Dani Wallace, 36, is an international speaker and speaker coach, as well as a professional singer. Having overcome homelessness as a single parent, domestic violence and years of self-sabotage…. she is now a motivational speaker and coach and fearless leader of the I Am The Queen Bee Movement helping women across the world Show Up, Wise Up and Rise Up!
How did you get started?
One day whilst watching TV with my 3 children, inspiration took the form of a quote from a children’s film. At the start of Bee Movie (2007) the Narrator declares: ‘According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. It’s 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.’ – It is from this, the I Am The Queen Bee Movement was born.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
Having grown up on the council estates in Preston, my early life was full of adversity, an alcoholic father, life on the bread line and the comings and goings of various cousins as my mum tried to help them when, they too, fell on hard times.
In 2008, just a few months after ‘settling down’ and having my first child, I was all excited for our forthcoming wedding. Just a couple of weeks after sending out the invites, my partner called time on the relationship leaving me a lone parent on one income at the start of the recession. I remember feeling so unlovable and vulnerable. I was so surprised when I was pursued by someone at work, and so began a relationship that spiralled into a rollercoaster of domestic abuse.
As is quite common in DV situations, I became pregnant with my second child and when I was 4 months pregnant, the relationship came to a violent head. After one particular incident whenI was almost strangled, with the help of DV services, I was able to escape the relationship.
Now a single mum of two and barely able to afford my mortgage and nursery fees for two under threes, I was forced into homelessness with my children and survived by sofa surfing at my family and friends until I was able to find a home that I could afford.
I then spent the next 5 years rebuilding my life, accessing support, engaging with personal development and made the jump to self-employment some six years ago. When I realised the only place I sang anymore was in the kitchen doing the washing up I decided I’d like to get back on stage.
I met my amazing husband and with his support I now perform on stages nationally for multinational companies and private clients – doing something I love, singing, motivating and inspiring others.
Alongside this I was set on a personal mission to give back to other people who may not feel good enough, who are victims of their own self-sabotage or who are hiding their talents from the world because they were fearful…
What has worked well about your business?
Helping people who have been terrified to speak, take to the stage and screen to deliver their message truly does feel like a huge achievement every time. Personally, going on to sell out my ‘Show Up, Wise Up, Rise Up’ speaking events, being invited to speak on national stages, partnering with charities and inspired hundreds of women globally in business to also #FlyAnyway are in my eyes my biggest achievements.
How do you fit in work with the family?
It’s not easy balancing work and home, and the lockdown has made it even more tricky to navigate… but one thing I have and will always continue to do is encourage my children’s passion and creativity. My eldest adores to sing, my youngest has a creative flair and her art work has come alive in lockdown.
I may not be perfect, but I am dedicated. I have a routine which I stick to most days and get up early and stay up late when need to fit in fun family time around my mission led business. I am also very lucky to have married my right hand man who also now works alongside me. We are very much in this together.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Know your worth – I have to consciously remind myself that I am worthy of the work, opportunities and pay I receive. One of the hardest things at the beginning was charging my worth and not compromise on my value and expertise. That, even as I grow still is a sticking point…
What impact do you want to have?
I am a massive believer in collaboration and not competition. My mission, as the fearless leader of the I Am The Queen Bee Movement is to help women across the world Show Up, Wise Up and Rise Up! Via my online global community I mentor women, delivering my message that despite what we have faced, we can step up and into success and fly anyway…
I host a daily ‘Show Up Rise Up Wise Up TV show’ Monday – Friday.
Find out more about Dani at – www.iamthequeenbee.co.uk