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"Life is very good in all ways.  You were a great influence."
- CEO, Technology Company

Aligning Soul with Ambition

About Karen

I Partner With Clients Who Are Charting New Territory

Life Coach Karen Knauf Austin TX, Chicago, Aspired Performance



As a Life Coach I work with 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.

I work with people who are navigating change, major life transitions, starting something new, or who are pushing forward into new ways of being. Most of my clients feel like they are taking a measured risk - and they want someone who is insightful and grounded in their corner - so they don't have to do it alone.  That would be me!  So how did I get here, to being the one people reach out to, when they are about to implement something significant, something that feels really big, in their work or life?

I believe in possibilities and all that you can be and have in life.  And I'm a master at change, having taken the leap into the unknown many times.  As your coach, I provide the safe container where you can explore and get clear on your next steps, and then feel confident to go forward.

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

- Entrepreneur/ Life Coach/ Yoga Instructor


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!

Before I was a coach I was a multi-passionate career explorer and eternal optimist 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, and relationship excitement, disruption, and renewal.  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.

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 status quo. 

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! 

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 near 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 active in my own self-care, and I’m in constant pursuit of personal development and new ways to make life even more enjoyable, for everyone!

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

A powerful coaching conversation puts you in touch with your most insightful brilliance, aligned with inspired energy to move you forward on your greatest path.

My Coaching Values:

I Focus On:

Sharing life energy joyously.  

Serving you powerfully.  

Aligning soul with ambition.  

Supporting your innate brilliance.

Practicing extreme self-care.

Investing in personal development. 

Investing in myself and in others.  

Aligning with those who invest in themselves and in others.  

Playing, having fun, and being curious.  

Creating spaciousness within and around our very being.  

Delivering value with each conversation.

Upholding our powers of choice, freedom, and creation.  

Working with those who inspire me.

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Together we will blast through limitations, expand possibilities, and elevate opportunities, working within your agenda of personal innovation.


What They"re Saying


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




"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 grey 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 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. :-) " 



"I recently re-connected with Karen to thank her for the positive impact she had on my career, and to personally thank her for being one of the people I can truly identify that made a difference in my 42-year professional career. Going through two layoffs in 3 years, Karen instilled confidence in my abilities, and help me realize what I was good at, and prepare me for new challenges and opportunities. As a life coach, Karen can offer positivity, objectivity, encouragement, guidance, and personal growth. She was already doing this a long time ago, and with Aspired Performance she has now honed her skills to provide an invaluable service to help you achieve your full potential. I would have no reservations recommending Karen as a life coach."


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



"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."



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



"Karen is absolutely in the right job for her talents.  Her enthusiasm, understanding and experience is amazing!  Focused like a laser Karen helped me see paths to take, opportunities to explore and creative ways to accomplish my goals."


 "Karen, I was extremely impressed with our interactions.  Thanks for your time and energy.  Wow!  I was very impressed how quickly you assessed my situation and developed substantial suggestions."


"Karen is an amazing life coach, whom I highly recommend!! She has been my go-to coach for both professional business management situations & personal goal setting/prioritizing, for over 7 years. Our sessions end with clarified objectives & an incredible feeling of judgment-free support. So grateful for all her incredible coaching time!!!



"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."



"Karen had the pleasure of working with me during the negotiation process to sort and benefit from two simultaneous offers.  She was incredibly helpful and supportive during this very stressful time.  She was ready, willing, and able with phone consults when I was in the heat of the battle.  Karen's advice was insightful, inspiring, effective, and in the end allowed me to leverage both companys' offers so that I was able to maximize the final package that I accepted."


"I have a better relationship with myself."


"Karen brings a unique authenticity to the coaching process.  Karen is a high level listener and gives insightful feedback and asks powerful questions.  Karen is approachable and helps everyone to feel comfortable with the coaching process. Karen adds humor that makes the coaching session enjoyable and practical.  I would highly recommend Karen as a coach."


"You are very, very knowledgeable about career paths, and how to read people so perfectly to help get them on the right path.  You really are so focused on your approach and the details you get as you interview via the discovery methods you use.  It is really amazing to experience first hand how you ask all the right questions, put it all together and create a custom approach.  I think that you prove to have outstanding listening skills and are able to read not only a person's career strengths and limitations, but you also have a keen sense of their emotional drive and soft skills that you use to guide people on a path that they will be both successful at and enjoy.

You are exceptionally dependable, friendly, understanding, sympathetic and also not afraid to deliver the tough messages that some need to hear."



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


"My good friend and coach Karen Knauf.  HIGHLY recommend scheduling with her - She's amazing !!!  Can't imagine life and difficult work decisions without her in my corner- experienced, professional, fun & organized.  I always feel uplifted and refocused after our calls." 


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

- Karen Knauf, Aspired Performance

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