The forest and the flashlight

Have you noticed that the way you used to do something isn’t working like it used to?

Maybe it’s the way you reach out for new clients.

Maybe it’s the words and language you use to connect with people who want what you do.

Or maybe your sales have taken a dip.

Good news!

You are exactly where you need to be.

Nothing is wrong.

You are just out in the forest, with your flashlight, picking your path through the trees.

I say this to you as a woman who kept asking herself ‘should I be scared?’ in the shower this morning.

I’m out in the forest with my flashlight, too.

I considered feeling scared this morning because I have tried to create a revenue plan for my business three times this year, and can’t.

I was raised to have a plan.
I was trained to make plans.

And yet. Here I am, a woman who is running what can only be called an un-plan for 2017: ‘trust your heart and follow her where she leads.’

(Pro tip: don’t make one of your resolutions ‘trust my starlight vision’ for the year, if you want things to stay the same.)

It’s scary not to have a plan!

Ah, but when I consider feeling scared, I can’t quite work myself up into the lather it requires.

I keep hearing a voice that says, ‘Meh. You’ll be fine. You always are.’

And how can I argue with that?!

That voice is right.

Even though I thought I needed a plan.
Even though I’ve been told I need a plan.
Even though I’ve been trained to make a plan.

Right now, I have the strong sense that what is needed is not a plan.

It’s to pick my path in the forest by feel.

Originally, I thought I would be the only one out there in the woods.

I thought it would be lonely.

But out here, with my flashlight, I notice others of you out here, with your flashlights, too.

It’s actually quite breathtaking.

Between the moon, the starlight, the candles, the headlamps, the lighters, the matches, the glow sticks and the flashlights, it is downright gorgeous out here.

What if there are no maps?

What if we are drawing our own map as we walk?

What if turning on your flashlight and going into the woods is the only real way to build your business… or to live your life, for that matter?

There is nothing to be scared of.

This is what being alive is.

This is what endeavoring to CREATE your life is.

Maybe all that’s required of us, flashlight forest walkers that we are, is that we decide not to be afraid of the dark, and sing to ourselves as we explore.


Apparently, I am called to build bonfires in the forest, and invite those of you who resonate to come sit with us, and talk about what you’re noticing and what you’re here to create. So…

Pick the bonfire that appeals to you:

#1 – NEW!! — Beaver Lodge LIVE 
Tuesdays 7-7:30 pm EST
LIVE on Stella Orange’s Facebook Business Page

Join me Tuesday evenings for a short, refreshing conversation, where we’ll talk about intelligently wise ways to get the word out about your work, the new way forward in business, and more.

I’ve joined forces with Rebecca Liston and Sarah Dew to offer business design, support, and keep-you-on-track-as-you-build services to business owners called to grow their business in their own way in the next year. The collaboration is called Orange, Liston, & Dew and we work with clients in a new way that blends our collective 30+ years of business acumen with intuitive guidance. This is a quick broadcast with insights and ideas to help you clear your head and get fired up about building your business in a new way. Stop by and say hello!

#2 – Build your business with vision and Orange, Liston, & Dew 
Know YOU are called to more in your business… but need help working out the finer points of your vision and what you need to do (and stop doing) to get there?

That’s what the 45-day Vision and Master Plan is all about. In my latest project, you and I will collaborate with Rebecca Liston and Sarah Dew to create a vision of what you will build next through your business, and what, exactly, you need to do and say and be to make it happen. Disclaimer: this is woo, powerful, and unlike any consulting or ‘VIP day’ thing you may have done in the past (read: not for everyone.) On the upside, we are really good at what we do. More info here:

#3 – One Story/BeaverCon
A curated marketing + business-building double-header 
Buffalo, NY | October 20-22, 2017

Discover how to use the story of the ‘hero called to more’ as a foundation for all your marketing. Meet other ‘beavers’ called to build our businesses in a refreshing and liberating way — with collaboration, teamwork, in our own way and in community (minus the high-pressure sale pitch, or any sales pitch for that matter). Warning: there will be a lot of bad beaver puns, shenanigans, people laughing so hard you’ll forget we’re all working and the questions ‘what would be fun for you in business?’ and ‘what’s highest and best for your clients?’ Spots for 45. Tickets on sale now at:

Big love,

Stella Orange teaches her clients how to effectively market their business by telling a better story in their marketing— the story of the hero answering the call to more. A professional copywriter whose writing has generated millions of dollars in sales, Stella knows that the story we tell in our marketing matters a whole lot, because on a fundamental level, it shapes how people think about themselves and what’s even possible for them. Three times a month, Stella hosts a 90-minute Shut Up And Write session via videoconference for members of her Write Club community. She is based in Buffalo, New York, where she lives with her husband, the Philosopher, and their dog, Chachi. Get a copy of Stella’s position paper The New Marketing: How to Create Clients Without Feeling Gross, Icky or Manipulative at

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