. And that’s really what it feels like in the coaching industry. I love being a part of it. I already love that you’re a part of it. It has been great to get to talk with you. I am almost certain that I’m going to start knocking on your inbox at some point in the future to come back for part two so we can do some more fun high level stuff maybe was specific topic love

Marten Niner 17:02
doing doing a talk on Friday about power versus force and it’s based on the works of Dr. David Hawkins Fun Fun Stuff you would love it.

Kevin Stafford 17:13
Do you post about that kind of stuff on LinkedIn? Yes, good. I find myself there so much more often these days. So it’s pretty much my social media of choice to actually have a positive experience and learn things and make and make good

Marten Niner 17:27
yes, I’ve been exploring it probably for the past six months and I like it a lot more than other social medias that I have. I have explored so I’m with you. I really enjoy it. And I definitely the the level of people that I’m meeting through that medium has just been phenomenal.

Kevin Stafford 17:45
Awesome. Well, Martin, thank you again. This has been there’s been a fire flew right by but it did talk to you again soon. I’m sure.

Marten Niner 17:53
All right. Thank you. I really appreciate it.

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