Using the Five Layers of Why to Tell Your Brand’s Story

Why do you do what you do? Here's how you can use your life vision to tell your personal brand's story.

Aloha! I’m Krista Aoki. The post below is from my public notebook. My pile of unfinished essays started growing quicker than my reading list.  Instead of continuing to let my pile of drafts grow, I now work in public to develop my ideas. The post below is an example of drafting in public.

If you feel inclined, leave a comment with any questions or thoughts you have. Your thoughts will help me take my ideas to the next level!

With love, 
Krista

The first time I travelled solo, I connected with these two lovely women: a fiery Mexican and an esoteric American from the Midwestern USA. Regardless of which town or country we were in, we would spend hours chatting about life, business, and ideas every evening.

Growing up, my routine around dinner was rushed.

My parents worked multiple jobs to carry our family through the recession; and even after that, in university, the American culture of dining out was rushed. It was embedded within the culture to leave immediately after finishing a meal at a restaurant.

Pushing table after table was efficient. Even today, everything is optimized for efficiency. With everything designed for efficiency and instant gratification, we get further and further away from our community. 

Slowing down – taking the time to relax and connect after a meal – brings us closer to not just ourselves, but also our community.

As the world gets further and further away from community, people long to be connected even more. They want to feel connected. Like they belong. Like they are not alone. 

This concept of slowing down and reconnecting can be found through your business vision. 

When you step back, slow down, and look at your life vision and business purpose, what do you see? Diving into the Five Layers of Why can help you discover the parts of your story people are longing to hear. Even before covid, there was a loneliness epidemic hitting the world.

So what if sharing your story could help someone feel they are not alone?

Exploring the Five Layers of Why can help you:

  • Connect your life purpose with your business vision
  • Discover themes and concepts for your brand content
  • Humanize your brand, its mission, and its purpose

The Five Layers of Why exercise can be used to solve problems, explore the root of your beliefs, and dig deep – connecting your business vision with your life purpose.

Ask yourself: why do you do what you do? After you answer that question, ask yourself why? And repeat this five times, challenging yourself to go deeper with each ask.

I did this exercise when exploring my “Five Layers of Why.”

I am a brand storyteller who helps small businesses tell stories, build relationships, and make sales.

Why do I truly love what I do?

People don’t always see the beauty in what they do or the story behind their process. I enjoy pulling that depth from people’s stories through conversation and thought-provoking questions.

But why is this important?

The world is a paradox. We’re living in an age of convenience. It’s cheaper, more efficient, and easier to buy from Amazon, Target and Walmart. We live in these boxes we call houses, away from our communities and our neighbors. I long for the days where our ancestors passed down wisdom through stories. Actually, wisdom can still be shared through stories. I love what I do because it brings out the wisdom my clients have.

But why is this important? 

My clients have the opportunity to make their mark. They can share their craft and expertise in person. But for reasons like shame or fear, they are afraid to craft a story that brings their expertise online. Yet bringing expertise online can widen and expand their reach and their market.

But why is this important?

Our ego holds us back from so much. Not just publishing our stories online, but also taking risks. Publishing online, and moving past shame, is a level of growth.

Shame stops us from putting ourselves out there.

But the purpose of life should include sharing, being open, being transparent.

Personally, I was spoonfed there being “one way” of life: getting a job, getting married, buying a house, working until retirement. Why is doing anything outside of that “one way” of living considered “unconventional”?

The truth is, there are many different ways of life. The stories we are told are homogenized. But we need to be seeing different stories, perspectives, and learning about different ways of life. There is more than one path to fulfillment.

I want to know what you’ve struggled through, and how you’ve made it out of the deepest darkest depths, and still found fulfillment.

But why is this important?

Because these dark depths aren’t spoken about. So when someone reaches their darkest hour, they feel alone. I know. I felt it. Between being raised as both American and Asian, it was shameful for me to talk about my feelings.

So when I found something challenging, or when I felt sad, or needed to grieve, I felt alone – because I was programmed not to ask for help.

Feeling alone led to days and nights without leaving my apartment, suicidal thoughts, and even one attempt. Feeling alone led to numbing my feelings with alcohol. And because of hearing others’ stories, I know I’m not alone here.

Through sharing stories, you learn you’re not alone. Instead of sitting in shame and self-hatred, you can sit with validation knowing you’re human.

This relation comes out through storytelling.

And that’s why I’m here to tell people’s stories.

I love what I do because the stories I tell are the human ones. Not the stories we strategically craft to be told at family dinners where our problems are swept under the rug.

Uncovering the Five Layers of Why can help you start to tell your brand’s story in a way that connects.