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

#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.

#32: It's Scary, Dude! with Kathy Campbell

October 17th, 2017 · 47 minutes

Unicorn Sidekick Kathy Campbell joins us to discuss how she ended up becoming a Free Agent while behind a desk at her "real job," when having her new career discovered her.

#31: Being Selective About Clients, with Aleen Simms

October 3rd, 2017 · 37 minutes

Relay FM Host and App Launch Map founder Aleen Simms joins us to talk about her accidental fall into freelance work and setting high standards for her clients.

#30: Tito Needs to Pay the Rent

September 19th, 2017 · 46 minutes

So you're working in a house full of kids. Or a partner who is there all the time. It can make working from home difficult to say the least. We discuss the good and bad of working around kids (and others) who are in your house with you.

#29: The Spreadsheet

September 5th, 2017 · 40 minutes

So you're thinking about going out on your own. It's time to build The Spreadsheet, a tool to let you gauge your potential income and expenses and give you a realistic view of what it will take to succeed.