Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Hughes.
Hi Peter, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I spent over a decade working in traditional finance, in investment banks and hedge funds. By 2015, I’d achieved the professional goals I set for myself, and yet I’d found my success to be unfulfilling. I’d become overly materialistic, my sense of empathy was close to nonexistent, and I hadn’t felt love or connection in years. I decided I needed a massive change – so I left my position as a hedge fund portfolio manager, sold my apartment, and devoted some time to my personal growth. Over several years, I studied various modalities to deepen my connection to myself and others, move into alignment with my core values, and identify and clear self-imposed limitations.
With respect to my work in performance and life coaching, it was less about a conscious decision and more about listening patiently and waiting for the invitation. I was new to a wonderful community of entrepreneurs and change-makers, and as people got to know me and hear my story, I saw how they could connect and relate to my life experience. Conversations led to coffees and teas, which led to regular “sessions”, and I began to receive feedback that I was helping people feel inspired, motivated, and more hopeful. Under the guidance of a mentor, I enrolled in a formal coaching course, and in a short time I had the skills and confidence to co-create coaching relationships. I met my first client in a workshop I co-facilitated and immediately felt in my heart that we were meant to work together. Within days we committed to a long-term coaching relationship and through that relationship, it became clear that my purpose is to elevate people through coaching.
More recently, I founded Evolve Investing, which offers financial coaching, planning, and investment advisory services, with an emphasis on value-aligned and impact investing. The idea for Evolve came to me after observing that while many people care about investing for their financial future, they find it challenging to do so in a way that aligns with their personal values. I’m grateful for the opportunity to combine my coaching skills and financial knowledge to empower people to achieve their goals and maximize their impact by investing in the companies and causes that matter most to them.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I was living out of alignment during most of my career in traditional finance. During that time, I was deeply attached to my work, and my wins and losses at the office were entangled with my overall sense of self-worth. As I achieved my financial goals, my lack mentality prevailed. Because I measured my personal value by my level of income, I constantly felt inferior compared to peers who were managing more money or getting bigger bonuses. While I wasn’t consciously unhappy, it felt as if I was fighting against my authentic self every day. Rather than face my internal struggles, I was numbing myself with alcohol, and the misalignment often showed up as physical pain in my body. I was lost and in a place of deep suffering, and I knew I required a dramatic change.
After leaving the financial sector, I felt as if I’d lost my identity and struggled to find purpose or direction. It took nearly a year for me to get comfortable sitting with the uncertainty. Once there, many shadows started to emerge, particularly the lack mentality which had been present for most of my life. It was painful to face that shadow. I could see how my scarcity mentality had created separateness in my life and had to work through all the shame and self-judgment associated with that.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
For several years, I have been a professional life coach at Peter Hughes Performance Coaching. I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service and help people break through limiting beliefs and achieve their desired outcomes.
As the world entered a global recession in early 2020, and stocks were melting down, several friends reached out to ask me about financial markets. I offered to host a weekly group call to share insights. In time, it became clear that friends cared about investing for their financial future and yet found it challenging to do so in a way that aligned with their personal values. While there are straightforward choices with respect to how we can spend our money – such as the food we eat, the products we use, or the vehicles we drive – the choices for our investments are less clear. I recognized an opportunity to combine my coaching skills with what I’ve learned as a financial analyst to help people invest consciously, and launched Evolve Investing, a Registered Investment Advisor.
What makes Evolve unique is that I meet my financial clients with the same energy as I do with my life coaching clients. We work to clarify their goals, create a path to reach them, and eliminate the blocks and limiting beliefs that are getting in the way. Similar to my life coaching relationships, I support my clients as they implement the practices that serve them most. We also empower our clients to invest in the causes they care about – such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting women leaders and racial equality, fighting deforestation, and promoting ethical supply chains. At the same time, they can avoid investing into companies that produce fossil fuels, manufacture cigarettes and weapons, build pipelines on indigenous land, and support the prison industrial complex. As we each make more value-aligned choices with our investments, companies will listen and respond. This way we are creating a world in which corporations have greater incentives to take actions that heal our planet, improve our health, and promote equality.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I am a curious person, and that resource has kept me motivated to keep learning and exploring, even when my direction or outcome is unclear. During my sabbatical, my curiosity transferred into the realm of human connection, a contrast to my years of analyzing companies and financial statements. Because my desire to learn about what drives us never subsided, I engaged in hundreds of rich conversations with strangers, acquaintances, and new friends. Those conversations led me to focus my energy and attention on other people in greater depth, to see my capabilities more clearly, and to develop a new career that is aligned with what the world wants from me.
- Website: www.peterhughescoaching.com / www.evolveinvesting.co
- Instagram: @peterhughescoaching / @evolveinvesting
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evolveinvesting/
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/43178645/
All photos: Inna Shnayder