Serial Entrepreneur Bernie Davies is a Publisher, Bestselling Author, International Master Coach, Speaker, Trainer, and Business Mentor with an outstanding legal career in property, who has now dedicated herself to helping entrepreneurs to awaken their inner genius. Her current Bestseller, Your Business Your Way, topped the Amazon New Releases in all its 3 categories and is an overall Amazon Bestseller. Bernie and her husband Mark owned and operated an award-winning chain of Restaurants, Jamaican Jills in Neath and Swansea, for 8 years. During this time, she has served as Chair of the Neath Chamber of Trade and sat on the Neath Town Centre Consortium. In 2021, she was a Welsh Government Business Coach.
Bernie Davies, in 2021 you were the winner of the Women in Business Diversity & Inclusion Award, you are a TEDx Speaker, Bestselling Author, Diversity and Entrepreneurship Leader, and so much more. I am interested in knowing better the woman behind all these successes. Who is Bernie in your own words?
I am really thrilled to share who Bernie Davies is. I did not know that by 2022 I would have achieved so much. To be honest, in the last week, I am almost embarrassed by the awards I have won. For example, in 2022 I won The Women in Business Speaker Award. I was given the absolute honour on UN human rights day to be awarded ambassador for peace, at an event marking the end of the sixteen-day UN-led campaign for the elimination of violence against women and young girls, at the Universal Peace Federation headquarters in Lancaster Gate, in London. I cannot believe that I was given that award in the same week, I became the first black woman to be appointed to the advisory panel of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, - the Body that oversees all public services within Wales, including the Welsh government, the National Health Service, and Social Care Wales. Yes, I am a TEDx speaker. Yes, I am a best-selling author. Yes, I’ve won multiple awards…All of these things, and I am grateful. But this does not tell you who I really am. I always say that we are not what we do because if we actually base who we are on what we do, we are going to become unstuck. Sometimes, we are going to do things that we are not proud of. And there are so many that I am proud of.
But who am I? I am the fourth of five children in a very hard-working Jamaican family. I was told by my family very early that you needed to achieve, and that achievement was very important.
I had some hard knocks that got me on a very dangerous path of being so competitive because I was very insecure about who I was. And I had formulated an idea of who I was by what I did. So, who am I now as a result of that? I am a person who cares. I am a person who believes that collaboration is key. I am a person who believes that if we go, we go together or not at all. I thrive on happiness. I thrive on helping people. I thrive on collaborating. And I thrive on connecting people with the right people. I am a connector. I am a natural networker at heart.
I am a legacy lover and a legacy maker. I support all the people's legacies. I come alongside people, and I say, "Let’s do it together."
Could you think of a time in your life when you had to overcome adversity and describe what you did?
Yes, I can certainly think of several times that I've faced adversity and had to overcome it. I will tell you about one episode when I moved from Jamaica to the United Kingdom as a young, very successful lawyer. When I moved to the UK, my aim was to carry on and work as a lawyer, but this did not work out. In the UK, I was initially facing homelessness and joblessness.
Sometimes these things happen in life, and I was in a position where I was told I was overqualified, but I didn't understand that concept. Overqualified?
But you know what I did? Because I had been through what I had been through to qualify as a lawyer, and because I understood who I was and had learned the value and importance of building something bigger than yourself and joining hands with others, when I found myself in that position, I looked around. I was in Bradford and saw refugees and asylum seekers, and I thought, "I am going to help them."
I also used to attend a church that did a lot of citizen outreach work, and they had a Citizen Center block of offices. I asked them to give me one of the offices. They were very kind to give it to me, and I used it to set up a charity to serve. And that charity, within three years, has landed me my most prestigious speaking engagement to date in Geneva, Switzerland, at the United Nations. No platform has been greater than the charity I set up when I was at my lowest. I took my head outside myself and my own needs and thought about others.
In your book, Your Business Your Way, you take the readers on a journey of self-discovery and offer a step-by-step guide to building confidence and vision. What is the most important message that you are trying to convey to the audience and why is this important?
So, in my book, "Your Business Your Way," I have taken people through a step-by-step process to discover who they are, to build their confidence, and build a business from that. But what is the real message that I am trying to convey with all of that? The fact that your potential customers buy you first before they buy what you are selling.
I teach people how to build their businesses through understanding, accepting, and showcasing their uniqueness. Understanding that you are the most important product in your business. I am a woman with a purpose who can help you find your “youprint” and cleverly imprint that in the world.