Sightlines from the present to the ideal: An interview with Letitia Henville

Running a freelance business can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Recently, we chatted with Letitia Henville about the business planning retreat happening in February and the many reasons why business owners should embrace this opportunity.  

Hi Letitia! We’re excited about the one-day planning retreat for freelance businesses. What top three things can participants expect to take away from your session on February 10, 2023?

The idea is to do a lot of reflection and a bit of dreaming and then create bridges, ladders, pathways, and sightlines from our present practice to our ideal business. The approach I take in this retreat is holistic—we talk about strategies for making money, sure, but also strategies for accruing intellectual, environmental, or spiritual capital through our businesses. This is a marketing and business planning retreat for reluctant capitalists who want to resist productivity narratives and hustle culture. It’s about finding the balance that’s right for you and figuring out a plan to bring that balance into being. 

Is that three things? I’m not sure! 

At this time of the year, freelance editors may prefer to spend their time doing billable tasks, so could you share a few reasons why a retreat for business development is crucial now?

Oh, definitely, we always need to do billable work. Absolutely. But if you freelance, are you making the best choices in the projects you accept? Do your marketing materials attract the kinds of clients you want to work with? Do you even know which kinds of clients you want to work with? And are you charging a high enough rate that you can afford to put in some unbilled time for strategic thinking?  

I’m definitely a can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-pine-needles person, so a retreat gives me the structure I need to step back and look at the landscape of my business. If I don’t do that work, I find myself accepting jobs that don’t fit my skillset or interests.

In this retreat, we’ll all look back at our activities over the past year, inventorying what worked for us and what didn’t. We’ll talk about the clients we like, the marketing we’ve done, the money we’ve earned, and the non-financial benefits we’ve gained; then, we’ll focus on drawing on our strengths and passions to chart a trajectory that points our business in our chosen direction. 

If you’re thinking about taking part in this retreat, I’d encourage you to download the free PDF of The First Retreat Workbook, available from It’s only an excerpt, but that workbook will give you a good sense of the content of the retreat. Participants in the retreat will get the full workbook for free as a PDF, and of course, we’ll add in a few exercises that aren’t covered in the workbook, too. 

What are the benefits of attending a business development retreat with fellow editors when freelancers are often encouraged to find tools and resources online? 

Two things: a structure and a sounding board. In the past, when I’ve tried to do a retreat solo, I’ve found it far too easy to get drawn into answering emails or checking social media. This is a six-hour retreat with a one-hour lunch, and you don’t have to think about how those six hours will be filled. I’ve designed the structure for you. By the end of it, you’ll have a plan for the path you’d like to take, quarter by quarter, step by step, to bring your ideal business into practice. 

And then, there’s the value of a sounding board—of colleagues to repeat what they’ve heard you say in their own words, so you can determine for yourself if you agree with or even believe your own words. I have a metric tonne of experience chatting with other editors through my virtual coffee meetings—I’d love to chat with you about what you want your business to be and what you can reasonably do to get yourself to your goals. 

Register today to take advantage of the early bird registration closing on January 21, 2023.

Image copyright: 4zevar/123RF.COM

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