• Studio of Eric Van Holtz
  • Web Developer
Eric Van Holtz
Photo by:
Chelsea Spear

The One
Year Plan

I quit my job and I’m going freelance full-time.

How many times have you heard someone say that? Well, now I’m that person, and I’m giving it a year to see how it goes.

Back in February ’18 I took the leap into full-time freelance (wife approved). But not simply that – I’ve started my own company and it’s pretty freakin’ legit.

Suggestive Wife:
“Maybe you should try doing
the full-time freelance thing.”

Willing Husband:
“Hmm… I mean, I guess I could.
Alright, you talked me into it!”

That was all it took. She knew I was under stress at my full-time job, due to short deadlines for projects I didn’t feel were the best representation of my skillset. Who isn’t in that boat? Going full-time freelance was something I’d considered in the past, and she knew it. That weekend, I wrote my resignation letter and put my two weeks notice in the following Monday.

There wasn’t much preparation for the decision whatsoever. I don’t advise going about it this way. Since my wife has a stable job and we had a decent amount of savings, I just went for it. Even if it took me a month or two to get things rolling my wife thought it could be a good break for me to center myself and refine my workflow. In the end, I didn’t really have time for that. Things started happening quickly.

Working

The company I had been with took the news of my resignation well. They seemed excited for me and even offered business advice. I had been working on a new website for them and would continue to, now as a freelancer. They also had an upcoming project I could take on.

The difference in being an employee versus a contractor is now I have more flexibility on what my responsibilities are as well as more of a say in project scope, timeline and budget.

It was great for them too because they didn’t have to bring someone else up to speed, train them on processes and workflows, or hope the person is capable. It also allowed me to have a flexible schedule which afforded me time to begin forming my company and all that comes with it – which is a lot.

Starting a company has been as stressful as you might have imagined. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I hope that in sharing some of my experiences it will help others going through the same thing, or planning on taking the same plunge. Read more about what it takes to start a business in my journal post, Freelance & Company.

Working for yourself rather than someone else is a lot like renting versus owning.

The time and energy I put in is an investment in myself, the company and its success.

Gone are the days I get annoyed having to work a couple hours after 5pm, or god forbid a weekend. Now, I’m trying to make sure I go to bed before 5am. I don’t think my current routine is healthy, and hope to improve it in the future once some things with setting up the company have settled.

My original dream for #freelancelife was that I’d be able to workout in the morning and take Fridays to work on things to better my skillset, the company, or work on a side project. I’m still dreaming of those things and hope to make it a reality one day. I can see how a lot of people get burnt out on being self-employed / full-time freelance.

Web Development

My hopes are that being in more control over how I spend my time and the projects I take on will help me feel proud of the work I produce. In the future, finding the right work will be my main challenge. This story is to be continued, but for now I’ll leave you with what I strive to accomplish at Van Holtz Co.

Specializing in refined digital web experiences with a focus on animated, responsive, and interactive content.

Partnering with agencies and brands that value design and development integrity.

Delivering highly executed front-end user experiences by paying close attention to the nuances of design, optimization, and performance.

If you’re interested in being part of this one year journey of mine, and have a project that you think would be a good fit, then shoot me an email introducing yourself with details about the project. Or, if you just want to say “hi” that’s cool too.

up next: Collaboration

Specializing in refined digital web experiences with a focus on animated, responsive, and interactive content.

Partnering with agencies and brands that value design and development integrity.

Delivering highly executed front-end user experiences by paying close attention to the nuances of design, optimization, and performance.

Availability
March 2019 —

Remotely, PDX

Services
Development —
  • Technical Direction
  • Front-end Development
  • Craft CMS Solutions
  • Development Consulting
Awards
ADDY —
  • Best of, Gold, Silver
Awwwards —
  • SOTD, Developer, H.M.,
    Nomination: SOTM
Communication Arts Web Picks —
  • SOTD
CSSDA —
  • WOTD, UI, UX, Innovation,
    Nominations: SOTM, SOTY
CSS Winner —
  • SOTD
FWA —
  • FOTD, Public Short List
W3 —
  • Best of Show, Gold, Silver
The Webby Awards —
  • Honoree