Irina Popa-Erwin is the only life, career and executive coach in the world that was a professional multi-medalist gymnast/athlete, mentored by Jim Rohn, and has such an extensive and unique life, career and business experience on two continents.
Irina Popa-Erwin Today Magazine

Irina Popa-Erwin
Today Magazine

Former professional multi-medalist gymnast, international businesswoman, entrepreneur and speaker, Irina Popa-Erwin is the Founder of The NYC Life Coach, a coast-to-coast and international professional coaching company founded in New York City in 2004, with offices in the Midtown area of Manhattan, New York City and Beverly Hills, California. Here, at The NYC Life Coach, our mission is to help people reach their full potential, and make the world a better place.

At The NYC Life Coach, Irina Popa-Erwin helps her clients to realize their true potential through life, career, executive, wellness, business, performance & leadership coaching that taps into her unique background with a vast experience. Irina is a well-traveled, educated and accomplished life coach and leader, possessing a unique blend of skills complemented by an unparalleled life & business experience combined with a one-of-a-kind approach derived from her background, talent, passion and dedication to help others get everything they want.

Growing up, Irina was always struggling with her health, but that didn't stop her to become a professional gymnast (mid 80's to high 90's), competing at national and international gymnastics meets under top coaches in the world. Irina wasn't the most talented gymnast in her group, but she was so ambitious and so passionate about gymnastics, and loved it so much, that she was always the first gymnast in the gym and the last one to leave the gym. After many years of hard work, dedication, sacrifices, and overcoming human limits, as she was training 6 days per week and 8 hours per day, and also attending daytime school, Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 2 PM, where she had to be an A+, B+ student, Irina became one of the best gymnasts in Europe. During her 12 years career in gymnastics, Irina won nine 1st place titles, two 2nd place and two 3rd place titles at the national and European meets. Irina knows pressure and she understands what it takes to succeed, personally and professionally, with or without talent or skills. As a gymnast, you have only one chance to shine, to win, after years of unimaginable training. But Irina also understands what it means to 'retire' from what you love the most. Retiring from gymnastics at just 18 years old, was one of the most painful and toughest transition that she has ever had to go through...

Irina Popa-Erwin

Irina Popa-Erwin

After Irina retired from professional gymnastics, she felt lost, like any athlete, until she discovered her second passion, helping people better their lives, which was also placing her in the spotlight while offering her the recognition and fulfillment she was missing so much, just like when she was winning medals in gymnastics. Irina's family was also filled with successful business people, executives and top achievers, whom often "dragged" her to business meetings with world renowned resorts executives, at an early age. Her uncle, whom was a co-owner of the second largest travel company in Europe, was the first person that "dragged" Irina for the first time at a business meeting when she was just 14 years old. Irina was professionally coached since she was 6 years old, physically and psychologically, and she was exposed to the business world when she just turned 14, and all that led her to found her first company in 2004, an International Recruiting & Consulting Company. Before founding this company, Irina met the famous Jim Rohn in Philadelphia, PA, a world renowned Business Philosopher and Motivational Speaker. Jim Rohn became Irina's mentor, and after years of working with Jim Rohn, and learning some"life's secrets", she changed her life philosophy and discovered what she really wants to do for the rest of her life, which is to help people. Jim Rohn was also the one that inspired Irina to found The NYC Life Coach, later on.

Irina founded the recruiting company at just 22 years old, seeking the same recognition, love and "cheering" that she has enjoyed while being a gymnast. She was hoping to get all that "cheering" by helping others reach their true potential, personally and professionally, and live a better life every single day. Within months of opening the doors, Irina brought into the company her younger sister as a partner, then hired several people, and she quickly learned how to be a great leader and how to build a big and powerful enterprise. In less than one year, Irina and her sister were leading almost 2,000 people towards professional achievement and success. During the next few years, Irina developed her life and leadership skills, and became one of the best leaders in the industry, which later helped her to become an outstanding executive and executive coach.

Irina Popa-Erwin (left) & Jim Rohn (right) in 2004

Irina Popa-Erwin (left) & Jim Rohn (right) in 2004

Irina's international recruiting and consulting company was placing people from different countries into exchange programs located in the USA and various European countries. As the company become very successful in less than a year, Irina realized that one of the main keys of her business success was the fact that she was coaching every professional that she worked with using her natural born skills, everything that she learned in gymnastics, and the experience she gained from going to those executive meetings, and what her family thought her all those years. Irina was doing life coaching, leadership coaching, business coaching and motivational coaching with each participant, for the entire period of the exchange program. Irina and her sister helped people to transform their lives and to adapt to a new country, culture, language, job and a new temporary life, often on a new continent and a foreign country. Irina has led, managed and coached almost 2,000 students and professionals to adapt, work and reach their personal and professional goals while being abroad. The international consulting company came with tremendous challenges and unimaginable stress that formed, shaped and prepared Irina for the next stage in her life, New York City, and later on, The NYC Life Coach. 

In 2005, Irina had everything, a loving husband-to-be, pregnant with a beautiful girl, and was running a successful international business. Unfortunately, everything changed soon when her husband-to-be died in a car accident along with his brother, and the grief caused her to lose the baby. She was lost, so she did what thought was best, she went to visit one of her mentors, Mr. William Erwin, in New Jersey. Due to the tremendous shock and stress, Irina did not wake up in the morning. Mr. Erwin’s wife, Virginia, found Irina in the morning not breathing. Apparently, her body decided to just shut off and she went into a deep coma for the next 74 hours.

Life Coach Irina Popa-Erwin - TV Interview on Personal Growth & Wellness

Life Coach Irina Popa-Erwin - TV Interview on Personal Growth & Wellness

Mr. Erwin saved Irina's life, and helped her to completely recover without becoming addicted to medication - only 3% have ever done that. Irina lost everything that year, and had to start over, had to reborn. She started rebuilding everything from scratch in South Carolina, and in 2009 she moved to New York City with her new loving husband. Irina was facing a new challenge, New York City, but she fiercely start building her business and creating relationships, and soon everybody around her loved her, but nobody knew her story. Irina perceives life in a way that's completely unique. Her experience as a professional gymnast led her to the conclusion that coaches act as the largest influence in someone's success, both personally and professionally. And as an international businesswoman and entrepreneur, mentored by Jim Rohn, she's learned that a set of fundamental leadership skills can propel executives to greater success, no matter the situation.

Irina Popa-Erwin had her ups and downs, her fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds, but that's what made her what she is today. Irina is the only life and business coach in the world that was a professional multi-medalist gymnast and mentored by Jim Rohn, and has such an extensive life and business experience. Today, Irina is a successful professional life coach, executive coach, career coach, and a motivational and leadership speaker for corporations, athletic organizations, universities, global networking groups and professionals around the world. Irina Popa-Erwin has mentored, guide and helped many from finding their purpose in life, or find a career, or reach their goals, or improve their sports performance, to evolving from the millionaire club to the billionaire club.  Irina has raised the coaching and speaking industry standards, and gets off the beaten path by combining the skills of a professional athlete with the business experience of an international CEO, and with the life knowledge of a person that started life from scratch twice, on two different continents. Irina Popa-Erwin became an influential and successful woman on both continents, and quickly became loved and appreciated by everyone around her.

Irina founded The NYC Life Coach in the city she has always loved, New York City. Considering Irina's unique background, filled with some of the most renowned coaches in the world, and her experience as a successful entrepreneur on two continents, it wasn't surprising that ten years later Irina Popa-Erwin became one of the most sought after life, career, and executive coaches among a select group of people in New York, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, Milan, Rome, and many other cities around the world. Due to her continuous success by always exceeding expectations, Irina has expended her practice and reach by opening a second office on the west coast, in Beverly Hills, CA. In New York City, Irina has been a Motivational & Leadership Speaker for 150 to 500 people every month. Her clients are coming from every walk of life and almost all industries: finance, legal, real estate, investment, sports, medical, entertainment, insurance, media, health & fitness, hospitality, just to name a few.

Aside from gymnastics and helping people, Irina Popa-Erwin has always had a dream since she was just 4 years of age, which is about to come true as she is in the process of publishing her first book. It will be a book like no other books, which will redefine the entire coaching industry. It will be a unique combination between central Europe's discipline and the west personal development, harmoniously translated into inspiration for anyone that will read it. Irina's life is truly a novel that can inspire anyone, regardless of financial and social status or age.

Looking back on my history and career so far, I can honestly say that all of it has involved life, leadership, career and business coaching.
— by Irina Popa-Erwin

Published on May 13, 2014.