Career transition is a change that can scare people and leave them paralyzed by fear and insecurity. It is a major life decision but also a great opportunity to grab happiness with both hands. Amy Sanchez, Executive Career & Leadership Coach and CEO of Swim Against the Current, is an ace in the coaching industry. She is on a mission to help corporate leaders gain clarity amidst their career transitions and achieve their personal, career & business goals with certainty and peace of mind. With a B.S. degree in Marketing & Psychology, an MBA degree from USC, a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) license, and a number of success stories helping corporate leaders successful transition into fulfilling jobs, Amy is the one of the industry's most sought-after leaders.
Read on to discover some key insights about her entrepreneurial journey through her exclusive interview with Aspioneer.
Aspioneer (A): Thank you for doing this with us, Amy. Can you share with our readers a bit about yourself, and your work experience?
Amy (A): “I’ve been in the coaching business for 4 years. I partner with corporate leaders to help them navigate important career transitions with intent and purpose so they can maximize their happiness, impact, and earning potential. Our headquarters are in Silicon Valley, CA but we do business worldwide. I come from 13 years as a corporate leader and am also licensed as a coach by the international coaching federation. The combination allows me to understand, first hand, what my clients are going through and also access best-in-class coaching techniques to help them move through their challenges/opportunities in an authentic and productive way. I do this via coaching, workshops, and speaking.”
(A): What inspired you to take coaching as your career?
(A): “I went through a critical time on my personal journey where I made a large career pivot from working my way up the marketing chain to starting my own business as an executive career and leadership coach. That journey, and everything it allowed me to unlock, personally and professionally, inspired me to help others going through similar transitions.”
(A): Coaching is more of a purpose-driven business. What according to you makes your work meaningful and how do you think your coaching impacts the world around you?
(A): “I thrive when helping leaders and companies clear roadblocks so they can reach their full potential. When this happens, and there is a positive intention for wider impact behind the change, I find that there is a positive ripple effect across everyone the leader and or/company interacts with. It contributes to spreading positivity and meaningful change throughout the world.”
(A): Being a woman, what sort of challenges did you face? How do you look at those challenges as far as the future is concerned?
(A): “Like every other female leader I’ve met, I dealt with my fair share of stereotypes when I was working in corporate. When it happened, it was disappointing and, at times, led me to question my abilities and potential. But over time, this, in combination with other corporate frustrations, ultimately led me to turn to serving the corporate community to help overcome and persevere regardless of current stereotypes. And I have seen subtle changes over time that give me hope that, when my daughters are old enough to enter the work world, some of the stereotypes my generation fought to overcome will disappear.”
(A): Being a successful entrepreneur, how do you think you have advanced the coaching industry? How do you see women contributing to the coaching industry?
(A): “My curiosity and passion drives me to stay on top of the latest trends and find proven and new methodologies and tools to help my clients. There are proven frameworks I’ve developed that provide systematic progression in my coaching methodology but I always experiment with new and different techniques to unlock the future for each individual client- and that has led to considerable happiness and success for the vast majority of my corporate leaders. The work that I do is a calling and I consider it an honor to what I do with very talented and driven people.
Women have an innate ability to detect and interpret emotion in a way that is very natural to us when given the time and space to emerge. There are many, many talented women in the coaching industry changing the world for the better.”
(A): How would you describe yourself as a leader? What is the one thing which makes you super successful in this male-dominated industry?
(A): “I am not a, “get in line and do what I say” kind of leader (unless I need to be with my young kids from time to time, ha-ha). Rather, I subscribe to the servant leadership mentality that if you give talented people the resources they need and ask them the right questions to enable them to solve challenges, you then get out of their way and celebrate their success. Unique to my female side, I have learned to allow my intuition and sensitivity to work in my favor and embrace it rather than try to suppress it, which I did for so long when I tried to mold myself into the leaders I watched in a male-dominated environment. I push forward when I’m inspired and take breaks when I need them. I believe that everything that I need will be provided to me when the time is right. I work hard but don’t force things that aren’t meant to be.”
(A): Being in a leadership position, you might be subjected to extreme levels of stress and mental pressure. How do you take care of your emotional wellbeing?
(A): “I love reading, I work out, meditate, get into nature, spend time with family and friends, and have some TV shows I like to watch.”
(A): As you love reading, which is that one book that has left an impact on you? Any recommendations?
(A): “Right now- I’m reading Richard Branson’s biography, How I Lost my Virginity, and recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining and inspiring read. Despite being a billionaire now, he had several years where he barely made any money! It’s a good reminder to continue to chase your dreams and the rest will work itself out. I enjoy reading about and hearing about people’s lives, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy my line of work so much.”
(A): Having faced the harsh challenges of the mainstream business world, what do you think is the real reason that is stopping women from achieving the success they ideally deserve?
(A): “According to Catalyst, the proportion of women in senior management roles grew to 29%. While growing, that number is still lower than it should be (especially when considering that more women than men are graduating from college). Since the pandemic, I’m willing to bet that number has decreased because of the load many women had to take on when many lost childcare. Because of this, we have much fewer women than men to look up to as leadership as role models. In addition to the numbers being low at the onset, it can be hard to find one that really embodies the kind of leader you aspire to be, particularly if you work in a small organization or one that is dominated by men, like tech. That number is also low because of the inflexibility of the workplace, which continues to struggle with ways to allow leaders to balance the needs of their families. Men can’t bear children so the future of the human race continues to rely on women and, if they choose to, nurse children. Taking this break can be very disruptive to the progression of a woman’s career and for many people (men and women), this life change significantly changes priorities in a way where it’s impossible to devote as much time to a career without battling increased stress, burnout, and guilt.”