Liz Hernandez Founded WORDAFUL After Mother’s Dementia Diagnosis to Deepen Meaning in Communication
Words can be very powerful tools; Liz Hernandez knows it. Hernandez is a Mexican-American, Emmy-nominated TV and radio personality. If that wasn’t enough, she’s added creator and founder to the list with her live event series and brand, WORDAFUL.
Launched in 2017, WORDAFUL’s primary focus is “how we communicate with others and ourselves.” It explores “the impact of our self-talk and the significance of human connection.” By giving special attention to how we speak, we could also create more “meaningful relationships.”
Hernandez had years of experience working in the entertainment industry, including E! News and MTV, but reporting on celebrities left her feeling less than fulfilled. She missed storytelling, which is exactly how WORDAFUL was born.
mitú chatted with Hernandez about her path to success, how we can redefine our realities with words, and much more.
Her mother’s deteriorating health was a catalyst
WORDAFUL partly came to be because Hernandez’s mother had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In essence, she was losing her words. This profoundly affected Hernandez, and she realized she wanted to spend as much time with her mother as possible.
“This heartbreaking experience served as a wake-up call,” she told us. “It [highlighted] the importance of responsible and compassionate communication and leaving behind that shame we can attach to our feelings.”
Discouraged by the triviality of celebrity gossip, she ultimately decided to quit the business and make sure she contributed meaning to the world. So, she decided to use YouTube to create a series on the importance of words and how they help shape our lives.
During her first WORDAFUL event, 350 people showed up, cementing the fact that she wasn’t alone in her quest for deepening connections. As she perfected her craft, the movement continued to grow, although there were certainly a few growing pains.
The brand’s evolution and the importance of words
Hernandez notes a number of obstacles as her idea took off. “I had to quickly learn how to assume numerous roles and responsibilities, all of which were demanding,” she confessed. She was wearing many hats, and the struggle was to juggle all of them.
These included “budgeting, marketing, content creation, merch sales, and time management.” However, it all paid off. Since her YouTube series, WORDAFUL has evolved into something much bigger. Hernandez is releasing episodes every week, booking guests, and creating loyal communities.
In July 2023, she even co-spearheaded an event called The Relationship Masterclass, designed to explore the “inner wounds that hold us back from the life we want.” Beyond the successful event series, WORDAFUL has also released several other wonderful wordy products.
These include tees, a deck of affirmation cards, and a WORDAFUL journal. One tee reads, “Talk to me nice” in large bold print, and beneath it, “Words are powerful.” This perfectly represents the ethos of Hernandez’s empowering brand.
Being in touch with her Latino roots has helped
The WORDAFUL founder stated that she’s gained a lot from being a part of the Latino community. “To start, resilience, determination, and a strong work ethic,” she told us. “We place a high value on hard work and dedication. We also value building community because we believe in strong connections with our family, friends, and a supportive network.”
She also credits Latino culture with instilling a sense of passion and creativity within her. “We, as Latinos, take our enthusiasm and channel it into creative problem-solving, innovative ideas, and unique approaches to starting businesses,” she shared.
Her advice for a Latino who wants to start her own business but doesn’t know where to begin? “Just get started,” she said. “Procrastination and self-doubt can hold you back, so take that first step, no matter how small it might seem. Initiative is your best friend.”