After the Workshops

Thank You for Joining Us for Whyography Workshops

Here are key takeaways for the What’s Your WHY? workshop:

What’s Your WHY?

  • Your WHY is your purpose, your values in action. We all have a WHY. It’s not always evident, but there are signs throughout our lives that lead to it.
  • Identifying those signs and getting clear on your WHY empowers you to pursue it and fully live it.

Why Your WHY Matters

  • Research shows pursuing purpose leads to better sleep, better overall health, better quality of life and a longer life. Living your WHY is good for you.
  • Leading with your WHY is also good for business. More than ever, consumers are using their dollars to make a difference and supporting businesses that are aligned with their values.
  • Purpose-driven businesses are more successful. They outperform the stock market and yield a greater return on investment, which means investors are more likely to back them.
  • Employees of purpose-driven businesses are more engaged and successful. They become your brand’s most loyal advocates.

Women and WHY

  • Leading with your WHY (instead of your WHAT) is especially important for women business owners—we receive only a fraction of the resources and opportunities our male counterparts receive to ensure our businesses survive and thrive.
  • Getting confident when presenting your business purpose and impact sets you up for success.

How Do You Find Your WHY?

  • Your WHY is influenced by a combination of things including your upbringing, values, personality, strengths, key people and events.
  • In the workshop, you began exploring key events that led you to launch your business and the values that helped guide you. Continue the process on your own using the Whyography Journey Map.
  • Next, complete the WHY Detector worksheet and look for themes. How do your values show up in your day-to-day life? How are you making a difference in the lives of others and the world?
  • While there’s no magic wand to find your WHY, a Tiny WHY Statement (TWS) is the next best thing. In the workshop, you began developing your TWS using the worksheet provided. Continue refining it on your own.
  • Once you’ve developed your Tiny WHY Statement, take the next step and develop your WHY Statement, which includes your impact.
  • Strive to create super succinct versions of your Tiny WHY Statement and WHY Statement that you can memorize so they easily roll off your tongue.

Say It Loud and Proud

  • Once you’re clear on your WHY, let the world know. The ability to confidently communicate it is empowering. You’ll establish genuine connections with others who share your values and support your business.
  • Practice presenting your Tiny WHY Statement and WHY Statement to family and friends.
  • Add your WHY Statement to your website, social media and marketing materials. Make it the center of your messaging.

What’s Next?

  • Next up is creating your Whyography—your founder story. A Whyography combines the principles of storytelling and the power of purpose to honor what it took to get where you are today. It articulates the problems you’re solving and the difference you’re making in the world. It’s the foundation for your brand and marketing.

Here are key takeaways for the Write Your Business Story workshop:

The Science of Storytelling

  • A Whyography is far from a basic business bio. It’s not a list of highly edited facts and stats with lots of shiny marketing language. It’s meant to communicate the story of your entrepreneurial journey in a way that’s real and vulnerable.
  • You learned about the science of storytelling and the importance of starting your story with a tense or dramatic moment to capture the attention of your audience and build a lasting connection.
  • You also discovered how engaging multiple areas of the brain by adding sensory details makes your story more engaging and memorable.

The Art of Storytelling

  • In the workshop, you began developing your Whyography using Freytag’s Pyramid to build your story. Continue transferring key moments from your Whyography Journey Map to the five sections of Freytag’s Pyramid. Write details in bullet points.
  • Once you have everything bulleted out, start with a blank page and transform your bullets into sentences. Add more details as you go.
  • Some reminders:
    • A Whyography is typically a chronological account of your journey, so the exposition and rising action includes the influential moments that took place before you started your business and pushed you toward entrepreneurship.
    • The climax is typically the launch of your business—the moment when you introduced your product or service to the world at large (beyond friends, family and beta testers). Include high-level details about your product or services.
    • Share your WHY in the falling action. Work to incorporate your WHY Statement here along with more detail about your products or services and how you are bringing your WHY to the world.
    • The denouement is the conclusion of your story. Include an impact statement here—the people you’ve reached, the lives you’ve changed, the connections you’ve made, etc. Also add your vision for the future here.

What’s Next?

  • Keep writing! It will likely take several drafts to get your Whyography just right and that’s perfectly normal.
  • When your final draft is complete, consider having it professionally proofread. It can be a challenge to find mistakes in a document you’ve spent a lot of time writing and revising—your eyes are likely to overlook them.
  • Once you’re done, add your Whyography (or a shortened version of it) to your website, your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else you promote your business.
  • Submit your Whyography to My Founder Story. Each month we publish stories on our website and on social media from women who’ve attended our workshops.

Here are additional resources to support you in writing your Whyography:

More Resources

  • For more details on clarifying your WHY, refer to the following chapters in the “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose” book:
    • Chapter 3 (The Sauce): The activities in this chapter explore your upbringing and expand on the values work you did in the workshop.
    • Chapter 5 (The Spice): This chapter includes activities that the workshops did not address. You’ll explore your personality and strengths and how they influenced your path.
    • Chapter 7 (The Simmer): The activities in this chapter explore the influential people in your life. It expands on the work you did in the workshop identifying key events and creating your Whyography Journey Map.
    • Chapter 9 (Clarify Your WHY): This chapter provides additional information about using the WHY Detector and getting clear on your WHY.
  • For more details on writing and editing your Whyography, refer to these chapters:
    • Chapter 12 (The Sauce): This chapter provides additional information on pulling all of the details of your journey together to craft your story using Freytag’s Pyramid as your story arc. Lauren VanScoy’s story, which you heard during the workshop, is used as an example with greater detail.
    • Chapter 14 (The Supper): This chapter includes activities that the workshops did not address. You’ll learn about revising, editing and proofreading your Whyography and some great tips for that process.
  • If you’re in need of support to complete your Whyography or your communications plan, or if you’re interested in writing and publishing a memoir, coaches from My Founder Story are available to help through one-on-one and group coaching.