Saturday, 9 May 2015

Spring Medical Writing Freelance Retreat 2015

Group discussion
This month our band of merry freelancers got together to discuss challenges we face as solo business owners in Cathean's annual freelancer retreat. The energy in the room was incredible!
Who's got your monkey?
Our experienced freelancing colleague, Debbie Jordan, gave an insightful talk containing lots of useful tips for managing our time more effectively, including the brilliant game of 'who's got your monkey'!. This generated lots of discussion and gave plenty of food for thought.
Somatics can help you manage your stress response
We were then treated to an interactive coaching session on somatics by Dawn Bentley of Aurora Business Coaching. Somatics involves looking at how our physiology and body language impacts the way we deal with stressful situations and gives us ways in which we can modify our responses to promote calm and productive interactions. I have had the privilege of coaching with Dawn on a 1:1 level in this area and was keen to share some of the key points with our group as I has really revolutionised the way I enter potentially challenging situations. We practised a grounding technique which is an excellent way to help us manage our embodied stress responses which are learned and developed through our past experiences. This is a particularly useful technique for dealing with challenging situations both at home and in business.
Leading and following exercise
This was followed by an interactive exercise looking at leadership. As business owners it is important we learn the art of self-leadership first and foremost as we change our mindset from that of employee to employer. However, it is also important for us to be mindful of how we are led, given our interactions with clients. The exercise that Dawn gave us to demonstrate our leadership and following styles was fun as well as informative.

I shared my experiences of the Uplevel Your Business Live event I attended last year in Atlanta, with a particular emphasis on the different income streams available to us as freelancers. Finally, we had a lively discussion on the current challenges we face as a group when negotiating rates and project scope with clients. As feedback from the group suggests, the Retreat offers a great opportunity to share our experiences with like-minded people. As a freelancer you can feel quite isolated, with many of us working alone from home. So, getting together with our colleagues in an informal setting makes us feel like we are not alone in the challenges we face. And as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved!
Fabulous freelance friends

Kathryn White is owner and director of Cathean Ltd Writing Services. She is a published medical and equestrian writer with a passion for creating compelling text in collaboration with her clients from pharmaceutical, healthcare and equestrian businesses across the world.