Turn Your “Now What?”
Into “I Got This.”
Every small business owner gets to a point where they say “Now what?”
You might reach that point when you feel like you’ve tried everything and still can’t get beyond the “hustling for every sale” stage.
You might reach that point when things are humming along but you know there’s so much more potential for your business.
You might reach that point when you’ve executed on your plan but haven’t decided what to plan for next.
No matter where you find yourself, that question of “Now what?” is a tricky one. It’s ripe with possibility and tinged with fear.
“Now what?” can mean change, new challenges, and hard questions. “Now what?” can mean you feel like you’re starting from scratch—even when you have years of experience under your belt.
And… that “Now what?” phase can seem like it goes on forever.
I know because I’ve been in that phase—several times.
My name is Tara Gentile and I’ve been a small business owner for almost a decade.
Throughout this time, I’ve watched how other small business owners adapt to changes in the market, wrestle with tough questions, continue against all odds, and shift gears when necessary.
A couple of years ago, I started to wonder why so many of the small business owners around me seemed to stall out when they got to that “Now what?” phase.
What comes after “Now what?”
Often, small business owners almost revert back to earlier stages of business when they could be plowing ahead. They add more and more things to their to-do lists to feel like they were making headway. They compromise their visions for the sake of keeping up with the latest trends.
They look around at a world of gurus and experts and make snap judgments about what they need to do to move forward. They take loads of courses and pile a burden of information on their shoulders. They join groups where the culture is unhelpful or even toxic.
Maybe this sounds familiar because it’s what you’ve observed too. Maybe it’s familiar because it’s what you’ve lived.
I wanted to do something about it.
So I created CoCommercial—a private support and social network where small business owners trade notes about what’s really working, get honest about what’s not, and tackle the tough (and often fun!) questions about the realities of small business ownership.
Enough snap judgments, enough playing it safe, enough adding to to-do lists, enough compromised visions. I wanted to help small business owners truly create their own path by finally connecting with other folks who understood.
By networking our experiences and know-how together, we could become powerhouses.
Every day, small business owners at CoCommercial weigh in on questions about what software to use to manage their projects, how to create effective job descriptions for a new hire or virtual assistant, where to find new customers when the market shifts, how to price their services, and how to have tough conversations with clients.
Balance of tactical how-to and mindset support
I had a lot of options of communities to join that support small business owners and I knew in my gut this was the right choice because A) there’s actually racial diversity in this community B) this community is a balance of tactical how-to resources and the kind of mindset support I need C) it’s so clear that you can do the broad business systems design thing here and also own all the areas of deep dive. Your learning is deep and I know I’m going to benefit from just following Tara and those she’s assembled here.
Accessibility, guidance, and assistance for all
Tara is passionate about creating a space for real learning, where the members are teachers and students at the same time. There is no information hoarding, or smoke and mirrors. It is a community of transparency, sharing what works and what does not, and provides space for these conversations that everyone can benefit from. There is no exclusivity, everyone has a spot at the table and that is exactly what the New Economy is all about. Accessibility, guidance, and assistance FOR ALL, not just some.
Grow your confidence, believe in your abilities, take action
The amazing thing about working with the amazing CoCommercial team is the fact that it’s not all informative. Being around Tara and this community in the past one year has helped me grow my confidence, believe in my own abilities, trust not just my guts, but has shown me how to take action in ways that are both sure and experimental. I started stepping into my starring role because I am surrounded by amazing leaders connected by an amazing leader. Thank you for the work you do for the New Economy.
Every day, there’s a little less “Now what?” and a little more “I got this.”
Once I saw the power of small business owners connecting with each other, I wanted to do even more to make hard, unusual, or tricky conversations easy for our members.
So we created the What Works Business Immersion.
The What Works Business Immersion is an unusual experience in the digital small business world. It’s not an online course, it’s not a workshop, and it’s not a coaching program. It’s not organized around a guru or an expert. There is no promise of thousands of new subscribers or hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end.
Instead, the Immersion is an opportunity to explore, connect, and finally get down and dirty with the “Now what?” question.
To do that, we bring together a group of serious, savvy, and smart small business owners. We meet with them over 8 weeks in a live, interactive, and discussion-driven format.
Our #1 goal is to create the space and support you need to focus on your business…
…not bells & whistles, shiny objects, gajillions of new to-do list items.
Here’s how each week of the Immersion unfolds:
The Set Up
To kick off the week, you receive the “set up”—generally that’s some foundational reading or listening—that introduces the week’s topic. Generally, it takes about 15-30 minutes to consume. It’s optional—but super helpful.
Then, we all meet together for our Exploration Session (Wednesdays at 2pm Eastern on Zoom).
Consider & Inquire
During the Exploration Session, you receive some guidance from the facilitator (normally me) and then a few questions or prompts to consider.
Once you have your prompts, you journal on your own for about 5 minutes to gather your thoughts and start exploring the topic.
Connect & Discuss
Then, we move the group into breakout rooms. Think of it a bit like “Chat Roulette” for entrepreneurs.
You’ll discuss the prompts, connect ideas, and explore some rabbit holes for about 15 minutes with 2-3 other small business owners.
Finally, we come back together and debrief before starting the discussion process 2 more times. Your small group remains the same for each discussion so you can explore but you will meet with new group members in the next session.
Put Yourself In The Hot Seat
We also offer a Flash Mastermind session each week so that you can put yourself in the “hot seat” for 15 minutes and explore anything that came up for you during the Exploration session—or get help on any pressing challenges or questions in your business.
Reflect, Dig In, and Get To Work
When we’re not meeting–and every day for the next year–you can reflect on challenges, opportunities, obstacles, and any other “Now what?” moments at our private meeting space at CoCommercial. We’ll all pitch in, share our experience, and help you take action on your next steps.
Now, all of that sounds good…
..but it’s not enough.
That’s right: I’m telling you the What Works Business Immersion is not enough on its own.
When you’ve gotten to the “Now what?” point in your business, where the next step is not painfully obvious, there’s just too much going on to pack into 8 weeks or even 3 months!
To solve this problem, we’ve made the Immersion the first 8 weeks of your year-long membership of The Leaders Circle at CoCommercial.
You lock in 1 full year’s worth of support.
A year in The Leaders Circle comes with all the benefits that regular membership at CoCommercial comes with: our private network, our app, our virtual conferences, and our concierge service.
But The Leaders Circle also comes with:
- Weekly Flash Masterminds so you can connect in real-time with people who get it and unpack your challenges and explore your possibilities
- Weekly Coworking Hours so you can casually connect with a whole slew of people who might be your next client, next partner, next service provider, or… an answer to prayer
- A private space on our network for questions, challenges, or opportunities that need an extra layer of care
- Special events like roundtable discussions, expert Q&As, and more!
When you join the What Works Business Immersion and The Leaders Circle, you lock in a year’s worth of support, deep conversations, when-you-need-it learning, friendship, and unexpected opportunities.
Anytime you’re feeling plagued by a “Now what?”, “This again?”, or “What do I do now?”, The Leaders Circle is there for you.
If that doesn’t sound insanely useful at the stage of business you’re in, now is a good time to stop reading—because I’m about to get into some more specifics.
You’ll have your “Now what?”, “This again?”, and “What do I do now?” covered.
Our community has helped members tackle a whole range of challenges. These are the things that come up from day to day, week to week, or even year to year that no online course or free guide can help you solve.
These challenges, obstacles, and questions might not be the things you’re dealing with… but they might remind you of a few other things that have been on your mind. Things like these real examples of posts, conversations, and insights Immersion participants got support and answers for:
- Figuring out the real role you play in your business so you can hire help that actually helps–and doesn’t just add to your workload
- How to build the capacity of your business so you can take on more clients–without extending your own work schedule and sacrifice valuable family time
- What to prepare for when opening the doors to a new community offer so you’re not caught off guard
- How to deal with Impostor Complex or your inner critic when you make a big decision about the next phase of your business
- When to focus on you as the founder and when to build a brand around your capabilities as a team or agency
- How to re-engage with your business when you feel like you’ve lost the spark
- How to dig beneath the surface to figure out what potential customers are working on so you don’t have to guess or waste time
We’ll help you get the most of your year of support by starting with the Immersion.
Each week of your exploration has a theme:
- Systems – Identify where they exist and why they fail. Adapt to change.
- Story – Examine the stories that shape you, your business, and your customers.
- Transformation – Explore your own changes and how you help your customers change.
- Leverage – Use your weaknesses to create opportunities and get more done with less work.
- Capabilities – Spotlight what your business does best and invest in it further.
- Growth – Pinpoint key growth decisions—and highlight the decisions you’ve been putting off.
- Finance – Hone in on money and how it moves in your business.
- Relationships – Zoom in on the connections that will move your business forward.
We’ll examine each week’s theme from a variety of perspectives and unexpected angles. You’ll break out of siloed thinking and break into a holistic, integrated approach to discovering what works for you.
You’ll further reflect on the week’s theme and how it’s showing up in your business in our private area on CoCommercial. Post your observations, challenges, questions, and experiments so other participants can support you and benefit from seeing you work out loud.
Hopefully, you can see how the Immersion might be just what you need to leave the “Now what?” behind and start making headway again.
You might also be feeling some trepidation.
Am I up for this? Will I be able to contribute to conversations? How will I get comfortable enough to get help and really participate?
I truly understand. I’ve asked myself these questions, too—every time I’ve gone to a conference, participated in a mastermind, or met up with another business owner for coffee. Yet, every single one of these experiences has been the difference between continuing to stew on “Now what?” and forging ahead with a new perspective.
When I look back on the things that have taken my business from where it began to a powerhouse in my industry, it’s these experiences that have made all the difference. They’ve been hard—but they’ve been worth it.
Our greatest goal–and mission–at CoCommercial is to create a space where critical thinking about how businesses work helps to turn small business owners like you into tomorrow’s economic powerhouses.
That means, we truly value gathering a group of people who can help support you in that critical thinking–and never overwhelm, exhaust, or bring you down.
Well, that was fast!
After today’s WWBI with my small group thought-partners, I jotted down that I focus on the human side of money.
I had a pre-scheduled call at 4pm about a potential speaking engagement and the words just came out as naturally as if I used those words all the time.
Oh, and I got booked 🤗
The What Works Business Immersion is not for everyone.
This experience isn’t helpful if you just got started with your business. It’s also not helpful if you’d prefer a step-by-step approach or in-depth instruction.
We aim to help you learn about your own business. In order to do that, we recommend that:
- You have an existing business with experience selling & delivering your product or service.
- You are actively working to grow your business to fill or exceed your current capacity.
- You love to think deeply about the action you take, its long-term effects, and its impact on your customers and your community.
- You’re proactive about asking for help, feedback, and ideas when you run into a challenge.
- You’re passionate about learning new things–and perfecting your technique.
- You crave serious and insightful conversation with other business owners about what works and why.
- You have a track record of turning ideas into action and results.
We also ask that you’re willing to commit to:
- Regularly attending What Works Business Immersion sessions during our first months together
- Actively participating in the Immersion discussions
- Honestly sharing your own experiences—no expertise necessary—with others in the Immersion & The Leaders Circle
- Generously contributing your own insights as your business develops
As you can see, the Immersion experience and your membership in The Leaders Circle at CoCommercial is not passive. It’s designed to actively engage you and for you to actively engage it.
Our Community Is Diverse, Experienced, and Generous
- 3 Years Or Long In Business 67% 67%
- 6 Years Or Longer In Business 40% 40%
- Design Businesses 13% 13%
- Management & Operations 10% 10%
- Art, Photography, and Illustration 14% 14%
- Personal Leadership & Development 12% 12%
- Education 10% 10%
- Web Development, Software, and Technology 9% 9%
- Health & Wellness 7% 7%
- Marketing Strategy and Implementation 12% 12%
So this week in WWBI it was all about capabilities and investing in those capabilities. During the call, I identified my main capabilities as being the interviews I do–the ability to capture the raw data and also the ability to present that data in a usable and easier to digest format. But when it came time to think about the $10,000 question, or the triple your revenue question, the answer I came up with was…just do MORE of it. I was kind of stuck there, and I felt it.
To be honest, I have enjoyed the weekly prompts and discussions immensely, but haven’t made a lot of time to keep working on them through the week. This week it was bugging me. I was also having one of those weeks where I felt like I had been putting my business way ahead of my family and that was bugging me too because it has been more common than I want to admit.
BUT, I challenged myself – because I didn’t like that “just do more” answer I got when going through the prompts. I know that these ideas are not new. But sometimes it takes time for them to hit you the right way at the right time. So I dug deeper. The actual capability that is the core of it all …. is doing the work of gathering the raw data… the research.
So how do I invest in RESEARCH as a capability? And it came to me pretty quickly:
Invest in more researchers.
To be fair, this idea had floated by before, but not in a “How-can-you-do-this-now” sort of way.
Without getting too caught up in the potential of it all, I can see how doubling down on the main thing increases its value to me and to others. More researchers = more availability, more perspectives, more interviews, etc. I was even inspired by several other Coco members and a name popped into my head. The Research Dept.
All that to say, even though I had been clearly resisting the idea of hiring people who did what I do, this made it clear that RESEARCH was a capability worth investing in, and that I don’t have to wait to get started.
One of my big takeaways from masterminding in yesterday’s session with my small group is that they both saw connections between my architecture background and the new potential role that I’m seeing for myself in a COO/integrator type of role for other people’s businesses. What an incredible gift!
It really reminded me of what I have always believed, which is that an architectural education is actually a great education for many, many things because of the way it teaches you to think and approach problems.
I feel like that kind of integration, that kind of wholeness, the idea that those 20 years of training and practice weren’t for nothing, that I’m not “starting over,” that I’m still an architect and this is all just a new iteration – that could be really amazing and healing.
And it could lead me to my best work in my true creative zone of genius that provides financial compensation and spiritual satisfaction in equal measure..
It feels like such a treat to get the chance to think strategically about my business for a change.
This work is really confronting and uncomfortable!
All in, here’s everything that’s included…
- 8 weeks of guided business exploration and small group discussion
- The What Works Blueprint journal for creating your personal plan for turning your critical thinking into critical action
- 12 month’s access to The Leaders Circle at CoCommercial–including weekly coworking hours, special events, Work & Learn days, and more!
- 52 weekly Flash Masterminds where you can discuss pressing issues, ideas, or challenges with savvy small business owners
- Dedicated, private conversation space with your What Works Business Immersion cohort
- Our mobile app so you can take your business support community wherever you go
- Connections with members near you or in your field
- Concierge support from the CoCommercial team so you never feel like a number or waste time searching for things
The What Works Business Immersion plus 1 year’s membership at CoCommercial is $999 or 3 payments of $333.
We believe this is an incredible value compared to the passive learning and lack of support you’ve likely paid thousands for in the past.
Because your success in this program hinges on your engagement and personal investment, there are no refunds. However, we are happy to postpone your participation to the next cohort if an emergency makes it impossible to participate.
“…through your posts and questions and sharing of experiences, help me tremendously, to be stronger and get more resilient…”
Aside from the obvious help and support relating to building my business–which was the primary reason I joined CoCommercial, there are other things that this community is helping me learn and practice.
I thought I’d share it here, in part for all our new members (welcome!) and also because I want to thank you all for helping me in loads… beyond what’s obvious!
1. CoCo is teaching me good networking and relationship-building practices.
I’m a shy introvert. That’s a tough combination to overcome networking fears. But you guys are the best role models. You all are teaching me how to do it in an online environment and how to nurture it offline. You’ve allowed me to practice different ways to find what works for me. Thank you.
2. CoCo is teaching me how to ask and get help.
This is very difficult for me. But you guys have made it easy for me to ask banal questions, insane questions, basic questions, questions that have been asked before. Thank you.
3. CoCo is teaching me how to be resilient.
There’s only so much positive self-talk and grit can do for me if I’m by myself, in my head all the time. You guys, through your posts and questions and sharing of experiences, help me tremendously, to be stronger and get more resilient… even if I’m just reading and not always participating in the discussions. (I know, I know, stop lurking.) Thank you.
4. CoCo is teaching me how to get over FOMO.
We can’t be everywhere and read everything and be in on #allthethings. You guys help me figure out what’s important for me to follow and where I can relax. I was absent here for almost two months (surgery, post-op stuff) and yet when I came back, I didn’t feel like I missed a whole lot… well, I did, but it’s okay 😃 Thank you.
5. CoCo is teaching me what a network and a community is about.
Okay. So maybe this one’s a little tied to the business. But even if I never create a membership community ever, you guys still taught me what it is I love about being in a community where I feel I belong. Thank you.
So that’s it! Suffice it to say, I love being here and I love you guys.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time does this take?
The What Works Business Immersion is a commitment of 2-3 hours per week for 8 weeks. Many of our members are able to swap out their “working on the business” time to make room for the program. You’ll find that our deep dive discussions address many of the same concerns, challenges, or opportunities you currently spend time (or wish you spent time) tackling.
You can make good on your membership in The Leaders Circle & CoCommercial with as little as a few hours per month to a few hours per week. Some of our members pop into the network or attend a Flash Mastermind periodically when they’ve had a victory or need help on a challenge. Others show up for a few minutes daily to see what folks are talking about and dig into their own needs.
We create a lot of programming for our members (roundtables, Q&As, Flash Masterminds, Coworking Chats, virtual conferences, and more…) but we don’t in anyway expect you to attend all of it! You choose to attend what will be helpful for you. If you have questions about an event or community opportunity, just ask a team member for more info and we’ll help you make a good decision for you!
Will I belong here? Can this help with my kind of business?
Our membership is pretty diverse! The majority of our members run service-based or digital products businesses. Our members are coaches, consultants, designers, educators, trainers, healers, writers, developers, finance experts, bookkeepers, and marketers. There are also artists, illustrators, brick & mortar business owners, and physical product designers.
As for whether it can help, we believe that business is business and that some of the most valuable business insight is found by learning more about how other industries, business models, and structures work. We are also happy to help connect you with members who might be especially helpful to you!
In the end, you ask for what you need and we’ll do our best to help you find support. Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all solution, we work to help you create a personalized approach to your own challenges and obstacles.
What if I can't make an Immersion call or need to leave early? Can I catch up later?
If you can’t make all 90 minutes of every call, that’s perfectly fine. We do ask you to commit to coming to most of most of the calls.
Each call will be recorded, but small group discussions won’t make it to the recording because we’ll be in “break out rooms.” You’ll be able to review the prompts we shared in the call and you should reflect on those prompts on your own time. Utilize your WWBI cohort discussion group to share your reflections and get feedback from other members.
In past cohorts, members who weren’t able to make a call met together to discuss the week’s prompts and questions on their own.
Our calls give you an unmatched opportunity for real-time feedback–but, as always, CoCommercial & your discussion group is available to you 24/7.
What's the curriculum like? What exactly am I going to learn?
Can I get real with you? Of course I can.
This is where small business education has gone off the rails. People have gotten so good at marketing their courses and programs as one-size-fits-all solutions that we’ve actually started to believe that a single curriculum can solve all of our problems. It’s just not true.
CoCommercial exists to connect you to just-right-for-you answers depending on what you need and your style. The What Works Business Immersion takes this about 10 times further. The WWBI will help you identify what you want to learn more about, where you might have knowledge gaps you didn’t even know about, and where what you think you’re “supposed” to be doing is out of alignment with how your business really works.
Our goal is to help you get more out of what you already have–not give you more balls to juggle by teaching you something new.
Lastly, what you will absolutely learn is how to ask better questions about your business, how to rely on support instead of always going it on your own, and how to become more transparent about how your business works so you can benefit from deep business relationships.
Can I participate in the What Works Business Immersion more than once?
Yes! However, we don’t want you to spend all your time thinking & talking about your business instead of taking action. We recommend doing the WWBI no more than 2x per year. That gives you time to put your plans, experiments, and hypotheses in place and gather new information before you talk it out again.
What if I don't have much to contribute to group discussions?
First off, you do. You have a lifetime of experience as a consumer and team member to draw on. You also have the business experience you’ve accumulated to this point. The point of the immersion is for you to immerse yourself in your own experience, knowledge, and curiosity. By doing that, you learn an incredible amount about how your business works and have a lot to offer small group discussions.
Plus, we’ll guide you through prompts and critical thinking exercises, in addition to giving you time to process on your own before connecting you with others.
The What Works Business Immersion is a deep dive into trusting yourself as an entrepreneur and relying on your own knowledge, instincts, and critical thinking. Every contribution you make is a step toward more independence and self-reliance.