35/250 From the Fat Controller to a Russian Doll

And other suitable analogies

As a company, Brutal Pixie has changed a little bit like the wind. If you were one of those people I first met when starting this venture back in 2013, you might have a vague recollection of where I started.

Having surfaced from the churning ocean of corporatism that nearly swallowed me whole, game enough to give this entrepreneurism another crack, I desperately wanted to work in content strategy.


Over the years, I realised that selling strategy in an outback town (which is really what Adelaide is, when you compare it to most cities) is a bit like selling insurance. It was an uphill battle because it was too much effort, and I was talking to people in small businesses who (really, let’s be honest) don’t give too much of a flying fox about strategic planning in any sense.

It took a long time to bring the business back from the epic skills spread that I have, to a focused and niche offering. That’s entirely a matter of ego, by the way.

Since hitting my stride with things, I’ve discovered something amusing. These days, people say things like, ‘Man, people with your skill-set are rare’; or ‘it must be hard to find people with the skills you need’.

Yes, nodded the Fat Controller. You might say that!

Polishing his belt buckles and shoes every day, wrapping his epic belt around his rotund belly, the Fat Controller went off to work at Pixie Hollow, satisfied and content in being The Only Person Who Can Possibly Do This Stuff In This Way.

Until recently.

About 21 days ago I commenced a remarkable vocabulary experiment, which has had an enormous impact on the Fat Controller. I’m not going to write about that here, but I will share the link with you when I publish it over on my official website.

All you need to know about that experiment is that the Fat Controller woke up one day to discover that he was, in fact, a Russian Doll.

Somehow—we don’t really know how—his belt came loose. When it did, his top half fell off, and a smaller version popped out.

Then the same thing happened to the smaller one.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Suddenly, I was sitting in my office looking at an entire spread of skills. Just because I’ve had them all working inside me doesn’t mean that they don’t exist in and of themselves, I thought.

The Fat Controller, for once, was quiet.

And so it was that a very talented friend with a particular skill-set came to the end of a contract and agreed to pitch in.

And another very talented friend, with a different skill-set, also agreed to pitch in. And, gasp!, learn from me.

Today, as I write this to you, I am on the brink of something enormously exciting. It’s a 60-day pilot, at the helm of a team of Russian Dolls. Individually, they are beautiful, significant creatures. And together, they will form a force that is unbeatable.

Such is my plan, anyway.

So much along this journey I’ve been learning that nearly all of it is getting out of my own way, and allowing whatever you want to call this Destiny, to flow.