Artwork by Tyler Tabobondung Rushnell, Wasauksing First Nation
In SEE, imagine a future where your community is thriving. See opportunities to create this future. Ideas for a business will arise from here.
In FOCUS, choose a business idea that aligns your strengths, passions, vision for the future, and community needs.
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 build a community to share this journey with?
In this section, we are going to work on developing and communicating your business story, including your vision, your values, your personal experience and more. By sharing this story with others, you will be able to invite people to walk with you on this journey.
A business storyBusinesses are never built alone. They are built in relationship. You will need a community of people to elevate you and walk with you on this journey. In RELATIONSHIP, you’ll learn to talk about your business and the journey you’re on as a way of inviting others to join you. Sharing your story is a powerful way to find the right people to join you – people whose strengths you need and who are aligned with your vision and values. To start, your story will including many of the elements you have already developed throughout this course. As your business grows and evolves, so will your story.
” Stories go in circles. They don’t go in straight lines. It helps if you listen in circles because there are stories inside and between stories, and finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home. “
– Dr. Terry Tafoya, Native American Psychologist.
Like all stories, a business story can be long or short and it can be told in many different ways. Here are some key components of a compelling and intentional business story:
- Why – This part of your story answers questions about why you started your business. How did you get here? What is the problem or opportunity you noticed?
- What & how – What are you and your business doing and offering? How will you serve your customers?
- Vision – What is life like for the people and communities that you have served? Paint a picture for your audience of the positive impact you will have.
- Invitation – Provide specific invitations for people to join you. Let them know how they can help.
Exercise 1: Telling a business story
Storytelling can be a way of spreading awareness, asking for help, and inviting people to join you.
Your business story can be shared with people you know, on your website, on social media, with potential partners and funders, in applications, in the media and anywhere else you can think of. The better you get at telling your story, the more compelling it becomes.
This exercise will help you to shape your story and some of the key elements you can consider including.
“I am not standing alone. All of my relations are here with me and guiding me.”
– Ermine W., Elder 1995
Exercise 2: Sharing my story
In the early stages of your business, you will want to surround yourself with as much support as possible.
This exercise will help you think about who your stakeholders are, how they can help you, what specific support you may need, and how you can use your story to reach them and invite them to walk with you on this journey.
If you have completed Exercises 1 and 2, then you should have a business story, an idea of who you might want to invite to join you.
The next step is to reach out. Visit, call, email, or use social media to invite your stakeholders to join you and to find other people whose efforts you can join. After all, business is a reciprocal journey.
Remember that your story is designed to attract the support of people who share your values, mission and vision. In the early stages of your business, these are the people that will believe in you, see the value of your business, and want to help you grow.
- The journey of building a business is one you cannot walk alone. Share the journey with people who share your values and your goals.
- Your business story is a powerful tool you can use to invite the right people to join you.
- Use different mediums to share your story. Share it in person and online. Get creative.
- Practice telling your story as often as you can, improving it as you learn what resonates with people most.