Rachel Picken’s Journey with Evolution

As the second in our series of stories from our clients, celebrating our twenty years in business, we’d like to share Rachel Picken’s journey with you.
If you feel inspired by what you read, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to learn how we can help you on your journey.

Rachel Picken's Journey
Rachel Picken of MPAD

I first met Martin in a previous life – I worked as a newspaper reporter at the West Briton, and was handed responsibility for business news. At the time I was flirting with a local PR consultant, Mark Picken, and he was showering me with freebies in the hope I would write about his clients.

One of the opportunities he offered me was to learn NLP with Martin. I turned my nose up a bit – I have a degree in communication and I’m a trained journalist. What else could I possibly learn? But I did meet with Martin and tried out a few techniques, then wrote about it in my business pages.

I started dating Mark not long after, and we married in 2008. Mark has been on several of Evolution’s NLP courses, and I was curious. By this point, I had been freelancing with Mark’s business MPAD and joined the team permanently just after we got married. So I signed up for a business practitioner course, and little did I know how it would change my life, and that of my fellow students.

During the course, we learned about how different individuals communicate, using metaphors (a technique I still use in presentations today), anchors, but most importantly goal-setting. During the course I set myself three goals – move house, become a company director and start a family. By October 2009, I found myself settling into a new role as director at MPAD, but also trying not to throw up at the smell of kitchen flooring in our new house due to morning sickness. Olivia Grace Picken made an appearance after a 90 hour labour in July 2010.

One of my course-mates also had a baby around the same time – having started a relationship during the course by trying out her NLP skills on an unsuspecting man. I expect there are many Evolution hatches and matches.

Another of my course-mates was a fairly private guy but towards the end of the course he explained how he and his wife were keen to re-explore adopting children, having had a knock back previously. We lost touch but a couple of years later, I saw him from afar at the end of a street, with two gorgeous curly-haired toddlers in tow. It’s a powerful memory for me, and represents the legacy Evolution has created for so many people.

Even now, I find it easier to set goals and chunk them down into manageable steps. Last year, I wanted to take up a new hobby – as soon as I opened up my eyes to that opportunity, I spotted an ad for pole fitness classes on my social feed. I signed up, and I now have a pole in my office. It raises some eyebrows but mostly clients and staff want to give it a go.

Through Martin, I’ve also gotten to know Fiona – whom, safe to say, is one of the most treasured women in our part of Cornwall. She is warm, emotionally intelligent, supportive and brave. I attended one of her two-day courses in 2009 for confidence and assertiveness. Some people around me couldn’t believe I would need such a course, but like so many professional women I struggle to ignore the small but powerful critical voice at the back of my head. Imposter syndrome is very real and I think it’s the reason we still have gender pay gap and poor representation amongst women at board level.

I’m proud to be part of Evolution’s story, and so very glad Martin and his team are part of mine.



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