Free Agents

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.

#19: Nobody Grades You on the Scaffolding

April 18th, 2017 · 59 minutes

Every independent worker will agree that being organized is important. But should you adopt an organizational system? How can these systems help you, and are they worth the investment? Jason and David detail their own personal organization systems and discuss approaches to getting more organized, as well as tools to use to help in the process.


#18: A Series of Logical Decisions, with Greg Pierce

April 4th, 2017 · 44 minutes

Agile Tortoise's Greg Pierce discusses what he's learned in a decade as an independent developer and consultant.


#17: Stop Digging

March 21st, 2017 · 28 minutes

Not all clients are good clients. If you don't manage the herd, you could lose the farm. This is why it's important to consider the right time, and right way, to fire a client. We discuss fireable offenses both obvious and subtle, and the best approach to take when firing a client.


#16: R2-D2 on My Desk

March 7th, 2017 · 53 minutes

Jason and David discuss their home-office set-ups and the challenges they face when working in a house they share with other people. When do you lock your doors? How do you "go home" at the end of the day? What gear do they use? And do they admit to their clients that they're working in their pajamas?


#15: Put on the Business Hat

February 21st, 2017 · 41 minutes

You can't earn a living as a Free Agent if you don't get paid. In this episode we discuss why the sign of a true professional is ensuring that they're being compensated. Why is getting paid so hard? How do we handle billing? When you're on your own, you're the one who has to make sure that the money is flowing in. If you don't get paid, you won't …


#14: Putting Numbers in Boxes, with Andrew Carroll

February 7th, 2017 · 38 minutes

A new year brings accounting and tax challenges for independent workers, so we asked accountant and financial advisor Andrew Carroll to join us. Andrew recently went out on his own and now provides tax and financial advice to free agents and entrepreneurs.


#13: Promotion Can Feel Gross

January 24th, 2017 · 39 minutes

Being good at what you do isn't enough. You also need customers, clients, or whatever else you need to pay for shoes. That may mean you have to do a little promotion of your own. But you can be really great at what you do and still terrible at self-promotion. Tricky stuff!


#12: Right Now It's Only Me, with Katie Floyd

January 10th, 2017 · 43 minutes

Very recently David's Mac Power Users co-host, Katie Floyd, left her law firm and went out on her own. We ask Katie about making the move, her workspace and work habits, and the issues of adding support staff and partners versus staying entirely independent.


#11: Balancing Dollars and Delight

December 14th, 2016 · 23 minutes

One of the best things an independent worker can do is invest in both belts and suspenders. We discuss cultivating and managing multiple income streams, and both the risks and benefits of getting your money from a bunch of different places.


#10: Indie Vacation

November 29th, 2016 · 37 minutes

We discuss planning and taking vacations as an independent worker. How do you set client expectations? How do you set boundaries with the people you're traveling with? What's the best way to get prepared for taking a trip? Most importantly, we talk about the importance of taking time off and meaning it.