Before founding his farm, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones enjoyed a successful career in television, working as a producer and director for the BBC.
Eventually, he decided to pursue his true passion—farming. Grab a quick snippet from Wilfred's journey to create the thriving business he runs today.
From Childhood Dreams to Reality
Wilfred's decision to establish a farm was deeply influenced by his childhood experiences.
Growing up in a low-income family in inner-city Birmingham, he and his family dreamed of owning land one day.
During the interview he recalled:
"It gave me a sense that anything could be possible. And it was at that moment, I decided that one day I would like to own my own. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but it was a promise that I lodged into the back of my mind. Then every single thing that I subsequently did with my life was to try and fulfill that dream."
Despite leaving school without qualifications and dealing with dyslexia, Wilfred transformed this challenge into an advantage. Wilfred said:
"It's only later in life that I understood actually it's a gift rather than a curse. Because when you're dyslexic, your brain has to think about things in a different way to solve problems."
Creating an Attention-Grabbing Brand
The name "The Black Farmer" was chosen to make a statement in an industry with little representation of black people.
Wilfred wanted to demonstrate that race shouldn't be a barrier to success and that being black can be part of mainstream culture.
Liana and Wilfred also discussed the role ego plays in entrepreneurship, both positively and negatively.
Wilfred highlighted the lonely nature of entrepreneurship, where many might wish for your failure, but he emphasised that determination, will, and self-belief can keep you going. He said:
"One of the things you've got to work out about yourself if you think you're an entrepreneur is a fundamental decision. You've either got to decide to be or belong. Most people want to belong, and to belong means you have to operate by the rules of the crowd, the rules of the community. They don't want you going out and breaking the rules. To be an entrepreneur, you have to have the courage to break convention, which means sacrificing belonging."
Words of Advice
Wilfred's top business tip is to have the courage to stand out from the crowd. He also shared two essential qualities successful people possess:
"The first thing is that you need to be ruthlessly, ruthlessly focused. And what I mean by being ruthlessly focused is that you're able to get rid of the white noise of living. So many people's lives are surrounded by irrelevant things that are not important."
Take a Deep Dive Into Fearless Growth
Delve deeper into Wilfred's insights with Unfinished Business: Fearless Growth.
Your host, Liana Fricker, explores his journey from humble beginnings to the thriving business he runs today.
Discover how Wilfred's unwavering determination and courage helped him overcome challenges and achieve business success.