Let’s get the basics out of the way. Who are you? Where are you from? I am Mary Kate Evans, a “Back to Basics” recovery coach, speaker, and published. I serve and guide clients all over the world to find healing, purpose, and long-term recovery. My resources help individuals in all stages of recovery move from mediocrity to magnificence. I reside in Champaign, IL, have been married to the love of my life and best friend, Jerry, for 17 years and we have a blended family of 5 adult children. My website is www.beacontopurpose.com.
When and why was your business started? In June 2010, God called me out of my 20+ year career in the field of addiction treatment to begin a new journey with Him. Three months later Beacon to Purpose was conceived during my training with Dr. Katie Brazelton of Life Purpose Coaching Centers International in Maui, Hawaii. Much like a baby, the next 9 months were spent in prayer, development, and preparation. Beacon to Purpose was officially “born” in August 2011 with the launch of our website and blog.
What do you love about being a female entrepreneur? I am passionate about connecting on a heart-felt level with others walking a recovery journey. Beacon to Purpose allows me the freedom to meet people from around the world and be of service in a creative, meaningful way. Next to God, my family is my first priority; a home-based business allows me the flexibility to spend quality time with those I love, as well as serve others.
Why did you start your business? After more than two decades of working in social services and addiction treatment, I craved the freedom of not relying on state or national funding dollars to survive, as well as the opportunity to pursue a speaking, writing, and coaching practice.
How did you launch your business and/or dream? I spent a lot of time in prayer, meditation and journaling to seek God’s direction for my business. I invested in training with Life Purpose Coaching Centers International (LPCCI), NACWE, and other mentors/coaches, including Diane Cunningham and Sandi Krakowski of A Real Change.
Through these resources I discovered a diverse network of individuals who support, encourage, and challenge me to take the next steps in pursuing my dream of building a successful business. Investing in training, coaching, mastermind groups, and other networking opportunities are important keys to move forward.
What is your mission statement? The mission of Beacon to Purpose is to inspire and guide others in living a purpose-driven, passionate life in long-term recovery.
How do you stay inspired? Prayer. Meditation. Journaling. Connecting with others through social media, mastermind groups, and local networking opportunities.
Why do you feel Inspired Women Succeed? I believe inspired women succeed because of our passion to serve others, ability, tenacity, and God’s power and blessing on our lives. We may be hard-working women of integrity and accumulate years of life experience, but we can’t give ourselves inspiration, peace, security, or success. Bottom line, nothing of significance or lasting value can be accomplished apart from God.
What are the biggest challenges you have overcome as a female entrepreneur? My biggest challenge has been, and continues to be, mindset. I believe God has called me to build Beacon to Purpose and is using me to help others, but sometimes doubt creeps in. At those times, I question if I have anything of value to offer and shudder at the thought of being vulnerable and exposed (and therefore open to criticism).
Discouragement can set in when I don’t see instant results to my efforts. Moving from a team-based office environment to working from home hasn’t been easy. The support of my coaches and NACWE sisters, as well as making sure I have a balance of virtual and in-person connections, are invaluable in helping me maintain a positive mindset. And, yes, some days a good cry, a little bit of good dark chocolate, and a Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks help, too!
What is your BIG DREAM for your business – what do you hope will happen? I hope others will be inspired to take action and build a life of magnificence – whatever that means to them. I believe we are created to SHINE – to live, love, laugh and enjoy this gift of life to the fullest. Each of us has a God-given purpose and spiritual gifts; when we are living and working in our brilliance, we can soar and He is glorified!
How do you incorporate your faith into your business? As a Christian woman, wife, mother and business owner, God is my CEO. My rock. My strength. My hope. I consult Him with every business decision, listening throughout the day for His guidance. God is my beacon to purpose; I pray for Him to get me out of the way so His light and love can shine through me to others.
What are you favorite biblical parallels and verses that encourage you? Why? Recovery principles are found throughout the Bible, particularly in the Gospels and Sermon on the Mount. I also love the Psalms and turn to them daily, whether in praise or in seeking refuge and rest.
Most recently my favorite verse is Deuteronomy 2: 3. “You have been going around in circles in these hills long enough; now turn north!” These words tell me that we don’t have to continue to wander in the desert, confused, afraid, and desperate for direction. We can make a decision to “turn north” toward Him and to follow His purpose for our life.
How do you promote/market your business? Primarily I promote my business through social media like Facebook and Twitter, and my website www.beacontopurpose.com. I’m learning to blog, connecting both virtually and in-person through networking events and speaking engagements, and helping to promote our new book Inspired Women Succeed. My connections through NACWE, LPCCI, LinkedIn, and BranchOut, as well as word of mouth through my friends, clients, and former colleagues, are priceless!
What is the biggest risk that you have taken in your business? Has it paid off? Initially, the biggest risk I took was quitting my career as Clinical Director of a large non-profit addiction treatment center. Although I knew I was being led by God, it felt like career suicide at the time! This decision has paid off beyond my wildest imagination.
As I stepped out in faith, God provided for my family’s needs and opened doors to serve Him. Every day has been an adventure full of blessings, even when challenges present themselves.
Instead of being afraid, I look at challenges as opportunities for Him to show up. Sometimes I doubt, and there have been days (and weeks) when I wanted to quit and get a J-O-B. But God is always with me and is faithful to put people in my life who love, support, and encourage me to keeping moving forward one day at a time!
What risk do you need to take now? My current challenge is learning to navigate the “techie stuff” that is necessary for running a virtual business. This requires me to leave my comfort zone of speaking, writing and coaching into the world of WordPress, creating quality info products, etc.
This is an area where I get by with A LOT of help from my friends and colleagues at NACWE and A Real Change. Admitting I don’t know and asking for help is like a muscle-it gets stronger and easier with use! I also need to continue to invest in training, technical support, and advertising to spread the word about our products and services that can help others live a life of magnificence.
What media opportunities have you had? I am a contributing author of Inspired Women Succeed. Being part of this project was amazing and the book is a “must read” for all women! www.inspiredwomensucceed.com.
What one woman epitomizes (for you) a model of Christian entrepreneurial leadership? Why? Several come to mind ~ Sheri McConnell, Sandi Krakowski, Michelle Prince ~ but I don’t have a one-on-one relationship with these women. So, that said, it would have to be Diane Cunningham!
Diane is real, honest, fun, passionate, knowledgeable, a risk taker, and willing to share not only her business expertise, but just as important, her heart. I know Diane well enough to know her life (both personally and professionally) hasn’t always been peachy and yet here she is! Burning brightly for Christ, while being of service to Christian Women Entrepreneurs all over the world. Wow!
What 3 tips would you share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial adventure? My 3 tips would be (1) Spend considerable time with God listening to His direction and clearly defining your purpose for this season of your life. (2) Accept that you will need to spend money to get started on this adventure. Develop a start-up budget and invest in training and coaching from qualified mentors with a track record of success. You are worth it! Pick one or two with similar values to your own and a heart of service. (3) Be ready to work hard and realize it takes time to build a business. Define your niche and listen to the marketplace. Ask yourself, “What need can I fill in others’ lives?”
Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who are ahead of you on this journey. We are here to help you – to share what works, as well as what doesn’t. Most importantly, be yourself and let your brilliance SHINE!
What resources and books would you recommend—the ones which have best helped you?
- Pathways to Purpose for Women by Dr. Katie Brazelton
- The Inspired Business Toolkit by Diane Cunningham
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyers
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
- Word Press, Blogging, and Social Media resources from Sandi Krakowski.
- And many more. I love to learn and believe there’s no such thing as too many resources or books. But you do have to prioritize, be a good steward of your time, and take action on what you learn!
What do you have coming up? Events? Book Signings? I am launching my first info product, Recovery Reboot, in the fall. My schedule also includes time for coaching, speaking engagements, and writing. And I’m already planning for 2012! I plan to launch a monthly membership program in January and will release my first book late next spring. Woo hoo!
Tell us about your family and your support group I’ve been married to the love of my life and best friend, Jerry, for 17 years. We have a blended family of 5 adult children, 7 grand children, and 2 dogs, Breeze and Gracie. My mama, who is 92 years young, lives nearby in an assisted living facility. We’re active in our church, recovery meetings, and love to travel. Other support comes from NACWE, mastermind groups, and friends, both here in Champaign and all over the world. I am truly blessed!
Who were/are your mentors? I’ve had many ~ Dr. Jim Pancrazio, Joan Hyde Langie, Gladys Lewis, Jan Obear, Phil Scherer, Lauren Hughes Morales.
But in the last year, Dr. Katie Brazelton of LPCCI in CA; Bette Hamby of LifeDesignWorks in San Antonio, TX; Jo Ann Fore of Writing Where It Hurts in Johnson City, TN; Kelly Thorne Gore of iBloom in Lexington, KY; Sandi Krakowski of A Real Change in Warsaw, IN; and Ms. Diane Cunningham of NACWE in Wichita Falls, TX.
What else would you like to share with us? I am truly honored to be connected with Diane, the members of NACWE, and those listening to Diane’s show. We serve an amazing God. I want to share with everyone that no matter what is going on in your life today, God loves you and is closer than your next breath. Whether you are at the top of your game, or feeling hopeless and unsure of your next steps, please know that God is even bigger. We are not created to live a mediocre life wandering around in the desert ~ we are created for magnificence! I’d love to hear from all of you ~ so please feel free to contact me at www.beacontopurpose.com or on Facebook!
Mary Kate Evans of www.beacontopurpose.com is a “Back to Basics” recovery coach, speaker, and published author who currently serves clients throughout the world. Her resources help individuals in all stages of recovery move from mediocrity to magnificence. She has a 20+ year track record of connecting on a heart-felt level, guiding others to find healing, purpose, and long-term recovery.