Exercise: Your Tiny WHY Statement™

A Tiny WHY Statement (TWS) is typically five to seven words. Developing your TWS is simply combining your business name with a power verb (PV) and your ideal customer (IC).

Your PV is a powerful descriptor that communicates action. It’s a single word that is directly connected to your WHY and says a whole lot about you and your business. It helps to illustrate the impact you’re making (or hope to make) in the lives of others—specifically, your IC—and it provides insight about the values and strengths you bring to your business.

EXAMPLES:

Advances
Advocates (for)
Assists
Boosts
Champions
Develops
Educates
Elevates
Empowers
Enables
Encourages
Guides
Helps
Invests (in)
Mentors
Nurtures
Prepares
Promotes
Serves
Supports

If you’re not clear on your IC, complete your Ideal Customer Profile first. What’s most important is narrowing down your audience to a specific person or group that benefits most from the products and/or services your business offers. The person whose problem you are truly solving. Resist the urge to cast a wide net and go with something like “people” or “individuals.” Instead, be as specific as you can.

EXAMPLES:

Women business owners
Professional women
Busy moms
Underrepresented children
Organic farmers

To create your TWS, use this template (business name + your PV + your IC):

  1. (Business name) __________
  2. (your PV) __________
  3. (your IC) __________

EXAMPLES:

  • My Founder Story empowers women business owners.
  • (Business name) mentors professional women.
  • (Business name) supports busy moms.
  • (Business name) invests in underrepresented children.
  • (Business name) promotes organic farmers.

To make it more powerful, transform your TWS into a WHY Statement by tacking the words “so that” onto the end of it and adding an impact statement. Create as many versions of your WHY Statement as you like, but keep it as short as possible—it should be easy to remember and recite.

To create your WHY Statement, use this template:

  1. (Your TWS) __________
  2. SO THAT (your IMPACT) __________

EXAMPLES:

  • My Founder Story empowers women business owners so that they have equal access to resources to achieve entrepreneurial success.
  • (Business name) mentors professional women so that they receive the advancement opportunities they deserve.
  • (Business name) supports busy moms so that they can focus their time on what matters most.
  • (Business name) invests in underrepresented children so that they have an opportunity to thrive.
  • (Business name) promotes organic farmers so that they can serve more families. 

When you’ve created a few versions that feel right to you, ask yourself these questions to be sure your TWS and WHY Statement clearly articulate your WHY:

  • Does this statement reflect my personal values?
  • Does this statement illustrate the personal strengths I bring to the table?
  • Does this statement articulate a problem my business solves?
  • Does this statement speak to something bigger than me?

“Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose” is a guidebook to clarifying your WHY, developing your Whyography and confidently communicating it with the world. The book includes dozens of exercises and examples, plus the inspirational stories of more than 30 fierce founders who are leading with their WHY. Author Chris Olsen also shares outrageous moments from her 12-year radio career and how the moments that tested her values ultimately led to the launch of her own purpose-driven business.

‘Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose’ Book by Chris Olsen
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