How a former banking VP quit her job during the pandemic and became a life coach for corporate working mums

Aimee GreczmielAimee Greczmiel is a life coach and former banking exec.
  • Aimee Greczmiel is a corporate mum life coach based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • While working in finance, Greczmiel hired a life coach to learn to balance her career with being a new mum.
  • During the pandemic, she quit her job to start a coaching business to support corporate mums.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Aimee Greczmiel was a stellar competitor in the 13 years she spent running the rat race in the world of finance. In a male dominated industry, Greczmiel did what other women have done before her: She put on her best heels, held her shoulders back, and walked into each meeting with confidence, quickly slaying board rooms and becoming vice president at TIAA Bank.

While working in banking in Washington DC and then in Charlotte, North Carolina, she often found herself to be the only woman in the room, but says she was never bothered by it. In fact, she let it fuel her desire for success.

“In the culture we live in, there is so much pressure put on achievement, and I was addicted to it,” said Greczmiel. “It served me well in my career, because I was able to achieve a lot.”

Living the ‘DINK’ lifestyle

When she got married in 2010, Greczmiel says she and her husband were living a life of freedom

“We were married for six years before we had kids, living the DINK life, you know — double income no kids,” she said, “We were travelling and just enjoying our life. I never really had the burning desire to have kids. I just knew it wasn’t the time.”

When she entered her 30s, however, Greczmiel said there was a quiet, subtle want to have a child that crept up and surprised her. “I knew I was ready for the next step and next challenge in my life,” she said.

She says having her first child in 2016 at age 35 changed her in ways she never expected.

“I wondered how I would navigate this,” said Greczmiel. “Becoming a mother was the biggest life change that I had experienced, and that’s when I first started working with coaches.”

Greczmiel says it was challenging to transition from corporate America, where her work is measurable and expectations are clear, to being a mum, where success wasn’t so easily defined.

“The working world and the parenting world operate at two very different speeds,” she said. “In your career you’re working towards efficiency and accuracy, and kids are the exact opposite of that. They’re incredibly inefficient and inaccurate, so to go from spending 8 hours a day in this mindset of being organised and analytical and then coming home and flipping it like a pancake, was hard for me. In parenthood, you don’t get [affirmation] from kids like you would in a performance review from your boss.”

Greczmiel said she never felt the need to work with a life coach until she had her first child. “I did the work on my mindset, on being intentional on how I show up in my work life versus my mum life. That was critical.

After having her child, Greczmiel began working with a life coach to develop a more intentional mindset around how she shows up in her work life versus her life as a mum. Since she had her first child in 2016 she’s worked with five coaches; not because she was unhappy with each coach, but because they each offered a unique approach to the challenges she was facing at that time.

Instead of being driven by work, Greczmiel says she “became addicted to something else- (my own) internal work, especially when I began to see results.”

“I was becoming a better person, and better mum, and showing up with more patience, presence and ease,” Greczmiel said. “Each coach taught me something new and helped me realise that I wanted to be a coach myself.”

Read more:

I left my $US500,000 a year job in tech after starting my own thriving coaching business. Here’s the email template that helped me land my first 10 paying clients.

Leaving the corporate world

Greczmiel says it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that she realised it was time to follow her passion and become a coach herself.

“I knew the time was right to pivot to focus on something that I was passionate about,” said Greczmiel. “I always had an interest in coaching, particularly after I became a mother myself.”

When the pandemic hit and she saw a great need coming from women to manage their mental health and mindset, Greczmiel says she it was time to exit corporate America and help them.

Greczmiel says her experience as a working mum in the corporate world has helped her teach other working mums how to balance their lives successfully.

“You have to be able change speeds [between working and parenting] and go in and out of them moment to moment all day long. You have to be intentional about what your goal or plan is and have real expectations for that day.”

Having a safety net

Greczmiel says that because both she and her husband were in the financial industry, they felt fiscally prepared for her to leave her corporate job and pursue coaching. They’d spent years saving and were both prepared for her to start her own business.

“This has been a vision of mine for several years, so I had time to save,” she said. “I knew I wanted to leave corporate and do coaching, so we started a savings that would allow me to do that. We’ve always been good at budgeting and for the most, always lived below our means, so the financial peace wasn’t a big driver for me. I had confidence in myself that I could do it, and knew I had a purpose and a passion to follow through.”

For other women who are considering following their passion to start a business, Greczmiel says to set an intentional exit date and start saving money in preparation.

“The stability is not going to be the same as corporate, but that’s OK, because you’re gaining so many intangibles: a flexible schedule, time with your family, and the ability to make your own rules,” she said.

Read more:

4 things I focused on to go from freelancer and digital nomad to earning $US100,000 in 4 months running my own online coaching business

Using social media to find coaching clients

Aimee Greczmiel is a life coach and former banking exec.Aimee GreczmielGreczmiel worked with a business coach to build up her social media presence.

When she started her coaching business, Greczmiel hired a business coach immediately. After hiring a coach, she hired a developer to build her website and created a business model, with a focus on reaching women through social media.

After launching in November 2020, Grezcmiel gained three full-time clients, all of whom she found through her company’s private Facebook group, Corporate Mum Mindset.

“Before I started my coaching business, I was barely on social media,” said Greczmiel. “Now I have an active group of women, which has led directly to calls where we discuss struggles and determine if working one-on-one is the right thing to do.”

Fighting working mum guilt

With her clients, Greczmiel addresses the one thing every mum, working or not, has experienced: guilt. She says she hears women saying repeatedly that they struggle with the time component of their lives, and trying to balance quality time with both their families and in their careers.

“Ask yourself: ‘Why would I feel guilty about providing for my family? I’m proving a positive and hopeful future for my kids by working right now, either monetarily or by being a positive influence.’ The guilt can be shifted.”

Grezcmie

l wants fellow working mums to know that they don’t have to bootstrap their way through life.

“We shouldn’t have to endure motherhood or struggle through motherhood until our kids are out of the house,” she said. “It can be an incredible fulfilling experience if we learn to navigate it the right way.”

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