In this episode we chat to Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, of The Black Farmer – a brand and founder with an awe-inspiring backstory. During this not-to-be-missed episode, Wilfred talks about everything from finding comfort and inspiration as a child in his father’s Birmingham allotment, through to self-belief, the importance of passion and finding and doing what you love; in addition to facing up to your fears, making a friend of uncertainty, and digging deep for courage and conviction.
During this episode we discuss…
- “If you have a great brand, it doesn't matter what you sell because people do not buy what you do. They buy why you do it. I'm sure there are sausages cheaper than mine, better than mine. So, the question is, why are they buying into The Black Farmer sausages? It ain't about the product; we have fantastic quality sausages. It's about what we stand for as a brand. That is what people are buying.” 03:50
- “And this is the important part of my story is that, as the eldest boy, it was my responsibility to look after this allotment. And this allotment really became my oasis away from the misery that I was surrounded by, and I loved it so much that I made myself a promise that one day I would have my own farm.…” 05:11
- “My life is a demonstration that anything can be done, if you have the right mindset.…” 06:58
- “All of that deprivation that I suffered, the challenges that I had, all of my life was preparing me, getting me ready for what I eventually did. So, adversity is a central preparation, to be an entrepreneur. Suffering is essential. So, when you're then on the path of where you want to go, you've got the tools, you've got the emotional tools that you need to help you through it.” 10:00
- “One of the things I cannot bear is human resources. Because human resources is to filter out people like me, they just filter them, you know, it's about actually getting people that fit into a particular template and into boxes.” 13:45
- “You would think that you should count your blessings, keep your head down, and be grateful for what you've achieved but the moment you do that, in life, you're in trouble. Because the moment you stand still, life will pass you by, and the one thing that always kept me on the straight and narrow was my dream of having that farm.” 15:50
- “I've lived my life on this principle; what you actually need in in life is passion, the only thing that is going to help you go on is passion. And the thing about passion is that it defies reason. It defies logic. It defies evidence. It drives you through all of the hurdles that will come your way.” 18:20
- “I knew pretty early on that I would never ever fit into corporate life.” 20:15
- “Part of being entrepreneurial is about rewriting the rulebook… a lot of people think it's going to be done through politeness and all that it is, is a goddamn street fight.” 27:30
- “Do something that you love, and then that gives you all the well-being that you need because actually it consumes your life… find what you love; it’s really, really important because that's the only thing that's going to carry you through.…” 29:41
- “All the research came back and said do not call [the business] The Black Farmer because people will be offended. And all the research said it was a big negative. So, this is the lesson; research will tell you what people were thinking yesterday, research will tell you what people are thinking today. But research cannot tell you what people are thinking tomorrow. That is where you need to have courage. That is where you need to have conviction that what you're doing is the right thing.” 32:42
- “Everybody is in search of authenticity… we need to be able to connect with what is real, what is authentic.” 43:15
Huge thanks to Wilfred and The Black Farmer team for giving our listeners 15% off purchases via their website with the promo code: FGB15
If you've been inspired by any of the guests or content on this show and you'd like to share your thoughts or expertise to our Feel-Good Brands community of founders and leaders, we're always looking out for new guests for the Brand Talks podcast, so do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Beyond is a creative branding agency working with brands that make a positive impact.