David Sparks and Mike Schmitz 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

#53: The Value of Your Time

August 7th, 2018 · 72 minutes

David and Mike talk about protecting your most valuable resource and how to figure out what you shouldn’t be doing anymore. Mike gets inspired during his personal retreat and learns how to say “no.” David learns the hard way from his recent travels but has a plan for what to do differently next time.

#52: You Can't Be What You Can't See with Ann Shen

July 24th, 2018 · 60 minutes

Ann Shen started her career as a grant writer and realized the ladder she was climbing was leaning against the wrong wall. She then took the courageous step of going to art school and starting over again. Since then, with a combination of skill, grit, and newfound faith in herself, she's gone a long way as a Free Agent.

#51: Freedom Frogs

July 10th, 2018 · 54 minutes

David and Mike talk about why “eating your frog” is an important Free Agent survival skill. David talks through a pivot in his approach to book publishing. Mike shares his struggles with “Imposter Syndrome” and how he overcomes it.

#50: Bet on Yourself

June 26th, 2018 · 44 minutes

Mike Schmitz joins as the new Free Agents co-host. In this episode, we get to know Mike better, learn about his journey, and discuss the show format going forward.

#49: Panting to the Finish Line

June 12th, 2018 · 48 minutes

Family members with employment issues remind Jason about just how far he's come; David grapples with letting go of control and working with an assistant; and Jason hands in his resignation and participates in an "exit interview" with David.

#48: Lousy With the Stink of Freedom, with Merlin Mann

May 29th, 2018 · 55 minutes

Podcaster Merlin Mann joins us to discuss his long journey as an independent worker, during which he's pivoted from tech guy to productivity expert to a specializer in cult hits.

#47: Personal Floating Holiday

May 15th, 2018 · 47 minutes

David needs to deal with some clients who aren't paying him. Jason thinks about "taking a personal day" and how that's different from going on vacation or taking a few hours off. David ponders creating a mission statement for himself. And Jason questions whether he's unable to give himself credit for doing certain kinds of work.

#46: Being Comfortable Is Not an Option, with Jaimee Newberry

May 1st, 2018 · 48 minutes

Longtime web developer, tech executive, startup co-founder, inspirational speaker, and coach Jaimee Newberry joins David and Jason to discuss her own journey, when to go out on your own, when to walk way from projects, and how to deal with unexpected success.

#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…