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  • Writer's pictureAshleigh Harvey

What Kind of FREAKERY is This?

Here's a pressing question:

Have you seen Return to Oz?


I don't know about you but I am not SCARED of things.

For example, I'm not scared of things like...

A new hair colour...

Traveling to a new country (even though I have totally weird quirks, like I have to sit on the aisle seat in the plane, and I have to pack my own pineapples)...

Emigrating (recently did this and I LOVED it. Who would have thought?)

But there are also things that make me have a panic attack and be paralysed with fear...

Not being able to have my pineapple breakfast every morning...

When my bestie emigrated...

Anything that feels irreversible...


Let me set this scene for you (this is about business, I swear, stay with me now...)

It's the late '80s. I'm a kid. Like...I don't or eight. My parents have got people over for dinner. They've recorded a movie for us (back in the 80s, when you could do that), and they're totally jazzed with themselves, because they've been holding onto this movie for a while, waiting for the perfect time to show it to us, so that we'll be occupied for a few hours while they entertain their friends.

Good move, mom and dad...except...

This is the most horrific and terrifying movie EVER MADE.


Return to Oz is the sequel to the Wizard of Oz, yes.

And it's Disney, yes.

And it's described as a 'whimsical family-friendly fantasy,' yes.

If you're the ADAMS FAMILY, maybe!

I was a tiny child. A very small and tiny child, excited about watching this movie.

What did I do to deserve such freakery?

It starts with Dorothy filled with daydreams about her experiences in Oz. What does she need? ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY. Obvs. But a power outage prevents this from actually happening and she runs away, falling into a river that takes her back to OZ. The yellow brick road is rubble. There's a chicken that talks. At this point in the film, my tiny brain knew something was wrong, and yet, I kept watching.

By the time I reach the Wheelers, I'm basically a puddle on the floor...

...and let's not even talk about the scene where Dorothy is surrounded by sleeping disembodied heads, until she wakes them up, and the body of those heads is chasing her through Princess Mombi's castle.


Return to Oz is one of those childhood nightmares that if you've experienced it, you can never un-experience it. You can't un-remember it.

But, here's the thing. I never told my mom what sheer horror this film actually was. I kept that from her. And I kept forcing myself to watch it over and over again, to see if I could just get through it without becoming hysterical.

Kiiiiind of like running a business, right?

The marketing, the sales, the brand building, the constant Instagramming and Facebooking and blogging, and SEO. Reels, and stories, and posts, oh my!

It's all new and scary, and just like Return to Oz, none of it fails to scare the bejeezus out of me. But I keep pushing on through it. Sometimes alone.

And then, I realised that Dorothy could only face the Wheelers when she had wingmen - the Gump, Jack Pumpkinhead, Tik Tok, and her chicken, Bellina.

And then I thought about my wingmen:

  • My husband, who just basically tells me to go for it and has helped give me back my confidence (and who also tells me to fire all the clients who give me shit and don't pay me enough, what a guy).

  • My two best women in the world who also run their own businesses, and who I look up to and learn from every single day.

  • My bestie from school, who I work with every day, who tells me I'm the best copywriter in the world, even though I'm not, and who laughs at all my jokes.

You need a wingman, Woman. You need a Pumpkinhead. Someone who can advise you, give you tips, laugh at you, make you feel amazing about yourself and your work. Grab that person and hold them tight. And then be someone else's Wingman. You'll change their life.


Ashleigh is a copywriter who helps businesswomen to kick ass and take names by strategically growing and leveraging their email lists with highly targeted campaigns. Boom. For real conversations, join her Facebook group here - Make a Song and Dance: Female Business Owners, RISING

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