Inspirational Woman: Marian Evans | Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Business Coach & Founder, Elevate BC

Marian Evans

Meet Marian Evans, who was recently awarded inspirational businesswoman of the decade. She is a UK business coach and advisor for top-tier executives and leaders and her reviews frequently mention her first-class results.

Business coach Marian Evans is sought after for her ability to unlock people’s A-game and to set themselves higher goals whilst giving them a clear roadmap on how to get there. She is also one of only five individuals in Wales awarded the Fellowship of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Marian is now a multiple business owner who founded Elevate BC in response to individuals and businesses seeking a confidant with a proven and market-leading track record.  Marian is a highly valued coach and mentor with a unique ability to unlock people’s potential and supporting them to overcome the obstacles holding them back. Her qualifications and credibility as an executive coach, mentor and consultant allows her to facilitate at an unparalleled level due to an impeccable reputation of results and discretion. Marian has built her career with one eye firmly on the next milestone.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My first language was Welsh and I was born and brought up on a farm in West Wales …not the typical backstory for female leaders in financial services I don’t suppose. I worked my way up in the financial services sector becoming one of the youngest women to become Chartered as both an insurance practitioner and broker. I then became a fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management and a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute fuelled by my fascination with what creates great leadership, exceptional performance and successful teams. I am now a qualified Exec Coach, multiple business owner and Non Exec Director. I get to work with and support great individuals…oh and I bought a Castle.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, but I was always fiercely ambitious and hard working. I always had the next target in mind.  I began to appreciate what my strengths are (I have plenty of weaknesses but that’s another story) and I focused on those. They are my USP.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Plenty!

Discrimination.

Including trying to forge my way in a very traditional, male dominated sector where individuals in management positions were invariably twice my age and male. Also having a strong welsh accent was a source of much amusement to many over the years.

Motherhood.

Juggling motherhood and a busy full-time job whilst also building a property portfolio.

I have also had 2 children along the way and can remember being told when I went off on maternity leave that I would have to work even harder when I got back to prove I could still cut it. I was already working 70 hour weeks and outperforming my peers across the UK at this point. I instilled a belief in me that I had to prove myself.

Health.

I was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in my 20’s so I am used to adapting. This has taught me some tough lessons about resilience and the fine balance needed to optimise our performance.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Despite the awards I have won, one of my biggest achievements was becoming the top sales executive in a team of 360 in my first full year at NFU Mutual. It may sound silly but as a young woman of 24 with the odds firmly stacked against me, the feeling of achievement was tremendous. I never lost that thirst for the buzz. Hard work pays off and it inspired me to keep pushing boundaries.

If you are ambitious, it is difficult to ever be satisfied, to give yourself a pat on the back or recognise achievement. This is one of my biggest weaknesses, so learning to appreciate each little success and enjoy the journey has been a real personal achievement.

Gratitude is a virtue.

I was never one who took much notice of awards but the pride I feel when I get nominated for something takes my breath away. So winning awards like the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Decade’ was quite emotional.

I have learned to manage my impostor syndrome and that has been liberating.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

I think being brought up on a farm instilled some key life lessons in me. Not least:

  • A tremendous work ethic and tenacity. I think this is rooted in working from a young age to support my parents on the farm. No matter the weather or if you’re tired you have to keep going… Driving tractors as soon as my feet could reach the peddles, looking after the calves with my sister, helping milk the cows with my dad…
  • Down to earth. It’s hard to be precious when you have cow sh*t behind your ear or straw in your socks.
  • Run your own race. Compete only with yourself. Make sure you do better today than yesterday, and you will always be one step ahead.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I am a great believer in mentoring, whether it is formal or informal. What I mean by that is we should be looking for ways to lift others up at every opportunity. You never know the impact a word of encouragement or support will have. Be the person who made the difference.

Mentoring and coaching others is incredibly rewarding. and I am privileged to be an ambassador for WomenOnBoards.

Winnning UK Mentor of the Year (Women in Finance) was an absolute honour.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Inspire more people to help educate, inspire and support those who are frightened of change. The evidence is clear – diversity in all its forms creates greatness. Failure to embrace this makes no sense, neither ethically or financially

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Don’t let doubt hold you back.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My next challenge is to share more of the lessons I have learnt. That is a challenge when you suffer from impostor syndrome and prefer to be behind the scenes.

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