How it All Began

Foram and I launched Ama La Vida in September of 2016. However, we started charting the path here much, much earlier.

Though coming originally from different countries, being raised in different states and being very different people, we found ourselves in an incredibly similar situation in our mid 20s. We were worn out management consultants who knew we were in careers that we wanted out of. We had done all the “right” things: got phenomenal grades in college, landed highly sought after jobs and quickly moved through the ranks of our respective organizations. On paper, things looked great. But in our hearts and minds we knew we needed and wanted more, for ourselves, our careers and how we spend the vast majority of our waking hours.

At this time, we both coincidentally were introduced to coaching. For Foram, this was a clear ah-ha moment. If she became a coach herself, Foram could combine her business acumen and consulting expertise with her unmatched ability to get others to open up and challenge them lovingly. Foram is one of those people who you enter a conversation with chit chatting about the weather, and the next thing you know, you’re telling her your deepest concerns and worries, sometimes with a tissue in your hand. You have no idea how you got there, but at the end of it, the conversation was exactly what you needed, and you have clarity in how to move forward.

Following this ah-ha moment, Foram was accepted into the prestigious Masters in Learning and Organizational Change program at Northwestern University where she pursued her MS degree and coaching certification in Organizational and Leadership Coaching

For me, coaching was an experience I never anticipated. My employer had given me leadership coaching as a promotion benefit, and I wasn’t exactly open to it. I was highly skeptical and had a lot of preconceived notions about what coaching could and couldn’t do for me. Despite my doubts, I found the experience transformative, and my coach helped me transition out of consulting into an exciting role in Corporate Strategy at a startup. As I transitioned, I noticed many of my peers feeling exactly the same – stuck, unsure of how to get out and giving in to the notion that work isn’t something you are meant to enjoy.  

I knew I needed to democratize coaching and make it more appealing and affordable for this younger generation. Through coaching, I thought I could activate people to move toward healthier and more fulfilling workplaces.

A mutual friend saw that Foram and I were tackling a similar problem from two different angles and encouraged us to team up. I wanted to build a business that would help people find happiness and achieve their potential, and Foram wanted to utilize the latest coaching research and techniques to help people learn, grow and be their best selves. It was a natural partnership from the start, and on a subsequent coaching retreat to Ecuador, Ama La Vida was officially born. The phrase is Ecuador’s national slogan, meaning “love life,” and it stayed with us long after we returned Stateside. We knew this was what we wanted to help people to do – love their lives, and not have to wait until 5 or 6 or 7pm when they returned from work to start doing so.

Who We Serve

Fast forward a handful of years, and you’ll find today’s Ama La Vida, one of the world’s leading career, leadership, health and life coaching companies. We have a team of coaches throughout the country, and we serve clients all around the globe. We partner with corporations, universities and individuals to provide personalized coaching across our many areas of expertise.

We coach in a wide variety of environments and contexts, and we work with clients who are just starting their careers all the way to top CEOs. Though our clientele is quite diverse, we find there are some common themes among them. 

The people who are attracted to Ama La Vida are people who aren’t satisfied just accepting what is, but instead are dedicated to their future vision for themselves and their lives. They are on a constant journey of learning and self-improvement, and they are willing to invest time and resources to achieve their goals. They want to live life with intention and make an impact in the world, even if in a very small way. Undergoing coaching is hard work and can at times be quite confronting – we work with people who are ready to take on that challenge.

How We Serve

To best understand how we approach our client relationships and coaching engagements, I think it is most helpful to give you a glimpse into how we operate. These are our nine “culture commandments” which govern how we show up to work each day and how decisions get made which impact our business, our team and our clients.

  1. If Everyone Loves Your Idea, It’s Not Crazy Enough. Our business cannot grow without crazy ideas. Fuel those ideas, don’t dilute them. We’re building something epic here, so dream big. No idea is too big or too small. Change the world. Challenge the status quo.
  2. It’s Your Duty To Find And Become All Of Who You Are. You bring something valuable to the company that no one else can. It is your mission to find your passions, embrace your gifts, honor your values and live your purpose. Ask for what you need to grow them and give them.  Always be authentic – don’t change yourself to fit the mold.
  3. Break it. Own it. Fix it. Challenge yourself every single day. Innovation only happens when you’re curious enough to question and courageous enough to try.  Don’t let your fear of failure hold you back from your fight for better. Sometimes you’ll nail it. Sometimes you’ll screw up. And that’s okay. It is only through trying, failing, and continuously bettering that we can be the world’s leading coaching company.
  4. Our Clients Are Our Heartbeat. We would not be alive without our clients – they are the lifeblood of our business. They are real people who are entrusting us with their lives and dreams. Handle with delicate care. The solution to any problem has the client at its center.
  5. Work Hard. But For The Love Of God, Have Fun. This is a business that drives results. It doesn’t matter when or where, as long as you get shit done. Flexibility is a privilege – enjoy it and be worthy. We do our best work when we’re having fun, so always Ama La Vida. It’s not just our name; it’s our way of life.
  6. My Success Is Yours And Yours Is Mine. Recognize and celebrate others. Our achievements are all interconnected. A rising tide lifts all boats. So focus on bringing in the tide, not on having the biggest boat.
  7. If You’re Waiting For The Dust To Settle, You’ll Be Waiting Forever. Change is uncomfortable, but it is only through continuously changing that we can achieve our vision. Don’t fear it or fight it – embrace it. No matter how big we get, we are always susceptible to competition, or worse yet, becoming obsolete. Keep a watchful eye on trends and warning signs. Be patient but always ready to act.
  8. Be a Perpetual Student. Even the smartest person in the room has something to be learned. Never stop asking questions. Learning is an opportunity, not a chore. Always be bettering.
  9. Give a Shit. The most powerful thing you can do is care. Care enough to fix an error on the website. To find a better solution for a product. To go out of your way to help a struggling colleague. To give a client 10 star service on a 5 star scale. Care enough to do the small things because the small things are what become the big things.

While these nine points speak to the culture within our four walls, we know that culture permeates out and can be felt by all who interact with us. We know you’ll see these pillars of our culture show up in how we work together.

Why We're Different

Process & Technology

  • Especially if you’ve never worked with a coach before, it can be a big leap of faith to entrust your goals and spend your hard-earned dollars with no guarantees of success. Many coaching companies will simply say, “We will do x sessions for y cost,” with no explanation of how it actually works. We have proven coaching processes and methodologies which we will follow which we can clearly explain to you before you begin. For example, you can click here to learn more about the ALV Method, our step-by-step process for coaching career transitioners.
  • Though we were impacted by coaching from the start, Foram and I saw a number of challenges with the industry and the way coaching was done. It was often incredibly expensive, had little measurement of results, and techniques were often outdated and inconvenient. We knew we needed a modern approach that would address some of these problems.
  • We created a one-of-a-kind eCoaching platform which mimics the experience of working with a coach in an online format. Nearly all of our engagements utilize a hybrid approach of eCoaching modules plus one-on-one coaching sessions. This allows our clients to do deep reflections at home, in their PJs, when they are in the right headspace and to maximize their time spent with their coach. This makes coaching more affordable but also more convenient and results oriented.

Training & Accreditation

  • There are A LOT of coaches out there. You have no shortage of options to choose from when selecting your coaching partner, either for yourself or your organization. We think this is a wonderful thing; it signals that our society is accepting personal development and a focus on wellbeing as the norm, not as a niche industry.
  • This also brings about many challenges. Coaching is an unregulated industry, meaning anyone can legally call themselves a coach with little or no coaching training. We require that our coaches have completed an ICF accredited coach training program before applying to work at Ama La Vida. From there, they undergo rigorous training to learn our proprietary methodologies, processes and technology.
  • I encourage you to read this article on what to look for when selecting a career coach before making any decisions.

Personalization

  • Though we have proven processes and structured programming, we know that each person is unique, and their coaching journey will be different from anyone else’s. It is core to our coaching philosophy to meet each client where they are and tailor our approach to their unique needs. We call it “freedom within a framework.” The process is here to provide structure and accountability and has been put in place over years of experience. However, what happens within each engagement and each coaching session must be tailored to the individual for the outcome to be a good one.
  • Most coaches are sole proprietors which means if you select that company to work with, you only get the experience that one coach brings. Ama La Vida has a team of coaches and an intelligently designed matching process to ensure you are paired with the right coach for your goals and personality. While you’re working with the right coach for you, our full team of experts is here in the background providing support and resources to your coach and opening up their networks to you as a client.

Women Owned & Operated

  •  Though we do not work exclusively with women, we are passionate about supporting women to achieve fulfillment and success on their own terms. We are proud to be a women-owned business, and we take pride in being a choice employer for women. One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that I not only get to create a service I wanted to see in the world, I also get to create a company and employer that I felt the world was missing. Foram and I work tirelessly to make Ama La Vida that employer and to be an incredible place to come to work each day.
  • We were selected by Chicago’s innovation hub, 1871 for its competitive 2018 WiSTEM (Women in STEM) accelerator program. We have also been recognized as a top female-founded startup by Project Entrepreneur, an organization sponsored by UBS and Rent the Runway.

Where We're Headed

I’ve spoken a bit about the coaching industry, how it’s cluttered and unregulated and how it can be challenging to find qualified coaches from within a noisy marketplace. I see consolidation happening in the industry, and consumers will demand more transparency around training and qualifications. I see Ama La Vida at the forefront of this shift, and I want us to continue to be the firm you think of when you are seeking coaching of any kind. Whether you’re working toward a career, health, leadership or personal goal, Ama La Vida has a coach on our team that’s the right fit for you, and I want to be the company you trust to give you an incredible experience as you work toward that goal.

We will continue to live out our vision of being the world’s leading coaching company, something we have already made great strides toward. But we’re not stopping there. The bigger picture for us doesn’t stop at coaching; it stretches us to expand our business to anything and everything that can help our clients to ‘love their lives.’ From book clubs to events to international retreats, we see ourselves as so much more than a coaching company. We want to be the place where adults go for happy. Stay tuned!

Join Us!

If my story or Foram’s story resonated with you. If you found yourself nodding along with our Culture Commandments. If you too know there’s more for you, and you’re determined to reach it, we invite you to join our community. Our coaches are standing by, eager to work with you and help you achieve whatever is meaningful and important to you. We would be honored to partner with you and to be a small part of your story.

  • If you are considering a career transition click here.
  • If you are working toward a health or wellbeing goal click here.
  • If you have personal development goals click here.
  • If you want to be a better leader click here.

I hope this page gave you the insights you were looking for to better understand if working with Ama La Vida is the right approach for you. To confirm and determine your exact next steps, I encourage you to book a complimentary consultation with a member of our client success team.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

Your partner, cheerleader and friend,

Nicole

CEO & Co-founder

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From the Horse's Mouth

Sophie

"I truly can’t explain what an amazing job Ama La Vida have done with this e-Coaching program. It is nothing short of excellence. The course has helped in more ways than i could have imagined. It helped surface my true passion and refine my values and career aspirations, while giving me the confidence and support to make a meaningful change. Previously, I had felt that it was too late to make a change, but the program made me realize that it isn't too late and empowered me to get out there and go for it!"

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Mo

"I'm almost done with the program and it could not have been a better time in my life to have found Ama La Vida. I've seen a significant change in myself since the day I signed up for the program. I've been working in the corporate world for almost 5 years now, and it's so refreshing to stop and really take time to reflect on who you are as a person, and understand what your purpose is (gifts, values, passions). AH! I could go on and on - you must try it for yourself!"

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Kaitlyn

"Foram provided new frameworks and methods to approaching challenges that I hadn't thought of, and that made me solve problems and communicate more effectively. Through her work, Foram helped me learn how to become a leader, not just a manager or employee. I highly recommend Foram for anyone looking to maximize their leadership potential or achieve their professional goals."

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Adrienne

"What a crucial time this came into my life. This program allowed me to assess not only the passions that get me out of bed every morning, but also what skills allow me to offer my absolute best self to the world. I am a firm believer that a society where everyone does what they love is the happiest and most successful society, and this program furthers that goal, one individual at a time. I am grateful that I was given the program to learn about myself before I begin a new chapter in life."

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