“I’m not a creative being” — moving forward with this solopreneurial life

This post is for those who are wanting: wanting to quit the day job, craving to find their spot in the world, hungering for the opportunity to make a difference, yearning for the idea. This post is for those of you asking “what if?”

This post is also for those who are feeling like it should be easier than this. Like there’s a magic potion with eyeball of frog and tail of newt. Like it seems everyone around you gets it on the first try – why is it taking you so darn long? Like if you don’t get it right this time, you’re going to quit.

Let’s begin with one of the most common questions that lands in my email box, “How do I get started when I don’t know the what?”
The answer isn’t difficult but it’s not an answer everyone wants to hear.

Here’s one recent example:

Hello Tara and Team Gentile,

This is Patrice writing — how are you?

Tara, I’ve recently discovered you. I’ve sent your website and newsletters to many, many friends who are creative and inspired. What you and so many women are doing a la cyberspace is TRULY AMAZING!!!

I oh so very much would like to be your student and client. My issue, Tara, is that I don’t have an idea for business. I’m not a creative being; I’m linear, detail-oriented, a connector, blah blah. I long for a solopreneurial life and the freedom to work hard on my terms. Any suggestions about how to understand my vocation?

Thank you, Tara, all the VERY BEST to you!!!


And here’s my response:

Hey Patrice!

Thanks for writing.

First off – you’re a creative being to me. Just to want this crazy counter-cultural solopreneurial lifestyle means you’re capable of putting unusual solutions to usual problems. That’s creativity at work!

I believe we’re most creative when situated in circumstances that really “juice” us. What kind of work have you done in your life that’s really turned you on? That’s made you excited to learn more and exercise your skills? Start there. Even if it’s a bunch of different things.

Then check out people around the net who are doing similar things. Understand what conversations they’re having, who they’re connected with, what services they’re offering. Comment on their blog – ask a question or two. And see how you can insert yourself into a community of people who are quite a few steps ahead of you.

Then branch out – observe what people in different fields are doing and try to glean some inspiration that you can take back to that work that really turns you on.

That’s how I started out! And that’s the advice I give for finding that first idea. Remember, your idea doesn’t have to be a thang it just needs to get you started. Your initial concept is more about the momentum it creates than the end result.

Once you’ve got that under your belt, you’ll be a perfect client for me! Stay in touch!



You see, I got my entrepreneurial sea legs riding the new art & crafts boat. Many people think of what I do and the strategies I espouse as particular to Artists.

It’s not. You’re all artists to me. Just by reading this blog or seeking out your own information, you’re engaging in creative thinking. Just by putting pen to paper about your dreams, you’re engaging in a creative act. This process of finding your passion, acting on a vision, and earning serious coin isn’t about ditching your analytical skills or joining some cooperative community.

Identifying your profit providence is a process of becoming more aware of what’s already going on in your work, life, and desires.

Awareness creates opportunity for amplification. And amplifying what you’re already doing will help you create the experiments you need to get results you can analyze.

The thing is, the process I described to Patrice, takes time. Identifying, amplifying, experimenting, and analyzing takes time.

It might be possible to set up a new business with little money or time but that doesn’t mean that getting to that point doesn’t take a while.

I researched my first venture into online business for 6 months while my newborn daughter nursed, slept, and cooed. It only took me 2 weeks to launch the thing. After I launched it, I kept experimenting & researching until… well, there is no until. Look at me, I’m still researching and experimenting!

There is no perfect idea. A ha! moments come and go. Your perseverance is what shows your creativity, ambition, and passion. Nothing less.