Focus

Journey 3

Artwork by Ryan Newman, Fort William First Nation

SELF

In SELF, write your own story. Reflect on who you are, where you come from, and your passions and strengths that will help in building a business.

SEEING

In SEE, imagine a future where your community is thriving. See opportunities to create this future. Ideas for a business will arise from here.

FOCUS

In FOCUS, choose a business idea that aligns your strengths, passions, vision for the future, and community needs.

RELATIONSHIPS

In RELATIONSHIPS, you will begin to tell your business story and share it to attract opportunities and resources that can help you.

How can I help myself and my community thrive by building a business?

In this section we are going to use everything we have learned so far to narrow our focus and move forward with one idea. Solid business ideas come from people who know themselves and their communities. Impactful and successful businesses are those that meet the needs of real people and future generations.

“Seizing the moment and observing our surroundings is a gift from our ancestors. In these moments the maximum opportunities can be realized.

– Andrea Johnston, Owner and Indigenous researcher

How we can focus on one idea

So far, we have gotten to know ourselves in SELF and we have imagined thriving and taken the time to notice business opportunities in our ecosystems and everyday lives in SEEING. Now, we want to FOCUS on one idea so that we can move forward with it. Focusing on one business idea is about alignment. Using what we have learned about ourselves and our environments, where do we see alignment between ourselves, our vision for the future, and the present needs of our community?

Exercise 1: My strongest business idea

Let’s take a moment to review our notes from previous activities and identify where we have the greatest alignment with each of the 4 areas of a business idea.

Look into your heart, speak with people who know you, and people who your business might serve.

Confirm your idea with yourself and with others.

My business vision

Now that you have a business idea to focus on, it’s helpful to put a vision statement into words. This is a statement about how your business can help create the future you want to create for your community.

A vision statement for a business is a guiding and grounding aspiration. The journey of building a business is long and winding. Your vision statement is your guiding star – it reminds you of where you are going and why, keeping you and those who will join you on the right path.

Sharing your vision statement with others will allow you to attract allies and resources such as: partners, collaborators, customers, funding, media and more. These resources will come to you because they share your vision and the values reflected within it.

Exercise 2: Elements of my business

In this exercise, we explore your business on a more practical level. We consider who you might work with, what resources you might need, what opportunities might be coming up.

These areas will evolve, deepen, and become more specific over time as you build your business and as the world around you changes. These elements will be a starting point.

Key Takeaways

  • The most viable business for you to build is one that is aligned with your strengths and interests, your vision for the future and your community’s needs.

  • A vision statement is a tool you can use to guide you and others on the journey to building your business.

  • Learning from the practical wisdom of fellow Indigenous entrepreneurs – those who share the path you are on or who have already walked it – is a good idea.
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