David Sparks and Jason Snell spent their careers working for the establishment. Then one day, they’d had enough. Now they are independent workers, learning what it takes to succeed in the 21st century. They are… free agents.

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Latest Episodes

#45: Like Going Back to High School

April 17th, 2018 · 41 minutes

David's home workspace gets invaded by teenagers, Jason reprises his old commute and learns to appreciate the ability to work from anyplace, and a listener reminds us of a classic technique: making promises that your future self has to keep.

#44: Maybe You'll Get a Real Job, with David Wain

April 3rd, 2018 · 54 minutes

You might not realize it, but creative professionals in the entertainment industry are also free agents. In this episode we talk to writer/actor/director David Wain of "Wet Hot American Summer" and "The State" about his life as a free agent, from hitting MTV right out of college to the lean times that followed. Turns out that juggling a busy sched…

#43: Don’t Ask Us Permission

March 20th, 2018 · 48 minutes

David attended a conference and was asked for advice (or was it permission?) from many potential free agents. When he got home, his professional life was in disarray. What are the lessons to take from that? Jason ponders putting more effort into video. David continues down the path of hyperscheduling.

#42: Learning Your Creative Rhythms, with Shawn Blanc

March 6th, 2018 · 58 minutes

David and Jason go through the Free Agents Mailbag with observations about the legend of the man who outsourced his own job, taking a hobby to the next level, and the menace of Imposter Syndrome. Then we welcome our guest, Shawn Blanc, creator of The Sweet Setup and shawnblanc.net, to discuss building an independent business with collaborators, so…

#41: A Walk on the Beach

February 21st, 2018 · 47 minutes

David has a big birthday and joins Jason in discovering the value of embracing a lull; David's wife gets a new job, leading to changes in working at home; and Team Sparky expands as David gets some help with his business.

#40: Like Being in a Boat, with Kourosh Dini

February 6th, 2018 · 53 minutes

Psychiatrist, writer and musician Kourosh Dini joins us to discuss his long journey to being an independent worker, mixing his various jobs, dealing with the stress of being on your own, and much more.

#39: Quality Time with a Sledgehammer

January 23rd, 2018 · 61 minutes

David tries to not work too hard on his European vacation, while Jason tries to do the same in his own house; David's experiments with hyper-scheduling and the Twelve Week Year; Jason performs some drastic office remodeling.

#38: Knit Your Parachute on the Way Down, with Thom Zahler

January 9th, 2018 · 63 minutes

David and Jason talk to artist and writer Thom Zahler, an independent creator for 15 years in indie comics (Love and Capes, Warning Label), licensed comics (My Little Pony), and animated television (Spider Man: Web Warriors, Knights of the Zodiac), about his journey from art school student to freelancer to full-on free agent, and how his business …

#37: The Twelve-Week Year

December 26th, 2017 · 54 minutes

We wrap up the year with a discussion of navigating holidays and vacations, David's thoughts about getting projects to completion in the new year, Jason's update to his Not-To-Do List, setting the bar high for taking on new clients, end-of-year appreciation gifts for clients, and holiday seasonality.

#36: My App Story, with John Voorhees

December 12th, 2017 · 40 minutes

John Voorhees of MacStories is a brand-new free agent, a lawyer who left his job in Chicago to set out on his own as a writer and app developer. He tells us how he decided to leave the legal profession and go full time as an independent worker.