David Sparks and Mike Schmitz are not nearly as productive as they’d like to be. Join these fellow travelers (and a bunch of special guests) as they share the best ways to get focused, and talk through their successes and failures along the way.



Latest Episodes

#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…

#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.