What better person to talk to this Business Hour than the self proclaimed ‘Queen Bee’, Dani Wallace. Helen Sanderson was buzzing to chat with the woman who looks like she has it all
Dani breezed into the room confident, sassy and fabulous. As a hardworking mum-of-two who runs her own hugely successful coaching business, Dani Wallace looks like she’s got it all figured out.
But 10 years ago she was stuck in an abusive relationship and couldn’t see any way out.
In the autumn of 2010, Dani had to take out a non-molestation order against her abusive partner, the father of her second child, after enduring two years of coercive control and violent behaviour. After a difficult period, sofa-surfing at friends’ houses, she wouldn’t give up on her dream of making a better life for her and her daughters – and a moment of inspiration while watching ‘The Bee Movie’ set her on the path to success.
With just £300 saved up, Dani launched her coaching business ‘I am Queen Bee’ and now counts celebrities like former Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton among her clientele and is set to turn over £100K this year.
She began ‘I Am the Queen Bee’, initially as a Facebook group for women in business to find support. Dani explained: “I got the idea for my branding while watching The Bee Movie with my kids. There was this quote: ‘According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.’
“And I loved that, because most of us are only really held back by the limitations we set ourselves in our own heads.”
The Facebook group became a thriving safe space where women could support each other, and Dani’s live streams eventually became a regular weekday morning 8am event called the Show Up, Wise Up and Rise Up Show.
“I’m a big believer in having an ‘abundance mentality’. This mind shift focuses on what we do have, and it allows us to see possibilities rather than limits. You start making a difference in your life when you show up, wise up and rise up,” Dani explained.
“I used to be jealous of other people having money or success, but now I believe there is enough to go round for everyone and we can all help each other. So I’m happy to surround myself with positive, achieving people. It was drummed into me to work hard, now I’m working smart.”
Last year Dani launched the FLYANYWAY Foundation. She explained: “It was always my intention, from the second I heard the Bee Movie quote about bees not caring what humans think is impossible, to create a foundation that would help survivors of domestic abuse build businesses so that they could do just that, Fly Anyway.”
“Taking back control of your life after you have escaped a toxic relationship is incredibly difficult.
“Learning to trust yourself, your talents and believing in your worth as an independent, whole person is a constant struggle, especially if you are trying to do that on your own.”
The #FlyAnyway Foundation is a community interest company (soon to be a registered charity) that was launched to help survivors of Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence, to build their financial independence and confidence by connecting them to business mentors and services.
The service users are referred to as Business Builders so that their identity is not built upon victimhood, but it is built on their empowerment as they build their lives again.
The board comprises of founder of Killing Kittens and the Sistr Network, Emma Sayle, Olympic medallist Marilyn Okoro, successful business coach and celebrity events planner Deep Bajwa and Dani’s sister as project lead, who is a speciality domestic abuse support worker.
If that’s not enough for one business woman, Dani also published her autobiography earlier this year. ‘I am the Queen Bee’ which recounts her life as she grew up on a Preston estate. It details how she overcame adversities before finding and creating a new path for her life.
Dani said: “I’m a speaker and speaker coach by trade these days and I have written this book like a series of talks. Short topics, stories and learnings that, when you squish them all together, form a veritable arsenal of awesome which I hope will truly help others. My ambition is to help women across the world “show up, wise up and rise up”.