"Life is very good in all ways.  You were a great influence."

- CEO, Technology Company

Aligning Soul with Ambition

I'm an ambition strategy coach and I partner with clients who are growing and charting new territory.




As an Ambition Strategy Coach and Aspired Lifestyle Champion, I work with high-aspirational individuals who are on a mission - as they pursue their next project, next level up, and greatest dreams.  Aligning soul with ambition, I empower my clients to accelerate confidence, clarity, opportunities and incomes, and I’ve helped so many to find or redefine their way in work and life.


My coaching career began in 2005, but even before then I often found myself at the table professionally and personally - joined with leaders, experts, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, executives, and innovators - exploring the possibilities, collaborating on ideas, and reflecting back to each individual their unique brilliance aligned with their capabilities.  These were the people who inspired me, and reminded me that anything we want to achieve is truly possible!


Life Coach Karen Knauf Austin TX, Chicago, Aspired Performance

I most enjoy my work within the space of ambition - in support of those high-aspirational individuals who wow me, who dare to create their lives from the heart and soul, who are unwilling to settle for less or status quo.  

Before I was a coach I was a multi-passionate career explorer who worked in over 10 industries across many roles, and that paved the way for me to become a masterful navigator of significant career/life/relationship excitement, disruption, and renewal (+ eternal optimist)!   I wondered how I might connect these varied, enterprising experiences until serendipitously I was offered a corporate coaching position with a global consultancy, which empowered me to help others find their way, as I readily referenced those experiences.  From there I leveraged my B.A. in Psychology and a uniquely broad career perspective to guide others through uncharted territory - and toward work and life in alignment with what they really love.  Within those 7 years I honed my coaching and presentation skills among corporate and blue chip, technology, pharmaceutical, and many other types of client companies, enjoying the opportunity to coach thousands - both individually and in groups.  


"I could not have done it without you... your guidance, support, assistance with any topic we needed to discuss, and honestly, just plain listening were invaluable to me!  Thank you for everything."

- Director of Organizational Development

In 2012 I left corporate to launch Aspired Performance coaching and soon after completed formal, ICF-accredited advanced coach training at Coach U, evolving in my focus to become a powerful whole-life personal coach to entrepreneurs, influencers, and those on a mission - who know what they want and wish to leverage the advantages of a coach, as they go forth with optimal agility and clarity in pursuit of their greatest dreams.

"She listens from a highly intuitive and clear space and is able to help navigate the trickiest of waters."

- Entrepreneur/ Life Coach/ Yoga Instructor

I am a powerful synthesizer of information, will perceptively identify themes and patterns, can hover adeptly at the intersection of the left and right brains, and will boldly follow my intuitive hunches as I coach you.  I work with those who inspire me!  As many have experienced, a single coaching conversation with me can be soul affirming and positively life changing.  I will serve you powerfully - and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my light and energy with others! 

A powerful coaching conversation puts you in touch with your most insightful 

brilliance, aligned with inspired energy to move forward on your greatest path.

Within this sacred coaching space my clients have launched businesses, maneuvered effectively within challenging relationships, embarked on exciting relocations, improved their work and home environments, advanced the operational effectiveness of their businesses, changed how they work, made much more money, connected with, and built relationships with inspiring people, navigated the workplace in new ways, and positively changed their outlook and approach to the aspired life.

"The success of my work and personal life is a reflection of her outstanding coaching."

- Entrepreneur/Medical Field

I am currently based in my native Chicago; prior to this I worked from Austin, TX, and I frequent the Florida Gulf Coast.  I work with clients across the U.S.A., primarily by phone or video.  I am incredibly fulfilled in my life, where I choose a mobile lifestyle, and I’m in constant pursuit of personal development and new ways to make life even more incredible, for everyone!

On a perfect day I may be coaching you from the beach.

My Coaching Values:


To share life energy joyously.  To serve you powerfully.  To align soul with ambition.  To support your innate brilliance.  

To invest in myself and in others.  To align with those who invest in themselves and in others.  To play, have fun, and be curious.  To create spaciousness within and around our very being.  To deliver value with each conversation.

To uphold our powers of choice, freedom, and creation.  To work with those who inspire me.

Together we will blast through limitations, expand possibilities, and elevate opportunities, 

working within your agenda of personal innovation.

"Karen, I can't say it enough: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!  You rock!"

-CIO, Information Technology Company

"I really enjoyed working with Karen.  Her coaching style is unique.  She's an excellent listener and asks powerful questions that help raise awareness."

- Wealth & Productivity Coach

"I needed someone who has been in my shoes, who could think outside of the proverbial "box," could help me gather my thoughts, determine my priorities and strengths, and choose a prudent direction.  Karen has been all of those things and more."

- Electrical Engineering Professional

Testimonials - Detailed


"I cannot imagine what my personal and business life would be like without Karen Knauf.  Karen has worked with me on a variety of difficult decisions I have had to make in my family-owned business, as well as, coaching me on balancing the gray areas of life and work.  Throughout the course of our time together, she has provided me with insightful feedback paired with realistic goal setting; the success of my work and personal life is a reflection of her outstanding coaching."


"Karen, thank you for our lovely sessions together.  You are kind, compassionate, and extremely easy to talk to!  You helped me sort through a lot of difficult things!  This is such a crazy time in life with all of the opportunities and different paths.  And you taught me how to really analyze what makes me happy and how I will get there.  The road will be bumpy without a doubt but you have ignited my excitement and I cannot wait to see what comes!  Thank you."


"Karen and I have been working together for roughly two years.  Grateful yes and surprised by what she sees and how she helps me to work through whatever it is I bring.  This is a coach who is not timid or unsure to jump in to the deep water with me.  This is a person who can be trusted and counted on.  In the entire time we have been working together I am the only one who has ever missed an appointment or been late.  Consistent, smart, honest, and above all present.  She listens from a highly intuitive and clear space and is able to help navigate the trickiest of waters.  I'm not easy and she has never once let on to that. :-) "

My colorful career informs my inspiration to guide clients toward their aspired lifestyle and career with refreshed energy, clarity and perspective.

- Karen Knauf, Ambition Strategy Coach, Aspired Performance