TThe Year of the Kottke

~ 17 May 2005 ~

Seems everyone else is doing it. Why miss out on the fun?

First off, if your reaction is the same as that of several colleagues at SXSW upon hearing the news, you may be surprised to know that up until recently I was a full-time employee for a medical software company here in Utah. For some reason — even though my About page (now changed) specifically stated I was employed — people still thought I was already on my own.

Well, as of several weeks ago, I’m now a full-time freelance designer. With a fourth son fresh out of the cooker, some might call the timing “insane.” I prefer the term “opportune.”

Expect a few changes around here in the coming months as I continue to set up shop, refine the focus of my design and writing, and perhaps share a few other surprises along the way. As for projects, my calendar for May and June is quite full already, with July and August filling up quickly. So if you or your company has a project that may require my services, please contact me soon to secure a slot. I’d love to discuss.

Now if the weather would just cooperate, a 9am tee time on a sunny Wednesday morning sounds rather attractive…



Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   William Stewart ~ 17 May 2005 at 11:42 AM

Welcome to the club, Cameron! Money gets tight sometimes, but it is quite fun being your own boss. Do you like eating beans from a can?

2   Marko ~ 17 May 2005 at 11:57 AM

Knowing your skills, it’s far from “insane”. Good luck!

3   AkaXakA ~ 17 May 2005 at 12:30 PM

As Marko said, you’ve the stuff to back it up, so I wouldn’t be too worried, but maybe a talk with the other full-timers (or a post about it!) would be helpfull :)

4   Todd ~ 17 May 2005 at 12:42 PM

Good luck Cameron…but I’m sure you’ll do just fine.

5   Brian White ~ 17 May 2005 at 12:46 PM

Congrats! I hope all goes well in your transition… I’m sure it will.

6   Keith ~ 17 May 2005 at 01:05 PM

Opportune is right. I’m quite sure you’ll do very, very well for yourself. Good luck!

7   nick santilli ~ 17 May 2005 at 01:13 PM

Now explain the trick where your wife and mother of 4 allows you to go make a 9am tee time on a wed instead of working (or helping her with the kids)…

I must say, you WILL go far if you can pull that one off!

Good luck, and congrats on the work change and new addition.

8   Cameron Moll ~ 17 May 2005 at 01:24 PM

William - Haven’t had to eat beans yet. Hoping that stays the case.

Nick - lol, very good point. Though I guess we all need a break from the kids every now and then…

9   Marko ~ 17 May 2005 at 01:32 PM

“Though I guess we all need a break from the kids every now and then…”
… and this is where granny perfectly jumps in. I love my son a lot, but sometimes I love my mother in love even more! :)

10   John Athayde ~ 17 May 2005 at 01:54 PM

Congrats on the big step! I did it myself 3 years ago and not by choice (hello layoff). I’ve gone back to corporate for a while to get my cash flow in line to afford the DC housing market (24% growth year over year?! oy veh! it’s like NYC!)

Remember - 6 months of salary in a savings account at all times is your best friend. Difficult? yes. But nice when a client walks on $25k? most definitely. (I speak from experience on that one)

11   Tom ~ 17 May 2005 at 02:07 PM

Or how about a court time? I’ve been playing a lot of tennis at Provo High and Kiwanis park here in Provo.

I’ve thought for a long time about going solo. It sounds so wonderful. But I have not the business sense to make it happen I’m afraid. Good luck to ye.

12   Jon Hicks ~ 17 May 2005 at 02:28 PM

Cameron - all the best with freelancing. Now more than ever you need to be disciplined about separating work & home life. I find it really difficult personally!

Its not mad though - it’ll give you the flexibility to see your children, and the satisfaction of working for yourself. You’ll do very well!

13   Josh ~ 17 May 2005 at 02:36 PM

When you were in updating your “about” page, you maybe shoulda mentioned #4.

14   Josh ~ 17 May 2005 at 02:37 PM

uhh, i forgot “Congrats”

15   Dave Simon ~ 17 May 2005 at 02:57 PM


I, too, recently went out on my own. No longer having a day-to-day job, you would think there would be lots of free time, lots of time to update personal sites, etc. Just the opposite.

Today was my first day off in six weeks. Not because I didn’t have anything to do, I just didn’t feel like working. Call it a sick day. Even though I wasn’t sick. Just sick of work. Just got done with a project yesterday, and although there are probably a few things yet for me to do, I felt “caught up” enough to relax.

Good luck. Just remember, when you work for yourself, your boss is a jerk.

16   Neil ~ 17 May 2005 at 03:01 PM

Good luck fella, nice PDF by the way.

17   Jg ~ 17 May 2005 at 03:48 PM

I’ve been solo since last fall. Key to my ability to do this is having one very solid client whose workload essentially assures me a base income that all other freelance work just supplements. I wish you luck!

18   Jan Brasna ~ 17 May 2005 at 04:29 PM

Wow! Congrats for this decision. I thought you were webdesigning under the flag of HashMedia… What a surprise to read this ;) So, good luck man, I won’t expect any complications, well maybe only the surplus of clients ;)

19   gb ~ 17 May 2005 at 04:40 PM

That job posting you made on Amputate now makes much more sense…

I, myself, am trying to pull off the opposite (ie, get out of externally-imposed freelancing… otherwise known, in my case, as unemployment). You’re going to do great, because that’s what you do, man. Congrats.

20   michelangelo ~ 17 May 2005 at 05:09 PM

hey there Cameron,
i have been on my own for a while and when my son was born i was soooo happy to be able to work from a home office to catch those moments i would have otherwise missed.

gtood luck and congrats on the new boy and great life decision!

21   Jason Fried ~ 17 May 2005 at 05:38 PM

I hope you’ll be using Basecamp and Backpack to help manage your projects. Sorry, I just had to. Delete if you wish ;)

22   Kevin Tamura ~ 17 May 2005 at 08:23 PM

Damn Cameron, congrats on the the big step.

23   Cameron Moll ~ 17 May 2005 at 10:07 PM

Josh - #4 addition to be added soon to the About page.

Jason - How does the old parable go? A wise designer Basecamp maketh? or something…

Everyone else - Many thanks for the encouraging words.

24   Gilbert Lee ~ 18 May 2005 at 12:15 AM

Well done. I’m excited for you. I think it’s the right time to do this now. You’ve obviously established yourself by now so I’m sure it will be smooth.

It is nice to be on your own and charting your own course. Good luck!

25   Nick Fitzsimons ~ 18 May 2005 at 03:16 AM

Congratulations! I used to love freelancing (I’ve got to get back to it some day), and I hope you have as much fun and derive as great a sense of reward from it as I did.

26   Biggest Apple ~ 18 May 2005 at 08:35 AM

Well good for you! I set up on my own (in an unrelated field) years ago fresh out of college, just married, kids, etc and everyone thought I was nuts. I probably was but it taught me more and was more rewarding overall than anything else I’ve done since. Grab that brass ring dude!

27   Noah ~ 18 May 2005 at 10:56 AM

Congrats Cameron. I’m sure you’ll have NO problems keeping the bacon on the table…

28   Richard Rutter ~ 18 May 2005 at 11:13 AM

Great news Cameron. And good to hear your time is already being booked up. I’m quite sure things will go swimmingly for you. And I can think of at least two more people close to home who will be in a similar boat by the end of the year - I’ll keep you posted ;-)

29   Isaac B2 ~ 18 May 2005 at 12:11 PM

Four sons? I have three daughters.

30   Chris K ~ 18 May 2005 at 12:22 PM

Congrats and good luck.

I’m curious what prompted the timing of the switch. I just became a new father and have been in the process of building up my own business. I haven’t left my “day” job though. The thought of spending more for health insurance and not having the consistent pay to fall back on is a little much to handle at this point. How are you dealing with it? Is the wife still working?

31   JimmyD ~ 18 May 2005 at 01:58 PM

I second what Chris K just wrote.

I do enough on the side to have some decent extra income, but taking that big step and going fully independent is not on my radar yet.

I think my 6 month bout of unemployment-itis back in 2001 gave me a deeper appreciation for a salaried position.

Still, to be my own boss…yeah, that’d be cool.

Good luck man, hope it goes well. You’ll no doubt keep a journal, write? (get it??)


32   MaxVT ~ 19 May 2005 at 07:46 AM

First, beans are good for you, don’t snuff them so easily :)

Second, good luck. Working for oneself is so much more fun!

Third, BaseCamp is indeed a great tool. Many clients prefer plain e-mail, though, so it’s best to have both ;)

33   Mike Roy ~ 27 May 2005 at 07:39 AM

You may have now replaced Merlin Mann as my number one Hero/Role Model. Hope that doesn’t make you uncomfortable.

I’d love to stay home with my boy and work around my role as father (my wife makes more than me anyway) but I don’t trust myself to bring in the necessary cash.

Will you be doing a lot of Daddy stuff between 9-5, or do you plan to keep strict work hours?

34   Cameron Moll ~ 30 May 2005 at 09:27 AM

Oh, I’ll sprinkle in a bit of time for some practice baseball with the boys and what not. Part of the reason I made the jump to freelancing.

35   Raja ~ 31 May 2005 at 02:22 PM

Goodbye razor, hello jogging pant!

All the best.


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