We had the good fortune of connecting with JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JoAnna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After working for several years at medical communication agencies, I realized that writing for primarily academic and pharmaceutical audiences was not a good fit. Thinking back to veterinary school, when our professors emphasized the importance of communicating with pet owners with clarity and compassion, it became clear to me that consumer education was the ideal medical writing specialty for me. I decided to specialize even further and focus on pet owner education. Starting my own business was the best way for me to pursue pet owner education writing. However, because I didn’t think that I would strike out on my own as a freelance medical writer until I had at least 10 years’ medical writing experience, I didn’t feel like I was ready to start a business with less than 3 years’ experience. I starting working with a business coach who was referred to me by one of my medical writing colleagues. He helped me solidify my plans for my business and understand the nuts & bolts of business ownership.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
– Morgan Falls: The view of the Chattahoochee River is serene and so relaxing.
– The High Museum: I love going to art exhibits, so this would definitely be at the top of my list.
– Cafe 290 and Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint: The food is delicious, the musical entertainment is on point, and the atmosphere is a good mix of chill and upbeat.
– Hammocks Trading Company seafood restaurant: The grouper sandwich is everything.
– Cochran Shoals Park: The walking path along the Chattahoochee River is just gorgeous.
– Little Five Points: It’s eclectic and feels less commercial than Lenox.
– Ponce City Market: Ponce City Market has great restaurants and fun stores in which to shop.
– Georiga Premium Outlets: If you love outlet shopping, this is definitely the place to go.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big shoutout to my business coach, Stephen MacDonald. I have been working with him for nearly 5 years, and he has been absolutely integral in me starting my business, growing my business, and evolving as a business owner. He and I joke that, when we first met, I had a ‘deer in the headlights’ facial expression; I knew nothing about business ownership and was very hesitant to even consider it. Since then, he has seen me mature and grow more comfortable and confident as a business owner. I also give a huge shoutout to my husband. He has been with me every step of the way and has fully supported my decision to start my own business. He has helped me in so many ways, including referring me to clients, helping me organize my accounting records, and proofreading important business emails. He’s my #1 cheerleader.
Holland Reid Photography