Starting a Business When You Don't Have a "Thing"

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, you know the importance of having a “thing.” You need some kind of hook or focus to help you stand out and make a name for yourself (as scary as that can sound).

But then the great catch-22 trips you up: you don’t have a Thing.

So, do you wait to start your business until you find your Thing? (How long is that gonna take? And how do you find it?)

Or do you start without a Thing? (What would that look like? You don’t even know what domain name to buy, much less anything else about your business.)


Staring a Business When You Don't Have a "Thing"

I’ve been paying attention to online business for 8 years now, and here’s what I’ve seen:

Many of the businesses that are still around and thriving started with a general Thing and, over time, developed their strong, unique Thing.



Tara Gentile has always been a business coach. Her Thing used to be teaching makers (crafters and fine artists) how to blog and set up a website. She’s still a business coach, but now her Thing is the Quiet Power Strategy and self-leadership for entrepreneurs. 

Danielle LaPorte has always talked about spirituality. Her Thing used to be soulful entrepreneurship at her website She still talks about spirituality, but she doesn’t use the lense of entrepreneurship much anymore. Her Thing now is desire. 

Mayi Carles has always been a creative business coach. She started with lot of personality and style, and her Thing was coaching Etsy shop owners. Her adorable handdrawn style and big personality are still there, but now she has a unique viewpoint and approach through her Thing now, which is her Life Is Messy series. 


OUR LESSON: You can’t stand out until you stand up.

Choose a field and get started. Your point of view and brand will develop over time. At the very least (for you service-based businesses), be able to say how you help people. It may sound vague at first; that’s ok. Get started helping people, and soon you’ll have more vibrant language to put to what you’re doing.


LESSON TWO: You don’t get to be polished without getting started.

If you set the bar at present day Tara Gentile, Danielle LaPorte, or Mayi Carles, you’ll spend your days moping in your cubicle, thinking “life’s not fair” and “why bother?”  Your business now is not going to look like the established businesses you admire. It’s going to look like those businesses did when they started.


Do not let your business be another dream that gets sacrificed to the gods of Perfection. Stand up and start working.

The ONLY way to have the business of your dreams is to start by having the business you’re capable of now.