Category Archives: education

The life changing aspect of Entrepreneurship for Indigenous Women,

When I reflect upon entrepreneurship and being an Indigenous woman, I can agree, it was a  game changer, for me. When we put our minds and our hearts together, to take those risks, do the things we love, and apply our skills. Removing the blocks, the barriers. This could apply to any of us. We all have mindset work. We all have individual areas we need to work on.

Removing barriers, the messaging that no longer serves us

The stories we have been told that are simply not true:

“your too old” to “we are all in our own time”

“your too broke” to “I am valuable”

“your too distracted” to “I am multi talented”

“you are not that type” to “I bring my own skill set”

“there is no funding” to “what is my true worth”

“you should be doing xxxx because everyone else is doing xxxx” to “this is how I roll”

“your not supposed to be an entrepreneur” to “I come from a long line of creative entrepreneurs”

“why don’t you get a real job” to “work is so many things”

Raising your vibe though entrepreneurship

Raising your vibe, and energy is necessary.

Knowing where you are aligned is much like going to places that support you, and your vision.  When I began to research my own business, not only did I have to search out people and mentors in my field, I deliberately sought out mentors. Sometimes this mean calling them, contacting them, finding them on Linked In, Facebook and other social media. I also lifted myself out of the parameters of the geography of where I lived. One of the best things I did was volunteer to present at a conference, and in exchange for my presentation, I received air fare and a hotel. I offered to also volunteer at the conference.

Going where your vibe is

Places can suck your energy, especially sometimes depending on what kind of person you are.

Knowing what you like? Being where you like to be. Taking comfort in knowing where you are has what you need.  Raising your belief, and your deeper sense of self, because it comes from that creative and feel good place, is honouring that place within you. For me being an entrepreneur and building that mindset meant I was able to receive. When I offered my skills and advices, it became a good relationship. Being an entrepreneur is about so many areas, and the multi layered experiences within, make it a place to really allow that creativity to shine through.

Stories

We’ve heard the stories: the entrepreneur who travelled across the country with one hundred dollars in spending money and a paid room. She wowed the audience. She made that connection. She came back to not only one, but two contracts awarded to her, enough to live off for a half of the year.

Why did this happen? The answer is simple: alignment and being true to what she could offer. Being true to what you have to give is why you attract the clients, and those who are interested in your work. Because you are being true to what and who you are. I can say that doing what you love, will attract more love, because that is the reciprocal nature of success.

Ideas on entrepreneurship

Everyone has their own ideas on what entrepreneurship means.

Because I am an Indigenous woman, and have had my own set of barriers: lack of access to funds, lack of access to culturally supportive mentoring. I realised that I had to unstuck myself.

I had to find out what my gold was. Not defining success by monetary values was an important aspect for me. Though knowing I’d need money to finance what I wanted to build.

I don’t claim to even truly know this, but I think what it means, is knowing what you feel is important and valuable. Perhaps the belief in self is the first step.

I knew when I faced unemployment, entrepreneurship was my much needed location, and go to place. I also knew it felt mysterious, overwhelming and at times, cool, and chic, but without a foundation, this would not work.

Knowing what was successful and tangible for me, was what I had to figure out. I am still ironing out what and how that looks. For example, what products can I offer: I often think writing a book would be a starting place. I have other areas I’d love to expand upon. Finding the time to do and design that is definitely on my list of things to do. Which means: time management, visioning and prep time, are very important here to mention as well.

As much as Indigenous women seem to be in the news, for the negative outcomes that we face, that burden our everyday lives, and that many of us deal with day to day.  I knew entrepreneurship and the building of my business, was a place for me to unshackle from those low vibes, a place for me to go. A creative safe space. Knowing what worked for me. For my family. For my life situation. Following my heart. Belief in my self. Lifting above the crushing lateral violence. The “I am not good enough” messages.

Ms. Audette writes in a 2012 article:

“The women entrepreneurs we see have more self-esteem. They are using their businesses to provide a healthy life for their families — and that is so much more than just a successful business. It helps keep families together, to provide an environment for their children to get an education, adds so much to the quality of life of aboriginal families.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspires us

I am reminded of this work that I did.

When I took on this project, I had no clue about quilts or sewing. When I gathered quilting fabric and materials at the sewing store, I was laughed at by a local quilter for thinking it be easy to build a quilt. The truth is, I knew we’d do this as a team. And this we totally did.  I knew from my contact who was helping to support me that the Elders loved to do activities together and especially creative activities. I also knew, we’d work together, and our project would be a unique one.

One of my favourite thing was when we built our self portraits, which was the basis for the quilt activity. I took a Reggio learning activity, Reggio being one of my favourite early learning.  Building self portraits was and is so important for all of us. What and how we perceive ourselves, how we are known in the community and in our families? What stories do we share? What are our favourite colours? Places? Partners? Lovers? Children? How do we see ourselves? What is important to us? What are events in your life that you want to share about? What do you love to do?

What was shared by the Elders was phenomenal. I learned so many stories from them, that they could fill volumes. If you get a chance, you can see the quilt at the Friendship Centre in the basement where they run their programs which really is a niche for them.

Using this model to work with the Elders was really inspiring. During my time with them we worked in different spaces with them including the Baggage Arts Building, The Art Gallery.  I still work with the Elders in my work, and really believe in the work of  Loris Malaguzz  is built on a solid foundation of philosophical principles and extensive experiences and is truly a way of building something solid.

The work with the Elders was so much, and there is still so much to explore and build upon,

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/human-rights-quilt-stitched-with-stories-from-thunder-bay-elders-1.2929516

Thinking of your platform or purpose in Online Entrepreneurship

https___blogs-images.forbes.com_celinnedacosta_files_2018_09_DSC07405-3-1200x800In the month of July I had the opportunity to work with Paul Thomson who taught me about online courses and helped me in building a theme or area that would suit the work I do. This does not have to be hard. This should be in an area you feel strong or confident in.

He writes about what drove his purpose, and desire to teach in different platforms such as online and technology,

 During these years, I was a passionate advocate of integrating technology into the classroom. The education system felt outdated, with teachers writing notes on the board and making students copy them down into their books. I was focused on helping my fellow teachers create educational experiences in a scalable format, and did so by speaking at events, writing education tech articles, and becoming one of Microsoft’s Innovative Educators. By facilitating the work of other teachers, I was able to improve the educational experience for more students.

Take a look at his story and how he moved ahead to become a huge support in the online entrepreneur community, and his story of success which gives pointers, and suggestions in going forward and moving your work in the area of online entrepreneurship.

The reason I am primarily interested in the work here which Paul speaks about, is the many opportunities that can exist in platforms that have been shunned by the mainstream as viable options for those who may be balancing many things on their plate.  It is actually quite amazing the amount of negativity which social media does receive and online learning though, when you think about the simplicity of online platforms for learning, there are ways to create a personal tone online, if that is a criticism against learning online. Being online is another method, and another option. Additionally, there are many reasons why online entrepreneurship can support your lifestyle, and where you need or want to be.

Please share this article and check out Paul here for his Facebook group.