Small Biz Buzz—120—IndigenousCC—Importance of Diversity in your Small Business

Melody Lewis and Turquoise Devereaux of the IndigenousCC join Small Biz Buzz to discuss the importance of having diversity in your small business.

“Diversity has to be the foundation of your business, that's just it, because naturally, it will impact all these other areas of work–your customer relations, your marketing, all of that,” said Melody Lewis. “Diversity, the understanding of it, what it means and how to apply it, that's the tone that will ensure the sustainability of it, because it's part of the way you do things.”

Check out their REZponse Roundtable YouTube channel to see how they’re revitalizing the indigenous perspective in the workplace.

Click play for more.

Transcript:

Dusey Van Dusen (00:00):

Hello, everybody welcome to Small Biz Buzz. This is Dusey Van Dusen and I'm joined by our always host, Crystal-

Crystal Heuft (00:19):

Crystal Heuft.

Dusey Van Dusen (00:20):

Yeah.

Crystal Heuft (00:21):

Hi, good. I was just saying I'm a little out of practice, so I'm excited to be talking today. It's like, the best part of my week is typically just chatting with everyone.

Dusey Van Dusen (00:30):

Yeah, it's nice to see some faces. I'm normally just heads down editing videos kind of stuff. It's good to have a good conversation with everybody here. Crystal, we've got some guests that you've lined up for us. You want to introduce them for us?

Crystal Heuft (00:46):

Yes, I'm really excited. Today, we have Melody Lewis, and Turquoise, what's your last name-

Turquoise Devereaux (00:53):

Devereaux.

Crystal Heuft (00:54):

Devereaux, thank you, and they are from the IndigenousCC. We're really looking forward to chatting with you, ladies. Today, we're going to dive into a topic that I think is really important these days, which is why is it important to have diversity in your business? Can you guys share a little bit more about your company and how you guys started your bond and your partnership, and then we'll dive in.

Melody Lewis (01:16):

My name is Melody Lewis. I am from the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, located in Mojave Valley, Arizona, a small town about four hours from here. I am the co-founder for Indigenous Community Collaborative, also known as IndigenousCC. Basically, what we do is to revitalize the indigenous perspective within workforce and education, and I am the workforce side.

Melody Lewis (01:38):

Basically, workforce development is everything into how do I get talent development, talent acquisition, all of that good stuff. But primarily again, for indigenous communities or for companies or outside non-tribal entities to work with tribal communities. That's what I do.

Turquoise Devereaux (02:02):

My name is Turquoise Devereaux. I am Salish and Blackfeet. I'm actually from Montana. I grew up in western Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. That's where I came. I've been in Phoenix now for two years. I am also the co-founder for IndigenousCC. I'm the academic side, the education side. A lot of what I've done in my career is, I do a lot of consulting and working with institutions doing institutional reform, curriculum development, on what I call creating culturally safe spaces for native populations to have equal access to education.

Turquoise Devereaux (02:42):

Mel and I, we met a short two years ago, which is amazing though, because instantly we found out our passions truly aligned, but it comes from two different systems. But we collaborated now and doing what we do with IndigenousCC. Really, like Mel was saying, we do some youth development as well of teaching tribal youth, indigenous youth how to navigate these systems to be successful in education and workforce. Then we serve tribal communities in not only skill development and teaching true history of what happened to indigenous people. But then we also... A lot of who I served before coming into this role with IndigenousCC was a lot of non native institutions, organizations, nonprofits, social services that serve tribal communities to teach them from a culturally accurate perspective how to serve tribal communities.

Dusey Van Dusen (03:49):

That's-

Crystal Heuft (03:50):

That's awesome.

Dusey Van Dusen (03:50):

That's so cool. I can just vibe off of the energy that you guys have. I love that... You found each other, you could tell that it was something that was going to work and it was awesome and that energy is infectious. I love that. Just keep that coming my way, I could use more of that energy.

Crystal Heuft (04:08):

I know, right? It is great. It's nice to see how well the partnership is working that you both have strengths and weaknesses that are different, because I think that makes such a solid partnership. The trick of that is finding out how to work well together. It seems like you guys have done really great at that. But I think it seems like an awesome partnership and really exciting work that you guys are doing. I'm really looking forward to dive in.

Crystal Heuft (04:33):

I feel like when I was younger I went to, with my church, it was a CSR service project, which we would go to Native American reservations and help fix up houses. Probably my favorite time that we did was we went and we got to work on a Native American vet's house, a ramp for him so that he could easily get in and out of his house. It's a beautiful culture, at least the culture that I was able to see from that and they were so inviting and made dinner for us. The dinner was amazing, and just a really loving... I told you earlier, I'm all about what was for lunch, what is for dinner-

Dusey Van Dusen (05:12):

Sharing culture through food is totally your thing, right?

Crystal Heuft (05:19):

Oh my gosh, it's so great. It was so amazing that they were so welcoming to our entire youth group that was there. It was great. I went four years in a row and it was always the most spiritual too, because the land is so beautiful and uncluttered with things that take you away from that spirituality. For me, it was probably one of the best experiences I had as a teen was going there every summer, and it's hot.

Crystal Heuft (05:44):

One year I did a roofing project and my soles of my shoes were burnt through by the time it was done. But it was just so much fun. You're just working and learning so much about culture and other people, which is one of my favorite things to do. Thank you guys for being here and I'm excited to share your culture with everyone and how that works and business environment these days.

Crystal Heuft (06:06):

I guess to jump off, Dusey, should we ask them a little bit about transitioning and adapting during COVID?

Dusey Van Dusen (06:12):

Yeah, I think that's a great place to start. I wanted to just ask how you are all holding up or if there's anything that in the way that you've been working, that you think, some things that you found success or some things that you found to be more difficult that you could share with our audience that would be helpful too. Other small business owners out there and people trying to get stuff done remotely.

Melody Lewis (06:35):

Sure. I have so many thoughts. I might go over time. Feel free to say, "Okay, time out."

Dusey Van Dusen (06:42):

Okay.

Melody Lewis (06:44):

Turquoise and I... I did this on my own for a really long time trying to be an entrepreneur and going into a business owner and navigating the systems here locally with, let's just say co-working spaces or small business administration and whatnot. A lot of times, being a member of a community and working primarily with sovereign nations, oftentimes what we had to do was translate that stuff to how that would fit in their communities. But that has been a task for us of trying to figure out okay, this is good stuff. But, we're not there yet as a community in regards to maybe we don't have access to internet as much as it would be here type of thing.

Melody Lewis (07:30):

Oftentimes, we're always in this space of translation. That's one point that I want to put out there, it's very different, right?

Crystal Heuft (07:38):

Yeah.

Melody Lewis (07:39):

The way of doing business. My other thought is, having to navigate where we are now and working with tribal communities, we have to keep that in our minds about, not very many tribal counties might have access to technology like we do or have access to internet like we do. I think we have really had to diversify how we do work and how we do our business on a totally different scale, I think, because type of a constantly problem solve of how we're going to offer these programs.

Melody Lewis (08:15):

We have really embraced social media, we have really embraced, YouTube, we have really... Podcasting, all of those things where it has to be pre recorded so they can get to a place where they could get access, and then yeah-

Dusey Van Dusen (08:33):

Yeah, probably a little less emphasis on some of the live stuff that's been getting hot recently in the past few years because of that. That makes a lot of sense, yeah.

Turquoise Devereaux (08:41):

Yeah, I think that's been one major way that we've had to adapt a lot is being more virtual, but also doing the recordings so that they always have access to it, to when they are able to see it. That's been really great. We've had a lot of interactions actually with youth census isn't going on. I think, I love, love working with indigenous youth. It is one of my true passions.

Turquoise Devereaux (09:13):

Keeping youth engaged in person is a struggle, let alone through a Zoom call. We definitely... I think we've been learning as we've been going, but I think the methods that we've been using with recording and then we've also invested in some things that really make the Zoom calls and things like that more engaging. We use Kahoot! a lot. I don't know if you know Kahoot!, but it's like an online platform where... It's like a game. Kids can get on their phone and they can see their name up on the screen. Then it times you. Kids get super into it, and-

Crystal Heuft (09:51):

That's fun. I'm into it.

Turquoise Devereaux (09:53):

Yeah, I learned it in grad school and I looked and saw, oh my gosh, kids are going to love this.

Dusey Van Dusen (10:00):

Yeah. Gamifying, that works for adults, that works for me-

Crystal Heuft (10:01):

You're talking to two gamers. I'm like, you're talking to two crazy gamers. So, you have both of us.

Turquoise Devereaux (10:06):

That's awesome. I think that's... I think just investing in things that really can make sure that engagement is happening, I think is really good. Like Mel was saying, we work so much in this... Pretty much what we try to do in our business is translate what these systems teach us in order to serve our communities. That happens all the time. When we're in education, we call it walking in two worlds of making that translation and being able to be successful in both.

Turquoise Devereaux (10:36):

What we try to do is alleviate that, so that native communities have a higher chance at just being able to live in these systems and be successful, not having to translate so much. I think being virtual, and having to still translate in a lot of these cases is still a difficulty, but I think we've been doing pretty good and we actually have adapted pretty well, I would say. Using these different platforms has really, really helped us a lot.

Crystal Heuft (11:05):

Well, I was saying that Melody had sent over the YouTube video, and I was already learning so much in the first minute of that video, it's amazing. I feel like it's such a great tool, and I'm glad to see you guys making those shifts to go virtual, because I do think too, it's such an important way even before this was happening to really maintain and have evergreen content. It's really exciting for me. In case you guys don't know, I'm a little bit of a social media nerd. I saw a while ago that for me, that was the future of marketing. Things like YouTube and all that you're doing now is going to help you adapt right now, but also, in my opinion, not that anyone's paying for it, but in my opinion, it's going to last you a very long time to be able to continue bringing new people to your message and your purpose. It's really exciting. Where can they find that video just for anyone who wants to see your series, you guys are creating, where can they find you on YouTube?

Turquoise Devereaux (12:02):

Oh, yeah. On YouTube if you search, it's called Rezponse, so R-E-Z-P-O-N-S-E Roundtable. If you search on YouTube, but for some reason, we don't come up. This is really important, below it'll say like, are you sure this is what you're searching for? Click on that, and then we're the only one that comes up under that.

Crystal Heuft (12:30):

It should be easy for them to know, then.

Turquoise Devereaux (12:33):

Yeah, right?

Dusey Van Dusen (12:35):

We will make sure to put a link in our show notes directly to that, to hopefully help you guys out a little bit there.

Turquoise Devereaux (12:41):

Awesome.

Crystal Heuft (12:41):

Yeah, for sure. Well, I feel like 2020 has been such a crazy year between adapting to COVID and really taking a bigger stance at looking at what diversity means and inclusion means. I'm excited to talk to you guys because you have been doing this long before this was a trend. This has been your life's purpose and your passion for your business. Why is it important to have diversity in business? Not just from the standpoint of it's the right thing to do, but why can someone's business be stronger when there's diversity and inclusion?

Melody Lewis (13:16):

For me... Okay, this is again, you're exactly right, this is our life's purpose. We're revitalizing the indigenous perspective. I work indirectly on workforce development and trying to understand relationships between let's just say your leadership to your frontline staff or your supervisors to your frontline staff. Oftentimes, it relies directly within the concepts of diversity. That means the perspectives that each one of us comes through with, like our value systems and how we are raised and how we see things and in problem solving and solutions and relationships and interactions and communications, all of that is directly impacted by our background.

Melody Lewis (14:00):

I think it's very important for diversity inclusion to be embraced in a foundation for all things for business success, because [inaudible 00:14:13] different perspectives, which in turn will allow you better decision making, which in turn will allow you more innovation and creativity. That's what. In the long run, as somebody that oversees a business, like CEO style or whatever, in the long run, if you invest in that foundation, then in turn, you'll have less turnover, and more employee engagement and more, we love this company.

Dusey Van Dusen (14:38):

Yeah. Like you said, I think having those different perspectives, there's things that I, with my background, never would have thought of that someone else from a different background can bring to the conversation and that can really help. I worked at Apple for a while and I don't want to hold them up as perfect at everything or anything, but there's one part I would teach the new hires. And there's one part of the coursework that would say we celebrate diversity. It was one of their big internal value main points.

Dusey Van Dusen (15:09):

I loved that term that we celebrate diversity. It's not we tolerate other people, it's not, yeah, we would like this. It's celebrate and really dig in and get to know and say, how cool are these differences that we have? That always really stood out to me. Working in a more diverse environment at that time than I had previously, I could really see how having all those points of views at the table really made us a better team, it was fantastic.

Crystal Heuft (15:43):

Totally. I think, a lot of times I'm thinking through marketing head space, but I think we're talking to so many different type of people. Everyone looking at me would think I'm white, and I get it, I look really white, especially now I haven't been in the sun, I'm staying in most the time. The fact is, no one would realize, I'm probably more like Heinz 57. My mom is Mexican, my dad's German, Polish all these other things mixed in. The thing is, too, it's not just about diversity within your actual workforce, but if your workplaces diverse, then you're going to be able to speak to more people that are your audience and possible customers or clients.

Crystal Heuft (16:27):

What do you guys think about that? That, to me is one of the things that I think people miss. I've hardly ever seen an entrepreneur that says, "No, I don't want more business." How do you think it affects the end goal of reaching your clients and reaching the right people to make sure you have a diverse mindset?

Turquoise Devereaux (16:46):

One thing that I think especially with our YouTube in this... Our YouTube just came out, what, two days ago, yesterday? Two days ago. Is representation matters. That is huge with diverse populations. If you see yourself in these positions, or you see yourself in these spaces, then that is how you get there. I think that is a big thing.

Turquoise Devereaux (17:14):

With our YouTube, it was this idea and, oh, we want this representation, and we want to teach people. But that's really what it's been doing. I think that's a big key, I think to take away when you're diversifying, not only just in how you do things, but also the people who are in your workspaces, because you're coming from education and really trying to... Because, like education, we're teaching people how to best serve the populations that they want to serve. My background being in social work and my background mostly being in macro level social work, it's a lot of system level, how do you... I work a lot with really high foundations and regional organizations and how do these things about diversity in house, like serving tribal communities, these main components of different perspectives and different worldview, how in turn does that help you better serve not only just directly to that community, but the people that you are supporting as a higher entity, as a system level entity?

Turquoise Devereaux (18:24):

I think, in every single level, it's extremely important to have that. Mel and I were just having a conversation this morning about education itself and these, what we keep talking about, what we do in our business of translating, and helping not only tribal communities navigate these systems, but helping these systems help tribal communities navigate these systems. It's true, the more people of color that you have in these spaces of instruction, in these spaces of creating curriculum, in these spaces of bringing in these different perspectives, then the more you're going to influence people of color. It just makes sense, because that translation piece is alleviated.

Turquoise Devereaux (19:10):

Then those things are in that space and it's the same with businesses, if those perspectives are in those spaces, then it's going to be only a positive outcome. It's important. You see in our climate today, it's come to a point where it should be a priority and if it's not happening now, then it needs to be... It needs to be sustainable. I think that's the biggest thing to diversity in businesses need to be sustainable so that you keep pushing it in that realm.

Crystal Heuft (19:43):

How do you ensure it is sustainable? I think you bring up a very good point there. You got one, Melody?

Dusey Van Dusen (19:50):

Melody is ready. Go, Melody, go.

Crystal Heuft (19:53):

Take it away.

Melody Lewis (19:56):

Diversity has to be the foundation of your business, that's just it, because naturally, it will impact all these other areas of work. It's like your customer relations, your marketing, all of that. Diversity, the understanding of it, what it means and how to apply it, I think that's the foundation of-

Crystal Heuft (20:09):

So true.

Melody Lewis (20:15):

... how Apple does it right at the beginning when you come in as an employee, right? That's the tone that will ensure the sustainability of it, because it's part of the way you do things.

Turquoise Devereaux (20:32):

Because a lot of what we teach in the trainings we facilitate and things like that is, its entire process. It's not just, you do these things once and then that solves it. Consistency is key really when it comes down to it. If you can continue, you learn how to incorporate these things, these perspectives and the work that you do, even on a daily, and then you consistently keep doing it, and then it just becomes part of the process.

Turquoise Devereaux (21:08):

That is really important. I think too is, we always say because, when we're in this realm especially we're starting to do live trainings on allyship as well, even people of color trying to be allies for other marginalized groups that we don't belong to, is fear is always a barrier to change, and also, for you guys, it's scary, right? Because if you... Like you were saying, if you don't know these perspectives, or you don't come from this place of knowing something other than what you've always been taught, then it's really scary to not only, maybe you'll make a mistake, maybe you'll say something wrong, but you literally are entering yourself into a whole new way of functioning. Fear is a big thing, and I think acknowledging that fear, everybody has that fear, and it is totally normal in these spaces. Understanding that, that fear is totally normal, does help you move on in making more sustainable choices that will create a different workspace for businesses.

Dusey Van Dusen (22:16):

I experienced that fear just when company changes how my phone works, much less something is foundational as this. There's a lot more socially going on here. Have you come across any ways to... What are things that you've seen that have been helpful and effective in helping people overcome that step? Because I can empathize with that feeling of, if you put yourself out there and you make a mistake, especially in public, it can be easy to go, why should I even bother? This was not a good experience. I just want to pull away from it.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:00):

I would love to just your perspective on working through that or anything you've found to be helpful in overcoming, especially those early steps of that change?

Melody Lewis (23:10):

I think the basis of all of our work is trying to... We have a whole session on this, this is Turquoise Session, but it's creating culturally safe spaces. What that basically means is having this mindset to be open minded of, I accept you, I accept that you don't know this, or I accept that you don't know that. But I'm also willing to learn. If we can run with those two things of this willingness to be open minded, this willingness to learn, we try to teach that.

Crystal Heuft (23:44):

I think that's so important. Clate, our CEO just put together a CEO Counsel of Racism, and it's a group of Keapers that are meeting to share experiences they've had with racism and I guess the lack of diversity in their life. They're sharing those stories directly with Clate, and with each other. They're talking about what does that mean for Keap and how can we do better?

Crystal Heuft (24:12):

I think that's such a great thing. We also have a diversity and inclusion group, but this is really a personal, an open environment for people to share those stories. I think if you can lose the fear, we'll all learn a lot quicker than if we are worried about that. I experience the fear too, because the thing that would be the worst, in my opinion would be to ever hurt anyone's feelings about something that to me, I would never feel that in my heart. The fear is a true thing. You don't want to say something that is offensive on accident. I think being open is the first step of making sure, you're open to feedback and you're open to learning as quickly as people can.

Crystal Heuft (24:58):

But I think you're right, that fear, it needs to be acknowledged and it needs to be moved through in order to get true diversity and inclusion.

Turquoise Devereaux (25:07):

Yeah. Like Mel was saying, we open people's eyes to this different worldview mainly from an indigenous perspective, but also, you can take. That's why we're moving into this facilitation of allyship as well, is because you can take these concepts and really apply them in any space that you're at, to be... Once we go through after opening people up to this new worldview, then we go into skill development. What actual skills can you utilize, that maybe you haven't necessarily... Not that you've never done these skills before, but how can you use it in these spaces in particular? Things like having self-awareness, having a lot of self-reflection.

Turquoise Devereaux (25:52):

If something like that, like if you do have a fear in one situation, really having that self-awareness and self-reflection of okay, what can I do now, or what can I do personally that will help alleviate this fear right now? Because a huge part of being an ally, especially in these spaces is education and educating yourself and not relying on people, marginalized groups to educate you is huge. That's right there, that will alleviate a lot of fear.

Turquoise Devereaux (26:25):

It's getting in those places. Sometimes when you feel uncomfortable, that's when you know that you need to be open to learning. That's-

Crystal Heuft (26:36):

That's true.

Turquoise Devereaux (26:39):

... part of it. We then move into, how do all these things also move into having empathy for these populations, right? Because if you're trying to be an ally of these groups you don't belong to, you will never know what it feels like to be part of that group. But as an ally, it's good to do whatever you can to try to feel as much as possible. So, it's huge.

Crystal Heuft (27:02):

Definitely.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:02):

That point of we can't rely on any given population to be the ones to do the education for us was something that hit me recently as I saw some people talking about it, because I guess my instinct would be, whether it's throwing it out there on Twitter or having a conversation, someone of just saying, hey... I want to come from a point where I'm saying, I know that I don't know what I need to know. So, hey, you teach me. But I'm asking people to do work. It's like, I don't want to pay you, but why don't you do all the work of educating me, please, right?

Turquoise Devereaux (27:39):

Yeah.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:41):

That was something that I hadn't realized before and I realized, okay, I can see where that issue is. Along those lines, I would love to hear where you would suggest somebody should start if there are resources. What is the place to start if... I don't want to burden everybody else with doing education that I should have, frankly, right?

Crystal Heuft (28:09):

Agreed.

Melody Lewis (28:12):

I have a couple of thoughts. A couple of thoughts, just basically, of this entire conversation that we've been having. I think, I just want to emphasize the point of how Turquoise was sharing this process that each of us as individuals have to go along. We're on this pathway in this process of where we are when it comes to inclusion and diversity, I don't want to say issues, but topics or concepts or whatever.

Melody Lewis (28:41):

That process is very much driven by emotion and by behavior. A lot of the work that we do is not only trying to teach these concepts, but also teaching that this process is behavior change. It's like anything else, I'm trying to go to the gym and workout, I'm trying to eat better. Many decisions and these choices directly impact how this change is going to be facilitated over time, right?

Crystal Heuft (29:06):

Right.

Melody Lewis (29:09):

I think that's one of the biggest things I want, it's just being mindful of these behavior changes and emotions, because you aren't going to get an emotional response, especially if it's something that you only know. It might be fear, it might be anger, it might be confusion, I don't know.

Crystal Heuft (29:26):

Probably, if it's anything like a diet, the beginning will be way harder than if you work through it. The beginning is always the worst, you have those emotions that flare up, and like, I can't do it or this just seems too hard. People have to push through that phase if they want to get to the part where you get to more understanding.

Melody Lewis (29:46):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Turquoise Devereaux (29:50):

The learning curve can be really, really intense. Especially, if you... I think for people too, who are now saying like whoa, with all the movement going on right now with Black Lives Matter and even in our indigenous realm, of, a lot of things changing for indigenous people as well, some people, this might be the first time when they're like, whoa, this is still happening, or this is... I think... For the learning curve might be really, really intense.

Turquoise Devereaux (30:20):

I think one of the big things that I always tell people is, yeah, you don't want to... If you want to learn about a population, but then you're asking them to educate you, then you're making them responsible for you, pretty much. That's really hard especially in this time because they're going through a lot. For them to then do that is another thing to do on top of this, just literally surviving in most cases.

Crystal Heuft (30:56):

Totally.

Turquoise Devereaux (30:57):

I think for us, because Crystal, you're saying, you've done social media, yes, social media is such an amazing way to get educated nowadays. I think obviously knowing credible sources, but there's a ton of people and native organizations, in particular, indigenous organizations, black led organizations that we follow, and we really try to share the voice on our Instagram. Personally, yes, and then with our IndigenousCC Instagram as well.

Turquoise Devereaux (31:29):

But I think that is such an amazing way for people to be out. They say these things that we want people to learn in meme form.

Dusey Van Dusen (31:39):

Right, this is instantly-

Crystal Heuft (31:44):

I'm with you. They make it so easy reading and seeing the image, it's like, why haven't I thought of that before? It's right in your face.

Turquoise Devereaux (31:52):

It really just simplifies it, because I remember someone reached out to me about the whole Mount Rushmore stuff happening and they were like, do you know what the tribe's going to do? Blah, blah. I was like, "I'm not sure. I haven't really looked into it that much." I said, "Oh, but let me send this meme, because I saw one today, and it made so much sense."

Turquoise Devereaux (32:12):

It did. I found it, and I sent it to her, and she's like, oh my gosh, yeah, that makes so much more sense. It's like, even things like that when I think social media is really, really huge. We can send you guys a list of handles that we follow on Instagram that-

Crystal Heuft (32:29):

Oh, that would be cool.

Turquoise Devereaux (32:30):

... that would be really, really helpful that we utilize.

Melody Lewis (32:32):

Which is so funny. Okay. I will tell you, Turquoise and I are exact opposite in everything that we do. Sometimes we have epiphany moments where, if you see me do this... We sometimes are just on the same page, because I literally wrote myself a note to mention that social media and credible sources is one thing, but follow us, follow us on social media @Indigenous.cc.

Dusey Van Dusen (33:00):

I was about to ask, normally, we wait till the end of the episode, but just give it to us right now. Everybody who's listening, this is your way to get educated starting with your, it sounds like Instagram. What else? Tell us all of it, give it all to us so we can go follow.

Melody Lewis (33:18):

At Instagram, it's @indigenous.cc. On Facebook, it's IndigenousCC. Then we also have LinkedIn. So, LinkedIn, Indigenous-

Crystal Heuft (33:30):

I feel like too, if you're going to start with new behaviors, it's absolutely the laziest way to start educating yourself. If you want to start small out there, if you've got a lot on your plate, and you're like, I want to start somewhere, finding this stuff on social, it's literally in your feed, you're already on there, and you can get those doses of quick inspiration to maybe start taking your education even further or find things to start digging into.

Melody Lewis (33:57):

According to behavior change, starting out small is good. Even though-

Crystal Heuft (34:02):

I agree. Shout out to Pam with the TMAs.

Dusey Van Dusen (34:10):

Yeah.

Turquoise Devereaux (34:10):

If you think about it, if you're scrolling through your Instagram and more of these things is what you're seeing, that's consistent change in your environment. It's like you're seeing-

Crystal Heuft (34:17):

You know it.

Turquoise Devereaux (34:19):

[inaudible 00:34:19] and you're seeing these things that are educating you, whether you know it or not-

Crystal Heuft (34:23):

That algorithm knows your heart more than you do.

Turquoise Devereaux (34:27):

Exactly.

Crystal Heuft (34:28):

It's terrifying, but I love it.

Turquoise Devereaux (34:30):

Yeah, it's a perfect example of that. Also, what I want to say is allyship is a hard, lifelong journey. It is difficult. Instagram is honestly a really good way to get that information in a very subtle, once in a while thing where you don't always feel super overwhelmed. That can be a start. Then of course, when you get to the point of, oh, actually, maybe I should read this article, or maybe I should read this or maybe I should go to this training, then you're able, you can make your own decisions on when you feel okay to learn it. Because in [inaudible 00:35:04] overwhelmingness is all the time.

Crystal Heuft (35:04):

Yeah, that is true.

Dusey Van Dusen (35:05):

That is so great because we teach the importance of follow up and it takes seven to 14 times of making contact with someone before they ever buy, of creating a nurture sequence that will just drip feed a little bit of information to get them to buy stuff. Well, what you're saying is make a nurture sequence for yourself improvement by following these. I love that. That's fantastic.

Crystal Heuft (35:37):

Me too. Okay, Dusey... Well, I just saw the time and this conversation is going so great that I feel like we could probably all talk for eight hours, but since we're coming up on time here, I'm going to ask one more question and Dusey, I'm going to let you ask the last question, because I want to make sure we get in these hard hitting questions here.

Crystal Heuft (35:56):

This is one that's heavy on my heart, that I think coming from you guys will be what people need to hear. But what are the risks of not being diverse and being left behind in this world that's going to more diversity? What are those risks for a small business owner that doesn't move forward.

Melody Lewis (36:16):

I'm going to explain this in a simpler way, and then try to connect the dots to this larger concept. I'll tell you with just technology. We had to diversify into technology using more virtual platforms. Most of the population that we work with is older, older generations that have this fear of technology or this fear of trying to learn a new thing, changing the way that they're thinking. There's that whole thing. But what happened with let's just say somebody that's unwilling to change that mindset, they are going to get left behind. Then it's going to put them in a position where they're just okay, now I'm by myself, and everyone else keeps moving.

Melody Lewis (37:07):

I feel like the same thing with diversity for anyone that's in this small business, entrepreneur space, they continue to function in a closed minded, they're going to be left behind or in a space where it's just like, no, I'm just here, everybody else has moved on with these concepts and this thought process. But-

Crystal Heuft (37:29):

I agree.

Melody Lewis (37:30):

... I think that's the best way I could explain it.

Crystal Heuft (37:34):

We literally had a DM today from someone who was considering our product. They reached out they asked us for our CEO name. What have we done for the recent Black Lives Matter communities, and BIPOC. Then they asked us our percentages of hiring. I think... I'm sharing that very openly, only because I'm saying it's already started. If you're not moving that direction you will be left behind because people are considering where to do business based on these questions. If you're not diverse and you're not considering them within your business and from the beginning, like you said, Melody, you will get left behind.

Turquoise Devereaux (38:18):

No, I totally agree. That's not only as a business of like, how do you incorporate... Even incorporating it in a way where, I was saying, it's sustainable, and it's very evident that this is one of your core values. Because if you don't, it's moving, you can see the shift happening. If you're not a part of the shift, then ultimately, that's what's going to happen is you're not going to be part of that shift.

Turquoise Devereaux (38:49):

I think it's also because people want to be true allies as well. Even someone who doesn't belong to BIPOC groups, it's like they still want to support businesses who that's one of their main true missions, because that's-

Crystal Heuft (39:05):

100%.

Turquoise Devereaux (39:05):

It's this whole realm of... It's literally functioning differently. That's what it comes down to.

Melody Lewis (39:17):

I will say for us, as a business we do base the way we think, in that being open minded and being willing to adapt, we do partner with people that think the same way that we do. We do collaborate with people... Even just functioning in that way of, okay, this diversity inclusion mindset, we choose to partner with people like that.

Crystal Heuft (39:41):

Yeah, I was proud that it was an easy answer for us. We knew where we are, and we know where we're going. It was very much communicated through top down at Keap. For me, it wasn't a scary question, but I just mean, people's questions are changing. Dusey, last question of the day here.

Dusey Van Dusen (40:00):

Well, I always like to try to end on... This has been all extremely positive, but to put a little hopeful note on it, I would love to hear what each of your hope for the future is, just regarding this topic. You look out into the future, what is it that you would love to see? Well, this is a good one, okay.

Melody Lewis (40:28):

Every time I get questions like this, I think about... I have a niece, she's three, and then I have a younger sister that's 16, all right? I think about what future do I want to have for them when they're where I'm at? That's how I put myself into that perspective. Let me [inaudible 00:40:44] in that role.

Crystal Heuft (40:45):

I love it.

Melody Lewis (40:47):

What I would hope for it to see is that there's more love and less hate. I think that could be achieved through adopting this type of way of thinking, this mindset, and then more safe spaces for us to learn. I think, we both are still on our path of learning, especially when it comes to our own culture, I'm definitely on that by trying to learn my own culture. I think having the safe space to do that is allowing me to thrive.

Crystal Heuft (41:24):

I love that.

Dusey Van Dusen (41:25):

Yeah, it's hard to thrive and learn and change when you're in a place where you're afraid. Even just physically, if your life isn't in a literally safe place, how are you going to learn and change? That's true socially as well. That's great.

Turquoise Devereaux (41:46):

I'm really glad Mel mentioned her niece and her little sister, because as indigenous people, since before European contact, we always think about future generations, and that's one of the collectivist mindset that we function off of, is how are our decisions now impacting future generations? I always say, our ancestors stayed resilient for us to be here today. So, I'm going to stay resilient enough for our future generations to have-

Crystal Heuft (42:14):

Oh my gosh, that just gave me chills.

Turquoise Devereaux (42:16):

... to have more opportunity than I have. I'm very privileged that I'm able to... I've moved away from home, I have an education and I'm able to now be in a space of helping my community translate these systems that we don't belong to. I think for me, it's really just... We see it in the youngest generation right now, they are fearless. Working with these youth, I'm like, holy cow, you have way more courage than I ever had.

Dusey Van Dusen (42:45):

That's awesome.

Turquoise Devereaux (42:45):

It is so empowering. I think, for me, it's really just seeing a future where we can coincide in these spaces, and there's a lot more representation in these spaces. Like Mel was saying, they're the safe spaces where we can have identity development, cultural development, and also preserve that in those spaces so that it's not only equal access, but also we're changing the systems because we're part of it. I see that, and a lot of the work we do, especially with the youth, it is going to be an amazing transformation, I just know it.

Crystal Heuft (43:25):

That's beautiful.

Dusey Van Dusen (43:26):

That's so great.

Turquoise Devereaux (43:26):

Yeah, it's exciting.

Dusey Van Dusen (43:28):

Before we wrap up, we have our unsponsored sponsorship. This episode is brought to you by Pam Slim. I think everybody on the call knows Pam Slim, right?

Turquoise Devereaux (43:37):

Yay, we love Pam.

Crystal Heuft (43:37):

Yes.

Dusey Van Dusen (43:43):

She is most noted for the fact that she was on this pod... No, wait, that's not right. She's most known for her being the author of Escape From Cubicle Nation and Body of Work. She has a lot of focus on helping small businesses. She's the CEO of Gana's Consulting, and she and her husband run Main Street Learning Lab, where it's a place for incubating, highlighting entrepreneurs of color in the Mesa-

Crystal Heuft (44:08):

It's the cutest place.

Dusey Van Dusen (44:09):

It's so awesome.

Crystal Heuft (44:10):

It is so cute.

Turquoise Devereaux (44:10):

We are some nerds, we use that space. We love it there.

Dusey Van Dusen (44:16):

That's fantastic. That's so great. She has a long history of helping people run, start and be successful at running their small businesses. We love Pam, we've worked with her several times before. This is just our shout out to a small business that we love. So, thank you.

Crystal Heuft (44:34):

I would say, Pam is also noted as a great mother, wife and friend. I know those aren't the ones that make it in the sexy and cool section, but I think Pam really prides herself in what she does. She does it for her family, and I think that's amazing.

Dusey Van Dusen (44:51):

Yeah, that's awesome. Well, thank you, everybody. This has been an awesome discussion. I really appreciate your time, Melody and Turquoise. Thank you so much.

Crystal Heuft (45:01):

Do you want to tell them one more time where they can find you guys at your website or on your social?

Turquoise Devereaux (45:06):

Oh me? Okay. Yeah, our website is indigenouscc.org. You can keep up with all the new stuff that we're doing and stuff that we've done in the past. Or you can contact us through our website as well. You can set up a 30 minute consultation too, if you want to just chat. Then our Instagram is indigenous.cc, and on our Facebook is IndigenousCC. You can also find us on LinkedIn at Indigenous Community Collaborative.

Crystal Heuft (45:32):

Perfect.

Dusey Van Dusen (45:32):

Okay that YouTube channel was Rezponse R-E-Z-P-O-N-S-E Roundtable. Rezponse, don't let YouTube change the spelling.

Crystal Heuft (45:47):

That's right.

Turquoise Devereaux (45:47):

We are getting used to we have a YouTube channel now.

Crystal Heuft (45:51):

Well, good thing Dusey came in clutch there. Well, I guess we could say, that's a wrap on Small Biz Buzz today. Thanks, guys.

Outro (46:01):

Thanks for listening to Small Biz Buzz. Please take a second to subscribe to the show and leave a five-star rating, it helps keep the show going. And, if you need a hand with growing your small business head over to keap.com, that's K-E-A-P.com and get started. More business. Less work. That's Keap.



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