Want to Change Your Life?

When it’s time for a change or there’s something that you really, really, really want in your world, most people agree that sooner would be preferable to later and less effort would be preferable to more. 

But culturally, we seem to place more financial value on hard work and hours spent more than simple insights and relatively effortless success.

Here’s a story that my dad, an engineer who amongst other things designed the legs to the lunar module, used to delight in telling us:

Many years ago, the Navy were preparing to launch their newest state of the art submarine to great fanfare. The night before the launch, the mechanical systems on the sub shut down and despite poring over hundreds of pages of user’s manuals, the engineering crew on the ship were unable to diagnose the fault or get the systems back up and running.

Knowing how important the morning’s launch would be for the Navy’s image, the captain of the submarine gathered the entire crew together for a brainstorming session. While many creative-sounding ideas and solutions were generated during the session, none of them actually worked in practice. Finally, one older crew member who had been quiet throughout the session raised his hand and said, “This might sound crazy, but I was in town yesterday and heard about a local mechanic that they said could fix absolutely anything, no matter how complex. Maybe we could track him down and get him to have a look?”

While many of the officers rolled their eyes, the captain recognized the urgency of the situation and approved “emergency action”. After finding the mechanic and getting him down to the ship, the captain was a bit put off at how unexceptional the man seemed and decided to stick close to him to make sure he didn’t do more harm than good.

Armed only with a small toolbox, the mechanic wandered seemingly aimlessly through the engine room, tracing the labyrinth of pipes with his eyes and occasionally putting his ears to a particular spot as if listening for something that nobody else could hear.

Finally, the mechanic must have heard what he was listening for, because he stopped, smiled, reached down into his toolbox for a hammer, and before anyone could stop him tapped the hammer gently but firmly on one of the pipes. After a few moments of shock and concern, the entire system came back online and soon the head engineer confirmed that everything was now once again working exactly as designed.

The captain, who if he was being honest with himself had been on the verge of panic at placing the fate of his multi-million dollar submarine in the hands of this seemingly ordinary mechanic, laughed in relief and invited the man back to his cabin for a celebratory drink.

“I guess you better give me your bill”, he said to the mechanic, who quickly scrawled the number $100,000 onto a piece of paper and handed it back to the captain.

Now it was the captain’s turn to roll his eyes.

“I know the military has the reputation of overspending on things,” he said, “but how on earth do you justify charging us that much for less than an hour’s work?”

The mechanic smiled and wrote the following on the back of the piece of paper:

For tapping with hammer: $10
For knowing where to tap: $99,900


After thirty plus years of working with CEO’s, leaders, producers, directors, artists, and high performers in multiple industries, I know where to tap. That means we can spend less time “working through your problems” and get to the heart of the matter more quickly, helping you bring your own best self to the table when it matters most and doing less damage when you’re off your game.

Working with me is for you if:


  • You’re up to something big in the world but can’t seem to get started, get unstuck, or get going
  • You, your company, or your team are facing seemingly overwhelming challenges
  • You’ve burned out (or can feel it happening), lost your mojo, and don’t know that you can carry on at your current pace much longer
  • You’ve hit a point in your life/career where you’re beginning to wonder if what you’ve achieved so far is really the legacy you want to leave behind

“Michael’s authentic approach and insightful concepts demystify ‘conventional wisdom’ and have enabled me to look at success in a completely different way.”

Sacha Gervasi

Director, My Dinner with Herve, Hitchcock, and Anvil: The Story of Anvil

“Thanks to Michael and his work, I’ve been able to grow my company three-fold and do it in a non-stressful, engaged, and loving manner. THANK YOU, MICHAEL!”
Shama Hyder

CEO & Founder, The Marketing Zen Group

“Michael’s sessions are not what they might appear to be on the surface – they are so much more!   In the space of a magical morning and in the context of an easy-going chat, he managed to shift my perspective on living from the inside out from concept to integration.    I wanted answers to some pressing issues and he helped me see that using my intellect alone wasn’t going to get me there and then once I side-stepped that I could have access to the most loving universal intelligence that is available to us all.     There was a moment when suddenly, as we talked,  everything shifted (I’ll leave him to tell you what he calls that!) and I reached a whole new level of understanding and of being in the world.   It’s a moment I will never forget and Michael is truly exceptional at what he does.”
Liz Trubridge

Producer, Downton Abbey

If you’d like to make real and lasting changes in a fraction of the time and with less struggle, pressure, and stress than you can imagine, here are three ways for us to work together:

Personal Catalyst Intensives (Starting at $25K)

These two and a half day one on one intensives (with follow up) are like drawing a line in the sand where everything is different after than before. They have changed the lives and revitalized the careers of numerous founders of companies, high-potential executives, and leaders in multiple industries

Team Catalyst Intensives (Starting at $30K for up to 8 people)

If you have a team that needs a shot in the arm or a caring, compassionate kick up the ass, these small group three day intensives include both group sessions and 1:1 work.

Transformative Conversations ($3000 per session)

Sometimes you don’t so much need an overhaul as a tweak. Transformative conversations are surprisingly deep conversations held in a delightfully light-hearted way, and can be used to tune-up before a big event or find the inner strength to take on a current challenge.



To request a personal intensive, team intensive, or transformative conversation, click here.
“Back in 2010, I founded a software company and took it from zero to a million dollars in revenue under four years, working hard and stretching myself towards big and challenging goals. When we hit the ‘magic number’, I found, to my surprise, there was nothing there. I didn’t even crack a bottle of champagne. That shocked me to my core, and that was the point at which I stumbled across Michael Neill. The understanding he shares changed my life and continues to do so. My experience of being in business has transformed to one of being in flow and tapping into creative solutions whenever I need to. I spend more time with my family – and have a far closer connection with them than ever before. My migraines and anxiety have all but disappeared. When I finally saw ‘the space within’ that Michael so eloquently points to, I did finally crack that bottle of champagne. I found something better than a million dollars and for that Michael, I will always be grateful to you.”
Nicola Bird

Founder, A Little Peace of Mind

“If Superman needed a coach, he’d hire Michael Neill.”
Geoff Hinsley

Executive Coach

“Michael Neill is a coach’s coach in the most positive sense of that phrase…he not only knows what it takes to succeed in coaching, he knows how to teach it to others.”
Steve Chandler

Master coach, public speaker, best-selling author

“Direct and practical – Michael’s presence makes taking on challenges fun.”
Egill Egilsson

Producer/Director: ‘The Wire’, 'Once Upon a Time'

‘Dutch people are notoriously unimpressed, so the 3 day intensive with Michael made me seriously doubt my nationality. It was truly inspiring and invigorating and, yes, it changed my life. Although he’s one of the most normal guys I’ve ever met, Michael is truly one of a kind. He’s got the magical capability to make you feel safe and appreciated and listened to, and at the same time deeply challenged and lovingly provoked.

There’s something unique about being immersed in a place of total trust with a couple of strangers, and starting to see the world with completely different eyes. It’s like a gentle wake-up call for your soul, a profound kick in the butt in the direction of infinite possibilities. Being part of a 3 day session with Michael is about as transcending as it gets.

Go for it, you’ll hug me later!’

Marnix Pauwels

Author and transformative coach