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

#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.

#35: I Guess I'm Felix Unger

November 28th, 2017 · 59 minutes

David and Jason discuss the importance of prep time, resetting your balance, gauging the value of your work, time tracking, managing ongoing commitments, getting sick and keeping clients happy, and the value of uncluttered office space.

#34: I Think I Just Got Fired, with Marco Arment

November 14th, 2017 · 50 minutes

App developer, podcaster, analyst, and secret entrepreneur Marco Arment joins us to discuss his journey from college to Tumblr, building Instapaper, getting quit-fired, setting out on his own, and working in bursts of productivity.

#33: When You Say Yes to Everything

October 31st, 2017 · 54 minutes

On Halloween, David and Jason revamp the podcast with a new format. David struggles with how he's spending his time. Jason tries to figure out when to say no and gets a better perspective about how well his business is doing, prompted by a job inquiry from a former co-worker.