14/260 Here are the numbers

Numbers are everything.

Hi there,

I was going to be away this weekend, but I changed things so I could clean my house and enjoy my holiday and the return. So in my downtime, I decided to send you a letter regardless.

Today I’m going to share with you our numbers for 2018.

Do you know your numbers?

When you’re young and green in business, you might think that ‘numbers’ means ‘money numbers’. But in a business like Brutal Pixie, money is a shitty metric. It doesn’t tell you anything about how effective or efficient you are.

Better is to look at your exact business and work out all the different numbers that apply. When you do this, you’ll find other metrics that are more effective.

Now, I’m not a brainiac. I learned the true meaning of ‘find your numbers’ from a fabulous client of Brutal Pixie’s: Gina Brooks. (Who, at our Summer Solstice Picnic, became one of the very few Very Important Pixies, having worked with us since our first year).

Brutal Pixie’s numbers: Jan - Dec 2018

Some of these numbers are approximate, by necessity. Nevertheless, they’re fun to look at! Here they are.

Major projects

  • Content audits: 1.

  • Content-first design for websites: 3.

  • Understandability and usability studies: 3.

  • Website rewrites: 1.

  • Corporate strategy facilitation: 3

  • Message architecture workshops: 3

  • Thought Leadership strategy, design and implementation: 1

  • CaRST Program Accreditation + internal MOOC design & build: 1

Content creation

  • 94,517+ words crafted

  • 40 long-form blogs and 20 press releases (an average of 1560 words each) - plus a bunch of other related works that were rewrites or comprised editorial support

  • 8 training videos

  • 10 slide decks

  • 4 reports

  • 1 ebook

  • 3 case studies

  • 10 lead magnets

  • 24 hours in author-coaching and mentoring

  • 24 hours spent in English conversation practice for migrant students

  • 29 academic journal papers edited (approx total of 638 pages), across civil, environmental, water, geotechnical, and structural engineering.

  • 1 complete PhD thesis edited (and it got feedback so good that the Dean was completely surprised and blown away).

Industries supported

  • Higher education (engineering, innovation)

  • Training

  • Human resources

  • Law (immigration)

  • Software

Collaborations with startups

  • WillBits: A digital wills solution that uses blockchain for rigour and transparency.

  • Writally: A Blue Chili startup that is a platform for writers. It asks you what you want to achieve, what outcome you want, who you’re writing for (etc) then gives you a specific recipe to follow while you write.


Three nominations this year, but no awards. They were:

  • Telstra Business Awards

  • Adelaide’s 40 Under 40

  • South Australia’s Women in Innovation


  • Continued our 5-star rating on Google Reviews

  • Achieved 9.1 out of 10 (where 1 = not at all likely to recommend, and 10 = extremely likely to recommend) in ratings about our academic editorial support service

People Care, Earth Care, Fair Share

  • $419 donated directly to deserving organisations

  • Kiva.org loans to 2 countries, totalling $75 (entirely from recouped Kiva loans, not new currency)

  • 3 x Mentoring or advisory in business on a pro-bono basis (UniSA Business Career Mentoring Program, NVI Flinders Enterprise Consulting, SA Leaders - with Training x Design)

  • 6 x Presentations, all pro-bono (Legalwise Seminars - Customer experience; Unley Changemakers Program - How to use the Business Model Canvas and test it; Sydney Content Strategy - Content Mathematics; SA Council for Adult Literacy - Website best practices; SA Council for Adult Literacy State Conference - Panel; Modbury High School - Living Library)

It looks like a busy year… but it wasn’t really

We had so many other things going on this year, from restructures to me working out WTF I want to do with the business actually, that I am about the slowness of the year.

Over the last week or so I have reflected on these numbers in light of the new company, week and time structure in place for 2019. I know with certainty that Brutal Pixie can easily achieve double - perhaps triple - the workload. Realistically, 94,000 words in a year is only 2,000 words per week.

It wasn’t lost on me, however, that if we charged full MEAA rates on a piece-work basis, our revenue would have been massively higher. Taking my example of the 1560-word average this year, across 60 pieces, that equates to more than $86,000 just in blogs and press releases. The rates we charge on package deals are about half of that - and still at the upper end in terms of market rates. Fascinating, don’t you think?

Meaningful measures = good data = a better 2019

Between now and when I go back to work (which is 14 Jan), I’ll be doing a whole lot of thinking, reading, planning, and goal-setting. With meaningful metrics like the numbers above, we have an outstanding benchmark from which to drive improvement and know whether we actually are making an impact in the world.

What kinds of metrics does YOUR business track? Leave a comment and let me know.

May the turn of the year be one that is full of love and fun.

Queen Pixie at Brutal Pixie